RAL Special Issue on Ama Ata Aidoo

CALL FOR PAPERS—RAL Special Issue on Ama Ata Aidoo

Guest Editors: Esther Pujolras-Noguer and Kwaku Larbi Korang

I have been happy

           being me:

                    an African

                            a woman


and a writer.

Just take your racism

your sexism

your pragmatism

off me;



           covert or



damn you! (“An Angry Letter in January”)

As her poem “An Angry Letter in January” testifies, Ama Ata Aidoo loudly proclaims her identity as an African woman writer. Born in the central region of Ghana, her life has met colonialism, has enjoyed and celebrated the euphoria that comes alongside independence, has resented and criticized the neocolonialist aftermath of independence, and, throughout, she has always maintained an unyielding position as a woman. When critics heralded Chinua Achebe as “the Father of African Literature,” some of us wondered about who the Mother of African Literature could be. Ama Ata Aidoo is undoubtedly a firm candidate to hold this title. In 1991, her novel Changes. A Love Story was awarded the prestigious Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, her work remains an indelible beacon for the younger generation of African writers and her “black-eyed squint” is still dissecting the ambiguities and ambivalences of the postcolonial condition. We cannot envisage modern African writing without acknowledging her work.

One defining aspect of Aidoo’s oeuvre is its resistance to generic and linguistic constraints. She has written plays, poetry, short stories, and novels and has successfully created a distinctive African tapestry, which is what modulates and inflects her English with a unique and persistently female African flavor. Considering the originality of Aidoo’s writing, we welcome proposals that seek to explore the intersections of language, culture, gender, genre, patriarchy, History and histories, memory, desire, nation-building and nationalism, marriage, family, myth and folklore, authorship, race/ethnicity, class, diaspora, and form and aesthetics. All finished manuscripts are expected to conform to the standard RAL guidelines published in every issue of the journal and all submissions will be subject to peer review.

Prospective contributors should send their abstract (300 words) to Esther Pujolràs-Noguer (esther.pujolras@udl.cat) and Kwaku Larbi Korang (korang.1@osu.edu) by April 2, 2021.