Glimpses of BIARI
Over the past 3 years, the Brown International Advanced Research Institutes (BIARI), a collaboration between Brown University and Santander Universities overseen by Brown's Office of International Affairs, have hosted participants and visiting speakers from over seventy countries. In 2011, the presenters included Professors Chinua Achebe and Glenn Loury, both faculty members from Brown University, and Professor Diyah Larasati of the University of Minnesota. These three short video pieces, shot* and edited by Lindsay Richardson, offer glimpses of their BIARI presentations.
Chinua Achebe: Africa is People
Professor Chinua Achebe joined the Brown Faculty in the Fall of 2009, as the David and Mariana Fisher University Professor, and Professor of Africana Studies. Things Fall Apart, his 1958 novel, has become a classic: still widely read for its commentary on the post-colonial condition. It was followed by a number of other well-received works including No Longer at Ease, Arrow of God, A Man of the People, and Anthills of the Savannah. His essays have also had a powerful impact on scholarly debate, notably his 1965 essay on “The novelist as teacher” and his 1975 Chancellor’s Address, “An Image of Africa: Racism in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.”
Professor Achebe has received 40 honorary degrees from universities all over the world. In the past five years, two other awards stand out in particular In 2007 he was awarded the second Man Booker prize, one of the highest literary honors in the U.K. Chair of the selection panel Elaine Showalter declared that Professor Achebe “ illuminated the path for writers around the world seeking new words and forms for new realities and societies.”
In 2010, he was awarded the Dorothy and Lillian Gish prize, which honors individuals for “outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.”
His most recent book of essays, The Education of a British-Protected Child, was published in 2010. In a keynote address to BIARI participants, Professor Achebe read from the volume, recalling his participation in a meeting of the OECD in 1989, where he realized, in a flash of insight, how under the guise of fostering economic development, Westerners foisted their own fictions about Africa onto the continent.
*Additional Camera: Brown Media Services
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