Speaking about African feminism at the Global Feminism Symposium, University of Warwick

African BambadaI am currently in Lagos. I am working on projects with TV and Radio Continental and the STAR company/Seeing through the Arts collective who are using art and creativity to promote important causes in society. There is a similar reasoning behind the  MsAfropolitan Boutique, namely to use fashion and creativity to highlight the importance of the African Women’s Decade. And so I am attending the Nigeria Fashion Week by the African fashion visionary Lexy Mojo Eyes meeting new women-led labels. Last but not least, I’m here compiling materials and making queries for my upcoming MA dissertation about Yoruba spiritual philosophy and gender.

When I get back to England, I will be heading to the university of Warwick to a symposium about rethinking global feminism where I’m speaking about matters that specifically concern African feminists.

After quite a hectic November, I’m sure I’ll look forward to a calmer December, and to finalizing my upcoming poetry collection Snippets of Transition, which has found itself a publisher.

More details about the symposium below if you are able to attend. And if you are in Lagos attending NFW, I truly look forward to meeting you.

Rethinking Global Feminism

A one day symposium, Friday 25th November 2011

IAS Seminar Room, Milburn House

University of Warwick

Morning session: Feminist issues around the world, including contributions from writer and commentator on Africa & Diaspora, Feminism & Race and Founder of MsAfropolitan.com, Minna Salami; Professor Maxine Molyneux director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London; and Rashmi Varma, Associate Professor of Literature and Cultural Studies, University of Warwick.

Afternoon session: The politics of solidarity, with contributions from activist Salma Yaqoob, author, critic and independent curator Alanna Lockward, and Dyi Huijg, PhD student at Manchester University

With contributions from
Gurminder K Bhambra, Director of the Social Theory Centre
Nickie Charles, Director of the Centre for the Study of Women and Gender
Shirin Rai, Director of a Leverhulme Trust programme on Gendered Ceremony and Ritual in Parliament

Teas, coffees and lunch provided

Registration is free but booking is essential

To register email Lucy Mayblin: l.mayblin@warwick.ac.uk

About the speakers

Dieuwertje Huijg:
Dieuwertje Huijg is a PhD student at the University of Manchester. Her doctoral project concerns the intersectional agency of racially privileged young, feminist activists in São Paulo (Brazil). Using a phenomenological methodology and social theoretical/philosophical perspective, she hopes to respond to the question how, in the context of simultaneous structural advantage (as race) and disadvantage (as gender), agency is experienced, negotiated, mobilised and (re)produced by the individual who aims at social change. This research is grounded in her own activist background, specifically in the -multicultural and young- women’s movement in the Netherlands and Brazil in the period 2001-2009.

Alanna Lockwood:
Alanna Lockward is an author, critic and independent curator specialized in time-based undertakings. In 1988, she was appointed Director of International Affairs at Museo de Arte Moderno in Santo Domingo. She is the founding director of ArtLabour Archives, a cultural platform and agency responsible for producing situation-specific art events and exhibitions since 1997 in the US, the Caribbean, Europe and the African continent. She is chief editor of VideoArtWorld online magazine and general manager of the Transnational Decolonial Institute.

Maxine Molyneux
Maxine Molyneux is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas, at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, where she teaches and supervises Doctoral students on Latin American Development policy and practice, gender, politics, social policy, memory and migration. She has written extensively in the fields of political sociology, gender and development, human rights and social policy, and has authored books on Latin America, Ethiopia and South Yemen. She has acted as senior adviser, consultant and researcher to UNRISD, and has undertaken funded research for the UK’s Department for International Development, the ILO, and other development policy agencies. Maxine Molyneux has authored many books, including ‘Women’s Movements in International Perspective’

Minna Salami:
Minna Salami is a writer and commentator on Africa and diaspora, art and culture, feminism and race, and founder of MsAfropolitan.com. She was born in Finland, grew up in Nigeria and studied in Sweden. Minna is regularly called on for her insight and reach by organisations including The V&A Museum, The Africa Centre, VoxAfrica and CBS Broadcasting, Minna’s writing and opinion has also been featured in The Huffington Post, The Guardian, ARISE, WINGS, CLUTCH Magazine and more. Such attention grabbing headlines as Too afrocentric for you?, Smart women should watch porn and Mixed Race girls have issues have helped attract the attention and devotion of tens of thousands of users per month to Minna’s celebrated MsAfropolitan.com blog. She is currently completing an MA in Gender studies at SOAS University, focusing on African women’s history.

Rashmi Varma:
Dr. Rashmi Varma is an Associate Professor in English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick. She obtained her B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from the University of Delhi and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago in English and Women’s Studies. Prior to Warwick she taught English and Cultural Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At Warwick, she teaches courses on postcolonial literatures and theory, feminist literary theory and transnational feminism. She is the author of The Postcolonial City and its Subjects: London, Nairobi, Bombay (2011) and a co-editor of the McGraw-Hill Anthology of Women’s Writing (2008). She is currently on a British Academy fellowship for 2011-2012 to complete her book on representations of indigenous culture in postcolonial India. She is a member of the London-based Women Against Fundamentalism and a is a founder-board member of the Centre for Secular Space in London.

Salma Yaqoob:
Salma Yaqoob has been the Leader of the Respect Party in recent years. In 2006 she was elected as a city councillor to represent Sparkbrook ward on Birmingham City Council with nearly 50 per cent of the vote, one of the largest majorities in the city. In the same year she received the Asian Jewel Award for Public Service Excellence. Salma has been described by the Birmingham Post as a ‘doughty fighter for Birmingham inner city communities’. Salma is a regular commentator in the media on current affairs.
Creative Commons License photo credit: srbyug

  • Nike

    You are unstoppable, woman!!! Good luck on all the upcoming endeavours and your dissertation!

    • MsAfropolitan

      Huge thanks Nike. You know, after writing the post I suddenly felt very tired! But more importantly grateful to be doing things I love. Hope you are well

  • http://teachermrw.com teachermrw

    Sounds great! Would like to be there with you, and attend the symposium. I know you will do fabulously on the panel!

  • Beckie

    Do you recommend any particular book as a primer for learning about yoruba philosophy?

    • MsAfropolitan

      Beckie, apologies for only just getting back to you.
      Ok, hmm to narrow it down to one… Depends if you have a particular area of interest?
      Probably start with Samuel Johnson ‘The history of the Yorubas’. And the work of Wole Soyinka, ‘Ake’ and ‘Myth, Religion and the African World’.
      Also, ‘Black Gods-Orisa Studies in the New World’ by John Mason is great for getting to know the orishas.
      ‘Ifa will mend our broken world’ Abimbola Wande and Sandra Barnes, ‘Africa’s Ogun: Old World and New’
      Look up Henry John Drewal and Babatunde Lawal also.

      • MsAfropolitan

        And “Yoruba Gurus” by Ulli Beier!

        A very incomplete list but if you specify what you are after, I’ll hopefully be able to help further.