aaws logo




    Chancellor Professor Obioma Nnaemeka, PhD
    President, Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS)

A multilingual, widely traveled scholar/social reformer,  Obioma Nnaemeka is Professor of French,    
Women’s Studies and African/African Diaspora Studies and a former Director of the Women's Studies Program at  Indiana University, Indianapolis. She studied French, German, and African Studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Nigeria), the former Université de Dakar (Senegal), Université de Grenoble (France), and the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) where she earned an M. A. and a Ph. D. with distinction.

A former Rockefeller Humanist-in-Residence (University of Minnesota), Edith Kreeger-Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor (Northwestern University, Evanston), and Verne Wagner Distinguished Visiting Professor (University of Kansa), Professor Nnaemeka  is the Founder and current President of the Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS) and the List Administrator of an internet discussion group on gender issues in Africa and the African Diaspora (AFWOSCHO). She has received numerous national and international awards as well as grants and fellowships from several foundations and agencies, including Rockefeller, MacArthur, SIDA and SAREC (Sweden), and IRDC (Canada).

A former Rockefeller Humanist-in-Residence (University of Minnesota), Edith Kreeger-Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor (Northwestern University, Evanston), and
Verne Wagner Distinguished Visiting Professor (University of Kansa), Professor Nnaemeka  is the Founder and current President of the Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS) and the List Administrator of an internet 
discussion group on gender issues in Africa and the African Diaspora (AFWOSCHO). She has received numerous national and international awards as well as grants and fellowships from several foundations and agencies, including Rockefeller, MacArthur, SIDA and SAREC (Sweden), and IRDC (Canada).

Prior to coming to Indiana University, Professor Nnaemeka taught at the University of Nigeria (Nsukka) and College of Wooster (Wooster, Ohio). She is a commentator/cultural critic for the French Service of the International Service of Radio Netherlands in Helversum (Netherlands), a Nominator for the Civitella Ranieri Foundation (Italy) and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a Board member of Global Women’s Leadership Center at the Leavey School of Business, and a member of the National Advisory Board of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) for the Liberal Education and Global Citizenship Project.

She is a member of the Board of Trustees of many international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and on the Advisory Board of 
several refereed scholarly journals. As an expert in African/African Diaspora studies, development, globalization, women's/gender 
studies, human rights, and multiculturalism, Professor Nnaemeka combines research and consultancy for the United Nations, 
foreign governments, international agencies, and academic institutions with speaking engagements and active participation in 
national and international conferences and programs.  She is the convener of the "Women in Africa and the African Diaspora” 
international conferences.

Professor Nnaemeka has delivered over 100 keynote addresses, lectures, and papers in over thirty countries. She has published extensively in the following areas: women/gender in development, literatureby Black women from Africa and the African Diaspora, feminist theory, war and conflict resolution, human rights, and African oral and written literatures. She is the author of over fifty scholarly articles 
and book chapters, and author/editor of nine books, including The Politics of (M)Othering: Womanhood, Identity, and Resistance in African Literature; Female Circumcision and the Politics of Knowledge: African Women in Imperialist Discourses; Sisterhood, Feminisms, and Power: From Africa to the Diaspora; and Engendering Human Rights: Cultural and Socio-economic Realities in Africa and the African Diaspora.

Obioma Nnaemeka, PhD
Chancellor Professor,  French and Women's Studies
President, Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS)
Department of World Languages & Cultures  
Cavanaugh Hall 543A, Indiana University                        

425 University Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46202  USA        

Phone: (317) 278-2038;  317-274-7611 or 274-0062 (messages); Fax: (317) 278-7375

E-mail:  nnaemeka@iupui.edu   


chi-photoProfessor Chinyere G. Okafor, PhD
Vice President, Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS)

A poet, playwright and fiction writer, Chinyere G. Okafor is a  Professor of English and Women’s Studies, Wichita State University, Kansas. She is the Vice President of the Association of African Women Scholars.  An alumnus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University of Wales  (Cardiff), University of Sussex (Brighton), she did postdoctoral work on gender poetics and politics  of African Masking at Cornell University (Ithaca). She has taught at the University of Portharcourt and University of Benin (Nigeria); University of Swaziland, Kwaluseni (Swaziland); Montgomery College Rockville, MD, and the University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME (U.S.A).

Okafor speaks and writes about the challenges of ordinary women and men. Issues of war, suppression, politics, greed, poverty and disease feature alongside love,bonding, creativity, motivation and strength that support the engagement of adversity. She has won a number of national and international awards for research, creative writing, and teaching including two Rockefeller Humanist-in-Residence Fellowships in 1991 (Hunter College and Cornell Univ.);  a Writer-in residence Award at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio (Italy), 1998; one Bertram’s Lit. of Africa (South Africa), 1996; our Association of Nigerian Authors’ awards and honors, 1994; and the 2009 Phenomenal Woman of the Year Award, Wichita, KS..

