Naminata Diabate, an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Cornell University, has been named one of the “10 African scholars to watch in 2024” by The Africa Report, a leading publication on African affairs. Diabate is a former Ali A. Mazrui Senior Fellow at the Africa Institute in Sharjah, where she is currently a member of the advisory board. 

The article reads, “from Accra to Tokyo, Harare to Washington, the continent’s pool of research experts, lecturers and other scholars have been making life-changing decisions that help change the world every day. Through their various fields of study/research, they deal with some of the world’s most pressing problems and help shape public debates.”

Diabate is a renowned scholar of gender, sexuality, race, biopolitics, and neoliberalism in African and African diaspora literatures, cultures, and media. She is the author of the award-winning book, Naked Agency: Genital Cursing and Biopolitics in Africa, which explores the phenomenon of women’s naked protest in Africa and beyond. The book received the African Studies Association (ASA) 2021 Best Book Prize and the African Literature Association (ALA) 2022 First Book Award.

Diabate’s research seeks to redefine how we understand specific forms of embodied agency in the neoliberal present in global Africa. She engages multiple sites, including novels, online and social media, pictorial arts, film, journalism, and oral traditions from Africa, black America, Afro-Hispanic America, and the French Antilles. Her most recent provocations of defiant disrobing, erotic pleasure, and the impact of Internet media on queerness have appeared in peer-reviewed journals and collections of essays, such as African Studies Review, Journal of the African Literature Association, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Research in African Literatures, African Literature Today, Interventions, Routledge Handbook of African Literature, and Fieldwork in the Humanities.

In addition to her interventions in the conventional academic channels, Diabate contributes regularly to several media outlets, including newspapers, women’s magazines, and podcasts. Recently, she appeared in NBC News, BBC’s the Comb, PBS’s Academic Minute, The New Books in Women’s History podcast, and the South African Podcast series, Sound Africa, and wrote for the women’s magazine Voix/Voie de Femme in Côte d’Ivoire.

Diabate holds a PhD in Comparative Literature with dual concentrations in African Diaspora Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies from the University at Texas at Austin (2011). She is a member of the core faculty in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and affiliated faculty in Romance Studies, Africana Studies and Research Center, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies, Performing and Media Arts, and Visual Studies at Cornell University.

 

Naminata Diabate, an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Cornell University, has been named one of the “10 African scholars to watch in 2024” by The Africa Report, a leading publication on African affairs. Diabate is a former Ali A. Mazrui Senior Fellow at the Africa Institute in Sharjah, where she is currently a member of the advisory board. 

Naminata Diabate, an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Cornell University, has been named one of the “10 African scholars to watch in 2024” by The Africa Report, a leading publication on African affairs. Diabate is a former Ali A. Mazrui Senior Fellow at the Africa Institute in Sharjah, where she is currently a member of the advisory board. 

The article reads, “from Accra to Tokyo, Harare to Washington, the continent’s pool of research experts, lecturers and other scholars have been making life-changing decisions that help change the world every day. Through their various fields of study/research, they deal with some of the world’s most pressing problems and help shape public debates.”

Diabate is a renowned scholar of gender, sexuality, race, biopolitics, and neoliberalism in African and African diaspora literatures, cultures, and media. She is the author of the award-winning book, Naked Agency: Genital Cursing and Biopolitics in Africa, which explores the phenomenon of women’s naked protest in Africa and beyond. The book received the African Studies Association (ASA) 2021 Best Book Prize and the African Literature Association (ALA) 2022 First Book Award.

Diabate’s research seeks to redefine how we understand specific forms of embodied agency in the neoliberal present in global Africa. She engages multiple sites, including novels, online and social media, pictorial arts, film, journalism, and oral traditions from Africa, black America, Afro-Hispanic America, and the French Antilles. Her most recent provocations of defiant disrobing, erotic pleasure, and the impact of Internet media on queerness have appeared in peer-reviewed journals and collections of essays, such as African Studies Review, Journal of the African Literature Association, Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, Research in African Literatures, African Literature Today, Interventions, Routledge Handbook of African Literature, and Fieldwork in the Humanities.

In addition to her interventions in the conventional academic channels, Diabate contributes regularly to several media outlets, including newspapers, women’s magazines, and podcasts. Recently, she appeared in NBC News, BBC’s the Comb, PBS’s Academic Minute, The New Books in Women’s History podcast, and the South African Podcast series, Sound Africa, and wrote for the women’s magazine Voix/Voie de Femme in Côte d’Ivoire.

Diabate holds a PhD in Comparative Literature with dual concentrations in African Diaspora Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies from the University at Texas at Austin (2011). She is a member of the core faculty in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and affiliated faculty in Romance Studies, Africana Studies and Research Center, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies, Performing and Media Arts, and Visual Studies at Cornell University.

 

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