Radical Approaches Reading Group 3- Language Hegemony in African Literature


Radical Approaches Reading Group 3- Language Hegemony in African Literature

Language: both a medium of communication and a repository of culture and knowledge. African literature has grappled with the issue of language for many decades but has inevitably reverted to English as the default "language of creativity" — as Wole Ṣóyínká says in a recent interview with Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún, the Nigerian writer and linguist who will be leading this season of the Radical Approached Reading Group.

In this series of readings, of essays and arguments, Túbọ̀sún will draw upon his own experience of working with a language archive at the British Library. The group will examine the role of colonial languages in African literature (English, French, Portuguese, etc) and the opportunities or drawbacks for an alternative reality where African languages themselves become the medium of creative expression.

What are we missing? How is this time, with the internet at our disposal, different from the sixties, and what opportunities does this new generation present for the future of African languages in literature?

Reading Group Facilitator

Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún is a Nigerian writer who has worked for many years as a linguist (recently at Google), lexicographer (at Oxford English Dictionary), Fulbright scholar (Southern Illinois University), schoolteacher, and currently Chevening Research Fellow at the British Library in London. In 2016, he was the recipient of the 'Special Prize' of Premio Ostana, given for work in indigenous language advocacy. His collection of poetry, published in 2018, is titled Edwardsville by Heart.


The Radical Approaches Reading Group will start on Sunday the 6th of February and contuine every second sunday for four sessions. Each session will be an hour and a half long and look at a different text selected by Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún.

Week 1 - 2pm, Sunday February 6

Week 2 - 2pm, Sunday February 20

Week 3 - 2pm, Sunday March 6

Week 4 - 2pm, Sunday March 20