THANK YOU TO ALL DELEGATES, PARTICIPANTS AND ATTENDEES
POWER OF AUTHORS
29-30 APRIL 2021
A conference among authors, about authors
Join us as we celebrate the Power of Authors
The Academic and Non-Fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa (ANFASA) is hosting a two-day virtual international conference, to explore and debate the role and status of authors in society.
Knowledge production and the voice of the author has never been more important. Authors need to continue writing as they observe and reflect on humanity and the ways of the world. They are the ones we will rely on to record and narrate the stories for generations to come.
But In South Africa, imported knowledge far outstrips what we produce ourselves. We need more authors writing, especially more scholars writing and producing African scholarship.
Who should attend?
This high-level conference aims to attract published authors and thought leaders able to question and reflect on how authors can influence the course of events in the world.
ANFASA is hoping for, and expecting a strong presence from the academy, from both established and emergent scholarly authors.
Thursday 29 April 2021 09:00-13:00
Opening of the conference and welcoming the attendees.
A brief introduction to the discussion among authors, about authors.
We explore the role of authors and their status in society today, in South Africa and elsewhere in the world. How are authors responding today to these changed times, to the pandemic, to climate change, to political upheaval? Have we made our voices heard? What provokes us to write? How affected are we, as authors, by external circumstances, beyond the world of the self? Do our societies respect authors’ contribution to collective knowledge? Could authors have the power to change the world?
The author has had many voices: as opposition to oppressive regimes and to crime and brutality; as a source of information, entertainment and wisdom; as a record keeper for oral histories; as a creator and a disseminator of knowledge. Authors have been bridges between societies and, at times, they have been respected and even venerated. We look back to West Africa and the Griots, bearers of knowledge in ancient times, and the respect they received from their societies.
The history of the world tells us that whereas times of peace and comfort largely give rise to works of elegance and wit, it is war, upheaval and strife that most often stir the spirit and are catalysts for surges of creativity. We look at authors who dig into the dark corners and authors who strike out against the ills of their societies.
Friday 30 April 2021 09:00-13:00
Authors are creators of knowledge and what they create has economic value. Rather than asking if authors can make a living from their work, we pose the question – are authors adequately rewarded for what they produce? And if not, why? We explore ways of strengthening the economic value of authors and protecting their incomes.
Public Lending Right and other incentivised programmes
Having asked the questions about authors’ rewards, we explore the pros and cons of copyright, collective management of reprographic reproduction rights, Public Lending Right and other incentivised programmes that can encourage authors to keep creating and remove them from the list of endangered species.
Humankind has had the desire to communicate through writing for thousands of years, from scratchings on stone, bone and wood to elaborately illustrated manuscripts on parchment. Then, with the invention of the printing press: the printed book. Now, the 4th Industrial Revolution is seeing an enormous increase in the availability of free information across digital platforms and in an abundance of different formats. Throughout the pandemic, digital media has been a prevalent voice and has guided conversations on current issues, in real-time. Does the digital transition threaten the existence of the author? Or does it hold the promise of new ways of generating and communicating ideas, growing readership – and more power for authors?
Dr Duduzile Zwane
This programme is subject to change without prior notice.
Andrew Joseph is digital publisher at Wits University Press. His publishing experience has largely been in academic and reference publications. Andrew designed and is establishing African Scholarship Online, an Africa-wide university press initiative funded by the National Institute for Humanities & Social Sciences. He serves on several industry boards, committees and working groups; chair of the Scholarly Publishers Committee for the Publishers Association of SA and is a regular speaker at key publishing events.
Barbara Hayes, based in London, is deputy chief executive of the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, a not-for-profit, non-union organisation, wholly owned by the 95,000 authors in its membership. Barbara regularly lobbies in the UK Parliament for authors’ rights; was elected chair of the Society of Audiovisual Authors in Brussels; is company secretary of the International Authors Forum and in 2016 became chair of the Public Lending Right Steering Committee.
Zimbabwean-born South African writer and human rights activist, Elinor Sisulu, combines training in history, English literature, development studies and feminist theory from institutions in Zimbabwe, Senegal and the Netherlands. She is a founder member and current executive director of the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation. In 2019 she was awarded an honorary PhD by the University of Pretoria for her work in human rights and reading promotion.
