Naminata Diabate – Naked Agency / Protest: Between the Occult and the InternetWednesday, May 4, 2022 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm CEST/GMT+2
Online Lecture Series
The last two decades have registered an outstanding wave of naked protests globally. In Africa, the proliferation and hypervisibility of that which is erroneously called genital cursing can be explained by multiple factors, including the power of the digital sphere and the intensification and multiplication of negative biopolitical conditions. This lecture traces the historical trajectory of mature women’s insurrectionary disrobing and examines its recent deployment during moments of socio-political duress. Thirdly, I meditate on the impact of the sharing affordances of Internet media to reframe the terms of the debate around women’s agency. As news and images of the gesture travel outside of their original site of performance, the women’s agency takes on new forms. Diverging, thus, from the longstanding logic that frames the women as endlessly empowered and empowering, I propose that we think of their agency as naked, in the keys of instability and openness.
Naminata Diabate is an associate professor of comparative literature at Cornell University. A scholar of gender, sexuality, and race, taking her archives literary fiction, cinema, visual arts, and digital media, her most recent work has appeared in a monograph, peer-reviewed journals, and collections of essays, including Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art (2020), Routledge Handbook of African Literature (2019), African Literature Today ALT 36 (2018), Critical Interventions (2017), Research in African Literatures (2016), and Fieldwork in the Humanities (2016). Her book, Naked Agency: Genital Cursing and Biopolitics in Africa was published by Duke University Press in 2020 and awarded the African Studies Association 2021 Best Book Prize. This year, she holds the Ali Mazrui Senior Research Fellowship at the Africa Institute of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, working on two monographs, “The Problem of Pleasure in Global Africa” and “Digital Insurgencies and Bodily Domains.”
This lecture series is jointly curated by faculty involved in Transnational Feminism, Solidarity, and Social Justice, a new project that offers a sustainable platform for students and professors from OSUN colleges to engage in rigorous academic work, express themselves freely, inspire each other through art, and work closely with local and international initiatives to further the feminist agenda for social justice.
Other lectures in the Transnational Feminism, Solidarity, and Social Justice lecture series:
- March 1, 4:00 pm CET: Poulami Roychowdhury, Capability and Incorporation: Pathways to Redress in the Aftermath of Violence
- April 26, 3:00 pm CET: Tatsiana Shchurko, From Harlem to Tashkent: Rethinking Histories of Socialist Internationalism for Transnational Feminist Solidarities
- May 3, 3:00 pm CET: Kristen R. Ghodsee, Red Valkyries: Feminist Lessons From Five Revolutionary Women
Email: [email protected]