A Brown Bag Series
Presented by
African American & African Diaspora Studies
Communication and Culture
Gender Studies
The Project on African Expressive Traditions

Wednesday, October 1st

Dr. Thabiti Willis

"Matrons of Masquerade: Gender, Power, and Transformation among a West African People." Dr. Willis is a Carter G. Woodson Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia.

Location: Jordan Hall 239
Time: 4-6 pm

African Studies, English, Comparative Literature & POAET (The Project on African Expressive Traditions)

A Reading & Lecture by

Nigerian Writer
Adewale Maja-Pearce

2:30pm, Sunday April 20, 2008
Monroe County Public Library, Room #1C

Reading & Discussion: “How Pinkie Killed a Man” and other pieces from Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa & Other Essays (2005).

2:30pm, Monday April 21, 2008
IU, Woodburn Hall #218

Lecture & Discussion: “Exile, Foreign Publishing, and Literary Culture in Nigeria”

Adewale Maja-Pearce is the author of numerous books, including Loyalties and Other Stories (1988), In My Father’s Country: A Nigerian Journey (1989) ,Who’s Afraid of Wole Soyinka? (1990) and A Mask Dancing: Nigerian Novelists of the Eighties (1992). He was formerly editor of the Heinemann African Writers’ Series (1986-94), and Africa editor of Index on Censorship (1986-97). He currently lives in Lagos, where he runs YEMAJA, an editorial services agency.

His most recent book is Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa & Other Essays (2005), which critic Uzor Maxim Uzoatu describes thus:

Controversy dogged every step of this book, and the publishing was nearly stopped as people took positions without reading a word of it. This book affords us the opportunity of dipping into the immense world of Maja-Pearce as he, in twenty-three heartfelt essays and reviews, illuminates the benighted mores of modern Nigeria, the identity question in South Africa … and engages with seminal minds across the world.

This book is a treasure, a profound testament.

The Project on African Expressive Traditions (POAET)
& ArtsWeek 2008

The Poet & the Emperor:
Power and the Arts in Nigeria & Beyond

February 25, 2008 Lilly Library

5:00pm - A Reading by Akin Adesokan

Nigerian novelist, journalist and IU Comparative Literature professor Adesokan will read from his 2004 debut novel, Roots in the Sky. Fellow journalist and scholar, Harvard Professor Biodun Jeyifo will respond.

6:30pm - Reception & Exhibit of works by Professors Adesokan & Jeyifo

7:15pm - A Conversation with Akin Adesokan & Biodun Jeyifo

Akin Adesokan and Biodun Jeyifo, both writers, scholars, activists and outspoken critics of the oppressive Nigerian regimes from the 1980's to the present, will discuss issues of writing, the state, and politics in Nigeria, Africa, and beyond.

Akin Adesokan worked for many years as a journalist, beginning with The Guardian (Lagos), and the initially clandestine newsmagazine, TEMPO. Following his political detention in Nigeria, he won the PEN Freedom-to-Write Award (1998) and the Hellman/Hammett Award from Human Rights Watch (1999). Roots in the Sky won the Association of Nigerian Authors' prize for Fiction in 1996. He is co-editor of the Lagos-based journal, Glendora Review.

Biodun Jeyifo, Professor of Literature & African Studies at Harvard and Cornell Universities, is a pre-eminent scholar of African literatures, a journalist and long-time political activist. He publishes widely on African drama, the postcolonial predicament, and Marxist theory.

POAET thanks the IU African Studies Program & the Lilly Library for their support of this event.

Literature and the Arts in Senegal I:
Birago Diop and Léopold Sédar Senghor, Then and Now



March 29-April 1, 2007
 Indiana University Bloomington  

   Comments from Participants:      


            "Cela fait longtemps que je participe à des rencontres littéraires comme, du reste, la plupart des invités de la semaine dernière.  Eh bien, c'est la première fois que j'ai senti une telle énergie et tant de forte complicité, au milieu de débats sans concession."
         —  Boubacar Boris Diop, Novelist

