Colorado College Assistant Professor of French Nene Diop has recently published her first book, Combat Socio-Politique et Représentation: Le droit de la Femme en Question dans le Roman Sénégalais (Socio-Political Struggle and Self-Representation: Senegalese Women and their Quest for Equal Rights in the Senegalese Novel).
Diop, whose research focuses on women’s writings in Francophone West African literature and on Senegalese literary works in particular, says the motivation for the book came from her deep commitment and strong desire to contribute meaningfully to the enrichment and universalizing of the underrepresented and under-studied group of African women writers and their valuable contributions in the field of Francophone Studies.
“Specifically, I have been interested in understanding the approaches by which these often ‘marginalized’ new generations of women scholars (writers, researchers, politicians, etc.) negotiate spaces tightly ‘guarded’ by different forms of patriarchies; this, in order to lay legitimate claims and to gain both recognition and higher social standings,” she says. “For these are new waves of female intellectuals who expertly and progressively integrate and appropriate contemporary socio-cultural and political discourses that happen to be still dominated by the voices of their male counterparts.”
Her book, published earlier this year by MUSE, critically examines and discusses the different forms of socio-political struggles and representations of the female subject in the Senegalese novel.
“In my study, I first explore the different utterances through which women and their contributions were represented in literary works produced by Senegalese male writers of ‘the first and second generations’ in this ‘young’ Francophone African literature. I then study, comparatively and contrastively, the forms of reclamation and responses women writers produced, after having successfully torn off the veil of imposed silence that, for too long, stifled their voices.
“These highly sophisticated compatriots have been achieving their goals through self-representations and de-construction of the ‘traditional female subject’ long erected through manipulated traditional beliefs as well as customs and rituals within rigidly established patriarchies,” she says. “In the process, these women have been forging discourses of their own, which let emerge more independent/liberated female identities. Women of this class are active and prolific contributors to their nation’s literary corpus, and they work diligently to remain full citizens of an ever-morphing society.”
Diop earned her Ph.D. in French at the University of Colorado-Boulder’s French and Italian Department. She teaches French/Francophone Literature, Language and Cultures. She also teaches in the CC Summer program in Senegal.
She holds a License in Lettres and a Master in Linguistics from the Université Gaston Berger in St. Louis (Sénégal) and a master’s degree in French from the University of Colorado-Boulder.