A successful Amherst College course examining the impact of computer technology and the internet on African literature blossomed into a three-day symposium attracting international scholars and experts on emerging African writing.
Convening Oct. 12–14 at the Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) in Frost Library, the Digital Africas Symposium was geared toward “exploring how 21st-century sub-Saharan African writers engage with digital technologies when they publish print texts, experiment with online platforms, or interface with local and international audiences through social media,” said C. Rhonda Cobham-Sander, the Emily C. Jordan Folger Professor of Black Studies and English and Professor of Latinx and Latin American Studies, who organized the symposium.
At Amherst, Cobham-Sander has taught a “Digital Africas” course since 2015. The symposium, she said, was the first to exclusively examine this topic. Its goal is to help scholars working in this field to get to know each other. “Our presenters include emergent scholars, established leaders in media studies and African literary studies, as well as African bloggers and editors of online literary journals,” Cobham-Sander said.