Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) 2018 Panel: West African Women's Writing

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Thomas Jay Lynn / Penn State Berks
contact email: 

The passing in 2017 of Nigerian and Igbo novelist Buchi Emecheta, whose life and fiction memorably dramatize the deeply-rooted obstacles to women's emancipation and the strength and intelligence of women to face such obstacles, occasions a consideration of West African women writers. This NeMLA 2018 panel seeks to consider a variety of authors that might include Emecheta Flora Nwapa, Efua Sutherland, Ama Ata Aidoo, Mariama Ba, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and others. The works of such authors raises many vital questions that are relevant today. We will ask what common threads are found in West African women's writing and what conflicts, challenges, and successes of women may be associated with West African space and its societies. Some examples of questions to be addressed are: Have women's lives changed for the better in West Africa since the 1960's? In what ways do the themes of West African women's writing overlap with the themes of West African's men's writing and in what ways may these themes be considered distinct? What economic barriers must women surmount and are they being surmounted? Is patriarchy the inevitable norm in West African society and literature?

Please note: All abstract proposals for this proposal must be submitted through the Northeast Modern Language Association website: Go to: