African Literature and Publishing Platforms
From brick-and-mortar libraries to virtual magazines, cultural institutions provide vital infrastructure for the promotion of African literature. As audiences for African literature continue to grow, African creatives are pursuing increasingly innovative ways to celebrate local talent and foster global reading communities.
Join us for a panel featuring three powerhouse figures in the literary world—
Edwige-Renée Dro, Ainehi Edoro, and Zukiswa Wanner—
as they discuss the institutional futures of African literature.
Edwige-Renée Dro is a writer, a literary translator and a literary activist from Côte d’Ivoire. She is a co-founder of the collective Abidjan Lit and the founder of 1949, a library of women’s writings from Africa and the black world. She has facilitated, judged, and translated for many writing competitions, and coordinated the Francophone program for Writivism in Uganda. Her stories and essays, published in magazines like Popula, This is Africa, and the Johannesburg Review of Books, have been widely anthologized. Dro was a 2018 Miles Morland fellow and is currently a resident at the University of Iowa as part of the Iowa International Writing Program.
Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches and researches on African literature, political theory, and literature in social media. Edoro is the founder and Editor of Brittle Paper, a leading online platform dedicated to African writing and literary culture. Her current book project is titled Forest Imaginaries: How African Novels Think. The book argues that the African novel, at the moment of its inception, introduces a model for configuring space in fiction. She also writes essays and commentaries about contemporary African literary culture in mainstream publications such as The Guardian and Africa is a Country. In 2016, New African magazine named her one of Africa’s 100 Most Influential Africans. In 2018, she was honored by Okay Africa’s “100 Women” campaign.
Zukiswa Wanner is a writer, editor, and publisher. Her debut novel, The Madams (2006), was shortlisted for the 2007 K Sello Duiker Award. Her third novel Men of the South (2010) was shortlisted for the 2011 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best Book and the Herman Charles Bosman Award. She has been a columnist for True Love (South Africa), The Star and Nation (Kenya), and Mail & Guardian, and has also written for publications like The New York Times and The Guardian. She is the founder and curator of Artistic Encounters, Afrolit Sans Frontières, and Virtually Yours. In 2020, Wanner became the first African woman to win the Goethe Medal, an official decoration by the Germany government conferred to non-Germans for outstanding service for international cultural relations. She was also selected by New African as one of Africa's 100 Most Influential Africans for 2020 and literary journal Brittle Paper's 2020 African Literary Person of the Year.