African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships

Through fellowship competitions, regional workshops, and peer networking, the African Humanities Program provides support to the humanities in five African countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. The centerpiece of the program is the distribution of fellowships to African scholars in these countries for work on dissertations, research projects, and scholarly manuscripts. Postdoctoral awards are listed below; also see dissertation completion awards.The program is supported by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Read more about this fellowship program.

Please note: affiliations shown are as of time of award. Please click on fellows' names for current information.

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Watch "Emerging Themes and Methods of Research: A Discussion with ACLS Fellows," an annual meeting session featuring recent ACLS fellows. 


Ezinwanyi Edikanabasi Adam
Ezinwanyi Edikanabasi Adam  |  Abstract
This study is an in-depth and critical analytical study of survival trends and strategies of Nigerian women against ‘waiting motherhood’, ‘child-succession syndrome’ and other stereotypes and the impact of these trends on Nigerian people, culture and state as narrated in selected novels. The works which are purposefully selected for the study are Chukwuemeka Ike’s Conspiracy of Silence, Chydy Njere’s Ordinary Woman, Ifeoma Okoye’s, Behind the Clouds, Kaine Agary’s Yellow Yellow, Lola Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, and Solomon Iguanre’s Scented Debris. The approches of Feminism, Psychological, and New Literary Historicism are found very relevant. They are applied in the study to explore fresh perspectives on the selected novels as it identifies the acquisition of ‘spare part partners’, ‘baby-sex-swap’, same sex marriage, variant forms of infidelity, and others as tendencies and strategies employed by Nigerian women for the survival of the stigma of ‘awaiting motherhood’, child – especially male child succession quandary, and other stereotypes.

Lecturer II, Languages & Literacy, Babcock University  -  Survival Tendencies and Strategies of Nigerian Women Against ‘Waiting-Motherhood’, Child-Succession-Syndrome and Other Stereotypes in Selected Contemporary Fiction

Levis Mugumya
Levis Mugumya  |  Abstract
The study interrogates the nature of linguistic mechanisms newspaper writers invoke to recount issues of conflict in the Ugandan print media. It employs a multi-dimensional approach to discourse analysis to examine hard news and editorial reports in English and Runyankore-Rukiga across government and private newspapers. It demonstrates that despite sharing similar generic properties and textual organisation with the Anglo-American news stories, Ugandan news stories exemplify distinct generic features. Moreover, the strategies that news reporters employ to express value positions towards news events or news actors are at variance with those invoked by news reporters in Anglo-American journalistic tradition. Assuming Genre theory and Appraisal theory, the study presents the textual architecture and lexico-grammatical properties that define hard news reports and editorials. It also explicates the nature of both overt and covert linguistic resources that news writers invoke to express notions of conflict in news events recounting corruption, war and political violence.

Assistant Lecturer, Lingusitics & English Language Studies, Makerere University  -  News Reporting in Uganda: a Cross-Linguistic and Textual Exploration of Newspaper Genres

Adetunji Kazeem Adebiyi
Adetunji Kazeem Adebiyi  |  Abstract
Critical and scholarly engagements with the theme of disillusionment in post-independence African literature usually identify utopian dreams on the part of commoners and neo-colonial oppression instituted by emergent neo-colonial African leaders as the causes of this unfortunate reality. Such readings clearly fail to account for the role of leaders’ dreams and desires in this development. Drawing insight from the Marxist notion of historical materialism, the study critically analyze selected poems from two poetry anthologies: It All Begins and Letter to South Africa, and a poetry volume, Handsome Jita to rethink the foregoing popular position and reveal that the selfish dreams and desires of neo-colonial African leaders to perpetuate their privileged position actually leads to a deliberate abortion of people’s hopes and a calculated worsening of their condition in what is actually a class struggle.

