CFP: Women Writing Diaspora: Transnational Perspectives in the 21st Century

Posted on Oct 23, 2017

Rose Sackeyfio Ph. D. In the 21st Century, female authors have moved beyond the margins of male- authored texts to command new spaces of prominence in the African literary canon. African women’s creative artistry has garnered critical acclaim through distinguished awards, best-selling fiction and penetrating insight into women’s experiences. Many contemporary women writers share the distinction of living in the west, which confers education and new and expanded opportunities along with paradoxical realities of otherness. The late Buchi Emecheta is an iconic woman writer whose early works chronicle the transformative nature of African diaspora life through a gendered lens. Emecheta’s autobiographical accounts of her life in London are vividly captured in her novels In the Ditch (1972) and Second Class Citizen (1974). As an important forerunner of African women’s writing, her legacy resonates in the literary expression of an entire generation of accomplished and successful women writers from Africa in the global age. A central theme in the literary imagination of female artists is thematic perspectives on the fluid and shifting constructions of African women’s identity in the international arena. The new emphasis on contemporary themes of transnational identity is a compelling subject of debate as scholars and critics of African literature interrogate issues of authenticity, audience, language and market driven forces beyond Africa’s borders. Among the constellation of talented writers are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sefi Atta, Chika Unigwe. Aminata Forna, Bernadette Evaristo, Taiye Selasie, Nnedi Okorafor, Jay Bernard, Warsan Shire, Unoma Azuah, No Violet Bulawayo, Yaa Gyasi, Imbola Mbue, and Yaba Badoe among others. The essays in this volume will explore a range of themes on all aspects of African women’s writing from the diaspora. Questions to consider are: How does the intersection of race, class and gender influence the identity and status of African women living in the diaspora? How are feminist themes explored in African women’s writing outside Africa? What is the relationship between African migrant women and African diaspora populations dispersed through enslavement? How do African women writers explore connections and perceptions of Africa as homespace? How do women writers project the image of African women in fictional works? How do African female authors interrogate the tensions between African cultural traditions and modernity in western settings? How do African women writers (re) imagine African futures? How do writers depict African women and sexuality? How do the experiences of African women in the diaspora intersect with females from other diaspora communities? Topics may explore timely and crucial issues that shape the lives of African women beyond Africa’s borders. Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following sub-themes: Sub-Themes • Hybridity • Race • Class • Migration • Urbanization • Sexual violence • Women trafficking...

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CFP: On Whose Terms? Ten Years On

Posted on Sep 23, 2017

On Whose Terms? Ten Years On Final Call For Papers; 1 Dec 2017 On Whose Terms? Ten Years On… (in Critical Negotiations in Black British Literature and the Arts) Goldsmiths, University of London, UK. March 22nd-23rd 2018 The cultural power of Black British* literature and the Arts resides as much in the exploration of pressing cultural concerns, as in its innovative material aesthetics and textual practices. The 2008 landmark conference ‘On Whose Terms?: Critical Negotiations in Black British Literature and the Arts’ focused upon local, international and transnational engagements with Black British literature and the Arts, to trace the multiple – real and imaginary – routes through its production, reception and cultural politics. This 2018 return conference, ‘On Whose Terms?: Ten Years On…’ aims to chart what has happened throughout the past the decade, and once again to provide a vibrant meeting opportunity for prominent and emerging scholars, writers and practitioners, young people and the general public to explore and celebrate the continued impact of this field, both at home and abroad. See the full call for papers here....

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CFP: Post-Colonial Nostalgia

Posted on Aug 29, 2017

Special Issue on Post-Colonial Nostalgia - Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Deadline: November 1, 2017 Simon Lewis and Giusi Russo, guest editors of the Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies are seeking manuscript submissions for a special issue on post-colonial nostalgia to be published in the spring of 2019. During the Rio Olympic Games of 2016 a conservative British MP tweeted a map of the British Empire along with the words “Empire goes for gold.” This is only one example of how recent events have prompted some in the west to recall tropes and narratives of empires with a sense of longing for a supposedly better past. The British vote in favor of “Brexit” along with the French presidential election’s debate on how to unconditionally love the French past highlighted the enduring power of imperialist discourse and the contentious politics of the ways in which empire is remembered and invoked. In some European instances similar tropes permeate the longings of the once-colonized as well as the former colonizer. The current political situation in the US has also drawn attention to the problematic nature of appeals to nostalgia by revealing how a desire to "return" to a past marked by racial and gendered hierarchies can be deployed in an effort to deny democratic progress. While referenceUs to empire in US rhetoric may be less explicit than in European cases, the past is similarly re-presented as a moment of order, of clarity, and opulence. The special issue of the Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies “On post-colonial nostalgia” seeks to explore the relationship between contemporary history and the melancholy of empire, the specificities of this type of remembering, the position of who remembers vis-à-vis imperial and colonial administrations, and the modalities of remembrance. The editors will consider contributions in the humanities and social sciences that reflect on the following questions: What is it about the post-colonial present that creates the longing for empire? What is the purpose of post-colonial nostalgia and “whose nostalgia” is present in the public sphere? What is the place of violence and suppression of democracy in the personal and public memories of empires? How does nostalgia manifest itself in high/elite culture, and in popular culture, respectively? Can nostalgia ever be positive and represent resistance to present oppressive circumstances? Contributions to the Field “On Post-colonial Nostalgia” contributes to the field of colonial and post-colonial studies by analyzing the intersections between the history of empires and the history of the present. The modalities and purposes of nostalgia confirm the centrality of the relationship between empires, politics, and everyday life. Nostalgia also represents a continuum in the history of colonialism and challenges the notions of end of empires. Decolonization...

