A public lecture by Nduka Otiono
The recognition of the existence of the epic as a narrative genre in Africa emerged out of fascinating intellectual debates between scholars of African origin and their western counterparts. In making the case for the existence of the epic in Africa, a pattern that was replicated in making the case for Ethnophilosophy in Africa, foremost champions of the debate metaphorically appeared as warrior scholars promoting warrior texts. By “warrior texts” I invoke the sense in which the epics were about heroic exploits of great African warriors such as Sunjata, Shaka the Zulu, and Ozidi. This talk explores the complex cultural politics surrounding the rise of the epic in Africa using the work of Isidore Okpewho as focal point.
Nduka Otiono is an Assistant Professor at Carleton’s Institute of African Studies, and winner of a 2016 Capital Educators’ award for excellence in teaching. Winner of a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship to Carleton University, he is a two-time recipient of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship (2015 and 2016) and winner of a 2017 Carleton University Faculty of Arts and Social Science Early Career Research Excellence Award. Also a writer, he has won prizes for his books of fiction and poetry.