Dr. Akua Sarr is Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Science at Boston College. She earned her Ph.D. in African Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Sarr is a former Fulbright Scholar and has studied and/or conducted research in France, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo. Her book, Black Women Novelists Contribution to Contemporary Feminine Discourse, was published by The Edwin Mellen Press in 2003.2003 0-7734-6933-8
The Anita Hill – Clarence Thomas hearings serve as a point of departure to examine how six texts by black women novelists contribute to contemporary black feminist discourse. The manuscript is a comparative study of novels by both anglophone and francophone women: Mariama Ba’s Une Si Longue Lettre; ; Sapphire’s Push; Buchi Emecheta’s Head Above Water; Ken Bugul’s Le Baobab Fou; Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions; and Myriam Warner-Vieyra’s Juletane. The text challenges the assumption that African American women’s writing is synonymous with black women’s writing, and it approaches issues facing black women globally: lesbianism, incest, rape, prostitution, polygamy, battering, and mental illness.2006 0-7734-5908-1
The West African Research Association (WARA) was founded for the purpose of promoting scholarly collaboration between American and West African researchers and to increase interest in international affairs among Americans through a reciprocal program of research exchange between scholars and institutions. It is the first institution of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, one of fifteen American overseas research centers around the world founded by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) with help from the Smithsonian Institute.
In June 1997, WARA held its first international symposium in Dakar, Senegal titled West Africa and the Global Challenge
. Approximately 150 scholars from the U.S., Europe, and Africa attended this meeting, and the sessions were divided under three broad headings: The African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean; West African Research in History, Art, Languages, Religion, Culture, and Literature; and Contemporary Issues in Society, Environment, Technology, and Education.
This is a compilation of selected essays that were presented at the 1997 symposium. The work strives to achieve the views and discussions from the first annual WARA symposium and its continuing contribution to the ongoing dialogue of West African issues.