Conference 2018

FAHSANU INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 2018

UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR, CROSS RIVER STATE 2018.

THEME

THE ARTS/ HUMANITIES: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

THE CONCERN OF OUR LAST CONFERENCE

The Arts/Humanities have been experiencing in the past till the present, the questioning of their contributions to national development in a world where emphasis is on technological innovations to drive the economy. In this regard, the Arts/ Humanities are considered peripheral in the spheres of economic, scientific, management and technological developments of nations. Globally, various governments, funding agencies and multinational corporations have equally adopted this erroneous attitude which always leads to budgetary cuts for the advancement of knowledge in the Arts/Humanities, resulting to poor or complete absence of research funding, constant struggle for financial support, poor public prestige, lack of political influence, and lack of policy implementation of research findings in this area. Parents’ and students’ lack of zeal for admissions into Faculties of Arts/ Schools of Humanities are clear indications of this negligence.
With the exceptional emphasis on science and technology over the Arts/ Humanities, it is important to note that while the world advances in those directions, there are questions that the computer cannot answer. Therefore, society must not limit its efforts to science and technology alone but also equally give full value and support to the Arts/Humanities in order to achieve a critical appraisal of the past, a constructive engagement of the present in order to articulate aspirations for the future. The critical application of the Arts/Humanities compels us not to drift away from the physical, spiritual, moral and the aesthetic, thereby exposing unquestioned norms, challenging long held assumptions and interrogating group thinking. All of these are useful to our students as models of good intellectual resource and creative thinking.
It is in light of this imbalance and misconception that the Faculties of Arts’ and Humanities’ Lecturers’ Association of Nigerian Universities (FAHLANU) organizes this conference to answer the following perplexing questions: Has the Arts/Humanities lost its value in the global scheme of things? Can’t the Arts/Humanities contribute to the economies of nations? Is there any relevance in the study of languages, history, art, literature, theatre, media, music, culture, religion, and philosophy? Can any society thrive without regards to these areas that are wholly connected to the human mind? Can the sciences and other fields of study exist without the Arts/Humanities? Are there job opportunities for the Arts’ and Humanities’ graduates globally? Should the Arts/Humanities play second fiddle to other areas of study? The answers to this plethora of questions and more will reveal the importance of the Arts/Humanities in the 21st century. The conference is primarily aimed at confronting and demystifying the various challenges facing the Faculties of Arts/Schools of Humanities and to proffer solutions that will make advocacy for commensurate recognition of the role of the Arts/Humanities in global and national development.

N/B: This conference is proposed to hold from April 10-13, 2018 at the Faculty of Arts, University of Calabar, Nigeria.

CONTACT:
Prof. Dorothy Oluwagbemi-Jacob
The Chairperson, Local Organizing Committee.
Cell Phone: 2348034417696
E-mail: doron32@yahoo.com
Or
Dr. Edward Adie
Secretary,Local Organizing Committee.
Cell Phone: 2348065307301, 2349091286634.
eddytorial@yahoo.com

HOST

Prof. Zana Itlunbe Akpagu
Vice Chancellor
University of Calabar

CONVENER

Prof. G. O. Ozumba
Dean, Faculty of Arts
University of Calabar

FAHSANU President

Prof. Dorothy Oluwagbemi-Jacob
(MNAL)

FAHSANU Sec. General

Dr. Edward Ugbada Adie
+2348065307301

RECOMMENDATIONS

Deriving from the various opinions of conferees the following are recommendations that came out of the conference:

  1. That the association begins to articulate ideas that will confront and refute the stereotypes around the Humanities.
  2. That Humanities scholars begin to formulate, agitate and present research methodologies that will cater for the peculiarities of their discipline
  3. That scholars in Humanities begin to engage policy makers in the university system to formulate teaching methods and curricula in the Humanities that will re-focus the discipline in the light of the inter-disciplinary of scholarship in the world.
  4. That Universities and centres of higher education in Nigeria adopt the teaching of some Humanities courses as compulsory requirements to humanize the Nigerian in the circumstance of the excesses of hyper robotism, technology, science, and to mitigate the dehumanizing tendencies of terrorism, ethnicity, fanaticism and all forms of bigotry.
  5. That the association will be holding her conferences every two years
  6. That there should be special capacity building workshops organised by the association for members.
  7. To interface with the Federal Government through the National Assembly to increase budgetary allocation to education in general and the Faculties of Arts and Humanities in particular. The need to harness all possible avenues (Alumni, Corporate Bodies, and International Organizations) to attract research funds to the Arts and Humanities.

Signed:

Convener:
Professor Godwin Okechukwu Ozumba
Dean Faculty of Arts
University of Calabar.

