Armed with a PhD from the National University of Ireland, Professor Amaechi Nicholas Akwanya settled into the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and, over three decades, the Professor of English and Literary Studies authored twelve books, over two dozen academic papers, one of which is “Chinua Achebe’s No Longer At Ease and the Question of Failed Expectations”. This is not to discount other publications of his such as Orimili, a novel published by Heinemann (1991) and three poetry collections: Pilgrim Foot: A Collection of Poems (2005); Moments: A Collection of Poems (2007) and Visitant on Tiptoe and Other Poems (2012). Of course, reading Akwanya is also reading a onetime editor of Okike, another unique contribution to world literature from Nigeria.
He has combined being a priest with being a novelist, poet, an academic and administrator, with the academic radius stretching across discourse analysis, literary theory to criticism of the African novel.
Well, it is time for the Professor to officially disengage in a few years, a situation the numerous students who passed through his hands have positioned themselves to respond to by editing a collection of studies on his works. A statement to this effect argues “it is apposite to honour this illustrious literary critic, theorist, poet, novelist and seasoned administrator” with the planned text.
The taskforce is, therefore, soliciting submissions on genre adaptation and innovation in African literature; literary mythic structures; emergent dystopian and utopian literature; narratives of transformation; innovation in African literature; the rethinking of old corpora; orality (and contemporary modes of transmission and recording); recent literary thrusts; text-centred approaches to Nigerian/African gay literature; literary theory dwelling on the African literaryscape; the shaping of the literary imagination; intra-disciplinary (between language studies and literary studies) approaches to African literature, among others.
It would be recalled that a similar exercise took place recently in honour of retiring Professor Chima Anyadike from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile=Ife, a scholar of the African Novel sent off with the book of readings titled The Idea of African Fiction, edited by Dr. Chijioke Uwasomba of the university’s Department of English. The book presentation on September 13th, 2019 was attended by big names in Literature in Nigeria.
Those taking a plunge in this case are being asked to send in an Abstracts of not more than 250 words to reach the festschrift project editors – Professor Ignatius Chukwumah, Department of English and Literary Studies, Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria through firstname.lastname@example.org (+234 8131349897) Or Mr. Martin Okwoli Ogba, Department of English and Literary Studies, Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria, email@example.com (+234 8038049516), via email on or before January 31st, 2020.
They will get notification of abstract acceptance by March 30th, 2020, followed by request for the full papers from successful authors by July 31st, 2020, conforming to MLA style sheet 7th edition. The plan is to get a reputable Nigerian university press to publish the collection.