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"Afrotopia. Writing and Thinking Africa"

Inaugural Lecture by Writer Abdourahman Waberi as Samuel Fischer Visiting Professor at Freie Universität Berlin on December 1, 2016

№ 336/2016 from Oct 12, 2016

"Afrotopia. Writing and Thinking Africa" is the topic of Abdourahman Waberi's inaugural lecture as the Samuel Fischer Visiting Professor of Literature. It will be held on December 1, 2016. The Djiboutan writer Abdourahman Waberi is the Samuel Fischer Visiting Professor of Literature at the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature at Freie Universität Berlin during the 2016/2017 winter semester. He is teaching a seminar entitled “Afrofuturisme. Quêtes et constellations” (Afrofuturism. Explorations and Constellations). The course is being taught in French, and takes place Wednesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. The first class will be on October 19. Abdourahman Waberi will give his inaugural lecture on December 1, 2016. It is public, and admission is free.

Abdourahman Waberi was born in 1965 in Djibouti City. At the age of 20, he moved to France and studied English literature at the University of Caen and the University of Burgundy in Dijon. Abdourahman Waberi is considered the "National Author of Djibuti“ (Edition Nautilus), and in 2005 he was listed by the French literary magazine Lire as one of the 50 most important contemporary authors.

Waberi first attracted attention with his trilogy consisting of two volumes of short stories Le Pays sans ombre (1994) and Cahier nomade (1996) and his first novel Balbala (1997), which all focus on stories and everyday life of the people of Djibuti. For Le Pays sans Ombre, he was awarded the Grand prix de la Nouvelle francophone of the Académie Royale de Langue et de Littérature Française de Belgique and the Prix Albert Bernard of the Académie des Sciences d’Outre-mer de Paris. His book Cahier Nomade received the Grand Prix Littéraire de l’Afrique noire.

His books have been translated into more than ten languages, including English, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Abdalahman Waberi lives in Caen and is a literary critic, a journalist (Le Monde diplomatique), and a publishing consultant for contemporary African literature. During the 2006/2006 winter semester, he was in Berlin as a guest of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

The Samuel Fischer Visiting Professorship was set up in 1998 at the Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature by the S. Fischer Verlag, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Freie Universität Berlin, and the Lecture Forum of the Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group. Each semester an internationally acclaimed writer from abroad teaches a course at Freie Universität Berlin as a Samuel Fischer Visiting Professor. Abdourahman Waberi is the 34th to do so.

Further Information

Time and Location

Inaugural Lecture: "Afrotopia. Writing and Thinking Africa"

  • December 1, 2016, 6 p.m.
  • Habelschwerdter Allee 45, Room J 32/102, 14195 Berlin

Seminar: "Afrofuturisme. Quêtes et constellations"

  • Wednesdays, 2 to 4 p.m. starting on October 19, 2016.
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Room JK 31/239, Habelschwerdter Alle 45, 14195 Berlin. subway station: Dahlem-Dorf or Thielplatz (U3).

More Information

Prof. Dr. Claudia Olk, Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-56418, Email: claudia.olk@fu-berlin.de