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Literary Manifestations of the African Diaspora


NOVEMBER 10-14, 2003


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The trans-Atlantic slave trade, given its magnitude and impacts, has had a profound influence on the literary imagination. Whether based on historical reconstruction, memory or imagination, literary manifestations of the African diaspora allow subsequent generations to participate in the (re)creation and (re)interpretation of the events and processes that formed and transformed the African diaspora in its trans-Atlantic dimensions. Memory defies the neat compartmentalisations that exist in academia and expresses itself wherever it can find refuge, through symbolism, metaphor, and imagination in ways that do not always lend themselves easily to verbal discourse and scholarly analysis. An examination of this literary influence, in its trans-Atlantic constructions, requires a discourse in a variety of disciplines that evaluate literature, folklore, and other texts.

The organizers of this conference invite papers from critics, scholars and researchers engaged in examining literary representations of the African diaspora in historical and sociological perspectives. The aim is introduce a wider audience to the ways in which trans-Atlantic constructions of the historical experience of the African diaspora find expression in the literary mode. It encourages the exploration of the African diaspora through a variety of genres, both oral and written. These include narrative, poetry, myth, legend, autobiography, drama, as well as other texts.

The conference is being held in historic Cape Coast, where the infamous Cape Coast Castle (Click here) is located. The Castle is a grim reminder of the legacy of slavery and the slave trade, and as a symbol its "door of no return" highlights the tragedy underlying the them of the conference. The conference sessions will be at the University of Cape Coast (Click here).

The conference is sponsored by the University of Cape Coast and the Harriet Tubman Resource Centre on the African Diaspora at York University, in collaboration with the UNESCO Slave Route Project.
Abstract Submission
It is necessary to submit a title and 500 word abstract for consideration by an international committee.
Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30 March 2003.
Papers must be submitted via e-mail attachment by 30 September.
Abstracts and papers will be posted on the conference website for distribution to participants.

Submit abstracts to

Department of English, University of Cape Coast

Dr. K. Opoku-Agyemang
Dr. N. Opoku-Agyemang

Harriet Tubman Resource Centre on the African Diaspora, York University

Prof. Paul E. Lovejoy
Prof. David V. Trotman
Update (September 18th)

Most flights arrive in Accra from Europe late in the evening. Delegates are advised to plan to spend the night of the 8 of November in Accra. A bus will convey them to Cape Coast on the 9 at 9:00 to arrive at Cape Coast for lunch. This way, delegates will be here on the morning of the 10 when the
conference opens.

Suggested Hotel in Accra if Miklin Hotel, some 10 minutes away from the airport.
Reception at the Airport: Miklin will meet delegates; please look for the MIKLIN HOTEL sign upon arrival. Miklin will convey delegates to the hotel.
Delegates: please share your itinerary with us as soon as they are confirmed.
Rates are: US$66 per single room, US$88 for double, including breakfast.
Here is the email address of miklin hotel:
subject: November Conference at Cape Coast
Please make request to the attention of Standford and copy to the following:

Kwadwo Opoku-Agyemang
Lawrence Owusu-Ansah
Victor Yankah
Edoh Torgah
Leonard Acquah
Naana Opoku-Agyemang

Optional actvities for the afternoon of the 9 November will include changing money into the local currency at the bank and visit to the Elmina Castle, Fee for visiting the castle is the equivalent in local currency of US$10 per person.

Other information will be made available as we become certain of the facts.

Any need for clarification? please let us know.

Kwadwo Opoku-Agyemang
Lawrence Owusu-Ansah
Victor Yankah
Edoh Torgah
Leonard Acquah
Naana Opoku-Agyemang

Room and Board

Beach Resort will give us concessionery rates of $70 per night for two persons including breakfast for both.
Their email address is:
Phone numbers are:
All correspondence to be directed to the attention of Patience Andoh,
copied to Kwadwo at and myself at this address.

Our second offer comes from Cape Coast Hotel, charging $50 per night for
two persons including breakfast
Phone number is:
In view of the costs we are thinking of reserving some of the rooms here
for our colleagues from West Africa.

Lunches for the 10th till 14th will be $35 per person; dinner will be self-structured.

Please expect information regarding tours and other financial commitment in the course of next week.

Participants should be informed that they are to make their own travel arrangments.
All quotations are in US$ 


  Registration and Meals

Faculty from North America: $150 (US)
Students from North America: $100 (US)
Participants from Africa $50 (US)

Each participant is expected to pay $150 (US) for lunches and snacks as well as the the dinner dance at the end of the conference. All dinners will be self - structured.