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African Women’s Letters as Intellectual History and Decolonial Knowledge Production

  • Athambile MasolaEmail author
Living reference work entry

Abstract

This chapter explores the anthology series Women Writing Africa as a way of thinking about decolonial knowledge production. By analyzing four letters from the series, I explore the ways in which women have used letters as a way of subverting their marginalization in public discourse. Each letter is from a woman in a different African region and decade in order to see the extent to which women at different places and times have used writing to position their concerns. The epistolary form is an ancient tradition which is useful for thinking about women’s intellectual history. Letters are an imaginative tool which have allowed women the ability to share their imagination about the world they wish to live in. The letters are written by women in Egypt, Botswana, Senehun (modern day Sierra Leone), and Uganda. The women’s positionality differs as some of the women are royal women, church women, and activists. Using Nnaemeka’s work on positionality, I explore marginality and liminality to position the writers of the letters and their writing in order to show how the epistolary form has been used to resist marginality and erasure.

Keywords

African women’s letters Public discourse Women’s intellectual history Marginality and liminality 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Groenkloof CampusUniversity of PretoriaHatfieldSouth Africa

Section editors and affiliations

  • Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Public AdministrationBabcock UniversityIlishan RemoNigeria

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