Geoffroy Pelletier was Director General for eight years of the SGDL (Société des gens de lettres), the main and oldest French association of writers. He was also head of the Department of Publishing and Bookshops at the Book and Reading Service of the Ministry of Culture for more than ten years. He holds a Master’s degree in Publishing from the ESCP (Paris Business School).
Prof Keyan G Tomaselli
Prof Keyan G Tomaselli is Distinguished Professor, Dean’s Office, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg, and Professor Emeritus and Fellow, University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is the editor of Critical Arts and founder and co-editor of the Journal of African Cinemas. He is an editorial board member of book series published by Unisa Press, University of Toronto Press and Michigan State University. He is editor of the ANFASA Magazine and serves on the Scholarly Publication Committee of the Academy of Science of South Africa. He has published extensively on the political economy of scholarly publishing in journals like The Thinker and the SA Journal of Science.
Maureen Duffy is a notable contemporary British poet, playwright and novelist. She turned to writing full-time as a poet and playwright after being commissioned to produce a screenplay by Granada Television. Maureen is the author of 34 published works of fiction, including 9 collections of poetry , non-fiction, and 16 plays for stage, screen and radio. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of King's College London, and a Vice President of the Royal Society of Literature, as well as President of Honor of the British Copyright Council and the ALCS, and a CISAC gold medalist.
Pierre Lesburguères is IFRRO’s Manager for Policy and Regional Development. He represents the interests of Collective Management Organisations in the international sphere, working on current copyright issues and initiatives with intergovernmental organisations such as WIPO. He also coordinates IFRRO’s development activities, which includes working on collective licensing and national legislations, implementation of best practices by Collective Management Organisations, and developing relations with governments and rightholders’ associations.
Dr Siphiwo Mahala
Siphiwo Mahala is a short story writer, novelist, playwright and critic in both English and Xhosa. He holds a PhD in English Literature from UNISA. He is a research associate at the University of Pretoria and a research fellow at the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study, University of Johannesburg; a research associate at the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, University of Pretoria. He is the editor of the new Imbiza journal for African writing.
Living and working with Sabine in Amsterdam, father of three, musician, reader and sportsman, Arjen Polman manages the PLR system in The Netherlands on behalf of the Dutch rightsholders and tries to contribute on an international level as coordinator of PLRI.
Dr Divine Fuh
Divine Fuh is a social anthropologist and the director of the Institute for Humanities in Africa at the University of Cape Town. His research focuses on the politics of suffering and smiling, and particularly on how urban youth seek ways of smiling in the midst of their suffering. He has researched Botswana, Cameroon, Senegal and South Africa. His current work focuses on the political economy of Pan-African knowledge production, and also on AI and the ethics of care in Africa.
Francis Gbormittah is an academic who focuses on media arts studies and practice. He currently lectures in the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Ghana, Legon. Francis is also the president of the Ghana Association of Writers. He obtained degrees related to his fields of pursuit from the Gilmorehill Centre for Theatre, Film and TV, University of Glasgow, Scotland, and the National Film and Television Institute, Accra.
Joan Smith is a novelist, columnist and human rights campaigner. She is the author of six novels, two of which were made into films by the BBC, and several non-fiction titles, including the feminist classic Misogynies and a short polemic, Down With The Royals. She is a former Chair of the English PEN Writers in Prison Committee, and has chaired the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women and Girls Board since 2013. She is a non-executive director of ALCS and a supporter of authors’ rights, including copyright.
Monica Seeber founded ANFASA in 2004 and was its first director. She is currently a Board of Director of ANFASA. She is a publishing consultant and book editor, and co-author with Nicholas Evans of The Politics of Publishing in South Africa (2001) as well as a guide to the management of copyright in book publishing, written for WIPO. Monica has also written numerous articles on copyright and publishing. She is a founder member of the African Publishers Network (APNET).
Rehana Rossouw has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Wits University. Her first novel, What Will People Say?, won the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences prize for fiction in 2017. Her second novel, New Times, was longlisted for the Sunday Times Literary Awards in 2018.
