Feminism, Female Sexuality and Personal Choice: Subverting Patriarchy in Northern Nigerian Women's Writing


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


English and Literary Studies


The proposed study deploys a feminist reading to analyse the ways in which the selected writers, writing from the margins of a patriarchal society, infiltrate the gaps, silences and cracks in phallocentric culture to dismantle common perceptions about women. The main argument of this project is that northern Nigerian women writers are feminist even if they reject the label of feminism. One aim of the proposed work is to show how these writers redefine “woman” by exposing the ways in which masculinity and femininity are really just texts constructed by dominant power structures. The study, however avoids biological determinism by resisting the idea that the distinctiveness of women's writing is that it is merely writing produced by women. Hence, Formalism is deployed so as to give space to the aesthetic qualities of the selected texts in order to showcase the diversity, richness and difference that characterises northern Nigerian women's writing even when they share similar thematic concerns.