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Tola Okunlola presents Reordering Tradition: The Female Body and Resistance in the Work of Julie Okoh
November 7, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
There is a historical convergence between phallocentric constructions of femaleness in everyday life in Africa and the narrative representations of femininity in modern African literature. For a long time, not only were women’s rights trampled upon without fear or repercussions, these gender(ed) atrocities were subordinated to and filtered through the lens of patriarchal hegemony. In this paper, I will proceed to show how the Nigerian playwright Julie Okoh, in her plays, uses culture as a point of entry to engaging with representations of the female body. In doing this, I particularly unpack the playwright’s multilayered engagements with gendered slurs such as “bottom power,” pointing to ways that she simultaneously deploys and subverts these slurs as a revolt against cultural practices that denigrate women.