V. Njabulo Zwane
V. Njabulo Zwane is a researcher in the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) Humanities faculty. He did his undergraduate studies in Politics, History and Economics at Rhodes University; and also holds a BA (Hons) degree in History from Wits University. As a scholar, he has written on the historiography of Black transnational cultural practices and African political economy. Currently, his research interests are on Black South African musicians’ alternative constructions of home/the nation under and after apartheid, as well as the writings of Walter B. Nhlapo.
Prof. Beth le Roux
Elizabeth le Roux is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria, where she coordinates Publishing Studies. She is co-editor of the journal Book History, and her research focuses on the history of books and publishing in South Africa. Her books include A Social History of the University Presses in Apartheid South Africa (Brill, 2016), A Survey of South African Crime Fiction (with Sam Naidu, UKZN Press, 2017), and Publishing Against Apartheid: A case study of Ravan Press (Cambridge University Press Elements, 2020). Before becoming a full-time academic, she worked in the scholarly publishing industry in South Africa.
Prof Andries Oliphant
Andries Walter Oliphant is a former Fulbright Scholar in Comparative Literature, a writer and cultural policy developer. He chaired the South African Ministerial Arts and Culture Task Team and co-wrote the 1996 White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage and its 2020 Revision. He is the Founding Chair of the Arts Culture Trust (1995- 2007).
A former Head of Literary Theory at the University of South Africa, he assisted with the formation of ANFASA and served on the Board of the International Comparative Literature Association and as Chair of the South African Book Development Council.
Dr Duduzile Zwane
Dr Duduzile Zwane is a 32-year old aspiring author. She was born in Vryheid, KwaZulu-Natal. Zwane loved reading and writing so much that she decided to pursue it professionally. She enrolled at the University of KwaZulu-Natal to read for a degree in Communications. After a journalism stint at Independent Newspapers, she decided to return to academia to obtain a postgraduate qualification. Her doctorate in Communication Studies was obtained in 2019, from the University of Johannesburg.
Fred Khumalo is a novelist and short story writer based in Johannesburg. He holds an MA Creative Writing from Wits University, is a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, a Fellow of the Academy of the Arts of the World (Cologne, Germany), a Fellow of the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, a Fellow of the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study and is also a PhD (Creative Writing) candidate at the University of Pretoria. In 2021 he was appointed Adjunct Professor of African Literature at the University of South Africa.
John Degen is executive director of the Writers’ Union of Canada, and chair of the International Authors Forum (IAF) in the UK, serving and representing over 700,000 authors worldwide. He is a poet and novelist with three published books. John has worked for many years as an arts administrator, arts funder and policy advocate on cultural issues. He has spent his pandemic year raising money for authors’ emergency relief (through his job) and for the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto (through a long virtual hike across Britain).
Maggie Mary Gee is an English novelist. After working in publishing as an editor, she took a research job at Wolverhampton Polytechnic where she completed a PhD. Maggie is a Fellow and Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature. She has been a member of the Society of Authors' Committee of Management and the government Public Lending Right committee and was from 2004-2008 the first female Chair of Council of the Royal Society of Literature. She is now one of its Vice Presidents.
Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ
Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ is an associate professor of English at Cornell University and a member of the African Literature Association’s Executive Council, he is the co-founder of the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature. Mukoma holds a PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, an MA in Creative Writing from Boston University and a BA in English and Political Science from Albright College.
Richard Poplak is an award-winning author, journalist, and filmmaker. He has become one of the most widely read and controversial political journalists in South Africa, editing at large for the Daily Maverick. Poplak has reported from over 25 developing countries, for the Financial Times, Atlantic Monthly, The Guardian, among others. He was recently part of a team that won the prestigious Global Shining Light award for investigative journalism.
Prof Wangui wa Goro
Professor Wangui wa Goro has enjoyed a multidisciplinary life spent over forty years as a public intellectual and has spoken extensively in many parts of the world. Academically, she is a leading translation theoriest, and professionally she works in an international organisation within the language department. She is also an academic in leading institutions in Europe and Africa and is involved in literary work across different parts of the world. She is a widely acclaimed translator, writer, poet, academic, cultural curator, editor with a great passion for languages, literature and intersectional freedom.
The conference is presented by the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa (ANFASA), in proud association with the Royal Norwegian Embassy and the Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers and Translators Association (NFF) and in partnership with the International Authors Forum.