Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Achebe and Danticat at Princeton

Edwidge Danticat
(Photo Source: Miami Bookfair International)

The Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat, author of Krik? Krak!, and Forming of the Bones, among others, will be the Toni Morison Lecturer at Princeton University on March 25. Her lecture, "Creating Dangerously: The immigration Artist at Work"--the title of which partially comes from Albert Camus' influential 1957 essay on art and political engagement--ought to be an important excursion into the place of contemporary art in society, but more pertinently the experience of immigration and dislocation as an enabling force for creativity, and, I hope, the political implications of immigration in the age of fraught globalization.

Achebe and Simon Ottenberg
at the opening of Obiora Udechukwu's opening at the Skoto Gallery, NY
July 2006 (photo: Chika Okeke-Agulu)

A day after Danticat's lecture, an even more momentous occasion will be the public conversation between Kwame Anthony Appiah and Chinua Achebe whose Things Fall Apart in its 50th year has been the subject of major international attention; a focus that acknowledges the novel's critical presence in the world of literature, and the discourse of European colonization in Africa. It will be wonderful to see the two public intellectuals and philosophers broach some of the ideas that have made their work, in different ways, landmark moments in the world of modern thought. I will, hopefully, return to this blog after the conversation, which I await with great expectation!


Anonymous said...

so what happened? Or was it so overwhelming you haven't been able to put it into words yet? :)

Chika Okeke-Agulu said...

Ah, both were memorable events. I needed time to process the images. Because I usually shoot my pictures in large format, I have to resize them to fit the smaller dimensions best for internet postings. But also, I have been extremely busy since the event. Strangely, I did not see your query before posting my report last night!