Photo of the Day from Human Rights and LGBTI in Sub-Saharan Africa class

Photo of the Day from Human Rights and LGBTI in Sub-Saharan Africa

Top left – right: Van, Frieda, Ally, Francis, Brandon, Minami, Muholi
Bottom row from Left to Right: Katie, Vivien, Munira and Gabby
© Valerie Thomas (2014/03/19)

by Prof. Frieda Ekotto
Department of AfroAmerican and African Studies
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

__________________________

Program in International & Comparative Studies, International Institute
Wednesday 12-3pm

Human Rights and LGBTI in Sub-Saharan Africa

This course will approach human rights debates that revolve around gendered and sexualized violence, particularly as it pertains to LGBTI individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa. We will examine how laws serve to repress and mask the pain of disenfranchised subjects, and we will search for traces of what cannot be said in order to address and expose suffering from a variety of angles and reassess the position and agency of the dispossessed. By looking for silent cultural norms and the traces of what cannot be said, we will consider both cultural factors that lead to widespread homophobia and the suffering of individuals who are subject to its power. As part of this attention to unspoken assumptions, we will address preconceived notions about Sub-Saharan African cultures and the LGBTI individuals who live there.

To consider the relationship between legal systems and the silencing of individuals, we consider how and why governments seek to criminalize private activities that do not infringe upon the rights of others or in any way justify the intervention of the state. We will read theoretical and primary texts and watch films that analyze and critique an essential paradox in our attitude to privacy: some see no problem when a state, in the absence of any proven harm, tramples on privacy in cases of homosexuality, but find no contradiction when the same state is reluctant to violate the sanctity of the private sphere in instances of extraordinary harm, such as domestic violence against women and children, a scourge that blights the lives of many. We will also consider how taking a balanced approach to the right to privacy is made even more complicated by the fact that attitudes towards privacy are often shaped by culture or religion, and thus by deeply held beliefs.

Course themes will include the study of violence and other human rights abuses that stems from homophobia in relation to the following: cultural and political iterations of private and public space; violence perpetrated or condoned by states (such as violence by law enforcement and criminal justice systems); depictions of LGBTI individuals in popular media sources; and the silencing of the voices of LGBTI individuals who wish to speak about their lived experiences. These themes draw from current and groundbreaking conversations about LGBTI issues in Sub-Saharan Africa, which have heretofore been left unaddressed.

In addition, while we will focus our attention of Sub-Saharan Africa, students will be asked to reflect upon similar debates that are current in the United States. For example students will apply insights we gain through our theoretical observations to similar topics in the United States, and, in addition to considering local factors, students will consider how international relations—such as the activity of the Christian right in Sub-Saharan Africa or, by contrast, pressure from figures such as Hilary Clinton and Ban Ki-moon, both of whom have made statements against homophobia—become part of human rights conversations within Africa and impact the lives of LGBTI individuals.

[…]

[…]

Texts:

Aidoo Ama Ata’s Our Sister Kill Joy (1977) ISBN-13: 978-0582308459

Chimamundi Ngozi Adichie’s The Thing Around Your Neck (2009) ISBN- 978-0-307-45591-8

Bessie Head’s A Question of Power (2009) ISBN-13: 978-0435907204

Barry, Marima’s The Little Peul (2010) ISBN 9780813929637

Martin Karen and Xaba Makhosazana’s Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction (2013) ISBN-978-1-920590-33-8

[…]

Articles

– “Karmen Gei: Sex, the State, and Censorship in Dakar” by Steven Nelson (Spring 2011 African Arts, UCLA)

Green-Simms, Lindsey and Unoma Azuah, 2012, “The Video Closet: Nollywood’s gay- themed movies,” Transition, Vol 107.1, pp. 32-49.

Green-Simms, Lindsey, 2011, “Just to see” in Thamirics/Intersecting No. 22, pp. 203-224.

Macharia, Keguro, 2013, “Blogging Queer Kenya” in Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies. Vol. 1 No.1, pp. 103-118.

