Africa After Gender?

Africa After Gender?

Edited by Catherine Cole, Takyiwaa Manuh and Stephen Miescher
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 02/07/2007
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-21877-3
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Gender is one of the most productive, dynamic, and vibrant areas of Africanist research today. But what is the meaning of gender in an African context? Why does gender usually connote women? Why has gender taken hold in Africa when feminism hasn’t? Is gender yet another Western construct that has been applied to Africa however ill-suited and riddled with assumptions? Africa After Gender? looks at Africa now that gender has come into play to consider how the continent, its people, and the term itself have changed. Leading Africanist historians, anthropologists, literary critics, and political scientists move past simple dichotomies, entrenched debates, and polarizing identity politics to present an evolving discourse of gender. They show gender as an applied rather than theoretical tool and discuss themes such as the performance of sexuality, lesbianism, women’s political mobilization, the work of gendered NGOs, and the role of masculinity in a gendered world. For activists, students, and scholars, this book reveals a rich and cross-disciplinary view of the status of gender in Africa today.

Contributors are Hussaina J. Abdullah, Nwando Achebe, Susan Andrade, Eileen Boris, Catherine M. Cole, Paulla A. Ebron, Eileen Julien, Lisa A. Lindsay, Adrienne MacIain, Takyiwaa Manuh, Stephan F. Miescher, Helen Mugambi, Gay Seidman, Sylvia Tamale, Bridget Teboh, Lynn M. Thomas, and Nana Wilson-Tagoe.

Author Bio

Catherine M. Cole is Associate Professor of Dramatic Art and Associate Director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is author of Ghana’s Concert Party Theatre (IUP, 2001).

Takyiwaa Manuh is Professor of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, and serves as Director of the Institute of African Studies.

Stephan F. Miescher is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is author of Making Men in Ghana (IUP, 2005).


“For activists, students, and scholars, Africa After Gender? reveals a rich and cross-disciplinary view of the status of gender in Africa today.”

“. . . this book is an important contribution to the location of knowledge production and the study of gender in Africa. The multi- and transdisciplinary essays emphasize in various pragmatic ways how local custodians immeasurably enrich collaborative scholarly research. Other essays offer fresh approaches to gender and gender performance while situating such enactments within a transcontinental global framework with the clear aim of promoting less antagonistic North-South dialogue and groundbreaking studies of women's and gender issues in Africa.39.4 Winter 2008”

“[This] is a truly remarkable and important book . . . . This text offer[s] a fresh and challenging analysis on African gender issues. . . . This book is very accessible and engaging . . . . It should have widespread appeal to Africanists from all subfields, as well as scholars of women and gender studies. Africa after Gender? makes a significant contribution to African studies and illuminates the changing discourse of gender within African contexts.June 2010”
 — Jacqueline-Bethel T. Mougoue, Purdue University

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Table of Contents


Introduction: When Was Gender? Stephan F. Miescher, Takyiwaa Manuh, and Catherine M. Cole

Part 1. Volatile Genders and New African Women
1. Out of the Closet: Unveiling Sexuality Discourses in Uganda Sylvia Tamale
Postscript compiled by Bianca A. Murillo
2. Institutional Dilemmas: Representation versus Mobilization in the South African Gender Commission Gay W. Seidman
3. Gendered Reproduction: Placing Schoolgirl Pregnancies in African History Lynn M. Thomas
4. Dialoging Women Nwando Achebe and Bridget Teboh

Part 2. Activism and Public Space
5. Rioting Women and Writing Women: Gender, Class, and the Public Sphere in Africa Susan Z. Andrade
6. Let Us Be United in Purpose: Variations on Gender Relations in the Yorùbá Popular Theatre Adrienne MacIain
7. Doing Gender Work in Ghana Takyiwaa Manuh
8. Women as Emergent Actors: A Survey of New Women's Organizations in Nigeria since the 1990s Hussaina J. Abdullah

Part 3. Gender Enactments, Gendered Perceptions
9. Constituting Subjects through Performative Acts Paulla A. Ebron
10. Gender After Africa! Eileen Boris
11. When a Man Loves a Woman: Gender and National Identity in Wole Soyinkas's Death and the King's Horseman and Mariama Bâ's Scarlet Song Eileen Julien
12. Representing Culture and Identity: African Women Writers and National Cultures Nana Wilson-Tagoe

Part 4. Masculinity, Misogyny, and Seniority
13. Working with Gender: The Emergence of the "Male Breadwinner" in Colonial Southwestern Nigeria Lisa A. Lindsay
14. Becoming an Opanyin: Elders, Gender, and Masculinities in Ghana since the Nineteenth Century Stephan F. Miescher
15. "Give Her a Slap to Warm Her Up": Post-Gender Theory and Ghana's Popular Culture Catherine M. Cole
16. The "Post-Gender" Question in African Studies Helen Nabasuta Mugambi

The Production of Gendered Knowledge in the Digital Age
Resources for Further Reading
List of Contributors