Conference Keynote
Haile Gerima
Sponsored by: 1804 Grant and Ohio University African Studies Program

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Haile was born on March 4, 1946 in Gondor, Ethiopia. He received his MFA in film from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Currently he is a professor in the radio, television and film department at Howard University in Washington D.C. He is one of a handful of African filmmakers to earn international fame. His films include: Hour Glass, Child of Resistance, Bushmama, Harvest: 3000 Years, Wilmington 10-USA 10,000, Ashes and Embers, After Winter: Sterling Brown, Sankofa, Adwa "An African Victory", and Teza. Gerima distributes and promotes his films himself through Myphedu Films Inc., a distribution company for low-budget, independent films that he and his wife of 12 years, Sirikiana Aina (who is also a filmmaker), established in 1984. Over the course of his career, Gerima has received a considerable number of awards and distinctions in film festivals, saluting his work as a director and a screen writer.

For more information about Haile Gerima, please visit:

Laila Lalami
Sponsored by: Ohio University Department of English, Women's Center and Multicultural Center
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 Laila Lalami was born and raised in Morocco. She attended Universite' Mohammed-V in Rabat, University College in London, and the University of Southern California, where she earned a Ph.D. in linguistics. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, The Nation, the New York Times, the Washington Post and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a British Council Fellowship and Fulbright Fellowship. She was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2006 and for the National Book Critics' Circle Non Balakian Award in 2009. She is the author of the short story collection Hope and other Dangerous Pursuits and the novel Secret Son. Her work has been translated into ten languages. She is currently Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California at Riverside. 

For more information about Laila Lalami, please visit:

Laila's Abstract for the ALA Conference entitled: "Genealogy"

Sefi Atta
Sponsored by: Graduate Caucus and Ohio University Provost's Office

Sefi Atta was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She was educated there, in England and in the United States. A former chartered accountant and CPA, she is a graduate of the creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her short stories has appeared in journals like Los Angeles Review and Mississippi Review and have won prizes from Zoetrope and Red Hen Press. Her radio plays have been broadcast by the BBC. She is the winner of PEN International's 2004/2005 David TK Wong Prize and in 2006, her debut novel Everything Good Will Come was awarded the inaugural Wole Soyinka Price for Literature in Africa. Her short story collection,Lawless, received the 2009 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. Lawless is published in the US and UK as News From Home. She lives in Mississippi with her husband Gboyega Ransome-Kuti, a medical doctor, and their daughter Temi. 

For more information about Sefi Atta, please visit:

Sefi's abstract for the ALA Conference entitled: "Visual Possibilities: From Manuscripts to Scripts"


J. Michael Dash
Sponsored by: Ohio University Dean's Office, African Studies Program and the French Caucus

J. Michael Dash is a professor of French, Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. He received his B.A. from the University of West Indies and his Ph.D. from the same university in Mona, Jamaica. His research interests includes: Francophone/Caribbean Literature, literary theory and translation of French to English. Some of his selected works are: Culture and Customs of HaitiLibete: A Haiti AnthologyThe Other America: Caribbean Literature in a New World ContextHaiti and the United States and Edouard Glissant. He has received the U.W.I Award for Excellence in Research, the Senior Fulbright Hays Award and the Senior Fulbright Research Award. 

For more information about J. Michael Dash, please visit: http//

J. Michael Dash's abstract for the ALA Conference entitled: "Presence Haitienne: The Revolutionary Beginnings of litterature-monde"

Alamin Mazrui
Sponsored by: TRACALA, Africa World Press, and the Kennedy Lecture Series


Dr. Alamin Mazrui is a Professor of African Languages and Literatures at the State University of New Jersey, Rutgers. He graduated with a Masters in Education from Rutgers and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Stanford University. His areas of interest are: political sociology of language in Africa and the African Diaspora; African Literature in English and Swahili; Politics of cultural production in East Africa; cultural discourses on human rights in Africa; Islam and Identity in Africa and the African Diaspora. His current research projects focuses on (post)colonial translation in Africa and explores the political dynamics in the interplay between text and context in the Swahili experience. He has special interests in human rights and civil liberties and has written policy reports on these subjects. He has had many books and essays that have been published. To see a full list of these publications and for more information please visit:Rutgers, Department of African Languages and Literatures.

Alamin Mazrui's abstract for the ALA Conference entitled: "Trans-Cultural Politics of Translation: Imperial Inscriptions/African Appropriations"

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