The campuses across Nigeria have remained shut since February 2022 but not all intellectual interactions are shut as well. Certainly not at the Obafemi Awolowo University at Ile-Ife in Southwestern Nigeria where an epistemologically charged event takes place July 25th, 2022.
It is the 2022 version of the Ife Summer Institute organised by the Ife Institute of Advanced Studies, (IIAS) based at the university but which brings prospective laureates from across Nigeria in the annual intellectual fiesta.
This year’s event is witnessing political, administrative and academic leaders such as Dr. Dapo Abiodun, the governor of Ogun State, Prof Simeon Bamire, the Vice-Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University and Prof Jacob Olupona of Harvard University’s School of African and African-American Studies.
The graphic announcing the fiesta shows that another US based Nigerian scholar, Olufemi Vaughan will deliver a Keynote Address on “African- Centred Episteme and the Study of African Societies: Endeavours in Research, Scholarship, and Public Policy”. Vaughan is a Professor of Black Studies at Amherst College in the US.
The Summer School approach to knowledge generation is not an established tradition in the Nigerian university system. Wherever it is practiced, it is mainly to enable students re-write papers they would have otherwise carried over to the next session which can be damaging to their eventual grade. In other climes, however, it is a way of transmitting knowledge to students who are not necessarily of the university in question but who applied to take a short course in a preferred area. It brings a lot of money to such universities every Summer and Winter.
In this case, those who cannot be participants at this year’s version can, if they wish, participate in the opening ceremony through the Zoom link indicated on the graphic.