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Asanbe Diversity Symposium welcomes inaugural guest to speak at 12th event

In celebration of its 12th year, the Asanbe Diversity Symposium at Austin Peay State University will host its inaugural speaker, Francis Abiola Irele, visiting professor of African and African-American studies and of romance languages and literatures at Harvard University.

The symposium is co-sponsored by the APSU Department of Languages and Literature and the Center of Excellence for Creative Arts. This year's symposium is titled “Orality and Literature--The African Example.”

The symposium will begin with a keynote address at 1 p.m., March 26 in the Morgan University Center, Rooms 303 and 305. The address will be followed by a panel discussion at 3:30 p.m. in the African American Cultural Center. Both events are free and open to the public.

“The Asanbe Diversity Symposium is an event which was originally created by our department to nurture diversity and to support and enhance the teaching of world literature,” said Dr. Karen Sorenson, professor of French at APSU.

Irele, a native of Nigeria, taught French at the University of Ibadan and served from 1977-80 and from 1983-87 as head of the department of modern languages. Irele has also held positions at the University of Lagos, the University of Ghana, Legon, and the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, as well as several other institutions.

Irele's most recent work is “The Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature” (2004), co-edited with Simon Gikandi and published in two volumes.

Irele is also a contributing editor to the Norton Anthology of World Literature. Irele is currently collaborating with Henry Louis Gates Jr. in the preparation of an Anthology of African Literature. He is general editor of the series, Cambridge Studies in African and Caribbean Literature.

For more information, contact Sorenson at (931) 221-6246 or by e-mail at -- Jess Nobert