2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

"This Business of Womanhood is a Heavy Burden": Femininity and Education in Ama Ata Aidoo's Changes and Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions
Allison B. Phillips
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Aidoo's and Dangarembga's novels, Changes (1991) and Nervous Conditions (1988), respectively, depict female characters struggling to find their own identities within male-dominated societies. These novels emphasize the role of education as a first step towards a womans liberation while also calling for societal transformation for complete liberation. Esi, in Changes, and Maiguru, in Nervous Conditions, appear to have it all, they are privileged, educated, married mothers, conscious of and proud of their higher education. Their social systems prioritize their gendered roles as wives and mothers. This paper will explore the ways in which both Esi and Maiguru, paradoxically, resist and reinscribe traditional societal norms as they negotiate their own spaces juxtaposed between their sense of self on the one hand and cultural expectations on the other.

Keywords: education, femininity, gender roles


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 62-5
Location: VH 1232
Time: 3:45

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