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Visiting Scholars to Speak on African Diaspora Nov. 8. Nov. 10

November 7, 2006

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MACOMB, IL - - African Diaspora visiting scholars from Northwestern University and London Metropolitan University will present lectures which are open free to the public this week at Western Illinois University.

Wendy Griswold, professor of sociology, comparative literary studies and English in the department of applied sociology at Northwestern, will present “The Kano (Nigeria) Durbar: Political Spectacle through Sociological-Dramaturgical Spectacles” at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8 in Stipes Hall 121.

A cultural sociologist, Griswold has written books including “Bearing Witness: Readers, Writers, and the Novel in Nigeria” (Princeton University Press, 2000); “Cultures and Societies in a Changing World” (2nd edition; Pine Forge Press, 2004); and “Regionalism and the Reading Class” (University of Chicago Press, due 2007). A master’s degree graduate in English from Duke with a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard, Griswold’s current research is on reading practices and Internet use in Nigeria and the Durbar in Kano as political spectacle and cultural regionalism.

Wangũi wa Goro, a research fellow with the Centre for Social and Evaluation at London Metropolitan University, will present “Black British and African Diaspora: Identities in a Changing World” at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10 in Stipes Hall 121.

wa Goro is an academic social critic, researcher, translator and writer as well as a campaigner for women’s and human rights in Africa and Europe. She has been involved in scholarship and rights for race, gender equality and democracy for more than 20 years; and her book “Global Feminist Politics, Identities in a Changing World,” has been significant in shaping debates about human rights, identity, location and democracy, according to Adbul-Rasheed Na’Allah, professor and chair of WIU’s African American studies department and director of Western’s Indigenous Africa and Diaspora Discourse Project.

wa Goro is a pioneer in translation of African literature. Her translation of Ngũgi wa Thiong'o's work from Gikũyũ to English brought her global acclaim, Na’Allah said. In addition to translation, she works on ethics and power in global contexts, with specific reference to the translation of African literature. Her current areas of research include the African Diaspora, African women and sexuality, translation, ethics and power, human rights, women’s rights and translation.

The objective of Western’s Indigenous Africa and Diaspora Discourse Project (IADDP) is to explore African and African Diaspora cultural materials to broaden the curricula in humanities, social sciences and beyond. Scholars, writers, African and African Diaspora cultural experts, theorists and consultants from WIU and communities around the world – epecially from West African and Caribbean countries – visit Western for lectures, dialogues and presentations. Co-sponsors for the visiting scholars are the African American studies department and the Visiting Lecturer’s Committee. For more information, visit or contact Na'Allah via phone at 309/298-1181 or email

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