Chielozona [email protected]: Celebration comes for a distinguished culture scholar and humanist

THE Joy of Living, a celebration of the life and career of Professor Chielozona Eze as he clocks 60, will hold Sunday, September 4 via Zoom, Facebook and YouTube.

The event would hold at 12noon (American/Moncton, which is 5pm West African time, guests and participants are advised to join up via: ID: 893 0353 7360 and Passcode: 666019.

“The event will feature scholarly presentations, poetry readings and tributes to the distinguished a scholar, teacher, thinker and researcher, who is currently a professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the Northern Illinois University, USA,” stated the organisers.


“The celebration is a testimony to his scholarship, administrative and leadership accomplishments, and the unassuming and buoyant humanism he personifies,” stated, Uchechukwu Umezurike and Grace Uchechukwu Adinku, who are both coordinating the events.

With the theme of the conference being, Chielozona Eze: Materialist Criticism and the Ethics of Compassion and Care, the keynote will be delivered by Dr. Paul Ugor, a Professor in the Department of English at Illinois State University, Normal, with research interests in the areas of African Literatures and Cultures, Anglophone World Literatures, Nollywood cinema, Black Popular Culture, and New Media Cultures in the global south.

Conference Synopsis: Since the beginning of the new millennium, Chielozona Eze’s scholarship has been at the cutting edge of developments in the field of African/a literature and culture. His contributions have a cosmopolitan and philosophical bent that has proven to be a needed intervention in an ethics of intercultural dialogue and cultural translation. This is attested to by some of the titles of his scholarly works – The Dilemma of Ethnic Identity: Alain Locke’s Vision of Transcultural Societies (2005), Race, Decolonization and Global Citizenship (2018), Postcolonial Imagination and moral Representations in African Literature and Culture (2011), “Afropolitan Aesthetics as an Ethics of openness” (2020) “Empathic Cosmopolitanism: South Africa and the Quest for Global Citizenship” (2017), “The Aesthetics of Community and the Common Good” (2019). His advocacy for a global ethics of tolerance and community is not naïve, however, but foregrounds a discourse of human rights as a necessary moral anchor for global cosmopolitan imagination and praxis. Several writings point to that conditionality: Ethics and Human Rights in Anglophone African Women’s Literature: Feminist Empathy (2016), Justice and Human Rights in the African Imagination: We, too, are humans (2021), “Justice as Spiritual Quest” (2021). This list of his knowledge production is not exhaustive but represents a sampling. We call on friends and colleagues to engage any aspect of Chielozona Eze’s epistemology as an academic contribution that could become the basis for a special issue of a journal in the field of Africana studies.

Profile of Chielozona Eze:  The Bernard J. Brommel Distinguished Professor of African and African American Literature and Culture at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, and Extraordinary Professor of English at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He has training in three disciplines: literary studies, philosophy, and Catholic theology. He has written extensively on such topics as cosmopolitanism, empathy, human rights, social justice, etc. In addition to twenty-two articles published in highly regarded peer-reviewed journals, he is the author of Race, Decolonization, and Global Citizenship in South Africa (University of Rochester Press, 2018) and Justice and Human Rights in the African Imagination: We, Too, Are Humans (Routledge, 2021). Chielozona Eze is also an established poet and novelist. His novella, The Trial of Robert Mugabe, was shortlisted for 2010 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. His novel, Searching for Tai Solarin is slated for publication in 2023. He is currently finishing a book titled Anger, Reconciliation, and the Politics of Friendship in Africa: Mandela as Moral Capital.

Profile of the Keynoter:   Dr Paul Ugor is Professor in the Department of English at Illinois State University, Normal. His research interests are in the areas of African Literatures and Cultures, Anglophone World Literatures, Nollywood cinema, Black Popular Culture, and New Media Cultures in the global south. He is the author of Nollywood: Popular Culture and Narratives of Youth Struggles in Nigeria (2016) and co-editor of several collections including, Youth and Popular Culture in Africa: Media, Music, and Politics (2021); African Youth Cultures in the Age of Globalization: Challenges, Agency and Resistance (2017); ‘Contemporary Youth Cultures in Africa,’ Special Issue of Postcolonial Text, Vol. 8, No. 3 & 4, 2013; and ‘Youth, Cultural Politics and New Social Spaces in an Era of Globalization,’ a Special Issue of Review of Education, Pedagogy and Cultural Studies 31:4 (2009). Recently, he completed work on an edited volume on ‘African Youth, Popular Culture, and the Ethnographic Sense’ currently under review with Critical African Studies as a special. He is also working on a monograph tentatively entitled Afropolitan Humanism: Femi Odugbemi, Popular Cinema, and the Visual Poetics of Humanitarianism

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