Lecturer II, English, University of Ibadan  -  Poetics of Disillusionment and Dialectical Temper in Post-Apartheid Poetry

Edgar Fred Nabutanyi
Edgar Fred Nabutanyi  |  Abstract
This project explores the illocutionary power of child-focalised texts to articulate and/or build archives that insightfully discuss the vulnerability of African troubled childhoods in the post-1990 context. To further and underscore our understanding of how child-narrated texts can heighten readers’ comprehension of the theme of troubled childhoods, I propose to undertake the following. First, I bring together various texts that document African childhood trauma into one analytical project. Second, I bring on board memoirs of people subjected to troubling experiences as children to test and presumably confirm how fictional accounts and their use of imagined child voices in narrators’ descriptions of their victimization allow for a subtle and nuanced depiction of this phenomenon in the African literary public sphere. Third, I examine how the deployment of child narrators/protagonists underlines the credibility of children’s experience of war, incest, prostitution and cruel parenting as articulated in fictitious and nonfictional texts. I argue that the eloquent and memorable writing of imaginary and factual texts dealing with the theme of child abuse effectively deploy the affective, persuasive and/or convincing power imbedded in narratives to influence public perceptions and awareness about this topic.

Lecturer, Literature, Makerere University  -  Illocutionary Power of Child-Focalised Post-1990 African Fictional Texts in English

Lorraine Dalmae Adkins
Lorraine Dalmae Adkins  |  Abstract
It became apparent as I worked on a Bakhtinian analysis of selected Victorian texts that Bakhtin’s theories on the dialogical nature of language and, consequently, on selfhood (or identity) were hugely applicable to the many voices and cultures reflected in South Africa’s heterogeneous societies and, consequently, in its narratives. My postdoctoral research project will demonstrate this contention and result in a paper or a series of articles using the approach pioneered in my PhD dissertation. For the current project I shall apply Bakhtinian ideas on the nature of language to close readings of various South African poems, past and present. My project should add to our understanding of the social, ethical and political diversities found in Africa, and provide a basis for ongoing research into the appreciation of Literature in English not only on this continent but also in a universal context. Concurrent with this project I intend also to continue adapting my PhD dissertation for publication as a monograph.

Lecturer, English Literary Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa  -  "Selfhood in South African Poetry: A Bakhtinian Approach"

Dion Nkomo
Dion Nkomo  |  Abstract
Post-colonial language policies that seek to promote indigenous African languages, such as those espoused by constitutions of South Africa and Zimbabwe, have culminated in a lexicographic shift from bilingual dictionaries pairing indigenous languages with ex-colonial languages to comprehensive monolingual dictionaries that are envisaged to be compendiums of the African heritage associated with indigenous languages. The proposed study seeks to demonstrate the continued relevance of bilingual/multilingual dictionaries. However, new bilingual dictionaries are required whose functions are concomitant to multilingual endeavors of Africa. They should differ in orientation and outlook from the earliest bilingual dictionaries that were compiled for missionaries and colonial administrators who had to learn African languages in order to communicate with members of local communities in which they conducted their work. A close examination of bilingual dictionaries involving South African and Zimbabwean languages is conducted in order to project new visions for African lexicography.

Senior Lecturer, African Languages, Rhodes University  -  Bilingual Dictionaries for Post-colonial Africa: South African and Zimbabwean Case Studies

Ufuoma Akpojivi
Ufuoma Akpojivi  |  Abstract
This study seeks to investigate the extent to which new media platforms such as twitter can lead to citizens engagement or disengagement in an emerging democracy like Nigeria characterized by socio-economic, political and security tensions using the #BringBackOurGirls social movement as a case study. Using interviews and discourse analysis, this study will explore the concept of social movement and how people engage or interact with themselves within a social movement. Also, the study will examine the relationship and the nature of such interaction(s) that existed or do exist between the social movement and its members, social movement and the government, and the extent such interaction has led to citizen empowerment or disempowerment.

Lecturer, Media Studies, University of Witwatersrand  -  The Negotiated Space: Citizens Empowerment and Disempowerment

Olabode Wale Ojoniyi
Olabode Wale Ojoniyi  |  Abstract
This study identifies Tracie Chima Utoh-Ezeajugh as one of Nigerian radical feminist playwrights (a representative of the “other”) who is engaged in the renegotiation and recreation of gender image, culture and space through her works. This engagement is the counter discourse. But, in every counter discourse of the marginal against the dominant, it is often easy to assume that what is important is the attempt to recreate/renegotiate a new space, identity or centre without being equally critical of the new space, identity or centre that is being created. The study takes a contextual and critical look at Utoh-Ezeajugh’s works beyond the argument of the mere recreation and conventional writing back of a peripheral to the centre by considering her works as essentially representing a collection of new centres that needs rupturing in Derrida’s sense. It underscores the shift in her feminist ideology and how it reflects in her works