             "Je voulais te remercier déjà par mail avant de le faire de vive voix pour ces moments si forts de discussion et d'échanges.  C'est quelque chose qui restera ancré en moi non pas comme un colloque parmi tant d'autres, non pas comme un colloque particulièrement intéressant, mais vraiment come un moment d'une intensité extraordinaire où à travers les mots, les images, et tous les différents échanges, j'ai l'impression d'avoir tant appris; et de rentrer avec tant de choses, une sorte de cadeau."
        —  Odile Cazenave, Boston University

             "I want to let you know how much I enjoyed the presentations and other activities of the POAET symposium on Birago Diop and Léopold Sédar Senghor.  I can say without hesitation that it was the highlight of the academic year for me.  All of the presentations I heard were excellent.  But excellent presentations would only make it a good academic conference.  The symposium was much more than that; the intensity of each session and the engagement of the participants were truly remarkable.  This was undoubtedly due to the participation of Senegalese scholars and artists from both sides of the Atlantic for whom the topic had personal meaning.  The symposium set a new standard for the way we should do conferences related to Africa."
        —  Maria Grosz-Ngate, Indiana University

             "I want to thank you a thousand times for the wonderful "Literature and the Arts in Senegal" symposium in Bloomington.  This is undoubtedly the best conference I have attended for several years, and I really mean it.  Being a relatively small group of people attending everything enabled a clear progression in the debates, something which never happens in big conferences ... I also found the interdisciplinary focus extremely inspiring, and I will certainly use more of what has been done in literature and the visual arts to further develop my own ideas on dance.  The combination of scholars, artists, journalists, and people who do all of these things worked very well too, as the different perspectives enrich each other."
        —  H
élène Neveu Kringelbach, Oxford University, UK

Symposium Program

Wednesday, March 28                      
Woodburn #009
       Two shorts by Mansour Sora Wade: Picc Mi (1992) &
                                 Fary l’anesse (1989) 30 mins; and
                                 L’Os (filmed production by Senegal National Theater) 45 mins.

Thursday, March 29
Lilly Library        
Moderator: Abiola Irele (Harvard U)
                    Edris Makward (U Wisconsin),"The Legacies of Léopold Sédar Senghor
                           Birago Diop: An Intergenerational Dialogue"
                    Alioune Diane (Université Cheikh Anta Diop), "Panser les blessures du temps:
                           Senghor, Birago Diop et les valeurs de la poésie"
                    Adama Sow Dièye (Université Cheikh Anta Diop), "Birago Diop, l'autre
                            versant de la  Négritude ou l'oeil calme du cyclone"

Lilly Library        Moderator: Kwawisi Tekpetey (Central State U of Ohio)
                    Andrée-Marie Diagne (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Dakar), "Le conte chez
                            Birago Diop et Léopold Sédar Senghor, véhicule d’un humanisme africain"
                    Micheline Rice-Maximin (Swarthmore), “Birago Diop et l'art de la
                            transformation: «Les Co-épouses bossues» et «Les Mamelles» / de
                            l'orature à la littérature
                    Eileen Julien (Indiana U), “Southern Exposure: Reading Birago Diop through
                            the Prism of the Local”
                    Koffi Anyinefa (Haverford College), “Birago Diop: The Memoirist”          

Lilly Library        Moderator: Eileen Julien (Indiana U)
                    Ben Diogaye Beye (filmmaker)
                    Boris Boubacar Diop (novelist, journalist)
                    Abiola Irele (Harvard U)
                    Mohammed Mbodj (Manhattanville College)
                    Amadou Guèye Ngom (filmmaker, journalist)

4:30pm                 IU Art Museum EXHIBIT: CONTEMPORARY WEST AFRICAN
IUAM Gallery 
                    Works by Tijani Sitou and Kalidou Sy
                                               — Amadou Kouyate plays the kora —
5 - 6:30pm         WELCOME
IUAM           Artists & Scholars read the writings of Birago Diop & Léopold Sédar Senghor
Lower Atrium                         — Musical interludes with kora —

6:30 - 7:30pm                   RECEPTION: IUArt Museum
Upper Atrium

8:00 - 10pm        FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION #1:  
Radio-TV 251          Un amour d’enfant / Children in Love (2003) 96 mins.
                                Introduction & discussion with filmmaker Ben Diogaye Beye

Friday, March 30
9 - 10:15 am             LECTURE: Souleymane Bachir Diagne (Northwestern U)
Lilly Library        “On the Power of Fabulation in Birago Diop, Senghor, and Sartre”

