CFP: The 3rd Annual Igbo Conference @ SOAS, deadline Feb. 7th

The 3rd Annual Igbo Conference:

Igbo Heritage: Production, Diffusion and Legacy

SOAS, University of London

May 2-3, 2014

A people’s heritage refers to the tangible and intangible inheritance that informs notions of identity, history and culture. Structures, religious artefacts, crafts, texts and landscapes are examples of material elements of heritage, which include manufactured products as well as the natural environment within which a people inhabit. The intangible aspects of heritage such as language, tradition, culture and knowledge form the basis for communicative and epistemological frameworks. As such, heritage assists the location of a people within socio-historical, cultural, religious and linguistic trajectories.


The dispersal of Igbo people and Igbo heritage into the Americas due to the transatlantic slave trade resulted in the contribution of Igbo heritage to the formation of ‘new world identities’ amongst enslaved African communities. Olaudah Equiano, an enslaved African who purchased his own freedom, identifies his Igbo heritage as a source of sustenance. Equiano, who became a leading figure in the abolitionist movement, stated in his autobiography that ‘the manners and customs of my country (…) had been implanted in me with great care, and made an impression on my mind, which time could not erase’.  Within struggles in colonial Nigeria, Igbo informed modes of protest such as “sitting on a man” facilitated the Igbo women’s war of 1929, whilst the cultural and historical background of Nnamdi Azikiwe informed his ‘cosmopolitan ideas’. The Igbo heritage has contributed to political and cultural production in pan-African globalised settings as well as providing a source for transformation within Igboland and the wider Nigeria. This conference invites contributions that focus on Igbo heritage on both the micro (localised variants) and macro (pan-Igbo) levels.


This conference invites papers that examine a variety of aspects of Igbo heritage which include, but are not limited to:

–          Literary Heritage

–          Monuments as Sites of Heritage

–          Land, Spirituality and mmuo

–          Artefacts and Museum Culture

–          Heritage in the Americas

–          Food as Heritage

–          Post-Biafra Cultural Nationalism and Igbo Cultural Renaissance

–          Performance and Igbo Cultural Heritage

–          Re-inscribing Igbo Heritage in the Diaspora

–          Igbo Metaphysics

–          Igbo Heritage in the Digital Age

–          Naming in Igbo Culture

–          Art as Heritage

–          Heritage Organisations

–          Oral Tradition and the Production and Transmission of Knowledge

–          Igbo Heritage and Nollywood

Please email abstracts of up to 300 words including the paper title, your name, current position, institutional affiliation, email address and phone number to Louisa Uchum no later than 7th February 2014.


Participants are responsible for sourcing their own funding for travel, accommodation and conference fees. For information on the Igbo Conference, please visit


Conveners: Yvonne Mbanefo, Ndubuisi Anike, Louisa Uchum Egbunike


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