Courtesy Jonathan T. Reynolds

Southeastern Regional Seminar in African Studies (SERSAS)

Spring 2005 SERSAS Conference
15 - 16 April 2005

Norfolk State University
NSU Main campus
JMH Lecture (Madison Hall) Room 156 (auditorium)
Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Abstract: Globalization, Literature, and Languages

Chimalum Nwankwo

Not for attribution without permission of the author

Copyright 2004 by SERSAS and Chimalum Nwankwo
All Rights Reserved

Globalization is gradually easing into the same kind of definitional and operational difficulties which stigmatized terms like "civilization", "development","universalism", and so forth. The mode of its application is becoming reminiscent of the intellectual impulses associated with the minds whose ideas of God and history and human destiny drove European imperial programs. It was then a situation which fashioned out lopsided moral visions derived from lopsided readings of the human condition. Parts of the world were occluded by the condescending vision and program of more powerful states and polities. The consequence was the justification of colonialism and empire with its sub-text of divine approval. Today, we are looking at new aspects of the same phenomenon in the inequities arising from privileging by super powers and their various surrogates in the United Nations and powerful economic blocks and clubs in richer parts of the world. The suspicions and distrust being created by this situation have all kinds of ramifications for those involved in cultural productions and the use of languages as tools for cultural bridge building and global understanding. Those activities are likely to attract the same kind of criticism which the general understanding of globalization in its present form is attracting.

Chimalum Nwankwo
Poet and Critic
Professor of English and World Literatures
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

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First Online Edition: 2 April 2005
Last Revised: 2 April 2005