10:30am - 12:15pm   PANEL #3:  POETICS
Lilly Library            
Moderator:  Oana Panaïte (Indiana U)
                    Oumar Ndao (Université Cheikh Anta Diop), “Lieux dramatiques et espace
                            théâtral dans Les contes d’Amadou Koumba
                    Elizabeth Scheiber (Rider U), Traveling Along Senghor’s Vertical Axis:                             Romanticism, Pragmatism and Optimism in Chants d’ombre
                    Abiola Irele (Harvard U), “Approaching the Senghorian Elegy”
                    Alison Rice (Notre Dame), “Resonances & Inheritance: Nimrod Sings the
                            Praises of Léopold Sédar Senghor”   

12:30 - 2:15 pm         LUNCH/CONVERSATION #1: SENEGAL THEN
             Edris Makward interviews Cheik Aliou Ndao (novelist, poet, playwright)
Tudor Room   

2:45 - 4:30pm      PANEL #4:  ROOTS & ROUTES
Lilly Library
          Moderator: Mohamed Taifi (Virginia Military Institute)
                    Mamadou Badiane (U Missouri-Columbia), “Léopold Sédar Senghor et
                            Nicolás Guillén: deux auteurs du métissage
                    Tsitsi Jaji (Cornell U), “Jazz in Senegal: Sounding Out Pan-Africa”
                    Hélène Neveu Kringelbach (Oxford U) ‘Il faut s’enraciner avant de s’ouvrir!’:
                            The Evocation of Senghor’s Legacy in Contemporary Senegalese Dance”
                    Jean Eudes Biem (Harvard U), “Cultural Syncretism and the Cosmopolitan
                            Project of Senegalese Literature: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Politics”

4:45 – 6:30pm      PANEL #5:  RE-APPRAISALS: SENGHOR & HISTORY
Lilly Library
                         Moderator: Mohammed Mbodj (Manhattanville College)
                    Cheikh Ndiaye (Union College), “Léopold Sédar Senghor: The Writing of  the
                            Spoken Word and the Reconstruction of History”
                    Moussa Sow (State College of New Jersey), “Tirailleur sénégalais: Senghor et
                            la dette coloniale française”
                    Charles Sugnet (U Minnesota), "Francophonie in Action:
                            How Senghor Ruled Senegal"
                    Natasha Vaubel (Indiana U), “’Kif Kif’: Representations of the Thiaroye
                            Massacre from Senghor to Sembène”

                    Correspondence & Manuscripts by Birago Diop
                    First Editions of Poetry Anthologies by Léopold Sédar Senghor            

7:45pm                 FILM SCREENING & DISCUSSION #2:
Woodburn #120   Et si Latif avait raison? / What if Latif were Right?
(2005) 95 mins.
                             Introduction & Discussion with filmmaker Joseph Gaї Ramaka

 Saturday, March 31
Lilly Library
         Moderator: Mamadou Diouf (U Michigan)
                    Mahriana Rofheart (Rutgers U), “To Hide Beneath the Waves: Escape and
                            Drowning in Senegalese Tales”
                    Ayo Abiétou Coly (Dartmouth), “Ken Bugul and the Contouring of a
                            Postcolonial Senegalese Womanhood”
                    Odile Cazenave (Boston U), “Pour un nouveau partage du sensible: esthétique
                            et politique chez Boubacar Boris Diop et Fatou Diome”
                    Nasrin Qader (Northwestern U), “Le cavalier et son ombre:
                            Law and Narration”                                                                              

                            Une fenêtre ouverte (Sylla, 2004), 52 mins;
                            Génération Boul Fale (Baker, 2004) 6 mins;
                            United Nations of Hip-Hop (Choe, Baker, 2005) 10 mins;
                            La lutte (Ngom, 1990) 7 mins.
                    Introduction & Discussion with filmmakers:
                    Khady Sylla, Esther Baker-Tarpaga, & Amadou Guèye Ngom

1 – 2:30 pm         LUNCH/CONVERSATION #2: 
100 W 6th St      Boris Boubacar Diop (novelist, journalist) &
                           Joseph Gaї Ramaka (filmmaker) in dialogue     