Films:
A Jihad for Love by Parvez Sharma (2007)
Sokari Ekine Presentation: Imagined Futures 2009
Woubi Cheri by Laurent Bocahut and Plilip Brooks (1998)
Getting out of Nkuta by Céline Metzger ( (2010)
Karmen Gei by Joseph Rama (2009)
Dakan by Mohammed Camara (1997)

January 2014
Wednesday 8

-Introduction
Film: Karmen Gei by Joseph Ramaka (2009)

Wednesday 15
Reading:
1)- “Karmen Gei: Sex, the State, and Censorship in Dakar” by Steven Nelson (Spring 2011 African Arts, UCLA).
2)- “The Erotic Tale of Karmen Gei: The Taboo of Female Homosexuality in Senegal” by Frieda Ekotto
Film: Karmen Gei by Joseph Ramaka (2009)

Wednesday 22
Reading:
1)-“Introduction” by Ayo A. Coly in African Studies Review. Vol. 56, No. 2 Sept. 2013. Pp.21-39.
2)-“ A Macro-Level Analysis of Homophobia in Africa”
by Patrick R. Ireland in African Studies Review. Vol. 56, No. 2 Sept. 2013. Pp.47-66.
Film: A Jihad for Love (2007)

Wednesday 29
Film: Dakan by Mohamed Camara (1997)
Reading:
1)- “Confronting the Politics of Nonconforming Sexualities in Africa” by Sylvia Tamale in African Studies Review. Vol. 56, No. 2 Sept. 2013. Pp. 31-45.
2)- “Some Reflections on Postcolonial Homophobia, Local Intervention, and LGBTI Solidarity Online: The Politics of Global Petitions” by Henriette Gunkel in African Studies Review. Vol. 56, No. 2 Sept. 2013. Pp.67-82.

March 2014
Wednesday 12
1)- View Zanele Muholi’s visual work
2)- Research on Zanele Muholi on line
3)- Reading: Bessie Head’s A Question of Power

Wednesday 19
Guest Speaker: Zanele Muholi
4)- Reading: Bessie Head’s A Question of Power

Wednesday 26
Reading:
– Bessie Head’s A Question of Power

April 2014
Wednesday 2
– – Martin Karen and Xaba Makhosazana’s Queer Africa: New and Collected Fiction (2013)

Wednesday 9
– Aidoo Ama Ata’s Our Sister Kill Joy (1977)

Wednesday 16
– Aidoo Ama Ata’s Our Sister Kill Joy (1977)

Conclusion

Image | This entry was posted in Evidence, Experience, Expertise, Exposure, Expression, From Johannesburg via San Francisco to Michigan, Know Your SA Queer History, Response, revolution, When Love is a Human Right and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Photo of the Day from Human Rights and LGBTI in Sub-Saharan Africa class

  1. Pingback: 2014 April 29: Muholi to speak at UC San Diego | inkanyiso.org

  2. Pingback: 2014 July 18: Women’s Day lecture at UFS | inkanyiso.org

  3. Pingback: 2015 Feb.27: Announcement – Public Lecture by Zanele Muholi @ UCLAN, London | inkanyiso.org

  4. Pingback: 2015 Mar.9: “African Photography & “Faces and Phases” seminar | inkanyiso.org

  5. Pingback: 2015 March 12: Muholi address scholars at Brighton University, UK | inkanyiso.org

  6. Pingback: 2015 March 14: Educational Friday with UCL scholars and allies | inkanyiso.org

  7. Pingback: 2015 March 12: Muholi addressed scholars at Brighton University, UK | inkanyiso.org

  8. Pingback: 2015 March 16: Response to Muholi – Artist’s Talk | inkanyiso.org

  9. Pingback: 2015 April 20: Muholi screened “We Live in Fear” at Bard College | inkanyiso.org

  10. Pingback: 2015 Aug. 23: Muholi and Dumse present at Light Work Artist AIR | inkanyiso.org

  11. Pingback: 2015 Sept. 2: When Faces Meet in Gothenburg, Sweden | inkanyiso.org

  12. Pingback: 2016 Jan. 31: Muholi’s upcoming mo(ve)ments | inkanyiso.org

  13. Pingback: 2016 Feb.: Cleveland moves | inkanyiso.org

  14. Pingback: Muholi talks self-representation at Gallatin School of Individualized Study | inkanyiso.org

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