Prof. Kole Omotoṣo (keynote speaker)
Dean, Faculty of Humanities
Elizade University, Nigeria
Kole Omotoso is a Nigerian novelist, playwright, and critic who wrote from a Yoruba perspective and coupled the folklore he learned as a child with his adult studies in Arabic and English.
Omotoso graduated from the University of Ibadan in 1968. After receiving a doctoral degree from the University of Edinburgh (1972) in Scotland, he lectured at Ibadan in the department of Arabic and Islamic studies (1972–76) and held a position in the drama school (1976–88) at the University of Ife. Omotoso later was a professor of English at the University of the Western Cape (1991–2000) in Bellville, South Africa, and he worked in the drama department at the University of Stellenbosch (2001–03) in Matieland, South Africa.
Omotoso wrote fiction, drama, and criticism. His novels include The Edifice (1971), The Combat (1972) and Just Before Dawn (1988); his plays The Curse (1976) and Shadows in the Horizon (1977); and his single volume of short stories Miracles and Other Stories (1973; rev. ed. 1978). From the 1980s, Omotoso took an increasingly public role as an African intellectual; he participated in a conference organised in 1989 by the Africa Society: Writers in Crisis Societies. Among the many works of nonfiction he contributed are The Form of the African Novel (1979, reprinted 1986), Season of Migration to the South: Africa’s Crises Reconsidered (1994), and Woza Africa (1997; Come on, Africa!: Music Goes to War).
Prof. Omotoso will deliver the lecture 'The Decline and Rise of Pan Africanism in the 21st Century'.