AFIAfrican Feminist Initiative

Book talk with Cheryl Sterling, editor of Transnational Africana Women’s Fiction (2022) and chapter contributors Simone Alexander, Eliana Văgălău, and Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken.

Book talk with Cheryl Sterling, editor of Transnational Africana Women’s Fiction (2022) and chapter contributors Simone Alexander, Eliana Văgălău, and Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken.

Original Date: March 3, 2023

Editor (Cheryl Sterling) of “Transnational Africana Women’s Fiction” (2022)” in conversation with chapter authors ( Simone Alexander, Eliana Văgălău, and Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken) . As artists and characters lead the way, the book shows how Africana women are the focus of their own knowledge production and agency in discourse and theory. Their multi-perspectivism opens feminist theorizing to selective mutuality, transformational creative activity, and scholarship.

About Cheryl Sterling

Cheryl Sterling is an Associate Professor of English and African Studies. She is a Fulbright Scholar and recipient of numerous grants. She is the ex-officio Director of the African Studies Program and Director of Graduate Studies at Penn State, and Director of Black Studies at The City College of New York (CUNY).  She has published numerous critical essays in noted journals and in texts such as Migrations and Creative Expressions of Africa and the African DiasporaNarrating War and Peace in Africa and Archipelagos of Sound: Transnational Caribbeanities, Women and Music. She is the editor of a special issue of WAGADU: A Journal Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies on African and Diasporic Women’s Literature (Winter 2017). Her book publications include: Transnational Africana Women’s Fictions (Routledge 2022c); Transnational Trills in the Africana World(Cambridge SP 2019); and African Roots, Brazilian Rites: Cultural and National Identity (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012), which won the NYASA Best Book of the Year Prize. Prof. Sterling is currently working on two book projects.

About Simone A. James Alexander

Simone A. James Alexander is Professor of English, Africana Studies and Women and Gender Studies, affiliate member of the Russian and East European Studies Program and Latin America and Latino/Latina Studies.  She is the author of the award-winning book, African Diasporic Women’s Narratives: Politics of Resistance, Survival and Citizenship (University Press of Florida, 2014; 2016). She is the recipient of the Researcher of the Year Award. Alexander is also the author of Mother Imagery in the Novels of Afro-Caribbean Women, (University of Missouri Press, 2001) and co-editor of Feminist and Critical Perspectives on Caribbean Mothering (Africa World Press, 2013).  Her articles appear in African American Review, Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies, Bloomsburg Companion to Edwidge Danticat, African Literature Today, Anglistica: An Interdisciplinary Journal, New Mango Season: A Journal of Caribbean Women’s Writing, Revista Review InterAmericana, African Literature Association Bulletin, and edited collections.  Her current projects include Black Freedom in  (Communist) Russia: Great Expectations, Utopian Visions and Bodies of (In)Difference: Gender, Sexuality, and Nationhood

About Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken

Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken is an Assistant Professor at University of Amsterdam. She is series editor for Brill’s Caribbean Series and a Book Reviews Editor for the Journal of Haitian Studies, as well as a member of the FACE Foundation’s French Voices selection committee. She is author of Spirit Possession in French, Haitian, and Vodou Thought: An Intellectual History (Lexington Books, 2015); co-editor of Revisiting Marie Vieux Chauvet: Paradoxes of the Postcolonial Feminine (2016), a special issue of Yale French Studies; co-editor of The Haiti Exception: Anthropology and the Predicament of Narrative (Liverpool University Press, 2016). Her recent publications are in journals like RELIEF. Revue éléctronique de littérature française, and in edited volumes such as Caribbean Jewish Crossings: Atlantic Literature and Theory, and Marie Chauvet’s Theaters: Thought, Form, and Performance of Revolt.

About Eliana Văgălău

Eliana Văgălău is an Assistant Professor of French at Loyola University Chicago.  Her research on francophone Caribbean Literature and contemporary philosophy focuses on the relationship between aesthetics and politics, as well as on questions of transnationalism, diaspora, and gender. She has published articles in journals like Francophonies d’Amérique and Revue Francofonia on the work of Haitian authors Dany Laferrière, James Noël, and Jean-Claude Charles; and has co-edited, Jean-Claude Charles. A Reader’s Guide (Liverpool University Press May 2022). She is currently completing her first book manuscript on contemporary French Caribbean fiction. She is vice-editor of the literary and art magazine IntranQu’îllités and, as a founding member of the Collectif Jean-Claude Charles, she dedicates much of her work to making visible the work of this fundamental Haitian author.