Lecturer II, Arts, Osun State University  -  In My Mother’s House: Counter Discourse in Tracie Chima Utoh-Ezeajugh Radical Drama

Ignatius Khan Chukwumah
Ignatius Khan Chukwumah  |  Abstract
The study explores fictional representations of poverty in selected novels of Meja Mwangi and Roddy Doyle, respectively Kenyan and Irish – examining techniques of literary representation and how the two authors make imaginative use of various stylistic techniques and verbal skills to achieve compelling representations of poverty. Rather than suggest that fiction replaces other approaches in the study of poverty, the study calls for a complementary “conversation” between fictional literature and other disciplines in depictions of the condition of poverty. However, the study notes the advantage that fiction has in its nuanced exploration of the subject of poverty. It argues that fiction reflects social reality in interestingly subversive but also empowering ways – showing a unique way of dealing with difficult situations. The six main chapters are thematically arranged, but the analysis draws on a variety of theoretical paradigms including but not limited to those of Maria Pia Lara and Mikhail Bakhtin.

Senior Lecturer, Literary Studies, Cape Peninsula University of Technology  -  Literary Representations of Poverty in Selected Novels of Meja Mwangi and Roddy Doyle

Babatunde Joshua Omotosho
Babatunde Joshua Omotosho  |  Abstract
Positioning the sepulchres of loved ones within residential areas has been the cultural practice of the Yoruba people until it was outlawed by the colonialists. Interestingly, this tradition is still observed by Ekiti-Yoruba people till date. This cultural practice, coupled with how it survived the hurdles posed by colonialism, proliferation of orthodox beliefs, and the demands of modern and postmodern lifestyles among the Ekitis is intriguing. Consequently, a number of questions come to mind: what are the historical, sociological and cultural issues that inform the burial of the dead within the home vicinity? Aside this, what form of interaction takes place between the graves and the living humans within residential vicinities? Further, in what ways does this affect the living in their day to day social negotiations? Using participant observation, in depth interviews with key informants and archival search, this study seeks to interrogate these problematic in Usi-Ekiti southwest Nigeria.

Senior Lecturer, Sociology, Federal University Oye-Ekiti  -  Socio-cultural Implications of Household Sepulchres among the Ekiti-Yorubas of Southwest Nigeria

Theresah Patrine Ennin
Theresah Patrine Ennin  |  Abstract
The aim of this proposal is to produce a book manuscript from my doctoral dissertation which examines the representation of men and masculinities in Ghanaian literature and film. By interrogating how the writers, Ama Ata Aidoo, Ayi Kwei Armah, Amma Darko, Kofi Aidoo, Ayesha Harruna Attah, and the filmmakers Kwaw Ansah and Shirley Frimpong -Manso present the male characters in their works, the study seeks to ascertain how the man negotiates a place for himself in the gender politics of a changing world in his pursuit of hegemony, in his subversion and challenging of this concept and in his craving for or rejection of alternative masculinities. The interrogation of these concepts enables me to conclude that the quest for hegemonic masculinity is costly with far- reaching consequences; that although some stereotypes of masculine images are still present in the texts, different versions of masculine identities are also portrayed.

Lecturer, English, University of Cape Coast  -  Representations of Men and Masculinity in Ghanaian Literature and Film

Omon Merry Osiki
Omon Merry Osiki  |  Abstract
In this study, I intend to analyze the debates that followed the 1969/70 and 1983 immigrant expulsions in Ghana and Nigeria respectively. I will use the historical method to examine the perspectives of newspaper reportage of the events. I intend to evaluate the controversies generated in the press in line with the realistic group conflict theory and the social identity theory. The first posits that the perception of a zero-sum competition between groups can lead to prejudice and negative stereotyping, while the second postulates that people strive to achieve positive social identity and self-interest to the detriment of others. Both theories explain how deeply held views and perceptions can generate unhealthy competitions between two groups. I intend to examine the ferocious Nigerian-Ghanaian media battles, which generated discontent to elucidate the “Nigeria-must-go” and “Ghana-must-go” crises. The work recommends objective reportage as a panacea for reckless media coverage of immigration issues.

