African Universities: Cultivating Sustainable Arts and Humanities Educational Partnerships

April 23, 2019 (Tuesday) / 12:00 pm2:00 pm

Humanities Conference Room, 623 Williams Hall

African Universities: Cultivating Sustainable Arts and Humanities Educational Partnerships

The Wolf Humanities Center is delighted to host a lunchtime conversation with Elizabeth W. Giorgis (Addis Ababa University) and Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Cornell University) about various collaborative arts and humanities initiatives that are taking place across a number of African universities, including some with U.S. institutions. What are the best practices for international partnerships, and how do general practices need to be adapted for specific contexts? What roles do language learning and translation play in such partnerships, how have these skills historically been valued within the U.S. research university, and do earlier values need adapting to reflect the so-called "Global Turn"? How might these best practices inform Penn's own programs for engagement with international scholars, including Penn Abroad and Penn Global? What do participants in such programs hope to achieve or create through such programs? Our conversation will be led by two guests:

Elizabeth Wolde Giorgis is Associate Professor of Critical Theory and Criticism in the College of Performing and Visual Art and Director of the Modern Art Museum: Gebre Kristos Desta Center at Addis Ababa University. Her 2018 book, Modernist Art in Ethiopia, is a critical study of Ethiopian visual modernism within an interdisciplinary social and intellectual history.

Mukoma Wa Ngugi is Associate Professor of English at Cornell University, co-founder of the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature, and co-director of the Global South Project - Cornell. He is author of The Rise of the African Novel: Politics of Language, Identity and Ownership, the novels Mrs. Shaw, Black Star Nairobi, Nairobi Heat, and two books of poetry, Logotherapy and Hurling Words at Consciousness