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The 2014 Bashorun M.K.O. Abila lecture was given by Professor Francis Abiola Irele and entitled, African Studies as Discipline and Vocation. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO
The Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola Lecture was established in 1992 with a generous grant from the Honorable Bashorun M.K.O. Abiola to provide for a lecture by a senior African scholar selected by the ASA Board of Directors. This year the Abiola Lecturer is Francis Abiola Irele, Provost of the College of Humanities, Kwara State University, Malete, Nigeria University. His talk is entitled,
Irele, described as “the doyen of African literary scholars worldwide” was formerly Professor of French and Head, Department of Modern Languages, University of Ibadan. He has taught at various universities on the African continent and in the United States, including the University of Ghana, the Ohio State University, Tulane University, and Harvard University. He has also held a visiting fellowship at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. His publications include The Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature (edited with Simon Gikandi) published in 2004, and four collections of essays: "The African Experience in Literature and Ideology" (1981, rpt 1990) "The African Imagination: Literature in Africa and the Black Diaspora" (2001), "Négritude et Condition Africaine" (2008), and "The Négritude Moment: Explorations in Francophone African Literature and Thought" (2011). A new volume of essays entitled The African Scholar is scheduled to appear before the end of the year. He has also published annotated editions of Selected Poems by Léopold Sédar Senghor (1978) and Aimé Césaire’s
Cahier d’un retour au pays natal (1994; second edition, 1999). His edition of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart was published in the Norton Critical Series in 2008, and The Cambridge Companion to the African Novel under his editorship appeared in 2009. His latest publication is The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought, co-edited with Biodun Jeyifo (2010). Irele was editor of the following journals: Research in African Literatures, 1998–2003 (Ohio State University); Transition, 2005—2010 (Harvard University) and currently, The Savannah Review, (Kwara State University).