The Book in Africa: A Day Symposium

Saturday 20 October 2012

Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London

The aim of this event is to provide a forum for the discussion of new research and critical debates about print culture in Africa, and to bring together leading scholars in African literature with interests in literary and cultural history, publishing studies and the history of the book. With contributions from scholars of book history and postcolonial studies, together with African literary publishers, the papers and panel discussion focus on:

  • The production, dissemination and reception of the book in colonial and postcolonial Africa
  • The development of print culture and its implications for larger questions of nationality and colonial politics in Africa
  • The impact of print production on literary cultures and linguistic identities in Africa
  • The emergence and constitution of reading publics in Africa
  • The legal, social, political and economic forces that have affected print culture in Africa
  • The current state of and immediate prospects for publishing and print culture in Africa

This symposium has been organised as a collaborative event by: the Department of English at the Open University, the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies (OICPS) at Oxford Brookes University and the Institute for English Studies.

This symposium reflects the interests of the two research groups in the Department of English at the Open University, in Book History and Postcolonial Literatures, and it continues a long-standing research interest in African publishing studies at OICPS. Details of these research activities in this field are given at the back of this programme.

We would like to thank Oxford Brookes University and the Open University for their generous financial support of this event.  We are grateful also for British Academy funding, which has enabled us to extend invitations to Archie Dick and Elizabeth le Roux from Pretoria University. This funding has been made available through the International Mobility and Partnership Scheme between Oxford Brookes University and Pretoria University 2012-13. In addition, the British Academy has also funded places for PhD students to attend this symposium.

Organisers: Caroline Davis (OICPS, Oxford Brookes University), David Johnson (Open University), Jon Millington (IES), Alex Tickell (Open University), Shafquat Towheed (Open University)

Speakers include:
Karin Barber • Khalid Bekkaoui • Ruth Bush • Becky Ayebia Clarke • James Currey • Archie Dick • Robert Fraser • Kate Haines • David Johnson • Beth Le Roux • Peter McDonald • Jeff Opland • Ranka Primorac



REGISTRATION: The event is free to attend but places are limited.  To book please email: 

Please note, we will be offering a sandwich lunch and refreshments.

See  for further information. 

Research Groups:

General Enquiries: Jon Millington, Events Officer, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

tel + 44(0) 207 664 4859

The School of Advanced Study is part of the central University of London. The School takes its responsibility to visitors with special needs very seriously and will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to its facilities in order to accommodate the needs of such visitors. If you have a particular requirement, please feel free to discuss it confidentially with the Events Officer in advance of the event taking place.