Erlesenes Erforschen: Reclaiming the F-Word. Feminism and Modernity in 21st-Century Anglophone African Women’s Writing

13.06.2023 18:00

Dienstag, 13. Juni 2023, 18.00 Uhr, Aula am Campus und Livestream

As part of Erlesenes Erforschen, the Vienna University Library's book presentation series, Dobrota Pucherová presents and discusses her 2022 published book Feminism and Modernity in Anglophone African Women’s Writing: A 21st-Century Global Context.




Birgit Athumani Hango | Head of the African and Middle Eastern Studies Library, Vienna University

Book presentation

Dobrota Pucherová | Institute of World Literature, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava // Department of African Studies // Department of European and Comparative Literature and Language Studies, Vienna University

Discussion with the author

Sarah Heinz | Department of English and American Studies, Vienna University

Questions from the audience (on site and online)

Wine and open sandwiches will be served afterwards!

About the book

Dobrota Pucherová, Feminism and Modernity in Anglophone African Women’s Writing: A 21st-Century Global Context (Routledge, New York, 2022)

Dobrota Pucherova’s book re-reads the last 60 years of Anglophone African women’s writing from a transnational and trans-historical feminist perspective, rather than postcolonial, from which these texts have been traditionally interpreted. Such a comparative frame throws into relief patterns across time and space that make it possible to situate this writing as an integral part of women’s literary history.

Revisiting this literature in a comparative context with Western women writers since the 18th century, the author highlights how invocations of „tradition“ have been used by patriarchy everywhere to subjugate women, the similarities between women’s struggles worldwide, and the feminist imagination it produced. The author argues that in the 21st century, African feminism has undergone a major epistemic shift: from a culturally exclusive to a relational feminism that conceptualizes African femininity through the risky opening of oneself to otherness, transculturation, and translation.

Like Western feminists in the 1960s, contemporary African women writers are turning their attention to the female body as the prime site of women’s oppression and freedom, reframing feminism as a demand for universal human rights and actively shaping global discourses on gender, modernity, and democracy.

About the author

Dobrota Pucherová is Senior Researcher at the Institute of World Literature, Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava and a lecturer in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Department of African Studies at the University of Vienna.
She studied English literature at the University of Oxford. Her comparatist research spans African, English as well as Central European literatures.

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Ayaan Hirsi Ali © Gage Skidmore; Jennifer-Nansubuga-Makumbi © DeuxPlusQuatre; Kopano Matlwa © Ubud Writers & Readers Festival; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie © Howard County Library System; Monica Arac de Nyeko © Boberger; Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko © Nhm9; Chinelo Okparanta © FrimousseRoche. © Photo collage: UB Wien / Maria Frenay