The English language has emerged from its absolute obscurity some six centuries ago as the world’s most dominant language with over two billion speakers across the three Kachruan circles: inner, outer and expanding. Just as it was predicted in 2015, when out of a total of 195 countries in the world, 67 countries had English as the primary or official language while it had an official status in 27 countries, English today has the largest number of speakers in the world though it is the third largest in terms of the number of speakers.


While English has a vast majority of native speakers in such countries as Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom and United States of America, the list of the countries where it is spoken as a second language is longer, from Africa, especially Nigeria,  to Asia, and from Europe to the Americas.


The predominance of English in the world’s linguistic ecology has justifiably made it the most sought after language, now studied in millions of schools, institutions and academies across the world. English and Literary Studies as a discipline has also evolved with time as hundreds of thousands of scholars committed to advancing the scholarship of English Linguistics, English Literature, Literature-in-English and English Cultural Studies work in both private and public domains. The remarkable interest in the discipline is accentuated by the shift from the mechanical and analogue mode to digital technology, which began in the middle of the last century, ushering in the Digital Age.


The Digital Age, which itself is an offshoot of the digital revolution that engendered the Great Shift from mechanical devices to the digital platforms, has impacted on the teaching, learning and scholarship of English. The implications of this dramatic development, which continue to evolve, for language generally and English Studies specifically have partly accounted for the assertiveness of World Englishes and English varieties. Only current investigations and future research can ascertain the range of the impact of English digital discourse on signposts of the Digital Age such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, big data, InsureTech, Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud.



Based on the foregoing and the fact that the future is now, the English Scholars’ Association of Nigeria (ESAN), being the umbrella body for all scholars and lecturers of English and Literary Studies across tertiary institutions and academies in Nigeria, invites scholars, researchers, professionals and policy makers with interest in the world’s numero uno language to its First Virtual and 36th Annual Conference on the theme, “ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERARY STUDIES IN THE DIGITAL AGE” between December 8 and 10, 2020.

The conference, which holds on select digital platforms targeting thousands of interested stakeholders for an extensive, non-stop 72-hour conversation, is intended to dissect various issues bordering on the dynamics of English and Literary Studies in the context of Digital Revolution, including but not limited to the following sub-themes:



  • Varieties of Language and the Concept of Standardisation
  • The Place of Varieties in Language Purification
  • Nigerian English among World Englishes
  • English Language in Non-host Environments
  • Codifying Nigerian English
  • Nigerian English, Hate Speech, and Farmer-herder Conflicts
  • Nigerian English and the Application of Technology in Teaching
  • Varieties and Nigerian English on the Social Media
  • Pragmatic Manifestation of Nigerian English in Social Interactions
  • Nigerian English, Literature and Cultural Interdependency
  • Nigerian English in Communal Discourse and Community Health
  • Nigerian English and Insecurity in Nigeria
  • Nigerian English and Diasporic Studies
  • The Manifestation of Nigerian English in Literary Traditions
  • Cultural Integration and Language Elaboration
  • Development of Linguistic Norms by Netizens
  • Computer-mediated Communication and Users’ Ideology
  • Revolutionalising Social Interaction through Computer-mediated Discourse
  • Computer-mediated Discourse (CMD) in the Elaboration of Culture and Literature
  • Young People, Online Networking and Social Incongruity
  • Digital Media, Online Literature and Social Exclusion
  • Traditional Media versus Social Media
  • Linguistic Globalisation, Migration, Marginalisation and Identity
  • Nation, Cross-border Trade, Security and Pandemic
  • English & Literary Studies and Corpus Development



Interested participants, from the classroom to the boardroom, including scholars, researchers, lecturers, policy makers, professionals  as well as current and prospective postgraduate students, are expected to send their abstracts of not more than 300 words to Such submissions should also be copied to the following members of the National Organising Committee (NOC), from whom additional information may be obtained:


Prof. Sola T. Babatunde,

Chairman, National Organising Committee,

c/o ESAN National Secretariat, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife


Department of English, University of Ilorin, Ilorin



Dr Mikailu I. Barau,

Member, NOC

Department of English, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.



Dr Rachael Bello,

Member, LOC,

Department of English, Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos



Dr Josiah Obong,

Member, NOC,

Department of English, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria



Dr Mahfouz A. Adedimeji

Secretary, NOC

Department of English, University of Ilorin, Ilorin




Prof. Sola T. Babatunde,

President, English Scholars Association of Nigeria (ESAN)

Department of English, University of Ilorin,

Ilorin, Nigeria.



Prof. Olu Obafemi, FNAL, NNOM

Former President, Nigerian Academy of Letters (NAL) and Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA)




Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, OFR

Executive Secretary,

National Universities Commission, Abuja.



Prof. Mustapha Ahmad Isa,

Vice- Chancellor,

Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano


Prof. (Mrs.) Iyang Udofot

Former ESAN President and ex-Deputy Vice-Chancellor,

University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria


Prof. Olusegun Adekoya,

Department of English,

Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria


Prof. Chinyere B. Egwuogu,

Department of English,

Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ogun State, Nigeria


As soon as participants submit their abstracts or expressions of interest in the conference, they’ll be added to the official Conference Group on WhatsApp/ Telegram. After the deadline for the submissions of abstracts or expressions of interest, participants will be sub-divided into sub-groups based on their related sub-themes or research interests. The Opening and Plenary Sessions will hold on Zoom while syndicate sessions will hold among sub-groups, with the representatives of the National Organising Committee at the background, where Powerpoint presentations will be shared and discussed. Lead Presentations precede plenary sessions on the two days of paper presentations.

The ID and password of the exclusive opening session will be shared with registered participants before the Opening Day. Each group will be made up of a maximum of 30 members to allow for robust discussions during the days of the conference. Reports of the various group presentations will be shared by rapporteurs on the general platform. Additional Information will be made available to members in the weeks before the conference.


Apart from being exposed to latest research and current information on virtually all areas of English Language, Literary Studies, Cultural Studies and Media Studies among others, participants will also have exclusive e-books to enrich their understanding of the subtleties of major courses in English Language and Literature-in-English in various Nigerian tertiary institutions.


There will also be a unique opportunity for participants to advertise and market their products and works to the largest professional body of academics in English and Literary Studies in Nigeria. With potential for collaborative research and inter-institutional networking, the conference offers a room for additional intellectual synergy and mentoring for junior or prospective academics and scholars.


No one certainly wants to miss the goodies of this life-time opportunity of a rich tapestry of diverse intellectual e-gathering!



Submission of Abstracts:                                                November 1, 2020

Notification of Acceptance:                                            November 8, 2020

Submission of Draft Paper/ Powerpoint Presentation: November 30, 2020

Formal Opening Session:                                                 December 8, 2020

Syndicate Sessions:                                                           December 8 and 9, 2020

Formal Closing Session:                                                   December 10, 2020



Paper Presenters: N10,000.00 (including two volumes of Journal of ESAN, Programme, Certificate of Presentation, and other amazing takeaways!)

Other Participants/Students: N5,000. 00 (including Programme, Certificate of Participation, and other incredible takeaways!)


All payments are to be made to:

Account Name: English Scholars’ Association of Nigeria (ESAN)

Account Number: UBA 1019183870

Payment receipts/ evidence are to be forwarded to the National Treasurer, Mrs. Aisha Umar, Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, on 07013404452.


ESAN – Promoting excellence today for relevance tomorrow!