In My Mother’s House: African Women, Poetic Literacy, and Radical Translation of Négritude


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Comparative Literature


This project examines how 20th- and 21st-century African women poets rewrite négritude poetics within a decolonial feminist framework. Questioning the dominant androcentric and francocentric formations of négritude discourse, it argues that the poets remap négritude’s geographic, historical, and epistemic boundaries by challenging the colonial limits of its masculinist imagination of the human. It also demonstrates how the poets redefine négritude’s liberation ethics in their profound critique of the multiple and intersectional forms of violence on Black lives by centering everyday life experiences. The project pays particular attention to the multilingual archives of African women’s négritude poetics to offer a more nuanced account of its plural and relational locations, its translational and transnational imagination. Engaging the rich archives of Senegalese, São Toméan, and Nigerian women’s poetry through a critical, historical, and cultural analysis, the project asserts that their négritude work constructs a more radical Black poetics from the underside of marginalized epistemologies.