Claremont Discourse Lecture: "Bridging Worlds: Zulu Poet Mazisi Kunene, from Epic Authenticity to Modern Science"

4:15 PM, Wed., Apr. 11 |

Albert Wachtel, Professor of English and Creative Studies, Pitzer College |

Founders Room, Honnold/Mudd Library

Mazisi Kunene, the revolutionary colleague of Nelson Mandela, was a major academic voice about the literature of Africa. A professor at UCLA, he was Poet Laureate of both South Africa and Africa and perhaps that continent's greatest poet. He wrote two major epics of the Zulu world. The first celebrated Emperor Shaka the Great, an historical nineteenth-century warrior who united tribes and expanded the realm of South Africa under Zulu control. Professor Wachtel, whose wide-ranging expertise and interests travel include the classical world, James Joyce, and the connections between literature and science, will talk about Kunene's other great epic: a poem of Zulu mythology entitled "Anthem of the Decades," which stretches from oral tradition to a bewildering relationship with contemporary physics and cosmology.

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