2017 Student Research Conference:
30th Annual Student Research Conference

Nyasha and Ifeoma: Hybrid Liminals Subverting the Binary Hegemonic Systems of Patriarchy and Colonialism in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus


Lydia A. Whitacre♦
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Zimbabwean novel Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga and Nigerian novel Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, while occurring in different African nations, can and should be used concurrently to study the effects of British imperialism and (post)colonialism and its intersectionality with patriarchy, as both novels are intentional commentaries on the double-oppression faced by women in these regions and written by female authors of the respective countries. The characters of Nyasha and Aunty Ifeoma represent cultural liberation within women’s liberation. Both are marginalized into and exist in states of liminality in regard to their cultural identity within a (post)colonized society and in regard to the gender roles within both a cultural and colonial patriarchy, but, ultimately, their individual resistances to being defined to the discrete categories these systems arrange causes them to be pushed out, demonstrating that dynamic, cosmopolitan women are unable to exist in societies in which colonialism, or postcolonialism, and patriarchal ideals function to oppress them.

Keywords: Nervous Conditions, Purple Hibiscus, postcolonialism , feminism , Zimbabwe, Nigeria, liminality

Topic(s):English
African Studies
Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 301-4
Location: MG 1000
Time: 1:45

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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