Contemporary African Literature and the Politics of Gender

By Florence Stratton | Go to book overview

NOTES

INTRODUCTION

Exclusionary practices

1
For a critique of Taiwo’s book, see Ama Ata Aidoo, ‘To be an African woman writer—an overview and a detail’, in Kirsten Holst Petersen (ed. ) Criticism and Ideology: Second African Writers’ Conference, Stockholm 1986, Uppsala, Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, 1988:155-72. Aidoo aptly characterizes Taiwo’s book as ‘patronizing’, ‘self-righteous’, and ‘insensitive’. She also exposes his androcentrism and his careless reading of women’s novels.
2
In their concern with (white) western women writers’ exclusion from the canon, Nina Bahm, ‘Melodramas of beset manhood: how theories of American fiction exclude women authors’, in Elaine Showalter (ed. ) The New Feminist Criticism: Essays on Women, Literature, and Theory, London, Virago, 1986, 63-80; and Lillian S. Robinson, ‘Treason our text: feminist challenges to the literary canon’, in Showalter, op. cit.: 105-21, make the same point as Krupat.
3
Ashcroft and his colleagues subsume both race and gender into coloniality in their attempt to make their theory applicable to ‘all post-colonial literatures’ (2). For a critique of their model in terms of its conflation of ‘first-’ and ‘third-world’ colonialist experience, see Arun P. Mukherjee, ‘Whose post-colonialism and whose postmodernism?’, World Literature Written in English, 1990, 30.2:1-9.
4
See Ifi Amadiume, Male Daughters, Female Husbands: Gender and Sex in an African Society, London, Zed, 1987; Kwame Arhin, ‘The political and military roles of Akan women’, in Christine Oppong (ed. ) Female and Male in West Africa, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1983:91-8; Kamene Okonjo, ‘Sex roles in Nigerian politics’, in Oppong, op. cit.: 211-22; Kamene Okonjo, ‘Women’s political participation in Nigeria’, in Filomena Chioma Steady (ed. ) The Black Woman Cross-Culturally, Cambridge, Mass., Schenkman, 1981: 79-106; Mona Etienne, ‘Gender relations and conjugality among the Baule’, in Oppong, op. cit.: 303-19; Jeanne K. Henn, ‘Women in the rural economy: past, present, and future’, in Margaret Jean Hay and Sharon Stichter (eds) African Women South of the Sahara, London, Longman, 1984:1-18; Jean O’Barr, ‘African women in politics’, in Hay and Stichter, op. cit.: 140-55; and Omolara Ogundipe-Leslie, ‘African women, culture and another development’, Présence Africaine, 1987, 141.1:129-32.

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