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UNH to Host Renowned Ghanaian Poet and Scholar Kofi Anyidoho

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
March 25, 2009

The Center for the Humanities will host distinguished poet and scholar of literature and film Kofi Anyidoho, professor of English at the University of Ghana, for a poetry reading and lecture beginning April 1.

“A Harvest of Ancestral Voices,” an evening of poetry and conversation with Anyidoho, begins at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 1. The event will be held in the Milne Special Collections, Dimond Library, Room 101. Anyidoho’s lecture, “Literary Visions of a 21st Century America,” takes place at 1 p.m., Friday, April 3, in the MUB, Room 334/336. Both events are free and open to the public.

“Anyidoho’s visit promises to be one of artistry and insight, as well as an opportunity to strengthen UNH’s connections with a colleague in a developing international partnership,” says Burt Feintuch, director of the Center for the Humanities.

As a poet, Anyidoho has won national and international awards, including the Kruger Fellowship for Poetry of Social Vision, Valco Fund Literary Award, Langston Hughes Prize, BBC Arts and Africa Poetry Award and Ghana Book Award. As a scholar, he publishes widely on literature and film in Ghana. Recent publications include “The Word Behind Bars and the Paradox of Exile” (Northwestern University Press, 1997),Beyond Survival: African Literature and  the Search for New Life” (coeditor, Africa World Press, 1998), and “Fontomfrom. Contemporary Ghanaian Literature, Theatre and Film” (Editions Rodopi B.V., 2000).

Anyidoho’s visit is part of a larger project to develop faculty ties to and study-abroad opportunities at two universities in Ghana. Last fall, the Center for the Humanities launches its African Study Abroad initiative. Funded by a U.S. State Department grant, the initiative develops study abroad programs with the University of Ghana, Legon, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The goal is to create a thriving study-abroad program for UNH students, with special emphasis on involving students from constituencies who have traditionally not participated in significant proportions in study-abroad programs.

Information about the Center for the Humanities African Study Abroad initiative is available at http://unh.edu/news/campusjournal/2008/Sep/17grant.cfm.

Anyidoho’s visit is in collaboration with the Center for International Education, and the minors in Africana and African American Studies, and Race, Culture and Power. It is made possible by a grant from the Class of 1954 Academic Enrichment Fund.

The Center for the Humanities, http://www.unh.edu/humanities-center/, was established in the College of Liberal Arts in 1986 to support humanities research by faculty from across the university, representing such fields as anthropology, communication, fine arts, folklore, foreign languages, geography, history, literature, philosophy, religious studies, sociology, and women’s studies. The center hosts and sponsors faculty research fellows, faculty seminars, lecture series and public programs. The center is home to special interdisciplinary programs: The Center for New England Culture, and academic minors in Africana and African American Studies; American Studies; and Race, Culture, and Power.

For more information, contact Cait Vaughan, the center’s associate coordinator for academic programs, at 2-2179 or cait.vaughan@unh.edu.

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