Lecturer II, History & Strategic Studies, University of Lagos  -  Quid Pro Quo?: A History of Newspaper Reportage of Immigrant Expulsions in Ghana and Nigeria

Amaka Catherine Ezeife
Amaka Catherine Ezeife  |  Abstract
Scholarly studies on Nigerian novels, from linguistic perspectives, have concentrated mostly on semantics and stylistic imports, neglecting the cultural examination of novelists’ foci on metaphor and gender ideology. This study, therefore, investigates the use of cultural metaphoric language by Nigerian novelists to orient, and facilitate access to gender beliefs. It attempts to reveal how socio-metaphoric uses of language as embedded in cultural practices are deployed in portraying gender ideology in Nigerian novels. Sefi Atta’s "Swallow", Akachi Adimorah-Ezeigbo’s "Trafficked", Jude Dibia's "Blackbird", Liwhu Betiang’s "Cradle on the Scales", Helon Habila’s "Measuring Time", and Abimbola Adelakun’s "Under the Brown Rusted Roofs" are sampled texts. These texts are read critically, applying aspects of socio-cognitive linguistic frameworks (socio-cognitive CDA, conceptual metaphor, dominance and social constructionist theories of gender) that account for metaphor and gender ideology construction. This study will reflect the link between cultural metaphoric language and gender ideology in the Nigerian novel.

Lecturer I, English and Literature, Nwafor Orizu College of Education  -  Cultural Metaphor and Gender Ideology Construction in Selected Nigerian Novels

Ayodele Adekunle Osisanwo
Ayodele Adekunle Osisanwo  |  Abstract
Terrorism - carried out in Nigeria, mainly, by the most dreaded terrorist sect called Boko Haram - has been widely reported by the media. Recent studies on media reports on terrorism have paid scant attention to the reportage of the war on terrorism. This study, therefore, examines the linguistic and discourse strategies deployed by e-newspaper reporters in framing the news on the war on Boko Haram in order to establish the role of the media in the war. For data, headline stories are purposively sampled from four e-newspapers from the northern (Daily Trust and Leadership Nigeria) and southern (The Punch and The Nation) parts of Nigeria, published from 2011 – 2014. The analyses are guided by a combination of the theory of critical discourse analysis, systemic functional linguistics, conceptual metaphor and system networks on the representation of social actors. The mediated reports of the war on Boko Haram insurgency orientate Nigerians.

Lecturer II, English, University of Ibadan  -  Discursive Construction of the War on Terrorism in Nigeria

Paula Fourie
Paula Fourie  |  Abstract
The proposed research project concerns the revision of my doctoral dissertation, "Ghoema vannie Kaap": The life and work of Taliep Petersen (1950-2006), for publication as a monograph. The envisaged output is a musical biography of late South African musician and songwriter Taliep Petersen that is concerned with a discussion of his various projects as situated within his lived experience and the broader sociopolitical environment of South Africa during the period from 1950 to 2006. Furthermore, by discussing Petersen's artistic output against the background of South African coloured identity discourse, this publication will attempt to answer certain critical questions about individual and collective identity formation in apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Music, Stellenbosch University  -  "Ghoema vannie Kaap": The Life and Work of Taliep Petersen (1950 to 2006)

Eric Debrah Otchere
Eric Debrah Otchere  |  Abstract
Indegenous Ghanaian fishermen in many coastal towns propelled their canoes and boats through manual rowers who sang as they rowed to sea. These songs, which served a variety of purposes, have grown extinct since outboard motors have come as a convenient substitute to the manual rowing. The place for the singing now is when the fishermen are pulling their nets on shore. Their songs, apart from providing useful reference points for synchronizing their individual efforts and hence easing the labour, also contain vital pieces of encoded information. Unfortunately, modernism has made the death of this fishing culture imminent, as equipments for pulling fishing nets have already been embraced in many places. Focusing on two surviving singing-fishing communities in Cape Coast, I intend to document the songs and examine the extent to which these songs reflect the belief system, identity, cosmology, geneology and general philosophy of life of the people.

Lecturer, Music & Dance, University of Cape Coast  -  Seashore Harmonies: the Message in the Songs of a Dying Fishing Culture

Claudia Gastrow
Claudia Gastrow  |  Abstract
This project asks how urban aesthetic experiences shape political practices and beliefs, by investigating the now decade-long post-conflict reconstruction of Angola's capital, Luanda. Since the end of Angola's civil war (1975-2002), Luanda has become the object of considerable state and private investment in infrastructure and housing. However, rather than producing stability, these investments have been accompanied by growing numbers of protests and a sense of increased marginalisation amongst the urban poor. I argue that these developments are tied to the reconstruction program's inability to take account of the political histories of urban aesthetics and materiality, in particular the role of housing and infrastructure in the production of imaginations of belonging. Drawing on longterm ethnographic and historical research, including life histories, archival work, semi-structured interviews, and visual media sources, my research investigates how changes in Luanda's built environment, and the aesthetic experience thereof, have shaped imaginations and practices of citizenship.

