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Tuesday, May 7

Translects and Postcolonial Identity: Transgender Narratives in South African and Nigerian Autofictions
2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Dr. Chantal Zabus
4130 Posvar Hall and Zoom
Sponsored by:
Center for African Studies and Global Studies Center along with Department of French & Italian, Department of History and Gender Sexuality & Women's Studies Program
Rys Shultz
Contact Email:

“Translects” (Zabus & Das, 2020) are transnational, transgender-inflected terms rooted in ancestral contexts. Hinging on ‘transing’ and ‘translating’, I examine the use of translects in ‘autofictions’ — South African Zandile Ngozi Nkabinde’s Black Bull, Ancestors and Me (2008), contrasted with South African Anastacia Thomson’s Always Anastacia (2015); Nigerian-born, US-based, Igbo-Tamil writer, Akwaeke Emezi’s Freshwater (2018); and Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir (2021) — to reflect on a ‘post-queer’ and post-secular turn in approaching transgender identities and personhoods, which translate into various shades of postcolonial naming practices in Sub-Saharan Africa.