Andrew Reynolds
Global Studies


Matching Funds

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

UPDATE: The curriculum in Global Studies proposes to bring award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to speak to an array of units at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the spring of 2013. Adichie's visit will coincide with the establishment of a global studies reading group on literature and human rights--broadly based on GLBL 560 "Human Rights, Ethics and Social Issues"--which will be led by Dr. Eunice Sahle. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's work, which investigates issues of ethnicity, conflict, colonialism, race and human rights, will appeal to a vast spectrum of organizations on campus. In particular, we believe Adichie's work will be of interest to the departments of African and Afro-American Studies, English, Geography, History, Political Science, the curriculum in Peace War and Defense, the Creative Writing Program, the Honors Program, the Carolina African Studies Center, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, the Global Fund, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Center for Global Initiatives among others. We expect to partner with many of these divisions to make Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's time in Chapel Hill a truly campus-wide experience. We anticipate the series of events surrounding Adichie's visit will attract a broad audience from UNC and local university faculty and students, as well as from community members. We hope that through hosting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at UNC Chapel Hill, we will launch a rich discussion on critical global issues in which everyone--from Triangle high school students to academics--can be involved. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been called both "the 21st century daughter of Chinua Achebe" and "the most prominent" of a "procession of critically acclaimed young Anglophone authors [] succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature." Her work, which includes poetry, short fiction, and novels have been critically acclaimed and won numerous awards. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, won the Commonwealth Writer's Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was also long-listed for the Booker Prize. Her second book, Half of a Yellow Sun, which recreates a seminal moment in modern African history--Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria and the chilling violence that followed--was awarded the Orange Prize. Born in Nigeria, Adichie attended College in the United States, where she graduated summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut State, and received a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and Masters degree in African Studies from Yale. Her Nigerian background sets the stage for her work, which explores the pressures of history and society on ethics and human identity. As Adichie has said, she grew up in the shadow of Biafra, and writes about this period "to honor the collective memory of an entire nation." Adichie's fiction is characterized by a breathtaking courage and ambition to grapple with critical issues of race and identity, the nationalisms and ethnic ties that lead us to war, the global forces producing violence and the fight between old-age colonialism and the new world. She effortlessly weaves characters of different races and classes together in the sweep of history, conjuring epic narratives in a tribute to love--that unreasonable and resilient thing that complicates allegiances, holds people together, and makes us human. Adichie's short stories have appeared in Granta, Prospect, and The Iowa Review among other literary journals, and she received an O.Henry Prize in 2003. She has also been a Hodder Fellow at Princeton, and divides her time between Nigeria and the United States. ------------------OLDER PROPOSAL "Michael Ondaatje"--------------------- The curriculum in Global Studies will host award-winning author Michael Ondaatje for an on-campus lecture and class discussion on issues of globalization, race, and the role of literature in representing these subjects.