Speaker Bios

We are pleased to welcome four distinguished speakers at the forefront of African Cultural Studies to our conference. Please find their biographical information below:

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Writer, filmmaker, teacher and cultural activist, Tsitsi Dangarembga lives in Harare, where she directs the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa Trust, which she founded in 2009. She is currently working on spots concerning abuse of women artists in Zimbabwe with Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ) and writing a speculative work for young adults.

Dangarembga was Writer in Residence, Northwestern University, in 2013 and an inaugural Fellow of the Programme for African Leadership, London School of Economics, in 2012. She was the McMillan-Stewart Guest lecturer at the Du Bois Institute, Harvard, in 2011.

She received an Honorary MA Degree from the Women’s University in Africa in 2010, and the Zimbabwe Manager of the Year Award in the National Contribution Section from the Zimbabwe Institute of Managers in 2009. She was awarded the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe’s (NACZ) Arts Service and Arts Personality of the Year awards in 2008 and 2007 respectively.

She sits on the board of the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe.  and also served on the boards of NACZ, the National Aids Council and the Zimbabwe College of Music.

CHRONICLE OF AN INDOMITABLE DAUGHTER, her third novel, the last volume in her Tambudzai trilogy, is to be published shortly.  Her second novel, THE BOOK OF NOT was published in 2006. NERVOUS CONDITIONS, her first, appeared in 1989 to critical acclaim. 

Following several documentaries and credits on many major Zimbabwean feature films, her ground-breaking short film MOTHER’S DAY was released in 2004.

Chairing WFOZ from 1998 to 2005, Dangarembga founded the International Images Film Festival for Women in 2002. She has received numerous awards for her films and literature. Prominent amongst these was the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa region) in 1989 for NERVOUS CONDITIONS.  In 2013 she was awarded the Zimbabwe International Film Festival Trust Safirio Madzikatire for Distinguished Contribution to film.  This is the second time that Dangarembga has received this award from the ZIFFT. 

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Pumla Dineo Gqola is Associate Professor of African literary and gender studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is author of What is slavery to me? Postcolonial/Slave Memory in Post-apartheid South Africa (2010) and A renegade called Simphiwe (2013), and editor of Regarding Winnie: race, feminism and nation in global representations of Winnie Madikizela Mandela (forthcoming). She holds MA degrees from the Universities of Cape Town (South Africa) and Warwick (United Kingdom), as well as a PhD in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Munich (Germany).

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Sarah Nuttall is Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies and Director of the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is the author of Entanglement: Literary and Cultural Reflections on Post-apartheid, editor of Beautiful/Ugly: African and Diaspora Aesthetics, and co-editor of many books including Negotiating the Past: The Making of Memory in South AfricaSenses of Culture: South African Culture Studies,Beautiful/Ugly: African and Diaspora Aesthetics, Johannesburg  – The Elusive Metropolis and Load Shedding: Writing On and Over the Edge of South Africa.

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Handel Kashope Wright has been variously Canada Research Chair of Comparative Cultural Studies and David Lam Chair of Multicultural Education and is currently Professor and Director of the Centre for Culture, Identity and Education, University of British Columbia http://www.ccie.educ.ubc.ca/   Prof. Wright is co-editor of the book series African and Diasporic Cultural Studies (University of Toronto Press), Associate Editor of the South Africa based media and cultural studies journal, Critical Arts and serves on the editorial board of several cultural studies and education journals including the International Journal of Cultural Studies, the European Journal of Cultural Studies, Topia,  the Canadian Journal of Education and  Postcolonial Studies in Education.  He has published extensively on Africana cultural studies, cultural studies of education, critical multiculturalism, anti-racist education, qualitative research and curriculum theorizing.  His earlier work on Africana cultural studies includes the book, A Prescience of African Cultural Studies (Peter Lang Publications, 2004) and guest edited journal issues on continental Africans’ identity (Critical Arts, 2002) and diasporic Africans’ identity (Critical Arts, 2003).  His most recent co-edited books include Africa, Cultural Studies and Difference (Routledge, 2011); Transnationalism and Cultural Studies (Routledge, 2012) and Precarious International Multicultural Education (Sense, 2012).  His current work is on youth and belonging in (post)multicultural communities and Black Canada and includes The Promised Land: History and Historiography of the Black Experience in Chatham-Kent and Beyond (University of Toronto Press, 2014) and Black British Columbia: Past and Present (Fernwood Press, forthcoming). 

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