The Division of College Advancement
AFRICAN LITERATURE ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE
Why I was interested in attending the African Literature Association Conference…
This association is the only organization that deals with ALS Literature and culture. The work presented at the conference directly relates to my teaching. It helps me stay up to date with the latest research and gives me an opportunity to engage with other scholars and writers outside of the U.S. The faculty development grant helped to defray my costs to attend this important conference.
How this conference has influenced my work in the class room…
I had the opportunity to present a paper on the genre of African American and black South African autobiography. After my presentation, I met with Chinua Achebe, one of the most influential authors in this field, and whose work I brought back into my classes. Being in Johannesburg gave me the opportunity to interview the source of materials I teach, which allows me to provide my students with unique insights.
What makes attending international conferences so important…
Attending conferences gives educators insight into our disciplines from an international perspective. Seeing other scholars’ work allows us to draw comparisons between how ideas surrounding different subjects have developed in different parts of the world. This perspective would be impossible to grasp on campus. Additionally, professors from SUNY Oneonta who attend and present their work at international conferences promote the international existence of our campus. I often invite international scholars who I meet with to deliver lectures on campus.
What support for faculty development means to me…
Giving faculty the opportunity to attend conferences directly impacts the education that SUNY Oneonta students receive. Attending and presenting at conferences gives us a platform to share ideas with international scholars and bring new ideas and methods back into the classroom. The more we’re able to develop as educators, the better prepared our students will be for success in the future.