Ethics and Human Rights in Anglophone African Women’s Literature

Feminist Empathy

  • Chielozona Eze

Part of the Comparative Feminist Studies book series (CFS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Chielozona Eze
    Pages 43-68
  3. Chielozona Eze
    Pages 95-120
  4. Chielozona Eze
    Pages 121-143
  5. Chielozona Eze
    Pages 165-185
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 209-230

About this book


‘A remarkable work, both for its compassion and critical insights, Chielozona Eze’s Ethics and

Human Rights in Anglophone African Women’s Literature: Feminist Empathy ‘liberates’ empathy

from ideology and offers a focused way of reading literature within and across borders that also

transcends limiting contexts.’ –Maik Nwosu, University of Denver, USA


‘In a thus far unsurpassed “sharing of affect,” Professor Eze artfully deploys what he calls

“feminist empathy” for third-generation Anglophone African women writers. In the wake of

their foremothers’ rejection of the double yoke of colonialism and patriarchy, this millennial

generation of women writers reclaims “a body of their own” and its unaccountable pain.

Eze’s bold yet gentle gesturing towards these new female subjectivities makes him a male

feminist, definitely a rare commodity on the Nigerian scene. His book is a high risk/high gain

venture opening wide the portal of “human flourishing” for other African empathizers in the

post-nation-state.’ –Chantal Zabus, author of Between Rites and Rights: Excision in Women’s

Experiential Texts and Human Contexts, Université Paris 13 – Sorbonne Paris Cité, France


‘Eze deftly demonstrates how contemporary African writing by women deploys feminist

empathy to link ethics and human rights in a fresh interpretation of ubuntu — the African

philosophy of individual and community interdependence. With nuance and a rare attention to

not only fiction but also poetry, essays and new media, Eze shows how recent works extending

longstanding African feminist theories into new territory, proving Adichie and her sister-authors

right: we should all be feminists.’ –Tsitsi Jaji, author of Africa in Stereo: Modernism, Music and

Pan-African Solidarity and Associate Professor of English, Duke University, USA


This book proposes feminist empathy as a model of interpretation in the works of contemporary

Anglophone African women writers. The African woman’s body is often portrayed as having

been disabled by the patriarchal and sexist structures of society. Returning to their bodies

as a point of reference, rather than the postcolonial ideology of empire, contemporary

African women writers demand fairness and equality. By showing how this literature deploys

imaginative shifts in perspective with women experiencing unfairness, injustice, or oppression

because of their gender, Chielozona Eze argues that by considering feminist empathy,

discussions open up about how this literature directly addresses the systems that put them

in disadvantaged positions. This book, therefore, engages a new ethical and human rights

awareness in African literary and cultural discourses, highlighting the openness to reality that is

compatible with African multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and increasingly cosmopolitan communities.


gender equality contemporary Anglophone African women writers humanist ideals female body feminism

Authors and affiliations

  • Chielozona Eze
    • 1
  1. 1.Northeastern Illinois University ChicagoUSA

Bibliographic information