RSVP Today: Simon Gikandi’s Oct. 30 Undergraduate Seminar

For the first time since the creation of the English Department’s mini-residency, the Wang Distinguished Professor will give a seminar just for undergraduates!
Simon Gikandi, 2014-15
Wang Distinguished Professor
This year’s Wang Distinguished Professor, Simon Gikandi will be leading this special event on October 30 at 2:15 PM in Rome Hall 771.
A specialist in the literature of the African diaspora, Gikandi is currently a Professor of English at Princeton University and is also an editor of PMLA, the journal of the Modern Language Association of America. He has published several books and articles and his recent book Slavery and the Culture of Taste has won the Melbern Glasscock Center for Humanities Research Award; the Melville Herskovits Award for the most important scholarly work in African studies; and the James Russell Lowell Prize for an outstanding scholarly work by a member of the Modern Languages Association.
For the seminar, Gikandi has chosen a long, short story written by the Nigerian writer Sefi Atta, entitled, “Yahoo, Yahoo.” Atta was born in Nigeria in 1964 and graduated from Birmingham University in England. Besides her writing, Atta is also the founder of the Lagos-based production company Atta Girl. This company supports her program Care to Read, which is dedicated to earning funds for charities through literary readings. Her short stories have been published in journals such as Los Angeles ReviewMississippi Review and World Literature Today.
Gikandi’s seminar will cover the
novella, “Yahoo, Yahoo,” by
Nigerian writer Sefi Yatta
“Yahoo, Yahoo,” along with much of Atta’s work, highlights the problems and challenges that confront the African continent. Students that want to participate in the seminar will need to read the story beforehand and be prepared to engage in discussion.
If you’re interested in participating in this seminar, please RSVP by e-mailing Professor Robert McRuer, Chair, the Department of English at: Once you’ve registered, Professor McRuer will forward you the reading for this event.   
The Wang residency was created through a gift by Albert Wang and his family that has, since 2009, supported residencies by professors such as Edward P. Jones (now a member of the GW English department), José Esteban Muñoz, J. Jack Halberstam, and Michael Bérubé. The gift from the Wang family is currently one of the largest philanthropic commitments to GW Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of English.

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