Call for Panelists
Nudity in Africa: Being and Unbeing
The 5th Annual Lagos Studies Association Conference
Theme: Postcolonial African Cities at 60: Continuities and Discontinuities
June 25-27, 2020
Panel Co-organizers: Sharon Omotoso, Mutiat Titilope Oladejo, and Temitope Bello (University of Ibadan)
Being naked, variously described as ‘disrobing’, ‘undressing’ and ‘stripping’ among others, is a popular trend among women. Although nudity is a cross-cultural practice not peculiar to Africa alone, it has been lodged with series of entanglements and contestations in Africa. Invariably it connotes different meanings which could be culture-based, political, religious and in recent past a fashion statement. As far back as the pre-colonial era, striping naked served a powerful tool of bringing the invisible to public glare, thus calling attention to neglected issues through the agency of the body. Across cultures in Africa, public nakedness by older women is considered a curse on leadership and rarely deployed unless in extreme cases of discontent. From political angles, undressing in public is often described by government as unethical, being defiance to pornographic laws of states. With religion and moral teachings, nudity is considered an aberration such that religious leaders detest nudity irrespective of the circumstance. These become complicated in light of recent trends of half nakedness among youths in the name of fashion and fad.
Scholarship on nudity in Africa is emerging as there are new ways of portraying nudity different from its widely-known usage as a form of resistance. Nudity is fast emerging as a form of shaming that manifests security challenges for women in the mob actions of city dwellers in Africa. While history record women as deliberately stripping for public complaint among others, disrobing is fast becoming a correctional measure in communities, particularly in urban societies where there is a loose sense of communality. With abounding evidences of women being stripped by a mob for reasons such as witchcraft, theft, kidnap, infidelity and sodomy, our research interest lies in the trajectories of mob attacks that encourage body shaming. The panel seeks well researched papers on issues of nudity in the twisted context of correcting women’s misdemeanor in past and present African societies.
Issues to be discussed include (though not limited to) the following:
-Does nudity really matter in the philosophy of human being?
- What does it mean for a man or woman to be nude, what are the sexual attachments and sentiments?
- How and why are the epistemologies of nudity changing across Africa?
-What are the implications of the emerging trends of body-shaming for women’s agency?
-What is the future of nudity for protest considering proliferation of body-shaming?
To participate in this panel, send a 250-word abstract to Dr. Sharon Omotoso (firstname.lastname@example.org), Dr. Mutiat Titilope Oladejo (email@example.com), and Temitope Bello (firstname.lastname@example.org) by January 15, 2020. Visit the LSA website for additional information about the Conference: https://lagosstudies.wcu.edu/