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Keynote Speakers

  • Dr. Monique Ilboudo

    Monique Ilboudo is a Burkinabè writer, academic, and activist committed to promoting women’s citizenship.

    Her column Féminin pluriel, which dealt with the situation of women in Burkina Faso and her first novel Le Mal de Peau, brought her to prominence in the 90s.

    In 1998, Monique participated in the project Rwanda, écrire par devoir de mémoire, initiated by the Fest’Africa Festival. She then published Murekatete, a first-person account of the genocide.

    Doctor in law, she taught before occupying official positions: Minister for the Promotion of Human Rights, then Ambassador of Burkina Faso to the Nordic and Baltic countries with residence in Denmark.

    Since 2015, she has resumed to teaching law at Thomas Sankara University (Ouagadougou) and reconnected with her passion for writing. In 2018, she published Si loin de ma vie, which addresses the themes of the emigration of young Africans and homosexuality, among others.

    Her latest novel, Carrefour des veuves, (Ed. Les Lettres Mouchetées, 2020) tells the story of the courage and resilience of women in the Sahel in the face of terrorist violence. Carrefour des veuves was a finalist for the Orange Book Prize in Africa 2021 and winner of the Foreign Literary Prize for Human Rights, Paris, 2021.

  • Dr. Almeida Toribio

    Almeida Jacqueline Toribio is a native of the Dominican Republic, who was raised in New York. She earned an M.A. in Linguistics & Cognitive Science from Brandeis University and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Cornell University. She has held tenure-stream positions at The University of California at Santa Barbara and The Pennsylvania State University as well as a professorship at the Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute. She is currently appointed as Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at The University of Texas at Austin, with affiliations in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies and the Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies.

    Professor Toribio’s dossier reflects scholarship in the areas of language contact and variation and a trajectory from theoretical to more empirically-based approaches. She is perhaps best known for research in the area multilingual code-switching, where she has addressed morpho-syntactic, phonetic, and discursive-pragmatic mixing patterns among diverse populations. She currently co-directs the Bilingual Annotation Tasks research group, a cohort of students from the humanities and natural sciences, whose aim is to bring the tools of Natural Language Processing to the analysis of multilingual texts. A parallel line of research, which she has pursued for over several decades, examines the speech of residents of rural areas of the Dominican Republic and their compatriots in established and new receiving communities in U.S. diasporic settings. This research records the incidence and dissemination of unique language structures that serve important functions as indices of ethnicity, race, gender, among other social variables.