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Revisiting History: Cecil John Rhodes and Other African Stories with Professor Elleke Boehmer

29th February 2016
Venue: St Peter's Church, Oundle PE8 4AL
Time: 7.45-8.45pm

Elleke Boehmer is Professor of World Literature in English at the University of Oxford, and a founding figure in the field of postcolonial literature.

The talk and reading will explore how we re-tell and interpret history - take a particular angle, look from an alternative viewpoint, or consider oppositions. Elleke will look both at the dominant and recently contentious history of relatively well-known (though poorly understood), figures such as the imperial ‘colussus’ Cecil John Rhodes in South Africa, and will compare this to quieter, marginal, provincial histories, such as the story of the central character Ella in her novel, The Shouting in the Dark.

Is it possible that fiction is in certain ways more ‘true’ than history or biography? We will consider how we deal with the still widely prevalent legacies of empire that we find here in Britain today.

Elleke is the author of Screens against the Sky (short-listed David Hyam Prize, 1990), Bloodlines (shortlisted SANLAM prize), and Nile Baby (2008), and also the short-story collection Sharmilla and Other Portraits (2010). The Shouting in the Dark (2015) is her fifth novel.

Her edition of Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys was a 2004 summer bestseller and her acclaimed biography of Nelson Mandela (2008) has been translated into Arabic, Malaysian, Thai, Kurdish, Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese. She has published several other books including Stories of Women (2005), the anthology Empire Writing (1998), and Indian Arrivals: Networks of British Empire (2015).


Tickets £8 (£6), £1 off early bird tickets bought before 22nd February, available from the Oundle Box Office, 4 New Street, Oundle.

Open hours: 10.00am – 4.00pm Mon to Fri Tel 01832 274734, online at www.oundlefestival.org.uk

Any queries call Helen on 07743988181 or email oundlelitfestival@hotmail.co.uk