Translating contemporary writing in Cameroon: reflections from recent workshops with Bakwa

Part of the Convocation Seminars in World Literature and Translation

Co-convened with LINKS (London Intercollegiate Network for Comparative Studies)

Speakers: Ruth Bush (University of Bristol), Madhu Krishnan (University of Bristol), Dzekashu MacViban (Bakwa) & Edwige Renée Dro (1949)

Ruth Bush is Senior Lecturer in French and Comparative Literature at the University of Bristol, UK. Her research concerns African and Diasporic literary and cultural production, with a particular interest in material print cultures, translation, and decolonial practice. Her first book was Publishing Africa in French: Literary Institutions and Decolonization 1945–67 (LUP, 2016) and her next, Translation Imperatives, is forthcoming with CUP. She has published a history of New Beacon Books, the UK’s first radical black bookshop and publishing house; and co-produced an exhibition and digital resource about a pioneering Senegalese women’s magazine, Awa: la revue de la femme noire. She is currently working on two collaborative research projects: one about literary translation (with Cameroonian literary collective, Bakwa) and the other an ERC-funded project, 'The Creative Lives of African universities', with partners in Senegal, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire and Benin. 

Madhu Krishnan is Professor of African, World and Comparative Literatures at the University of Bristol, where she currently serves as Director for the Centre for Black Humanities. She is author of Contemporary African Literature in English: Global Locations, Postcolonial Identifications (2014), Writing Spatiality in West Africa: Colonial Legacies in the Anglophone/Francophone Novel (2018) and Contingent Canons: African Literature and the Politics of Location (2018). She is currently working on a five-year project funded by the ERC titled 'Literary Activism in Sub-Saharan Africa: Commons, Publics and Networks of Practice'. 

Dzekashu MacViban is the founder of Bakwa Books and Bakwa Magazine. His fiction has appeared in Wasafiri, Kwani?, Jungle Jim, and elsewhere, and his writing has been translated into Japanese, German, French and Spanish. He is the recipient of an Akademie Schloss Solitude Fellowship. 

Edwige Renée Dro is a writer, a literary translator and a literary activist from Côte d’Ivoire. Her writings have been published by Bloomsbury, Harper Collins or in magazines like Popula, This is Africa, etc. 
She has judged and facilitated many writing competitions such as the PEN International Short Story Prize, the AfroYoungAdult anthology project or the Bakwa Magazine Literary Translation workshops. 
She strongly believes that arts and literature are the tools that can change a society for the better and in February this year, she set up 1949, a library of women’s writings from Africa and the black world. 1949’s mission is to unearth and shine the light upon the contributions of African and black women to the world in order to inspire present and future generations. 

Author: Institute of Modern Languages Research

Organisations: Institute of Modern Languages Research

Event date: Thursday, 20 May 2021 - 3:00pm