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

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:

• Hybridity
• Race
• Class
• Migration
• Urbanization
• Sexual violence
• Women trafficking
• Afropolitanism
• Pan-Africanism
• Marriage and Family
• Globalization
• Refugee Status
• LGBT dynamics
• Tradition and Modernity
• Alienation
• Displacement
• Transnational Identity
• Slavery
• Speculative Fiction
• Motherhood
• Perceptions of Africa as Homeland
• Memory
• Feminism
• Human Rights
• War and Conflict
• Coming of Age

Submission Guidelines

250 word abstracts and a 150- word biography are due by January 31, 2018. They should include: 1. Title, 2. Name, 2.status and institutional affiliation, 3.mailing address,
4. Email contact. Letters of acceptance will be sent by February 15, 2018. If accepted, papers will be due by July 31, 2018. Please send abstracts and inquiries to: Rose A. Sackeyfio: