Writers, Masses, Multitudes

Posted in Symposia

February 13-14, 2007

The two-day symposium engaged questions such as tribal activism and resistance in India; the critical legacies of decolonization in the academy; climate change and its relationship to human emancipation; literature and the aesthetics of resistance; and other topics.

Additional Sponsors: Program on Justice and Peace, Office of the College Dean, Lacay Lecture Fund, GU Lecture Fund and Department of English


Nokuthula Mazibuko Dinaw Mengestu Kim Stanley Robinson Henry Schwarz Black Theatre Ensemble


Tuesday, February 13

Welcome and Introduction
4:00 – 4:30 PM | Copley Formal Lounge
Henry Schwarz, Program on Justice and Peace

Symposium I: Masses as a problematic for framing relationships between groups and their leaders
4:30 – 5:45 PM | Copley Formal Lounge
Participants: Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ganesh Devy, Kim Stanley Robinson, DaKxin Bajrange Chhara, Nokuthula Mazibuko and Dinaw Mengestu.

Reading by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Lannan Distinguished Reader at Georgetown
8:00 – 9:00PM | ICC Auditorium
Reception and book signing to follow in ICC Foyer.

Wednesday, February 14

After Amnesia: Culture and Development
10:00 – 10:45 AM | Copley Formal Lounge
Ganesh Devy rethinks center and margin in literary history.

Abrupt Climate Change and Human Emancipation: Terraforming Earth
1:00 – 11:45 AM | Copley Formal Lounge
Kim Stanley Robinson asks whether the Earth has a future.

The Critical Legacies of Decolonization
1:15 – 2:15 PM | ICC
An excerpt from Manthia Diawara’s film Who’s Afraid of Ngugi? will frame this discussion of decolonization and the academy. Panelists: Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Nokuthula Mazibuko, Dinaw Mengestu and others.

Legacies: Theatre
2:15 – 2:45 | ICC
Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s “This Time Tomorrow” in a dramatized reading by the Black Theatre Ensemble.

Film & Performance: A User’s Manual for the Construction of a Radical Theatre
3:00 – 4: 30PM | ICC
DaKxin Chhara, Ganesh Devy, and Awaaz — Georgetown’s South Asian theatre group — stage an improvisational talk and performance, “Acting Like a Thief: Ordinary Crime and Resistance.” Accompanied by screenings of Acting Like a Thief (dir. Shashwati Talukdar) and Bulldozer (dir. DaKxin Chhara).

Keynote Address: “The Word Made Flesh: Literature and the Aesthetics of Resistance”
5:00 – 6:00 PM | ICC
Lecture by by Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Part of the Lacay Lecture Series, 2006-2007
A reception will follow in ICC Galleria.

Reading by Kim Stanley Robinson
8:00 -9:00 PM | ICC
Reception and book signing to follow in ICC Foyer.

The Critical Legacies of Decolonization

Penn Szittya, Mark McMorris, and Ngugi wa Thiong’o | Lacay Lecture

Ganesh Devy and Dakxin Bajrange Chhara