The two-day event, which is being hosted by Princeton University, New Jersey in partnership with Christie and Chin
ua Achebe Foundation, will mark the 10th Anniversary of the demise of the world-acclaimed novelist, poet, short story writer, essayist and critic, as well as the 40th anniversary of the publication of his political treatise, The Trouble With Nigeria.
According to Professor Chika Okeke-Agulu, the Director of Africa World Initiative and Director of the Program in African Studies at Princeton, the Achebe Symposium and Memorial Event will kick off with a symposium on September 29, to mark the 40th anniversary of the publication of the legend’s The Trouble With Nigeria.
Achebe, author of the world classic, Things Fall Apart, who passed on, March 21, 2013, in Boston Massachusetts, United States, had written the widely reviewed book, The Trouble With Nigeria, in his trade mark brutally frank style, and the work, which was celebrated as a true picture of the sad state of affairs in the country then, is as relevant, if not more so today as it was 40 years ago when it was written.
Speakers at the event will be expected to re-examine the issues raised by the icon four decades ago, especially in the light of the recent political history and experiences of Nigeria and other parts of the African continent, with the goal being to evolve viable and sustainable models of political leadership that would result in a better country and continent.
His Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi, a former Governor of Anambra State, will give the Keynote Address.
The Memorial Event, to be held on Saturday, September 30, 2023 on the other hand, will feature commentaries, statements and reminiscences by distinguished guests, including Achebe’s friends, associates and admirers, as well as musical, dance and poetry performances all aimed at celebrating one of the finest minds ever to come out of Africa.
Both the Symposium and the Memorial Event, according to Prof. Okeke-Agulu, the Robert Schirmer Professor of Art & Archaeology and African American Art, will inaugurate a special multiyear partnership between the Chinua and Christie Achebe Foundation and Princeton University, during which time Corwin Hall, of the highly respected institution, will serve as the home of the renowned Achebe Colloquium for Africa.
This initiative, undertaken by Africa World Initiative, Okeke-Agulu, a Fellow of the British Academy as well as Slade Professor of Fine Art, University of Oxford (2022-2023) said, is informed by Princeton University’s renewed commitment to supporting new scholarship and research in Africa, inspired by Achebe’s life and work.
Princeton University, founded in 1746, is a private Ivy League research University in Princeton, New Jersey. It is the fourth oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.