The literary crowd will converge at the Julius Berger Hall in the University of Lagos Thursday morning for the first JP Clark International Symposium.
Themed Connecting the Local and Global across Literary Genres, the event runs from 10 am July 12 to 6pm on Friday, July 13, 2018, featuring 55 scholarly oral presentations by intellectuals from 18 Universities in Nigeria and abroad.
Described by the organisers “as the first International Conference on the Literary World of J.P. Clark”, the papers will engage a range of issues from the national question, through state building to gender challenges and migration problems, using, in the main, the several works of the 83 year old Poet, Playwright and essayist.
While the conference will be declared open by Toyin Ogundipe, a professor of botany and the current Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, the proceedings effectively start with a keynote lecture by Wole Soyinka, Africa’s first winner of the Noel Prize for Literature and a contemporary of JP Clark. By titling his lecture; Othello’s Lament: The Migrant Rues the Waves, Soyinka has picked one of Clark’s favourite characters in the world of literature, as a reference with which to engage the audience.
The first two hours after Soyinka’s keynote are expected to be light; filled with reminiscences on J.P. Clark, by a panel for discussants chaired by Ayo Banjo, Emeritus professor of English language, and former vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan, who is Chairman Advisory Board of The Nigeria Prize for Literature.
The conference is convened by Hope Eghagha, professor of English at the University of Lagos and G. Oty Agbajoh-Laoye, professor of English Literature at the Monmouth University. West Long Branch, NJ in the United States.