Time and location

Thursday, 4 May 2017, 19:00 – 21:00,
Großer Lesesaal der Universitätsbibliothek Wien,
Universitätsring 1, 1010 Vienna


Welcome and Introduction
Maria Seissl, Head Librarian, Vienna University Library
Michael A. O. Oyugi, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya
Adams Bodomo, Head of the Department of African Studies and Head of the Global African Diaspora Studies Research Platform (GADS)
Irène Hochauer-Kpoda, VIDC

Reading: Birth of a Dream Weaver
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Author, Kenya/USA

Martina Kopf, Department of African Studies

Language: English
Registration: schmidjell@vidc.org

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

© Daniel A. Anderson
© Daniel A. Anderson


"I entered Makerere University College in July 1959, subject of a British Crown Colony, and left in March 1964, citizen of an independent African state. Between subject and citizen, a writer was born. This is the story of how the herdsboy, child labourer, and high school dreamer in Dreams in a Time of War and In the House of the Interpreter became a weaver of dreams."

Ngugi wa Thiong’o in: Birth of a Dream Weaver, Harvill Secker, London 2016


Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

is a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. He is one of Africa’s most important writers and intellectuals and one of the frequent favourites for the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was born in Kenya in 1938 into a large peasant family, attended university in Uganda and in England and started his career as a novelist in the 1960s. His novels include Weep Not Child (1964), Matigari (1986) and Murogi wa Kagogo (transl. Wizard of the Crow 2006). He is author of the essay collections Decolonising the Mind (1986) and Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance (2009). Since the 1970s, he has been a powerful voice in struggles for cultural decolonisation and in the promotion of African languages.

Martina Kopf

is Senior Lecturer in African Literatures and starting with July 2017 Elise-Richter-Fellow with a research project on "Concepts of development in postcolonial Kenyan writing", funded by the Austrian Science Funds (FWF) at the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna. Her research areas are African literatures of the 20th and 21st centuries; colonial and post-colonial narratives of development; representations of gender and feminist theory; trauma, memory and the ethics of representation.