Postdoctoral Fellow, Anthropology, University of Witwatersrand  -  Negotiated Settlements: Urban Aesthetics and the Production of Citizenship in Luanda, Angola

Sola Emmanuel Owonibi
Sola Emmanuel Owonibi  |  Abstract
The scholarly exploration of the nexus between Literature and Medicine is a new area of study, which has led to the introduction of literature into the curricular of American medical schools. Despite its advantages at complementing Western medicine, Nigeria is yet to embrace the field of study. This study fills that critical lacuna. Adopting a reading strategy rooted in Psychoanalysis that stresses the utilitarian value of literature, the study reads modern Nigerian poetry in the context of the connection between Literature and Medicine. Hence, poetry collections of three Nigerian poets whose works reflect disease and trauma - Niyi Osundare’s Moonsongs; Tayo Olafioye’s A Stroke of Hope; and Hyginus Ekwuazi’s The Monkey’s Eyes - are purposively selected for this study. Subjecting these texts to detailed descriptive and conceptual analysis make definitive exegetical statements on how these poets engage the interlocking relationship between illness and health.

Senior Lecturer, English Studies, Adekunle Ajasin University, Nigeria  -  The Interface between Poetry and Therapy in the Nigerian Literary Tradition

George Okedinachi Iloene
George Okedinachi Iloene  |  Abstract
Koring is an under-documented unwritten Upper Cross language spoken in parts of Ebonyi and Benue States of Nigeria, with a rapidly diminishing fluent native speaker population. There is not much of formal linguistic study of this endangered language. This project will produce the first book manuscript of the phonology of the Koring language. About 1000 Koring words shall be digitally elicited and recorded from Koring native speakers to obtain the primary data for phonemic analysis. The data are transcribed using IPA convention. All digital recordings shall be archived at the E-MELD. The theoretical framework we shall adopt is the linguistic phonetics theory as enunciated and discussed in Ladefoged, 1971, 1982, 2005 and Maddieson, 1984. The result of our analysis will guide us in the production of a Koring phonology book manuscript for teaching, learning and literacy materials, and for purposes of language documentation and preservation.

Senior Lecturer, Languages & Lingistics, Ebonyi State University  -  Safeguarding Koring Language

Oritsegbubemi Anthony Oyowe
Oritsegbubemi Anthony Oyowe  |  Abstract
It is commonly assumed in African philosophical discourse that metaphysical conceptions of personhood have important practical implications particularly on moral, social and political questions. Yet, the widely cited normative conceptions of personhood emerging from traditional African cultures and couched in terms of a communitarian ethic has turned out to be problematic, yielding counterintuitive judgments that require a sharp distinction between metaphysical and practical questions about personhood. However, given that the articulation and resolution of such issues depend heavily on assumptions about personhood, the breakdown in the link between the two deserves to be interrogated. This study argues that the African discourse on personhood suffers from an overly narrow set of concerns and thus fails to appreciate a wider range of issues that adequately explain why it is that personhood matters. An alternative and substantive narrative-based conception, that avoids the major pitfalls of existing conceptions and can account for a wide range of practical issues, is articulated and defended.

Lecturer, Philosophy & Ethics, University of the Western Cape  -  Personhood and the Practical: A Narrative-Based Conception

Danson Sylvester Kahyana
Danson Sylvester Kahyana  |  Abstract
My study proposes that examining how Ugandan literary texts portray constructions and negotiations of national identities in different epochs (early colonial, late colonial, independence and post-independence) helps us to appreciate the multifarious nature of identities, as we explore how national identity intersects with other overlapping and cross-cutting identities like race, ethnicity, gender, religious denomination, and political affiliation. Using content analysis, I read selected primary texts within the social, cultural, and political contexts in which they were produced in order to explore the representation of key events in Uganda’s history and to investigate how selected writers depict these events in their constructions of Ugandan (trans)national identities. I also carry out a more distant reading that aims to survey the field of Ugandan literature in English, in search of broad thematic and narrative trends, while homing in on the selected focal texts in order to explicate and elaborate these.

