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Berger International Speaker Series with Jeanne-Marie Jackson – A Gold Coast Constitution: The Legal Foundations of African Literature

Please join us on Thursday, 8/31/2023, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in MTH 186 for a lunchtime seminar given by our guest, Associate Professor of English Jeanne-Marie Jackson of Johns Hopkins University, and moderated by Professor Elizabeth Anker.

Food will be provided during the event, so don’t forget to RSVP!

RSVP here

Please fill out the following short form to RSVP:

The Seminar: A Gold Coast Constitution: The Legal Foundations of African Literature

This seminar presents the first African novel published in English - the Gold Coast statesman and writer J.E. Casely Hayford's Ethiopia Unbound (1911) - as a constitutional document. It thereby casts Gold Coast intellectual life as both foundational to African literature and politics and as formatively engaged with the enduring challenges of legal and philosophical foundationalism. In drawing out the implications of Casely Hayford's novelistic practice for thinking about constitutionalism as such, a pivotal moment in African literary history emerges as also a high point for anticolonial legal thought. 

About our Distinguished Guest: Jeanne-Marie Jackson

Jeanne-Marie Jackson is Associate Professor of English at Johns Hopkins and received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Yale. She is the author of two books --The African Novel of Ideas (Princeton 2021) and South African Literature's Russian Soul (Bloomsbury 2015) -- as well as dozens of essays in both scholarly and public-facing venues. Professor Jackson is Senior Editor of the journal ELH, and Reviews Editor for the Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry. In 2021, she was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. 

About our Moderator:

Elizabeth S. Anker is Professor of Law and Associate Professor in the Department of English at Cornell University. She has published and taught in the areas of human rights and humanitarianism, comparative constitutional law, law and literature, law and development, postcolonial studies, critical race theory, feminist jurisprudence, animal rights, immigration law, and legal and political theory.

Can’t make it to our event in-person? You can attend virtually!

We are also livestreaming the event, so you can sign up to attend the Zoom Webinar at this link:

Please feel free to distribute the link to anyone you feel would be interested in the seminar. All are welcome!

Directions for how to get to ROOM 186

From Myron Taylor Hall main entrance: Turn right upon entering (before the long hall begins) and descend the staircase to your right. Turn right at the bottom of the staircase and walk into the Gallery (the red-carpeted hall). Room 186 will be at the end of the hall on your right.