Academic journal article Journal of Third World Studies

A Diegetic Analysis of the Scholarly Works of Six ATWS/ASRF Women: Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, Theodora Ayot, Doyin Coker-Kolo, Rita Kiki Edozie, Mueni Wa Muiu, and Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome

Academic journal article Journal of Third World Studies

A Diegetic Analysis of the Scholarly Works of Six ATWS/ASRF Women: Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, Theodora Ayot, Doyin Coker-Kolo, Rita Kiki Edozie, Mueni Wa Muiu, and Mojubaolu Olufunke Okome

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In this essay, I employ the diegetic method to examine the scholarly works of six Association of Third World Studies (ATWS) and African Studies and Research Forum (ASRF) female professionals--namely, Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, Theodora Ayot, Doyin Coker-Kolo, Rita Kiki Edozie, Mueni wa Muiu, and Mojubaolu O1ufunke Okome. The major purpose of the paper is to highlight the academic work of some of our leading female scholars. This is in line with the tradition of the ATWS and the ASRF--the latter being an affiliate organization of the former--that pride themselves in promoting total equality between the sexes and other social groups in all of their activities. These scholars' academic merit is demonstrated by examining their analytical styles and subjectivity and objectivity contestations. They are the first six female professionals of the ATWS/ASRF selected for review as part of a larger book project because of their substantive research activities; early tenure and promotion; and holding key positions in the ASRF, ATWS and/or other major academic organizations.

In essence, the essay deviates from the vexing and persistent practice of marginalizing female scholars. For example, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Susumu Tonegawa, a Nobel laureate and director of the Picower Center for Learning and Memory, told Alia Karpova that he would not interact or collaborate with her, or serve as her mentor, if she accepted a job at MIT, and that members of his research group would refuse to work with her as well. Karpova, touted as one of the most promising young neuroscientists, had to turn down the job. The controversy became especially sensitive at MIT, which has been a focal point for accusations of bias against female scientists for over a decade. Seven years before the Karpova incident, the institute acknowledged in a report that it had discriminated against women, setting in motion a new movement for academic women. In a follow-up report three years later, female academics at MIT stated that they still felt marginalized. (1)

In the following sections, I begin with a discussion of the methodology that guides the essay. This is followed by an analysis of the works of each of the selected intellectuals. After that, a synthesis of the findings is presented. In the end, a conclusion is drawn based on the findings.

THE DIEGETIC METHOD

The diegetic method, as I have discussed elsewhere following the work of Cesare Segre, (2) is a literary analytical, or narrativity, approach conceptualized as a mediated linguistic realization, whose scope it is to communicate a series of events to one or more interlocutors and to do so in such a manner that the interlocutors will participate in this knowledge, and so widen their own pragmatic context. A narrative content and its realization, then, may or may not be diegetic, which may be verbal but also nonverbal, or not merely verbal. Thus, a diegetic narrative is an invariant which can be represented by many variables--hence, possible transpositions from one type of realization to another. It is an autonomous referent, because, however it is uttered or written, an action will have an unequivocal nature of its own; it is an articulated referent because, among the different actions of a narrative, there exist logical or at least chronological relations and these can be enucleated without taking into account the mode of utterance or writing. The concrete character of the referent, or pseudo-referent should the narration be fictitious, is much more fluid, or it no longer exists when an analyst deals with lyrical, psychological, reflective, and other such contents.

In everyday narration, there exists a possibility of integration from the pragmatic context of data known to the interlocutor. Consequently, the action may also be narrated in an incomplete or disjointed way. It is less important to stress the well-known linguistic idea that everyday narration, as distinct from literary narration, may also have recourse to nonverbal means--gestures, etc. …

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