IMU Faculty Club     Moderator:  Souleymane Bachir Diagne (Northwestern U)
                    Babacar Thiaw (Université Cheikh Anta Diop)
                    Mamadou Diouf (U Michigan)
                    Cheik Aliou Ndao (novelist, poet, playwright)
                    Khady Sylla (novelist, filmmaker)
                    Esther Baker-Tarpaga (UCLA; dancer/choreographer, filmmaker

IMU Faculty Club    

Sunday, April 1
Ballantine #004
                    Moderator: Lindsey Campbell-Badger (Indiana U)


Symposium Co-Conveners:
Eileen Julien; French, Comparative Literature, African American & African Diaspora
          Studies, and African Studies, INDIANA UNIVERSITY

          Souleymane Bachir Diagne; Philosophy and African Studies,

          Oumar Ndao; Département de Lettres Modernes,

Symposium Participants:
Ben Diogaye Beye (filmmaker)
Boubacar Boris Diop (journalist and novelist)
Amadou Kouyate (musician)
Cheik Aliou Ndao (playwright, novelist, and poet)
Amadou Guèye Ngom (filmmaker and journalist)
Joseph Gäi Ramaka (anthropologist and filmmaker)
Khady Sylla (filmmaker and novelist)

Koffi Anyinefa (Haverford College)
Mamadou Badiane (U Missouri-Columbia)
Esther Baker-Tarpaga (UCLA)
Jean Eudes Biem (Harvard U)
Lindsey Campbell-Badger (Indiana U)
Odile Cazenave (Boston U)
Ayo Abiétou Coly (Dartmouth)
Andrée-Marie Diagne (Ecole Normale Supérieure)
Souleymane Bachir Diagne (Northwestern U)
Alioune Diane (Université Cheikh Anta Diop)
Adama Sow Dièye (Université Cheikh Anta Diop)
Mamadou Diouf (U Michigan)
Abiola Irele (Harvard U)
Tsitsi Jaji (Cornell U)
Eileen Julien (Indiana U)
Hélène Neveu Kringelbach (Oxford U)
Edris Makward (U Wisconsin)
Mohammed Mbodj (Manhattanville College)
Oumar Ndao (Université Cheikh Anta Diop)
Bouna Ndiaye (Duke U)
Cheikh Ndiaye (Union College)
Oana Panaïte (Indiana U)
Nasrin Qader (Northwestern U)
Alison Rice (Notre Dame)
Micheline Rice-Maximin (Swarthmore)
Mahriana Rofheart (Rutgers U)
Elizabeth Scheiber (Rider U)
Moussa Sow (State College of New Jersey)
Charles Sugnet (U Minnesota)
Mohamed Taifi (Virginia Military Inst)
Kwawisi Tekpetey (Central State U of Ohio)
Babacar Thiaw (Université Cheikh Anta Diop)
Natasha Vaubel (Indiana U)





POAET thanks the following units at Indiana University for their generous support:
African Studies, African American & African Diaspora Studies, Black Film Center/Archive, College Arts & Humanities Institute, College of the Arts & Sciences,
Communication & Culture, Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies,
French & Italian (Barr-Koon Fund), IU Art Museum, International Programs, Lilly Library, New Frontiers in the Arts & Humanities, Office of the Vice President for Institutional Development & Student Affairs.

For information on lodging or other symposium matters,
email Natasha Vaubel, nvaubel@indiana.edu


Symposium Overview:

Senegal is today a nation of nearly 11,000,000 people.  Home to the four communes in which Senegalese were entitled to the rights of French citizens and to the former capitals of French West Africa, St. Louis and Dakar, Senegal remains a distinctive community marked by cosmopolitan and local traditions, from souweer glass paintings to international art biennials, from mbalax and Afro-Cuban-inspired rhythms to rap and Sufi tariqas; from novels in global circulation to taasu, the oral praise poetry that is central to the social life of women in baptisms and weddings.

Following the centennial birthdays in 2006 of Léopold Sédar Senghor, the poet, prophet of négritude, and first president of Senegal, and of Senegalese veterinarian and ambassador Birago Diop, the remarkable raconteur of neo-traditional tales, this symposium seeks to honor these two figures in the cultural life of Senegal and West Africa, to situate their creative practice, and to assess their legacies for contemporary “francophone” and Senegalese literature and culture.  It is one of a series of symposia sponsored by Indiana University, Northwestern University, and the Université Cheikh Anta Diop to consider the past and future of culture in Senegal.

