HomeBeyond clichés: social-cultural representations and practices of polygamy across Sub-Saharan women’s creative works

HomeBeyond clichés: social-cultural representations and practices of polygamy across Sub-Saharan women’s creative works

Beyond clichés: social-cultural representations and practices of polygamy across Sub-Saharan women’s creative works

Au-delà des clichés : représentations et pratiques socio-culturelles de la polygamie dans les œuvres créatives de femmes subsahariennes

Seminar Series: Women in French Australia

Série de séminaires : Women in French Australia

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Published on Thursday, July 27, 2023

Abstract

In this seminar we propose to re-centre various cultural representations arising from literature (oral and written), artistic mediums, media, music and cinema by Francophone Sub-Saharan women. Importantly, this seminar aims to go beyond the denunciation-celebration axis that has so far tinged many a study on polygamy in cultural representations from the continent to explore polygamy in all its forms, including unofficial extra-marital relations implying tacit acceptance of polygamy (Boni, 139), and modes of expression.

Announcement

Argument

The subject of polygamy has been a mainstay in cultural and artistic expressions from across Sub-Saharan Africa over the last few decades and most certainly since Mariama Bâ published her now canonical Une si longue lettre (1979), a work considered by many to have sounded the coup d’envoi of Sub-Saharan African women’s writing. While many African writers and theorists denounce polygamy as an oppressive institution for women through creative forms, others propose works that advocate for a more approbatory positioning on the issue. In cinematic production from the continent, female directors are often encouraged to produce films addressing specifically “female themes”, such as polygamy, in return for funding opportunities, leaving many feeling that they are restricted in the cinematic content that they can propose while others specifically opt to address such issues in their work (Bisschoff, 163). Although polygamy in Sub-Saharan literary and creative works reflects “the multiplicity of feminine discourses” (Assiba d’Almeida, 43), Clignet stresses that “[t]he main flaw in analyses of polygamy lies in the fact that they are both atemporal and ahistorical” and that “implicitly or explicitly, these analyses always focus on the male perspective alone [...]” (2019, 204).

In this seminar we propose to re-centre various cultural representations arising from literature (oral and written), artistic mediums, media, music and cinema by Francophone Sub-Saharan women. Importantly, this seminar aims to go beyond the denunciation-celebration axis that has so far tinged many a study on polygamy in cultural representations from the continent to explore polygamy in all its forms, including unofficial extra-marital relations implying tacit acceptance of polygamy (Boni, 139), and modes of expression. The goal of this series is to provide a platform from which to reflect on the following questions: How are representations of polygamy constructed from artistic, socio-cultural and politico-economic points of view? How do these representations invest bodies in time and space? How are polygamous experiences written, read, viewed or consumed by men and women?  Is it possible to build sorority in a polygamous environment? Is there a genre/style/fashion that faithfully reflects the polygamous experience? These are just some of the non-exhaustive questions that could serve as guidelines for this seminar. We invite proposals for papers (15-20 minutes) on any aspect of polygamy in Francophone African cultural representation and artistic practice.

Submission guidelines

Please send proposals for papers (250 words) alongside any questions to the co-organisers Sandra Tiako Djomatchoua (mt2200@princeton.edu), Charlotte Mackay (Charlotte.Mackay@monash.edu) and A. Stevellia Moussavou Nyama (anouchka-stevellia.moussavou-nyama@univ-amu.fr)

before 31st August 2023.

This seminar series will be held online.

Organisers

  • Sandra Tiako Djomatchoua (Princeton University);
  • Charlotte Mackay (Monash University);
  • A. Stevellia Moussavou Nyama (Université d’Aix-Marseille).

Works cited

ASSIBA D’ALMEIDA, Irène, “Problématique de la mondialisation des discours féministes africains”, in Chantal Zabus, and Danielle de Lame, eds, Changements au féminin en Afrique noire. Anthologie et littérature (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1999), 27-47.

BÂ, Mariama, Une si longue lettre, Dakar, Les Nouvelles Éditions Africaines du Sénégal, 1979.

BISSCHOFF, Lizelle, “The emergence of women’s film-making in francophone sub-Saharan Africa : From pioneering figures to contemporary directors”, Journal of African Cinemas 4/2 (2012), 157-73

BONI, Tanella, Que vivent les femmes d’Afrique?, Paris, Karthala, 2011.

CLIGNET, Rémi, “On dit que la polygamie est morte: vive la polygamie!”, in David Parkin, and David Nyamwaya, eds, Transformations of African Marriage (Oxon: Routledge, 2019), 199-209.

Event attendance modalities

Full online event


Date(s)

  • Thursday, August 31, 2023

Keywords

  • polygamie, représentation, pratique, œuvre, sociologie, culturelle, femme, subsaharienne

Contact(s)

  • A. Stevellia MOUSSAVOU NYAMA
    courriel : bessoracontributions [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Murielle Sandra Tiako Djomatchoua
    courriel : mt2200 [at] princeton [dot] edu
  • Charlotte Mackay
    courriel : Charlotte [dot] Mackay [at] monash [dot] edu

Reference Urls

Information source

  • A. Stevellia MOUSSAVOU NYAMA
    courriel : bessoracontributions [at] gmail [dot] com

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Beyond clichés: social-cultural representations and practices of polygamy across Sub-Saharan women’s creative works », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Thursday, July 27, 2023, https://doi.org/10.58079/1bne

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