Friday, April 22, 2016

African Languages in the Disciplines

A full step slow on this as I've been occupied with other matters, but yesterday and today (21-22 April 2016) the Harvard University Center for African Studies held the seventh African Languages and the Disciplines and Professions Conference (the "and Professions" part of the title is new with this edition).

The permanent page on the event carries this description:
The ALD Conference aims to engage a diverse range of scholars and African heritage communities in serious discussion about the contributions of African languages to the disciplines. 
Indigenous African languages are vital to comprehending how Africans understand, organize, and transmit essential knowledge to successive generations, both through oral and written traditions and through aesthetic practices. African languages play a critical role in research as they serve as road maps for identifying how African social, political, and economic institutions change over time. The ALD conference provides a platform for diverse scholarly discussions about the contributions of African languages across a variety of disciplines.

The schedule of the just completed conference featured a keynote by Kenyan author and scholar, Ngugi wa Thiong'o:
  • Thursday, April 21, 2016
    • 9:00 am – 9:15: Opening Remarks
    • 9:15 am – 10:30 am: Panel #1 – Nko Language Panel
    • 10:30 am – 11:45 am: Panel #2 – ADLAM Panel
    • 11:45 am – 1:00 pm: Lunch
    • 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm: Panel #3 – Ngugi Panel
    • 2:15 pm – 2:30 pm: Neville Alexander Lecture Introduction
    • 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Keynote by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, followed by Q&A
    • 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm: Reception at CGIS with Theater Night Performances
  • Friday, April 22, 2016 
    • 9:00 am – 12:00 pm: ALDP Meet and Greet
    • 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Poetry reading and film

For the record, here is a list of the previous six conferences in the series (all but the first two of the linked pages show the conference schedules):
  1. April 22-23, 2010
  2. April 21-22, 2011
  3. April 19-20, 2012
  4. April 24-26, 2013
  5. April 24-25, 2014
  6. April 23, 2015
The premise of this conference is important as it highlights the relevance of the first languages of Africa throughout the curriculum outside of the language classroom, in research beyond linguistics, and practice beyond communication.

No comments: