Elleke is at the 2019 ACLALS conference in Auckland, where she will give a keynote address and launch her new book of short stories, To The Volcano.
The keynote, entitled “On Decolonization: the radical power of literary thinking”, will take place at 9am on Tuesday, 16 July 2019, with the book launch following over lunch the same day at 1pm.
Many humanities disciplines including literary studies have been rocked in recent times by movements to decolonize the syllabus—to open curricula to writing from ‘the outside’, including the global margins, or to the commons in its broadest sense. For many, these moves have been seen as affronting and even alarming, threatening our understanding of literature as it has conventionally been received and taught. In this talk I want rather to suggest that decolonization represents an opportunity, an opening and shaking of settled perceptions. Moves to decolonize are particularly an opportunity for those of us involved in writing and reading texts, perhaps especially postcolonial texts, because of what I call the radical power of literary thinking. In the body of the talk I will explore in more detail what I mean by this, drawing on work by Mzobe, Okorafor, Evaristo, and others.