Her research work is interdisciplinary drawing from literature, African and Cultural Studies, feminist theory and Anthropology with the organizing principle of women and gender.  A specialist in gender, literary and cultural studies, Okafor has designed and taught courses on multicultural gender, world literature, feminist theory, African mask performance and Communication. She has worked as a consultant for a number of academic and community based groups facilitating projects in which tales, dramatic skits and histories are used to engage social issues. Examples include workshops on gender, race, and media literacy. Lived experiences in Africa, America, and Europe add to her use of technology to promote global learning classrooms. Her department won the Global Learning Most Outstanding Department Award in 2004. 

She has published in the area of African literature, women in African mask performance, and creative writing.  Her essays are published in edited volumes and academic journals. Her published creative works include He Wants To Marry Me Again and other Stories, The Lion and The Iroko (a play), From Earth’s Bed Chamber (a collection of poems), Campus Palavar and Other Plays, The New Toyi Toyi (a play) (http://www.africaworldpressbooks.com/servlet/Detail?no=135), It Grows In Winter and Other Poems (http://www.africaworldpressbooks.com/servlet/Detail?no=327), as well as others in collections, journals and magazines.  Some of her works have been translated to French and Italian. 
For more information see: <http://webs.wichita.edu/dt/pv/?u=chinyere> <http://www.chiwrite.com/>

Chinyere G. Okafor, Ph.D
Vice President, Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS)
Professor of English and Women's Studies
Department of Women's Studies and Religion 
Wichita State University, 
1845 Fairmount, Wichita, KS 67260.     

Phone: (316) 978-6264;  Fax: (316) 978-3586

URL  <http://www.chiwrite.com/>


E-mail: chinyere.okafor@wichita.edu


Professor Pamela Smith, PhD
 Secretary, Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS)

 A scholar, translator and committed humanist, Dr. Pamela Olúbùnmi Smith is Professor of English and Humanities at the University of Nebraska at Omaha where she teaches courses on multicultural     humanities, the writings of women of color, and American ethnic literatures in both the Goodrich       Scholarship Program, a one-of-a-kind multicultural and interdisciplinary two-year undergraduate         program, and in the English Department. Dr. Smith is the recipient of numerous campus-wide faculty   and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) pedagogy and research grants and fellowships. 

A well-traveled multilingual with a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington, Dr. Smith's professional training and experience are interdisciplinary, spanning the broad areas of national literatures as well as culture and translation studies. Her research interests are in Yorùbá studies, translation and the criticism of African literatures, Anglophone and Francophone African literatures. Professor Smith’s extensive publication includes numerous articles and presentations on translation, pedagogy and literary criticism at national and international conferences; review essays and book reviews in many refereed journals; and public readings from her translations.

Following the lead of Wolé Sóyinká, 1986 Nobel laureate in literature, who translated Ògbójú Ode, the classical novel of pioneer Nigerian writer, D. O. Fágúnwà from Yorùbá into English in 1968, Dr. Smith translated in 1984 Igbó Olódùmarè (Forest of the Almighty), the second of Fágúnwà's five Yorùbá classics. Since then she has translated Efúnsetán Aníwúrà, Ìyálóde Ìbàdàn & Olú Omo Tinúubú, Ìyálóde Ègbá (Africa World Press, 2005), two much acclaimed historical plays by leading Yorùbá contemporary writer, Akínwùmí Ìsòlá, and is presently completing her English translation of Omo Olúkùn Esin (forthcoming), the first and only Yorùbá revolutionary novel by Adébáyò Fálétí.  Her essays on Fágúnwà and Ìsòlá, published in META, The Literary Griot, and METAMORPHOSES; Journal of Literary Translation, are considered critical to the relatively sparse criticism available on indigenous African literatures. In 2002, Dr. Smith produced English-Yorùbá Dictionary: Vol 219, an 8,000-word serial dictionary for Prime Ad! Services GmbH, Berlin, Germany.  In 2004, Dr. Smith partnered with colleague, Dr. Adébùsólá Onàyemí, in producing a much-needed English-Yorùbá/Yorùbá-English Dictionary On-line, a work in progress, www.Yorùbádictionary.com

Dr. Smith has won numerous summer faculty fellowships and awards for research and teaching, including the 1994 Excellence in Teaching Award at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She actively served for six years on the board of the Nebraska Humanities Council.  Currently, she is Secretary of the Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS).  Dr. Smith was a former member of the African Studies Association (ASA). She has served on the Executive Council of the African Literature Association (ALA) to which she has been a longtime member.  Along with colleague, Dr. Wangui wa Goro, Dr. Smith initiated the newly-formed Translation Caucus of the ALA in 2005.  Presently, she is serving on the ALA’s Awards Committee and is a member of the editorial board of The Journal of the African 
Literature Association
(JALA).  She is actively involved in community service on the Program Committee of the YWCA board.

