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Africa

Fall 2005

Dillard finds the world in a village in Africa

In June 2001, at the village of Mpeasem in Ghana, West Africa, Cynthia Dillard was enstooled as Nkosua Ohemaa Nana Mansa II.

“To be enstooled,” she explains, “I was bathed and dressed, then to music and dancing, joined in a procession of the local chiefs as they seated me on the stool that symbolizes that authority. I was named for an early queen mother of the village. It was an intense honor.”

For Dillard, an associate professor at The Ohio State University (OSU), the roots of that experience extend back to Washington State University, where she received a master’s degree in 1987 and a … » More …

Summer 2005

A Nobel laureate promotes a

Wole Soyinka, a playwright, poet, novelist, and political activist who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, spent a couple of days in February on the Pullman campus.

His visit was in conjunction with the Theater Arts Program’s presentation of his play Death and the King’s Horseman, which examines differences between Western and African cultures. At the core of Soyinka’s work is the idea of a “new Africa,” wherein native myth is joined with contemporary reality and ancient tradition melds with current technology, leading Africa out of its colonial past.

Spring 2008

Disturbance-Loving Species

Much has been made of the supposed decline of short fiction in recent years. But Peter Chilson’s intelligent, gripping, and emotionally complex new book, Disturbance-Loving Species, winner of the prestigious Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize for fiction, defies that doomsday thinking.The one novella and four short stories that make up this collection throb with the life of Africa, from a market “like a great pond-based ecosystem, billowing with hierarchies of species and teeming with predators and parasites, opportunists and victims” to a taxi ride in which “the driver sped across a crowded city, slowing for no person, no camel or donkey, no pothole . . . … » More …