Global Africa, Migration, Literature and The Arts: Intercollegiate Symposium (Global Africa and The Humanities)

April 7-8, 2022 Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Symposium landing page imageThe Department of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures (AMESALL), Global Africa and the Humanities presents the third symposium in its series, with the theme, “Afrofeminist Ecologies: Relations, Disruptions and Futures”

We evoke Afrofeminist ecologies to recognize the centrality of relation in African feminist epistemologies--within families and communities, between and among women whose fates are intertwined, and with the natural world that sustains them; to acknowledge the tightly woven nature of oppressive and extractive systems and institutions and the intersectionality of obstacles to freedom and full political agency for African women. We also aim to highlight the mutuality and interconnectedness of the modes and forms of resistance and alternative world-making that continue to constitute feminist struggle across the continent and throughout the diaspora. African feminists have long recognized both that the sustained violence of environmental degradation and resource extraction has gendered effects, and that the ecological impacts of extractivist modes of accumulation cannot be disentangled from exploitative and violent social relations that disproportionately impact women.

The symposium will explore and engage women’s resistance to colonial plunder, to displacement and tenure insecurity, to resource exploitation and mismanagement by governments and transnational corporations, to gender-based violence in extraction zones, to the unequal impacts of global climate change, and to the long histories of disruption and erosion of women’s productive and reproductive economies. We seek to explore women’s movements, women’s organizing and collective action, and women’s art-making in their militancy and insurrectionary power and in their transformative potential. We ask: As knowing, practicing agents of change, how are African women and gender non-conforming members of African societies engaging in politics and poetics of resistance? In what modes, genres, languages, media do the arts of protest emerge in response to ongoing oppressive structures and destructive systems in African environments? How have feminist activists galvanized around indigenous cosmologies, alternative forms of ecological relation, and regenerative practices? What transformative visions for socially and environmentally just futures are offered by the narratives, songs, memoirs, and embodied practices of feminist activists and artists on the continent and in its diasporas?



Full Final Program Downloadable Here 

Thursday, April 7, 5:00pm – 9:00pm

5:00-6:30pm Zimmerli Art Museum, Lower Dodge Gallery
Welcoming Reception
food and beverage will be served

6:30-9:00pm Voorhees Hall 105
Film Screening:
African Apocalypse

Discussion with Filmmakers: Rob Lemkin, Amina Weira, and Femi Nylander
Moderated by: Dr. Barbara Cooper

Friday, April 8, 8:45am – 6:30pm
Douglass Student Center

8:00-8:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30-8:50 Official Welcome

8:50-10:20  First Panel: Women’s Labor, Embodied Practice, and Gendered Space with Janet Adomako, Grace Musila, and Zakia Salime
Chair: Gabriel Bámgbóṣé

10:20-10:30 10 minute coffee Break

10:30-11:30 Keynote Address by Imbolo Mbue, author of How Beautiful We Were

11:30 - 12:45 Lunch Provided

1-1:20 Adérónké Adésànyà, Artist Statement: “Black Bodies’ Fragility and Resilience in an Ecology of Hostility” 

1:20 -2:50 Second Panel: Eco-Matriarchy and Ethics of Care with Besi Muhonja, Eve Nabulya, Brahim El Guabli 
Chair: Meg Arenberg

2:50-3:10 Razinat Mohammed Reading from Habiba

3:10-3:20 10 minute coffee break

3:20-4:20 Third panel: Decorum, Defiance, and the Female Body with Rudo Mudiwa & Naminata Diabate
Chair: Camille Dantzler

4:20-4:35 Baba Badji Reading from Ghost Letters

4:35-5:35 Fourth panel: Afro-feminist Futures with Uchechi Okereke-Beshel & Baba Badji
Chair: Hasnaa Mokhtar

5:35-5:55 Mamadou Diallo Boubou Sangare Reading from Chroniques du Mangari

6:30-8:00 Final Reception


Symposium Co-sponsors:

  • Douglass Residental College
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • Executive Vice Dean and Dean of Humanities
  • Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures
  • Center for African Studies
  • Department of French
  • Department of English and Writers House
  • Rutgers Global
  • And with special to Dean Kara Donaldson and Ian Defalco

Symposium Convenors:

  • Dr. Ousseina Alidou (AMESALL)
  • Dr. Meg Arenberg (AMESALL)
  • Dr. Olabode Ibironke (English)
  • Dr. Alamin Mazrui (AMESALL)
  • Camille Dantzler (Africana: Gender and the Black Diaspora House)


Dr. Meg Arenberg
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To Participate Via Zoom Webinar on April 8, Register Here 


(Artwork by Aderonke Adesanya: “Queen Xerxes Blue,” oil on linen, 60 x 50in.)