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As part of her Spring 2020 programme, Brittle Paper founder Ainehi Edoro will be teaching a course, “Feminism in Contemporary African Literature,” at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of English, where she is Assistant Professor, and the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. The course, she wrote in a Facebook post, is inspired by the Egyptian writer and feminist activist Mona Eltahawy’s new essay collection The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, the Nigerian poet Titilope Sonuga’s poetry album Swim, and Nnedi Okorafor’s new memoir Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected, which Ainehi reviewed here.

“All three texts helped me bring to focus something I’d been sensing for a while: that African women are writing differently about their experiences, creating a global language of empowerment out of their local circumstances and that they are doing it in a way that their feminist fore-sisters did not,” Ainehi said.

Ainehi Edoro. Photo credit: Victor Adewale.

Students taking the 13-week ENG 350.001 course will also be reading the Finnish Nigerian Minna Salami’s essay collection Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone, and the Nigerians Ayobami Adebayo’s novel Stay with Me and Amina Thula’s romance novel Elevator Kiss. They will further be venturing into speculative fiction with short stories by the Nigerians Helen Oyeyemi and Lesley Nneka Arimah and the South African Mohale Mashigo. And it gets funner because they will also be studying the Kenyan Wanuri Kahiu’s film Rafiki, which follows two girls in love and is based on the Ugandan Monica Arac de Nyeko’s short story “Jambula Tree,” and Beyonce’s music album Lemonade. 

“We are going to hopefully have enriching conversations about how these contemporary writers are addressing issues of sexuality, gender politics, technology and the female body, utopian vision and activism,” she said.

Here is her Facebook post below.

We, the rest of us missing out on this fiesta, hereby ask for all the classes to be uploaded to YouTube so we can join!

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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