Gender & Genre : Africa & Afro-Diaspora

Jessica Marie Johnson posted a draft syllabus for a class on Black Womanhood. It made me think of what kind of class I’d design to accompany it.

She issued a call. This is a response.

Gender & Genre: Africa & Afro-Diaspora

How can we approach gender and genre across Africa & Afro-diaspora? What possibilities emerge at the seam of Africa & Afro-diaspora? What relations emerge with the frottage of Africa & Afro-diaspora?


Week One: Temporalities

Neo Musangi, “In Time and Space” I, II, III (YouTube)

Hortense Spillers, “Papa’s Baby, Mama’s Maybe”

Nnedi Okorafor, Binti


Week Two: Inventing Women 1

Oyeronke Oyewumi, Invention of Women

Janet Bujra, “Women ‘Entrepreneurs’ of Early Nairobi”

Rhoda Reddock, “Women and Slavery in the Caribbean”


Week Three: Inventing Women 2

Angelina Weld Grimké, Rachel

Harryette Mullen, Trimmings

Wambui Mwangi, “Silence is a Woman


Week Four: Genres of the Human 1

Sylvia Wynter, “Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Truth//Power/Freedom”

Pumla Gqola, Rape

M. NourbeSe Philip, She Tries Her Tongue


Week Five: Genres of the Human 2

Koleka Putuma, Collective Amnesia

Christina Sharpe, Monstrous Intimacies

Katherine McKittrick, “Mathematics Black Life”


Week Six: S/Place

M. NourbeSe Philip, “Dis Place: The Space Between”

Yvonne Vera, Without a Name

Ama Ata Aidoo, Our Sister Killjoy


Week Seven: S/Place

Dionne Brand, A Map to the Door of No Return

Bessie Head, Maru


Week Eight: Nation?

Yvonne Owuor, Dust

Maryse Condé, Heremakhonon


Week Nine: Difference

Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider

Rebekah Njau, Sacred Seed


Week Ten: Pleasure

Nkiru Nzwegu, “Osunality”

Sylvia Tamale, “Eroticism, Sensuality and ‘Women’s Secrets’ among the Baganda”

Treva B. Lindsey and Jessica Marie Johnson, “Searching for Climax”

Janet Jackson, Velvet Rope