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Introduction: For BJ at 60

Tejumola Olaniyan


Biodun Jeyifo, Professor of English at Cornell University, was 60 years on Thursday January 5, 2006. Over the next week and half in different venues in Nigeria, friends, academic and other colleagues from the activist community, mentees, former students and a host of others whose lives he had touched in one way or the other over the years, gathered together to celebrate the life of a distinguished mind and a committed public intellectual. For someone who over the last three decades has been publicly identified with a critical ethical subculture not in the least given to self-promotion—in a larger sociocultural context in which garrulous self-promotion is valued cultural capital—the widespread celebrations both surprised the “celebrant” and provided a heartwarming nudging critical reflection on the social values of the subculture itself: that in the “heat of the struggle”—and god knows the struggle could always do with more heat!—it need now and then to stand back a bit in calm self-acknowledgement and toast to even “little” victories.

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West Africa Review. ISSN: 1525-4488 (online).
Editors: Adeleke Adeeko, Nkiru Nzegwu, and Olufemi Taiwo.

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