Assistant Lecturer, Literature, Makerere University  -  Negotiating (Trans)national Identities in Ugandan Literature

Ernest Angu Pineteh
Ernest Angu Pineteh  |  Abstract
This project seeks to examine the way Somali victims of xenophobia in the Bellville suburb of Cape Town, South Africa remember and reconstruct their individual experiences. It hopes to analyse the stories that Somali migrants tell about their personal lives as vignettes for understanding seemingly powerful and deeply emotional experiences of migration. To this end, the project intends not to reproduce the actual experiences but to interrogate the creative and imaginative ways that each Somali migrant remember different episodes of xenophobia and how their stories unfold into narratives of victimisation, resilience and heroism. It will also discuss how their memories of xenophobia shape our understanding of diasporic conceptions such as transnational identities, social inclusion and exclusion as well as the politics of belonging post-apartheid South Africa.

, English, Cape Peninsula University of Technology  -  Memories of Victimization, Resilience and Heroism: A Narrative Study of the Xenophobic Experiences of Somali Migrants in Bellville, Cape Town

Antoni Majémbe Keya
Antoni Majémbe Keya  |  Abstract
This study interrogates the display of compassion for electorates by both members of parliament (MPs) and ministers during Q&A sessions. MPs present their electorate as being in a predicament, and ministers participate in parliamentary discourse as representatives of the government, theoretically speaking to a bigger electorate, coming in as the patron. The problem to be addressed in this study is how MPs and ministers manipulate linguistic resources to convince their electorates that they are more sensitive to their economic and socio-political wellbeing, and the impact this kind of rhetoric is likely to have on the doing of politics as a social practice. This study will analyze Q&A sessions (video, audio and printed texts), and interview Tanzanians of voting age on their views on politicians’ enactment of compassion for them. A triangulated analysis will focus on logos, pathos and ethos; Social Identity Theory; and the Faircloughian model of discourse analysis.

Lecturer, Linguistics, University of Dar es Salaam  -  Interrogating Compassion for the Electorate in Tanzania's Parliamentary Q&A Sessions

Mpale Yvonne Silkiluwasha
Mpale Yvonne Silkiluwasha  |  Abstract
The proposed project intends to examine the position of orality in postcolonial African children’s literature. Basing on Walter Benjamin theorization, I intend to examine whether or not there is loss of aura once African oral tales are recorded, transcribed, translated and published as children’s books. In the course of my analysis, I will further refer to Benjamin’s concept of progressive reaction with an argument that despite the risk of reproduced work losing aura,since the act of reproducing oral tales positions the audience at a distance readers can assume a critical role. As an example, I will examine how children’s books derived from African oral tales can demonstrate respective authors’ agency in presenting issues facing their daily lives by employing trickster characters.

Lecturer, Literature, University of Dar es Salaam  -  Orality in Postcolonial African Children's Literature

Charne Lavery
Charne Lavery  |  Abstract
The Indian Ocean, connecting the East Asian, South Asian, Arab and African coasts, is known as the cradle of globalization. This project examines the distinctive themes and forms of four representative novelists in whose work the Indian Ocean is produced as an alternative, cross-national geography. It focuses on Joseph Conrad, alongside Amitav Ghosh from India, Abdulrazak Gurnah from Zanzibar, and Lindsey Collen from Mauritius, whose work represents the geographical and imaginative scope of the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean allows these authors to write with empire at a distance and to focus on South-South interactions, deemphasizing national narratives and subverting Eurochronology. At the same time, they bring the Indian Ocean into being, not only its borders and networks, but also its vivid, sensuous, storied world. The book will represent the first full-length study conducted on the question of broad literary Indian Ocean continuities and differences, as expressed in English.

