Humanities scholars attend ACLALS conference
The 17th Triennial Conference of the Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (ACLALS), held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, from 10 to 15 July, 2016, attracted scholars from all over the globe. Among these were six lecturers from the Faculty of Humanities at Chancellor College, four of whom are currently studying at Stellenbosch University. The lecturers include Dr. Ken Lipenga Junior, Dr. Emmanuel Ngwira, Ms. Asante Mtenje, Mr. Nick Tembo (English), Mr. Victor Chikaipa (African Languages and Linguistics) and Ms. Catherine Makhumula (Fine and Performing Arts). Malawi received additional representation through the participation of Mr. Joshua Kumwenda, an English literature lecturer at Mzuzu University.
ACLALS is an established global forum for presenting and debating research on postcolonial literatures, languages, cultures and art. During the conference, the lecturers presented on a variety of topics, touching on issues such as masculinities, father-daughter relationships, media reporting, intermediality, war trauma, and female sexuality. The conference featured a number of keynote speakers, including well known writers such as Achille Mbembe, Abdulrazak Gurnah and Yvonne Owuor.
Speaking at the end of the conference, Dr. Emmanuel Ngwira, who is also Head of English Department at Chancellor College, observed that opportunities such as these offer scholars a chance to grow and develop their ideas. “People rarely know of the University of Malawi in these conference circuits. The University is not regularly represented at international conferences. Therefore such visibility is a way of showing what we are capable of,” he observed. He expressed hope that the University of Malawi would provide continued support for academics to attend such conferences where they might engage in more networking with fellow scholars.
At the conference, Dr. Ken Lipenga was elected as the Malawian representative for the Southern Africa chapter of ACLALS.