Legacies of the Past / Expressive Practices Today
How might we best think about the lives and creative legacies of Senegal’s cultural pioneers?  Do Birago Diop’s neo-traditional poetry and tales arise from a nostalgic, nativist impulse to preserve a dying art?  Does Birago help to construct, as in Fanon’s disparaging view, a dubious pan-African racial identity?  What might such neo-traditional forms have to say about the theoretical and critical issues of today: epistemology, language, ethnicity, and social relations?  Is the tale as a genre compatible with contemporary political and economic realities?   Under what guises and modes—orality, performance, short story, novel, film-- might it be found?  Traditionally practiced by women, is the tale still an attractive genre for women writers and feminists? 

Can négritude and its impulses be mined for today’s and tomorrow’s needs?  How does the political Senghor fare among today’s historians and philosophers?  And how does his political legacy shape our thinking about the creative Senghor? 

The symposium seeks to grasp historical and esthetic legacies and to address equally important questions about the continuities and discontinuities between early cultural and esthetic experiments and those of today. As transnational processes give rise to new and innovative expressive practices, are these early figures models for Senegalese or West African creators?  Are they points of reference for youth thinking about history and identity?

What aspects of these legacies and practices do our varied scholarly discourses— area studies,  francophonie, postcolonialism, postmodernism—highlight and hide?

Special Guests and Events
Invited guests include:
filmmaker Ben Diogaye Beye; journalist and novelist Boubacar Boris Diop; playwright, novelist, and poet Cheik Aliou Ndao; filmmaker and journalist Amadou Guèye Ngom; anthropologist and filmmaker Joseph Gäi Ramaka; and filmmaker and novelist Khady Sylla.

In conjunction with the symposium, the Lilly Library, Indiana University’s archive of rare books, will host an exhibit of correspondence and manuscripts by Birago Diop as well as first editions of poetry anthologies by Léopold Senghor.  The symposium will also coincide with an exhibit at the Indiana University Art Museum of works by two contemporary West African visual artists, Tijani Sitou and Kalidou Sy.  Films by guest filmmakers will also be screened.


La littérature et les Arts au Sénégal I:
Birago Diop et Léopold Sédar Senghor, Hier et Aujourd’hui

March 29 – 31, 2007
Indiana University Bloomington

Le Sénégal est aujourd’hui une nation peuplée d’à peu près 11.000.000 d’individus.  Berceau des quatre communes où les Sénégalais avaient droit à la citoyenneté française et des anciennes capitales de l’Afrique Occidentale Française, Saint-Louis et Dakar, le Sénégal demeure une communauté distincte marquée par des traditions locales et cosmopolites, de la peinture en verre souweer aux  biennales internationales d’art, du mbalax et des rythmes  Afro-Cubains au rap et aux tariqas Sufi ; du roman universel au taasu - poésie de louange orale - un élément essentiel à la vie social des femmes durant les baptêmes et mariages.

 Suite au centième anniversaire en 2006 de Léopold Sédar Senghor, poète, prophète de la Négritude, et premier président du Sénégal, et du vétérinaire et diplomate sénégalais Birago Diop, le remarquable raconteur des  contes néo-traditionnels, ce symposium vise à honorer ces deux personnages de la vie culturelle sénégalaise et ouest africaine, à situer leur pratique créative, et à évaluer leur héritage pour la littérature et culture contemporaine ‘francophone’ sénégalaise. Ce symposium est l’un d’une série de symposiums sponsorisés par Indiana University, Northwestern University, et l’Université Cheikh Anta Diop sur le passé et l’avenir de la culture au Sénégal.