Chairman LOC:
Professor Dorothy Oluwagbemi-Jacob

Secretary  LOC:
Dr. Edward Ugbada Adie
+2348065307301- eddytorial@yahoo.com

DATE

10th – 13th April, 2018

Arrival: 9th April, 2018
Departure: 13th April, 2018

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Prof. Jacob Olupona
Harvard University

SPECIAL SPEAKER

Prof. Abubakar Rasheed
Executive Secretary, National Universities Commissions

LEAD SPEAKERS

Prof. Da Silva
Dean Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan

Prof. Egbokhare Francis
University of Ibadan

Prof. M. I. Umura Buratai
Dean Faculty of Arts, Amadu Bello University

Prof. Andrew Friday Uduigwomen
University of Calabar

Prof. GMT Emezue
Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo

Prof. (Rev. Sis) Anthonia Essien
Dean Faculty Arts,  University of Uyo

PAPER SUBMISSION

We invite all relevant theoretical and empirical papers from scholars, researchers, practitioners, legislators, development experts, educationists, scientists, students, the corporate world and the public sector on any topic or subject that is related to the conference theme and sub-themes. All full paper submissions will be peer-reviewed and if accepted will be published based on strict quality consideration of originality, research content, applicability, coherent and balanced flow of contribution to knowledge and relevance. The final peer-reviewed and reworked papers will be published in reputable indexed international journal of both online and print (see https://www.fahsanu.com). Abstract should not be more than 350 words. Full paper should not exceed 15 pages including works cited. The referencing style MUST strictly adhere to MLA only. The font size should be 12 and in Times New Roman. Paper size should be A4.

ALL ABSTRACTS AND FULL PAPERS SHOULD BE SENT ELECTRONICALLY TO.
fahsanu2018@yahoo.com
And
eddytorial@yahoo.com

For more enquiries call the Secretary General
Dr. Edward Adie on +2348065307301 OR the President
on: +2348034417696

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF ABSTRACTS 10TH MARCH, 2018.

COMMUNIQUE

A communiqué of the Maiden International Conference of the Faculties of Arts/Humanities Scholars Association of Nigerian Universities (FAHSANU), Held at the University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria April 9th – 13th, 2018.

The Conference proper started on Tuesday, 10th April, 2018 with the Keynote paper presented by Professor Jacob Olupona of Harvard University, USA. Professor Olupona’s presentation was deep in thought and wide in charting the concerns and challenges of the varied disciplines that make up the Humanities.
Professor Olupona began by highlighting the contribution of scholars of the Arts and Humanities in the world in spite of the marginalization of the discipline. He traced the origin of the discipline called Humanities to the classics and located the primary concern of the discipline as the study of human thoughts and cultural products, heritage, and all the unquantifiable qualities that qualify humanity and society. He, however, noted that as important as the Humanities are to the making of noble human society, the disciplines that comprise it are facing a plethora of challenges, which have led to their marginalization all over the world. The consequence of this marginalization is the steady and regrettable withdrawal of funding to the Humanities, the stereotyping and relegation of the discipline in the hierarchy of scholarship in the academy.
Professor Olupona attributed the source of this unfortunate circumstance to the general tendency of government and policy makers all over the world to adopt a utilitarian approach or what he called “the Utility criterion” to judge the Humanities. To confront this dominant thinking and to survive a world where utilitarianism and multi-disciplinarity is conditioning humanity, Professor Olupona, called for a re-invention of the humanities, while rejecting the ways in which other people and scholars define the discipline. To this extent hechallenged scholars in the Humanities to be more daring and creative. In this regard, he thinks the Humanities need to begin a conversation with sciences, technology, entrepreneurship and other disciplines so as to remain relevant in the new global order. He proffered practical example of the innovations in the United States and other western academy, where “Practice” and “Projects” have become end product of the Humanities. Remarkably, he gave the example of the compulsory inclusion of Ethics in Business and Finance studies in the United States after the global financial crisis epitomized in the Wall Street in 2008. With regard to Nigeria, Professor Olupona ended his paper by emphasizing the imperative of re-inventing the Humanities for the sake of re-engineering and building capacity for women who make the majority of the population but who are ironically the most vulnerable category of the society.
Professor Olupona’s Keynote was, indeed, a pace-setter for other presentations all through the conference. The opinions of the scholars from Theatre, Philosophy, Gender Studies, Literature, Language and Religion who made up the panel of discussants at the Round-table further indicted the myopia of the academy especially in Nigeria. Generally, the discussants at the Round-table made the point that the world, and Nigeria in particular, runs a big risk in attending to just disciplines like the sciences, technology and business that are quantitative and physical without emphasizing issues of morality, ethics, culture, heritage and inter-personal relationship which are the forte of the Humanities, and which a highly scientific and technologized world needs in order to humanize itself.
The opinions expressed by the discussants in the round-table were given amplitude by successive lead papers in the conference presented by Professor Francis Egbokhare, who in his paper calls for an “Alternative Modernity”, which only the Humanities can proffer to salvage a rapidly technologized, sterile and robotic world. Andrew Uduigwomen, through the logic of relativism challenged the Nigerian society to draw from ethics in order to condition what he thinks are negative cultural productions that are dehumanising the world. In his Presentation, like that of Professor Francis Bisong of Geography, the NUC Executive Secretary challenged scholars in the Humanities to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to their scholarship in order to remain relevant in the world. In a presentation that connects with Olupona’s Keynote and Professors Egbokhare’s and Imelda Udoh’s lead papers, Professor GMT Emezue, shows how the new approach to teaching and learning the Humanities called Digital Humanities is indispensable in re-inventing curricula, methodology, teaching and learning the humanities, and even the world view of students and citizens at large. For her, digital Humanities would not only re-enforce the teaching and learning of Humanities courses, which are highly threatened but would make them more interactive and interesting. The second day of the conference ended with an AGM where fundamental decisions were taken and elections were held.
The Third day of the conference, 12th April witnessed concurrent sessions, of fourteen panels each consisting of conferees from over twenty-five participating universities/institutions within and outside Nigeria.