Maryse Condé to Give the Inaugural Rajat Neogy Memorial Lecture

[Many thanks to Mary Ann Gosser-Esquilín for bringing this item to our attention.] Transition Magazine and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University will host Guadeloupean writer Maryse Condé, who will deliver the inaugural Rajat Neogy Memorial Lecture on April 19, 2023, 6:00pm, at the Harvard Faculty Club Reading Room. Here is more information from Transition Magazine.

Transition Magazine, one of the world’s leading journals of African and African Diasporic politics and culture, will host the famed novelist, playwright, and critic, Maryse Condé, as its inaugural Rajat Neogy Memorial Lecturer on April 19th, 2023, 6pm, at the Harvard Faculty Club Reading Room and on YouTube. Please join us in person or watch the livestream HERE!

Born as Maryse Boucolon at Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, Condé later studied at the Université de Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle), eventually earning a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1975.  She has lived and taught in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Virginia, New York, and California, among other places.  The author of seventeen powerfully influential novels, eight plays, and several collections of stories and essays, Condé and her writing have been awarded Le Grand Prix Littéraire de la Femme (1986); Le Prix de l’Académie française (1988); the Liberatur Prize (1988); the Puterbaugh Prize (1993); the Prix Carbet de la Caraibe (1997); the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize (1999); the Hurston & Wright Legacy Award (2005); the New Academy Prize in Literature (2018); and the Prix Mondial Cino Del Duca (2021), among many other honors.  In 2001 she was made a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.  

The Rajat Neogy Memorial Lecture honors the legacy of the Ugandan born writer and poet, Rajat Neogy, who founded Transition Magazine: An International Review in 1961.  The magazine went on to become a singularly important platform for artists and writers of Africa and the African Diaspora.  Rajat Neogy remained at the magazine’s head until 1968 when the Ugandan government jailed him for sedition after the magazine criticized the proposed constitutional reforms of President Milton Obote.  After his release, Neogy relocated to Ghana, handing the editorship of the magazine over to the Nigerian writer, Wole Soyinka, in 1973.  The journal moved to the United States in 1991 and is now published under the auspices of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.  

The selection committee of the Rajat Neogy Memorial Lecture was unanimous in its belief that Maryse Condé would be the perfect choice as the inaugural Rajat Neogy lecturer.  The historical and thematic reach of her work, its trenchant political critique, and most especially her unceasing commitment to the liberation of all people, including Africans, people of African descent, women and girls, inspires us all.  Maryse Condé’s work marvelously continues and expands the efforts of Rajat Neogy. Transition Magazine, working in conjunction with the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, is thrilled to have an opportunity to host her in Cambridge.  

Please join us as we fête Maryse Condé, April 18-20, 2023, in Cambridge! SAVE THE DATE/S!

For more information, see

[Photo above by Marcus Halevi.]

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