n Journal of the African Literature Association - Editing the first twenty years of Research in African Literatures

Volume 13 Number 3
  • ISSN : 2167-4744
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The one-page editorial in the inaugural issue of Research in African Literatures that appeared in the spring of 1970 stated the raison d’^etre of this new venture in African journal publishing:

Journals of African literature are proliferating at such a rapid rate that the establishment of one more based in the United States requires a word of explanation. A decade ago, the number of scholars actively teaching or doing research on African oral or written literatures was quite small, but today, with the Africanization of the arts curriculum in many African universities, an increased European interest in the African humanities, and the burgeoning of Black Studies in the United States, that number has grown tremendously. African literatures are being studied more widely and more intensively than ever before. Yet the whole field is expanding so quickly that those who work assiduously in one corner of it can easily lose touch with what is going on elsewhere. Communication between specialists in different disciplines tends to be infrequent and collaboration between scholars in different countries extremely rare. There is no single professional publication that unites the varied but overlapping interests of this scattered intellectual community. Research in African Literatures hopes to remedy this situation by providing an international, interdisciplinary forum for all students and teachers of the literatures of Africa.

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