Original Date: Oct 3rd, 2023
This dialogue, recorded on October 3rd 2023, with Professor Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi was a pilot of the ‘Spotlight on an African Feminist Series.’ Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi reflected on how she navigated academic and administrative spaces and the lessons she has learned. The dialogue was in response to and in conversation with our moderator, Zinhle ka’Nobuhlaluse. Some of the questions were drawn from Nfah-Abbenyi’s 1997 essay “Bridging North and South… Notes towards true dialogue and transformation,” which touches on her initial ambivalence on feminist theory and the practice of feminist politics, which is sometimes very frail”. Nfah-Abbenyi touched on the growth and lessons since writing that piece, the disappointment she’s felt at the hands of what she calls ‘bathroom allies,’ and how she cultivates joy in her life. She also discussed one of her creative fiction, “Land of My Dreams,” which reflects the ongoing conflict in Cameroon from a mother and daughter perspective.
About Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi
Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature, the Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at North Carolina State University and a past president of the African Literature Association. A literary critic, essayist and writer, she is widely published in her areas of research in African and African diaspora literatures, postcolonial literary and cultural studies, and in women’s and gender studies.
She is the author of Gender in African Women’s Writing: Identity, Sexuality, and Difference, Your Madness, Not Mine: Stories of Cameroon, The Sacred Door and Other Stories: Cameroon Folktales of the Beba and co-editor of Reflections: An Anthology of New Work by African Women Poets. She has guest edited special issues of journals such as JALA: Journal of the African Literature Association, Tydskrif vir Letterkunde: A Journal for African Literature, The Global South and co-edited a special double issue of Journal des Africanistes. She writes fiction under the pen name Makuchi.