African Women Writers
This project explores transnational dynamics in the literary production of African women writers in Nigeria and Tanzania, with an emphasis on feminism and cosmopolitanism. Drawing on anthropological theory and method, it is an ethnographic study centered on a select number of contemporary women writers in different genres (novels, short stories, poetry, plays and children books) and the cultural circumstances of their literary production. Theoretically, the project centres on transnational interactions and tensions in literary production in and of Africa. As a literary and social category, African women writers bring attention to two interrelated aspects of the cosmopolitan/vernacular dynamic in world literature. As women writers, their work highlights the transnational tensions of feminism, thus demanding a more pluralistic approach to issues relating to women and gender, as explored in African feminism. As African writers, their works exemplify the cultural construction of Africanness in a globalized world, thus bringing forth more critical forms of cosmopolitanism, not least Pan-Africanism. Rather than privileging Western circuits of African literature, this project takes an ethnographic approach, focusing on literary production from within, thus building on recent scholarship that accentuates the African context of literary production. In addition to examining local literary worlds, this project investigates digital mediations in literary production and transnational exchange, including social and visual media. Fieldwork in Nigeria and Tanzania started in 2016. More information about the project can be found on the website womenwriters.one .