STREAM: African Literature: Communities, Collaborations, Crafts & Crossings

STREAM: African Literature: Communities, Collaborations, Crafts & Crossings

The panels in this thematic stream will consider the ways in which literary works and their authors have moved within, across, into and out of Africa’s literary environments and domains. They will therefore consider national, pan-African and transnational collaborations (and conflicts), as well as connections between different located literary communities, whilst seeking to address literary practices and materials, as well as the technologies and institutions of production by which they are governed and from which they emerge. One of the aims of this stream is thus to facilitate an exploration of the relevance to scholars of African verbal arts of recent attempts to theorize literary production and circulation at scales other than the national.

Confirmed Panels

Panel 1: Fields and Networks

  • Literary Tourism and Literary Encounter, Zimbler, Jarad (University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom)
  • African Campus Fiction: Global Theme and Institutional Variations, Bush, Ruth (University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom)
  • The Death of the Author: Thomas Mofolo and his Publishers, Sandwith, Corinne (University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)

Panel 2: Small-Scale Production

  • Positioning Anglophone African Poetry: The Case of Saraba Magazine, Suhr-Sytsma, Nathan (Emory University, Atlanta, United States)
  • The Literary Journal as Form: Genres, Modes and Media in Southern African Little Magazines, Helgesson, Stefan (Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden)
  • Student Poetry Magazines: the Ibadan-Leeds Connection, Bower, Rachel (University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom)

Panel 3: Ecologies and Orality

  • Indigenous Poetry in Southern Africa: National Reconciliation Versus Political Sovereignty, Nicholls, Brendon (School of English, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom)
  • Performing Song: Resistance, Subversion and Theatre Performance in Uganda, Kasule, Samuel (University of Derby, Derby, United Kingdom)
  • ‘At the Mid-Point of the Scream’: Dambudzo Marechera, Sony Labou Tansi, and the Scream in Postcolonial African Literature, Newman, Scott (Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, United States)

Panel 4: Theatre and Performance

  • ‘This Island’s Mine!’ Malawian and British Intercultural Theatre Collaboration in Bilimankhwe’s Production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Bonsall, Amy (Bilimankhwe Arts, Chester, United Kingdom)
  • The Five Star Somali Theatre: A Unique Theatre for a Language and an Imagined Nation, Plastow, Jane (University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom)
  • African Contributions to Seychelles Oral Traditions: The Seychelles Moutya, Choppy, Penda (Creole Language & Culture Research Institute, Faculty of Arts & Social Development, University of Seychelles, Anse Royale, Seychelles)

Panel 5: Crossings

  • The City and the Bush: Narrative Ecologies in the Works of Cyprian Ekwensi and Amos Tutuola, Datta, Sreya Mallika (University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom)
  • Narrating the Mediterranean Voyage: Migration, Risk and Uncertainty in Abu Bakr Khaal’s African Titanics, Tanimomo, Oluseu, Adekunmi (University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany)
  • In Search of Continental Connectivity: The Trans-African Bildungsroman in Contemporary South African Writing, Fasselt, Rebecca (University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)

Panel 6: Institutions of Circulation

  • Harnessing Rare Voices: Key Stylistic Novelties in ‘As I Stood Dead Before the World: Creative Writing from Luzira Prison’ (2018), Kahyana, Danson Sylvester (Literature Department, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda | PEN International – Uganda Centre, Kampala, Uganda)
  • Mapping out (Pan-) African Networks of Literary Sociability through « Small Magazines » Journo, Aurélie Marion (Université Paris 13, Villetaneuse, France)
  • The Circulation through Translation of Portuguese-Speaking African Literatures in Europe: Some Results and NewIissues, Bucaioni, Marco (Centro de Literaturas e Culturas Lusófonas e Europeias, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal)

Panel 7: Roundtable

Poetry and Print in the Era of Decolonization: Roundtable on Nathan Suhr-Sytsma’s Poetry, Print, and the Making of Postcolonial Literature

  • Coetzee, Carli (Journal of African Cultural Studies, Oxford, United Kingdom)
  • Currey, James (James Currey Publishers, Melton, United Kingdom)
  • Fasan, Rotimi (Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria)
  • Zimbler, Jarad (University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom)

If you have any queries or suggestions please contact Jarad Zimbler ( and Rachel Bower ( For panel and paper submissions please follow the instructions on the website 

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