School of Languages holds its Second International Conference

The School of Languages, in collaboration with the Language Centre has organized its Second Biennial International Conference, on the theme: “Proverbs across Cultures: Perspectives from Language, Linguistics and Literature”.

Welcoming participants to the conference, Professor Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, Dean of the School of Languages said the conference would interrogate the theme from varying perspectives and across several languages and be critically examined in the context of religion, conflict management and democracy. She acknowledged the support from the Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education and sponsors for their immense contributions to the conference.

The Vice Chancellor, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu who chaired the ceremony, commended the various units of the University for collaborating with the School of Languages and engaging in activities and events that seek to promote the production and dissemination of knowledge to all. According to him, events like the International Conference which brings together all stakeholders, enhances the University’s vision of becoming a world class research-intensive university over the next decade.

Prof. Samuel Agyei-Mensah, Provost of the College of Humanities in his opening remarks noted that the discussions over the three-day conference would help to discover the application of Proverbs to cultural, national identities, teaching and learning practices and other fields of life. He was happy that presentations would go beyond the School of Languages to other disciplines as well.

Professor Kwesi Yankah, The Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education who officially opened the conference noted that the conference had created an opportunity for the dissemination of knowledge and receiving feedback from language scholars. He said proverbs are widely used across the world including Africa as they are embedded in contemporary discourses. He explained how proverbs are of great interest to policy makers as proverbs are used as handy devices to embellish argument and express solidarity with social subordinates.  He also touched on how proverbs have played a significant role in the politics of the twentieth century till date citing case when some presidents have used  proverbs as their slogans.

Professor Dominicia Dipio, a Professor of Literature in the Makerere University of Kampala in Uganda delivered the keynote address on the theme “African Motherhood Proverbs and Worldview: Feminist and Matriarchal Perspectives”. She passionately explained the role of women in Africa and how proverbs go a long way to either praise or create a negative perception about the female identity.  She explained that, some African proverbs stereotype the personality of women in society, citing an example of a proverb from Uganda which states that “two women cannot brew beer well”. This proverb, she said is an exaggeration to mean that women cannot cooperate. According to her, African mothers are the centre of the economy and the spirituality of communities because of their close connection with their children.

Rev. Dr. Joyce Rosalind Aryee, C.E.O of the Salt and Light Ministries, supported by the Dean of School of Languages; Professor Nana Aba Appiah Ampofo, Dean of School of Performing Arts, Professor Kofi Agyekum and a few others, launched the cloth for the School of Languages.  In expressing her joy, she said the cloth serves as a symbol of identity for the School.

The Conference also featured a colloquium on the topic, “Sanitizing Public Discourse in Contemporary Societies: The Role of Proverbs”. The panelists for the colloquium were Rev. Dr. Joyce Rosalind Aryee, C.E.O of the Salt and Light Ministries, Professor Kofi Agyekum, Dean of the School of Performing Arts, Professor Gbemisola Adeoti, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife-Nigeria and  Professor Ransford Gyampo, Director, Centre for European Studies.