SOAS University of London

African Languages, Cultures and Literatures Section

Professor Wangui wa Goro

Overview

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African Languages, Cultures and Literatures Section

Professor of Practice

Name:
Professor Wangui wa Goro

Biography

Professor Wangui wa Goro has enjoyed a multidisciplinary life spent over forty years as a public intellectual and has spoken extensively in many parts of the world. She is a widely acclaimed translator, writer, poet, academic, cultural curator, editor with a great passion for languages, literature and intersectional freedom. She is best known for her scholarship as a translation theorist, critic, practitioner and promoter, including its practical applications. She has spent a large part of her adult life as an academic, working across cutting areas of education, sociology, translation, literature, teaching, criticism, curation, research and service in different parts of the world. She works in an international Development Organisation and also runs the international intercultural dialogues Africa in Translation (AiT) through SIDENSI. She has served in many academic, literary organizations, and on academic journals, magazines and prizes and supported publishing houses as a reader/critic and as a media commentator and served on many academic boards and literary committees. For instance, she has served as the Co-Convenor of the Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association and the Deputy President of the African Literature Association. She is also the founder member of TRACALA, the Translation Caucus of the ALA and she also serves on the executive committee of International Association of Translation Studies (IATIS). She has been recognized for her contribution to literature, including with an Honorary Professorship of Practice in Translation at SOAS and with a Visiting Professorship at Kings College London for her work in Education and Leadership. She considers herself an ambassador and advocate for human, social, political and cultural rights and enjoys working with young people. Her friends consider her “the quintessential transnational global Pan African, feminist Afropolitan, which though she finds hilarious but which she relishes”. Her recent fictional work has appeared in the highly acclaimed New Daughters of Africa edited by Margaret Busby, and she is well known for her translations of Ngugi’s wa Thiong’o’s earlier work and Veronique Tadjo’s work, As the Crow Flies from French among other translations through which she continues to break new ground for, in and across African literatures such as her works from French, Italian, Kiswahili and Gikuyu. Her own fiction work “Heaven and Earth” in A Half a day and other stories (MacMillan) edited by Ayebia Clarke was taught on the Kenyan curriculum for several years, and her story “Deep Sea Fishing” edited by Ama Ata Aidoo (Ayebia) appeared in the award-winning African Love Stories.