(Re)membering Africa: Women’s Narratives on the Continent and Beyond

deadline for submissions: 
December 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Empire Studies Collective, English & Creative Writing Departments at University of Houston
contact email: 

Calls For Papers: (Re)membering Africa: Women’s Narratives on the Continent and Beyond

deadline for submissions: December 1, 2018

name of organization: Empire Studies Collective, English & Creative Writing Departments at University of Houston

contact email: Maurine Ogbaa (moogbaa@uh.edu)

 

 

Keynote Speaker: Susan Andrade

Featured Speaker: Tsitsi Dangarembga

March 28 - 30, 2019

University of Houston

 

 

In his book, Re-membering Africa, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o states that

 

“the history of Africa has not simply been one of deprivation, dispossession and exploitation but also one of resistance and struggle. At the centre of this struggle has been the quest for re-membering Africa so brutally dis-membered...”

 

(Re)membering Africa: Women’s Narratives on the Continent and Beyond is a workshop for African literary and media criticism and it seeks to engage in this continuing quest to counter “deprivation, dispossession and exploitation” and to prioritize engagement with history, politics, critical theory, postcolonial theory, feminist theories and theories of literature in order to center African discourse in the long struggle of African people to reclaim and recover the continent.

 

(Re)membering offers rich potential for creative and critical innovations:

  •  the awareness of something that is known, but unemphasized
  • the revolving, dialectic relationship of the past and the present
  • the recollection or reconciliation of the members/parts, of a whole, separated historically or intellectually.

 

Through (Re)membering, we seek to focus our discourse on Africa and African diasporic communities, both on the continent and around the world. We recognize that the criticism of African literature and film is a necessary component in the creation and communication of African letters and media. The criticism of African literature and film has enjoyed periods of vogue and emphasis in North America but, often the work of scholars is done in insolation and across the expanse of geographical separation from other critics, thinkers and writers. Our intensive workshop, (Re)membering Africa brings together advanced graduate students and early-career scholars to workshop papers that African literature and film, by and/or about women.

 

Because women’s creative and critical production is often under-evaluated and un-critiqued within academia and, to some extent, within the cultural nexus of the woman/women’s creative/critical production and because our graduate student cohort consists mostly of African, female writers, based on the continent and North America, (Re)membering will focus on the work of women of/from Africa and the African-diaspora. We also welcome work about feminist themes, epistemes, and work about female characters regardless of gender of the author/auteur/director of the text.

 

We are involved in two modes of (Re)membering and thus two modes of interaction will be used during the conference.  The academic workshops will focus on academic papers (see the themes below). Each workshop will be moderated and consist of three participant-scholars. Workshop papers will pre-circulate one month in advance and participants must prepare written feedback in advance. In line with high standards of critical production, we expect papers to utilize African history and political, economic, postcolonial and literary theories. The workshops will be observed by auditors (i.e. other conference participants and faculty) who may ask questions during the last 20 minutes of each session.

 

The second mode of interaction will be a creative writing workshop. This workshop is predicated on the fact that the default creative writing pedagogical approach is rooted in a Eurocentric model presumed to be universal. Our creative writing workshops will follow many of the prototypical workshop conventions and simultaneously introduce a level of epistemic diversity, commonly unseen in community, graduate and advanced workshops around the country. Our workshop will privilege the commonalities shared by writers from the Global South (i.e. Chinua Achebe, Yvonne Vera) and minority writers that live(d) in former metropoles and past or present diasporic communities (i.e. Alice Walker, James Baldwin). Writers from all backgrounds (minority and non-minority writers alike) are encouraged to apply. Our goal is to serve as innovative, creative and critical workshop leaders while taking the aesthetics and/or methods of “peripheral,” minority and/or African writers as central. The participants in the creative writing workshop sessions will pre-circulate stories they’ve written and discuss them in terms of these writers and their unique aesthetics. The workshops will be run by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma (Shadows, 2013; House of Stone, 2018) and Wanjiku wa Ngugi (The Fall of Saints, 2014).  

 

We invite proposals for academic papers about literature and film from Africa and/or the African diasporas that think critically about:

 

  • Feminist Epistemologies in Narrative and/or Film
  • (Re)membering Africa through Literature and/or Film
  • Afrofuturism in Narrative and/or Film
  • Reading Women’s Political Engagement in Narrative and/or Film
  • Ideological engagement in female-authored and/or feminist novels 
  • Post/Modernity in the African Narrative and/or Film
  • Post/Colonialism in the African Narrative and/or Film
  • Representations of Sexuality in the Narrative and Film
  • Representations of Women in the Narrative and Film
  • Anglophone literature and/or film
  • Francophone literature and/or film

Submit individual abstracts (250 - 300 words) and a brief bio (up to 150 words) by the deadline of December 1, 2018 to https://goo.gl/forms/R3ZLXbLEkU7R0tuI2

We welcome differently abled persons. Please indicate specific accessibility needs and preferred accommodations.

For more questions about the academic workshop, please contact Maurine Ogbaa (moogbaa@uh.edu).

We invite short stories from writers who would like to experience epistemic diversity within the creative writing workshop.

Submit a writing sample of creative fiction or nonfiction (10 pages or less), a one-page personal statement and a brief bio (up to 150 words) by the deadline of December 1, 2018 to https://goo.gl/forms/XVlNtL4T8AYlY2O13

We welcome differently abled persons. Please indicate specific accessibility needs and preferred accommodations.

For more questions about the creative writing workshop, please contact the workshop convener, Novuyo Tshuma (nrtshuma@uh.edu).