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    President - Igbo Studies Association Address

    Dear ISA members,

    I thank you very much for electing me as your next president. I sincerely appreciate this trust and I promise to do my best to lead the association to its desired success.

    Chielozona1000On Sunday, September 5, the Executive had our first meeting. Among the many important issues discussed, we agreed on the following initiatives we hope to achieve in our first tenure, in addition to running the regular ISA activities. These include:

    1. ISA Mentorship Program

    The Igbo people have come a long way through a combination of God’s intervention and the toil of our hands. We have never abandoned the culture of Igba mbo, self-help, and mentorship. The Igbo pulled themselves from the depth of the post-war economic despair thanks to the sophisticated system of trade apprenticeship. Even without the Nigerian government investment in Igboland, the Igbo have held their heads not just above water, but high. We wish to carry this mutual/self-help economic culture over to academia. We want to establish a formal, intentional culture of mentorship. By mentorship we mean a friendly, brotherly/sisterly pat on the back, words of encouragement, and actual teaching of techniques and ways of survival in academia.

    We therefore plan to match scholars with one another: senior with junior scholars, emeriti/emerita with current scholars, professors with graduate students; graduate students with one another, those based overseas with those based at home. I therefore implore every one of us to make him or herself available for this great opportunity to serve our people. At this stage I am asking for volunteer mentors from different disciplines. Potential mentees are equally encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity and express interest. So, if you want to be part of this, let us know and indicate your discipline. We want to incorporate every active Igbo scholar anywhere in the world regardless of their area of studies: literature, anthropology, physics, theology, cultural studies, etc. Light a candle. Touch a soul. Lift someone’s spirit. You can hardly know how far a simple word of encouragement can go until you speak it. To be sure, mentorship is hardly a one-way thing. It cuts both ways.

    1. Annual ISA Publication Prizes

    To encourage active scholarship and publications, we are instituting graduate and junior scholars publication awards. Given the ISA Budget, we propose that individual members volunteer to sponsor prizes for unpublished papers presented at ISA conferences or written for another occasion:

    • You name the award and determine how much it is worth ($100 - $1000). It could bear your name and be specific to your discipline, or the name of any distinguished ISA member, present or past. For example: XYZ Prize in African Feminist Writing,  XYZ Prize in Human Rights in Africa, or ZYZ Prize in Environmental Writing, etc.
    • Apart from the monetary award, which you’re going to give to the winner directly, you agree to help the winner prepare and place the paper for publication. If you are not disposed to help the winner revise the paper, we will find somebody else who may help.
    • The winner also receives a professionally designed certificate of award from the ISA.

    Indeed, I am happy to announce that we have already found four sponsors. They are some of our active scholars, who are also ready to help mentor others. We shall be announcing their names in due course. We need more sponsors.

    1. ISA Lecture Series

    We have created a YouTube Channel for our planned lecture series. These lecture series are divided thus:

    1. Speaker Series:   We invite a scholar from within us or from outside the association to do a presentation on his ongoing or published work or simply on any topic of their choosing that has relevance to members.
    2. Webinar Series: The webinar series will be based on skills acquisition such as the technicalities of publication. For example, a presentation could be on how to write proposals, grants, or thesis formulation. It’s all about the nitty-gritty details of writing.
    3. Panel discussions: We will also organize intermittent panels based on events that happen in Nigeria, or elsewhere that are of interest to ISA
    1. ISA Travel Award

    We also plan to organize travel awards in the near future. We are yet to procure funds and means of support for the award.

    In addition to these, we are creating a formal Awards Committee to be chaired by Sister Dr. Bellarmine Ezuma. We have outstanding book prizes such as Don Ohadike Prize and Ezenwa Ohaeto Prize. We shall be creating subcommittees to help organize the Annual ISA Publication Prizes. I am humbly asking for volunteers to be part of this committee. We hope to count on you to make all this possible.

    Please let us know how you can help by contacting any of the officers listed on our website: ISA.

    Thank you very much.


    Chielozona Eze

    President, Igbo Studies Association

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    N.B – A video version of the above address can be found HERE.


    I would appreciate it if you could forward this letter to any Igbo scholar who has not yet become a member of this esteemed association.


    Your ISA membership must be renewed annually in order to remain active.

    • Regular Member (Renewal) - $50
    • Student Member (Renewal) - $30
    • Regular Member (New) - $75
    • Student Member (New) - $55
    • Life Member - $1000


    • Regular Member - $100
    • Regular Africa – $70
    • Student Member - $50
    • Life Member - $100
    • Non-Member - $120


    The Director,
    Igbo Studies Association Secretariat & Center for Igbo Studies
    Fine Arts Building, Room # 321
    Dominican University
    7900 W. Division Street
    River Forest, IL 60305 USA
    Telephone: (708) 488-5302