Héritages du Passé/ Pratiques Expressives d’Aujourd’hui
Comment pourrions nous mieux réfléchir sur la vie et l’héritage créateur de ces pionniers de la culture sénégalaise? Est-ce que la poésie et les contes néo-traditionnels de Birago Diop surgissent d’une impulsion nostalgique et nativiste cherchant à préserver un art mourant? Est-ce que Birago Diop aide à construire, pour reprendre l’expression dépréciative de Fanon, une douteuse identité raciale panafricaine?   Quelles perspectives de telles formes  néo-traditionnelles pourraient-elles avoir sur les questions théoriques et critiques contemporaines telles que : l’épistémologie, la langue, l’ethnicité, et les relations sociales? Le conte, en tant que genre, est–il  compatible avec les réalités politiques et économiques actuelles? Par quels vecteurs et formes – oralité, performance, nouvelle, roman, film -- pourrait-il être décélée? Pratiqué traditionnellement par les femmes, le conte est- il toujours un genre attractif pour les écrivaines et féministes?

 Est-ce que la négritude et ses élans pourraient servir pour les besoins d’aujourd’hui et de demain? Quelle est l’image de Senghor, le politique auprès des historiens et philosophes contemporains ? Comment est-ce que son héritage politique influence notre perception du Senghor créateur?

 Ce symposium vise à saisir les héritages historiques et esthétiques et de soulever des questions importantes sur les continuités et discontinuités entre les premières expérimentations culturelles et esthétiques et celles d’aujourd’hui.  Est-ce que ces premiers personnages servent d’exemple aux créateurs sénégalais et ouest-africains  pendant que les procédures transnationales donnent naissance à des pratiques expressives nouvelles et innovatrices ? Est-ce qu’ils représentent des points de référence à la jeunesse par rapport à son histoire et identité ?  

Quels aspects de ces héritages et pratiques sont mis en relief ou cachés par nos différents discours érudits que sont – les études régionales, la francophonie, le post-colonialisme, le postmodernisme ?

Invités Spéciaux et Événements
Parmi les invités il y aura: Ben Diogaye Beye (cinéaste), Boubacar Boris Diop (journaliste et romancier),  Cheikh Aliou Ndao (dramaturge,  romancier, et poète), Amadou Guèye Ngom (cinéaste), Joseph Gäi  Ramaka (anthropologue et cinéaste), et Khady Sylla (romancière et cinéaste).

En conjonction avec le symposium la section archive des livres rares de la Bibliothèque Lilly d’Indiana University abritera une exposition de correspondances et manuscrits de Birago Diop et des premières éditions d’anthologies- poème de Léopold Senghor. Le symposium coïncidera aussi avec une exposition, au Musée d’Art d’Indiana University d’œuvres de deux artistes contemporains ouest africains : Tijani Sitou et Kalidou Sy. Des films produits des cinéastes invités seront vus aussi.

La participation est gratuite à toute personne inscrite.

Eileen Julien: French, Comparative Literature, African American & African Diaspora Studies,
        and African Studies, Indiana University
Souleymane Bachir Diagne: Philosophy, African Studies, Northwestern University
Oumar Ndao: Département de Lettres Modernes, L’Université Cheikh Anta Diop




2006  POAET Grantees Report on their Research

January 19, 2007  Ballantine #006


 Bagels & coffee will be available from 8:15 am

Panel I    Visual Arts   8:30-9:30 AM
Clark Barwick
 Behind the Studio: Alexander Gumby & the Negro Renaissance Archive

Jessica Hurd A Tale of Two Dogon Art Markets: An Exploration of Meaning behind the Sculptures of Amahiguere Dolo

Panel II     Music & Performance    9:40-11:00 AM
Cullen Strawn  
Malian Hunters & their Musicians

Angela Scharfenberger  'Young & Wise' in Ghana: A Musical Response to HIV/AIDS

Sheasby Matiure  Performing Zimbabwe in North America: An Ethnography of Mbira & Marimba Performance Practice in the United States

Panel III:
Culture, Memory & History   11:10 AM-12:30 PM
Juan Eduardo Wolf  
Tumba! African Descendants Reconstruct Chile's History through Performance

Mathew Timothy Bradley    The African-American Graveyard in Birdtown: A Concrete Link to the Multi-ethnic Past of Pre-reservation Cherokee, North Carolina

Moses Muziwandile Hadebe  Kaleidoscope of Resistance: Competing Representations of Anti-colonial Revolt in Twentieth-century South Africa

   For more information, contact Natasha Vaubel:  nvaubel@indiana.edu.


View 2005 Events

View 2006 Events

Director: Professor Eileen Julien, African American & African Diaspora Studies,
Comparative Literature, French, & Italian

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Last Updated: November 30, 2008