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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Awarded Honorary Degree from CAS

Acclaimed Nigerian author receives Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters, following nomination from Dr. Barbara Bompani.

Dividing her time between Nigeria and the USA, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has become an internationally respected author, with her most recent work, Dear Ijeawale, focussing on the topics of feminism and motherhood.

She received the Honorary Degree at the University’s recently redeveloped St Cecilia’s Hall, where it was presented by the University’s Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea.

Receiving the degree in recognition of her achievements as an author and public intellectual, she said:

"It is lovely to be in this place, which is hallowed. I feel very fortunate to be included among the people who have been honoured with a degree from this University."

Dr. Barbara Bompani, Director of the Centre for African Studies, who proposed Adichie for the award said:

"Through her writing, her advocacy, and her public engagement, she inspires all of us to better understand our own, and other peoples’ stories."

Following the ceremony, Adichie and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon then took to the stage at the Edinburgh International Book Festival to discuss equality in the 21st century, a conversation that ranged from literature to race to their self-identification as ‘unconventional women’. In their discussion of gender equality Adichie said that, for her, feminism is not about theory but about practice and action:

“I’m a feminist because I watch the world. Being a feminist isn’t about having a theory, it’s about changing the world.”

During her visit the author also met a group of students from the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, which supports the brightest and best young African scholars.

Further Information

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Centre of African Studies

Dr. Barbara Bompani

MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program