Postdoctoral Fellow, English, University of Witwatersrand  -  Writing the Indian Ocean

Gugulethu Siziba
Gugulethu Siziba  |  Abstract
The proposed project primarily focuses on two interrelated concerns in the lives of Zimbabweans in South Africa. On one hand, the study explores how within a context of symbolic as well as physical violence from both above and below, Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa craft spaces for themselves through language. On the other, it focuses on the emergent subjectivities, fantasies and imaginaries associated with migrants’ engagement with exclusion. The book offers a critical reading of language as a multilayered situated resource rather than a flat resource, and breaks with essentialist analytical positions that endow migrants’ languages a static predetermined use value outside of empirical processes of social interaction. Deploying a multisited ethnography in five Johannesburg neighborhoods, the book privileges migrants’ strategic modes of action-their body and language work- in various empirical sites of interaction whose internal logics- mirror the spatial, socioeconomic, cultural, linguistic and social fragmentations that characterize Johannesburg.

, Sociology and Social Anthropology, Stellenbosch University  -  Language and the Body as Sites of (Un)making the 'Other': Zimbabwean Migrants' Passage in Johannesburg, South Africa

Nomusa Makhubu
Nomusa Makhubu  |  Abstract
Over the last twenty years, there has been an increase in unconventional art forms and popular cultural interventions in African urban spaces that not only challenge the traditional tenets of the art history discipline but can also be seen as complex forms of political and social engagement. A common thread in these art forms is performance and live art. This study approaches live art interventionist aesthetics as significant discourses that illuminate the paradoxes of social practice in contemporary African cities. The initial research for this study focuses on two cities: Lagos and Cape Town. Based on my doctoral research, it interrogates the ways in which performance in live art, video art and video-film is used to renegotiate ‘public’ and ‘private’ spheres in continually changing and enigmatic urban spaces of Africa.

Lecturer, Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa  -  Interventionism, Art and Protest: Renegotiating Urban Spaces of Africa

Thecla Ngozi Udemmadu
Thecla Ngozi Udemmadu  |  Abstract
This project seeks to interrogate variegated gender representations, gender identities and ascribed gender roles in Igbo folktales with a view to arguing that oral tradition as a miniaturized depository of wisdom and knowledge for a people without an established literary tradition, may have laid the foundation for the existence and sustenance of lopsided gender relations in the society. Although many of the folktales have gender definitive contents, no critical study has investigated gender relations in these tales. A few of the tales have been documented by ethnographers and creative writers while a large number of the tales are still in their oral forms. Using the qualitative methods of field and library research, the work will advance beyond the anthropological, cultural and sociological study of folktales to critically analyze gender relations among the characters in the tales and identify characteristics, classifications and interactions that promote gender inequality.

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Arts, Nnamdi Azikiwe University  -  Drown the Female Child and Bring Home the Male: Interrogating Gender Tensions in Igbo Folklore

Innocentia Jabulisile Mhlambi
Innocentia Jabulisile Mhlambi  |  Abstract
Between 1994 and 2014, thirteen full operas, five short operas, the Five:20 project, an oratorio and one operetta were premiered in South Africa. This list excludes a number of adaptations and productions of classical standards by different opera companies during the same period. The common thread binding all these operas together is how they foreground the black operative subject, a focus that invites framing the opera in ways that appropriate indigenous styles - also termed indigenization - common to African performance traditions in South Africa. The indigenization at the heart of South Africa’s opera experimentation makes this art form a probable place for incisive discussions about the post-apartheid politics and cultural life, production politics, reception, patronage and black transnational identities. This book will draw a wide range of performance and music theories, including theories of the Global South to explore intricacies of black operatic space within broader efficacies of change and continuity in South Africa.

, African Languages, University of Witwatersrand  -  Post-1994 Black Opera: South Africa's Political and Cultural Life through Art Music

John Wakota
John Wakota  |  Abstract
Locating itself at the intersection between English and Kiswahili literature in Tanzania, this study examines the representation of the shifts in gender relations in Tanzanian fiction and re-visits the ways in which the two languages shape the discourse on gender relations and offers the possibility of different portrayal of gender relations in English and Kiswahili literature of Tanzania. Tracing a thread from the fictionalised pre-colonial, colonial, nationalist, socialist, to the ongoing neoliberalism periods, the study tracks the representation of how the socio-economic shifts have mapped and remapped both household and extra-household gender relations. It notes that due to the cross-fertilisation among the periods, the interaction between gender and other identity categories, and the collusion between indigenous patriarchy and other patriarchies, male and female characters variously seek to maintain and or transform existing gender relations and or discard or restore past gender relations.

Lecturer, Literature, University of Dar es Salaam  -  The Making and Remaking of Gender Relations in Tanzanian Fiction