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CFP: ‘Women Write Now’

Posted on Aug 3, 2017

Call for Papers: ‘Women Write Now’ Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings You are invited to submit papers for ‘Women Write Now’, an issue of Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings which seeks to engage with the work of contemporary women writers in fiction, poetry, drama. Since 2000 we have seen Nobel Prizes for Literature, Pulitzer Prizes for fiction, drama, and poetry, the Man Booker Prize, the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize awarded to women, significantly more than in any preceding decade. In the case of the Man Booker, Hilary Mantel secured the unprecedented achievement of being the first Briton, and the first woman, to be awarded the accolade twice. Inaugurated in 2006, the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa has been awarded to women writers in four out of seven instances. This increasing critical acclaim and recognition demands an examination of the current landscape of contemporary women’s fiction and poetry. Areas of interest for this special issue include but are not limited to: Examinations of how the work of contemporary women writers has responded to or represented the many conflicts and disasters (economic, environmental, political) which have arisen since the millennium. Treatments of history, heritage, and memory within contemporary women’s writing. Considerations of how contemporary women writers are (re)negotiating a relationship with domestic spaces. Notions of the local and the global within contemporary women’s writing Explorations of how the work of contemporary women writers engages with the experimental and the innovative, both formally and textually. Proposals for essays (250 words) should be submitted to Emily Timms (Editorial Assistant): by 15 September 2017. Contributors whose proposals are accepted will be notified by 1 October 2017. The deadline for submission of the essay is 31 January 2018. We expect to publish the issue by May/June...

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CFP: RAL Special Issue on Biafra and the Literary Imagination

Posted on Jan 31, 2017

Research in African Literatures Special Issue Guest Editors: Cilas Kemedjio and Anthonia Kalu On May 30, 1967, Lieutenant Colonel Chukwumeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the South Eastern Region’s military governor, proclaimed the creation of the Republic of Biafra at a champagne party in the city of Enugu, the first capital of the secessionist region. On January 9, 1970, Ojukwu handed over power to Chief of General Staff Major-General Philip Effiong. He fled the country and was granted asylum in Côte d’Ivoire. The Republic of Biafra would formally come to an end a few days later with the surrendering of its military leader in Lagos. For the millions fleeing for their safety, the Republic of Biafra was a legitimate defense against aggression. Seen from the point of view of persecuted Igbos and citizens from the Eastern Region, Biafra was a humanitarian citadel designed to shield its beleaguered residents from the abuses they suffered in Nigeria. However, to Lagos—then the capital of the Nigerian Federation—the proclamation of the Republic of Biafra represented an unjustified rupture of the national compact. It was an insurrection against the authority of the central government and national sovereignty. The war engaged by the federal government again the Republic of Biafra was therefore a deployment of legitimate violence to subdue the rebels and reestablish the authority of the state within its internationally recognized boundaries. The war that ensued was the result of these conflicting readings of the secession. Whether we agree or not with one of these competing legal or ethical viewpoints, we must acknowledge that this war was a devastating human tragedy for the people who lived in the Republic of Biafra. According to the January 1970 issue of Time magazine that covered “the end of the rebellion,” as many as two million Biafrans perished during the war with another 1,250,000 were pushed to the brink of starvation. Despite the magnitude of the humanitarian disaster, unresolved controversies surrounding the war have continued to make conversations about the Nigerian civil war difficult. Writers and poets such as Chinua Achebe, Flora Nwapa, Christopher Okigbo, and Buchi Emecheta lived through the war as active participants, citizens, or activists. The subsequent generation’s stories, such as Chimamanda Ngozie Achidie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, record another understanding of the tragedy. Creative writers largely embrace an uncompromising stance for our shared humanity. In this process, they repudiate both the directives of the Propaganda Directorate of the Republic of Biafra and the absolutist, if devastating, claim of national sovereignty, challenge the uneasy conflation of humanitarianism, politics, and the military, and make a bold stance for human dignity. By focusing on the banality of life in these moments of distress, these writers convey to the world...

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