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Igbo Studies Association Holds 19th Annual International Conference

By Hassan MUAZ

The Igbo Studies Association (ISA) held its 19th Annual International Conference and Meeting between May 12 and 14.

 Themed “Onye Aghana Nwanne Ya: Everyone Counts,” the three-day virtual event of intellectual engagement and interaction of the USA-based association advanced ISA’s mission to foster active collaboration among academics and professionals towards the promotion and advancement of Igbo society, culture, language, and history.

The conference enabled the participants to deepen their discourse on inclusivity and equality, “in the spirit that everyone counts, that we are equal not only in the eyes of God, but [also] in the classical Igbo democratic spirit,” said ISA President Professor Chielozona Eze in his welcome remarks.

Arriving at that destination requires that members work together for peace in Nigeria which “has been going through turbulent and violent times” lately and in Igboland that “has also seen its own share of violence, dysfunction, and dystopia,” said the Bernard J. Brommel, distinguished Research Professor at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, USA.

Renowned scholars, Professor Uchenna Okeja (director of the Menkiti Institute for Comparative Global Studies, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA) and Dr. Cyril Obi (program director at Social Science Research Council, New York, USA) gave the keynote lecture and the featured lecture, respectively.

In his outstanding and incisive Ihechukwu Madubuike Annual Keynote Lecture titled, “Concept, Creativity, and Meaningful Life,” Professor Okeja spoke about the importance of stories in the formation of human identity and culture. Ndi-Igbo should be critical and broad-minded in their creativity and the self-defining narratives they construct as a people, because “when survival eclipses the task of meaning making, no one survives,” said the professor of philosophy.

Speaking to the conference theme from their different disciplines, participants presented quality research papers that probed and cross-examined the multiple and interdisciplinary dimensions of Igbo studies. The academics, independent scholars, and students who participated in the virtual conference from three continents – Africa, Europe, and North America – delivered dozens of papers on history, literature, linguistics, media and communication, cinema and theater, African studies, and religious studies, among others.

The 20th Igbo Studies Association Annual International Conference will hold in May 2023 at the Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois, USA.

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