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Invitation to World Literature

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Things Fall Apart (30:00)

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This video introduces the world of the Igbo, whose civilization is threatened by the colonial advances of the British into their lands in Nigeria. You'll see this native world in all its logic, beauty, and problems, and then watch it begin to crack under internal and external pressure.

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Speakers in the video

Anthony Appiah
Anthony Appiah
Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University
Dr. Appiah is the Laurence S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University. He is also associated with the Center for African American Studies, the Programs in African Studies and Translation Studies, and the Departments of Comparative Literature and Politics. Dr. Appiah has published widely in African and African-American literary and cultural studies and served as president of the PEN American Center.
David Damrosch
David Damrosch
Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University
Dr. Damrosch is professor of comparative literature at Harvard University and the author of several books, including What Is World Literature?
Simon Gikandi
Simon Gikandi
Professor of English, Princeton University
Dr. Gikandi is professor of English at Princeton University. He graduated with a first class degree in literature from the University of Nairobi, was a British Council Scholar at the University of Edinburgh, and got his Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University. His major fields of research and teaching are the anglophone literatures and cultures of Africa, India, the Caribbean, postcolonial Britain, the "Black Atlantic," and the African diaspora.
Suheir Hammad
Suheir Hammad
Poet
Ms. Hammad is a Palestinian-American poet, and has been featured on the television series Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry. She was also an original cast member and writer for the show on Broadway, which later won a Tony Award. She is author of Born Palestinian, Born Black, Drops of This Story and ZaatarDiva. Ms. Hammad won the Before Columbus Foundation's American Book Award in 2009.
Francesca Harper
Francesca Harper
Choreographer
Ms. Harper is a choreographer who studied at the School of American Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet School, and The Ailey School. The Francesca Harper Project debuted in August 2005 with the sold-out premiere performance of MODO FUSION at The Ailey Citigroup Theater.
Chuck Mike
Chuck Mike
Theater Director and Associate Professor of Theater, University of Richmond
Dr. Mike is associate professor of theater at the University of Richmond in Virginia. He is also a theater director and has worked with British playwright Biyi Bandele. Dr. Mike directed a stage production of Things Fall Apart in London. A disciple of author and playwright Wole Soyinka, he believes that theater can bring about social change.
Osonye Tess Onwueme
Osonye Tess Onwueme
Playwright and Professor of Cultural Diversity and English, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Dr. Onwueme is professor of cultural diversity and English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, as well as a playwright and poet focused on themes of social justice. In 1985, she won the Drama Prize from the Association of Nigerian Authors. As a native Nigerian, Dr. Onwueme uses her works for the theater to give voice to African women and give audiences a clearer picture of life in Africa.
Faith Salie
Faith Salie
Cultural Critic
Actress, journalist, commentator for CBS's Sunday Morning, and a regular on the NPR game show, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, Ms. Salie is a former radio show host and executive producer of Fair Game with Faith Salie. She is a Harvard graduate and Rhodes Scholar.
Kurt Thometz
Kurt Thometz
Bookseller and Collector
Mr. Thometz owns Jumel Books in Harlem, and is a collector and aficionado of African literature. He is the author of Life Turns Man Up and Down, an anthology of Onitsha Market Literature, a Nigerian phenomenon of the 1960s. Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart, has used this work in his own teaching.