The passing in 2017 of Nigerian and Igbo novelist Buchi Emecheta, whose life and fiction memorably dramatize the deeply-rooted obstacles to women's emancipation and the strength and intelligence of women to face such obstacles, occasions a consideration of her work and the network of influences of which she was part. As a tribute to Buchi Emecheta this NeMLA 2018 Convention panel will consider features of her fiction as well as the work of other West African women writers. Emecheta's writing and that of other West African women, including Flora Nwapa, Efua Sutherland, Ama Ata Aidoo, Mariama Ba, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, raise many vital questions that are relevant today. We will ask what common threads are found in West African women's writing and what conflicts, challenges, and successes of women may be associated with West African space and its societies. Some examples of questions to be addressed are: Have women's lives changed for the better in West Africa since Emecheta's early writing? In what ways do the themes of West African women's writing overlap with the themes of West African's men's writing and in what ways may these themes be considered distinct? What economic barriers must women surmount and are they being surmounted? Is patriarchy the inevitable norm in West African society and literature?
Thomas Jay Lynn
Abstract proposals must be submitted through the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) website: go to: https://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention/callforpapers.html