Pamela J. Smith, PhD
Secretary, Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS)
Professor of English & Humanities
The Goodrich Scholarship Program, Annex 24
University of Nebraska at Omaha
60th & Dodge Streets
Omaha. NE 68182
Phone: (402) 554-3463; Fax: (402) 554-3776

E-mail:  pamelasmith@mail.unomaha.edu 


Folabo's Photo

   Professor Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka, PhD
   Treasurer, Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS)

Scholar, creative artist, and political activist, Dr. Omofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka is Associate Professor of Theatre & Film and Women's Studies at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. She previously taught at the Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife), Nigeria and was also a Visiting Assistant Professor at Cornell University. As a scholar, her research and publications focus on women’s writings and gender issues in African literary theory and criticism, gender aesthetics in the African and Diaspora African revolutionary theaters, and cultural paradigms in national and gender identities. Along these lines, Professor Ajayi designs and teaches courses such as Women in African Literature, Race and the American Theater, Women In Africa Today, Post-Modern Theory and Criticism, African Dance Theater, Post-Colonial Discourse, African Literature in the Diaspora: Intersections of Race, Gender, Power and Identity, and a Teachers’ Seminar on African American Literature, 1960s-1990s. Dr. Ajayi's numerous publications appear in edited volumes and scholarly journals including Women’s Studies Quarterly, Research Notes, and Journal of Dramatic Theory & Criticism. Her book on the Semiotics of Yoruba Dance, was published in 1998. Dr. Ajayi's artistic endeavors span playwriting, poetry, short stories, stage performances, directing and choreography.

Dr. Ajayi-Soyinka belongs to, and is active in a number of academic, human and civil rights organizations. Formerly the Secretary of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, branch of the Association of Staff Unions of Universities (ASUU) in Nigeria, Professor Ajayi is the current the Treasurer of the Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS), and serves on the Board of the Association of African Studies Association (ASA). She has served on the African-Americans in History and Literature Project, Kansas Humanities Council, and with a couple of other women founded Sistah Speak, an organization committed to racial justice, and better relationship between Africans and African-Americans. Inducted to the Women’s Hall of Fame, University of Kansas, in recognition of her leadership qualities, contributions in scholarly and creative works, Dr. Ajayi is also honored as a ROADS Scholar by the Kansas Humanities Council, and the city’s nominee to the Lawrence Art Commission. She is also a biographee of the forthcoming volume of the International Biography Center, Cambridge, UK. Professor Ajayi-Soyinka is the recipient of several grants and awards including the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Intra-faculty Keeler Professorship Award, The Kimbel Theater Faculty Enrichment Award, The Kennedy Center 25th Anniversary Faculty Grant on Play writing and Directing, Frequently consulted for her scholarship and expertise in the performing arts, she has served in organizations and projects such as the Los Angeles Art Festival (African Division), WNET 13 World Dance Project, Committee on Intercultural Performance, and the African-Americans in History and Literature Project, in Kansas State. Omofolabo relaxes with vegetable and flower gardening. She enjoys walking, bicycling and political discussion and activities.


Women's Studies Program / Dept. of Theatre & Film.

1440 Jayhawk Blvd., University of Kansas,

Lawrence, KS 66045. 785-864-2312/ 785-864-2691

Email:  omofola@ku.edu


Oppo's Photo   
Professor Opportune Zongo, PhD
Publicity Secretary, Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS)

Professor Opportune Zongo is an Associate Professor of French and Women's Studies at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. She earned a Licence in English and African Literature at the Université de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and an M.A. and a Ph.D in Literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz. A specialist in interdisciplinary and multicultural studies, Professor Zongo has designed and taught courses in French, Francophone, and Anglophone African Literatures and Cultures as well as Ethnic Studies, and Women’s Studies.

Her publications in Francophone and Anglophone African literatures, cultures, and Women’s Studies have appeared in such scholarly journals as Research in African Literatures, The International Journal of Third World Studies, and the College Language Association Journal, Africa World Press, and The Journal of Asian and African Studies. She has published chapters in Cinéma et Littérature du Burkina Faso: De la Singularité à L’Universalité and African Women and Globalization: Dawn of the 21st Century. A past recipient of a Summer N.E.H, she is a referee/reviewer for academic journals and actively participates in regional, national, and international conferences.

Professor Zongo has served as interim director of the Women's Studies Program at Bowling Green State University. She has also coordinated and directed the University’s Spring and Summer Francophone culture modules in Burkina Faso as well as served as the on-site director of the Bowling Green State University Academic Year Abroad Programs in Tours, France and on-campus director of its Academic Year Abroad Programs in Tours, France, Burkina Faso, and Quebec. She continues to direct, on-site the University’s summer Francophone Culture Module in Burkina Faso.

Professor Opportune Zongo, PhD 
Publicity Secretary, Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS)
Professor of French and Women's Studies
Department of Romance Languages 
203 Shatzel Hall, Bowling Green State University 
Bowling OH 43403, USA. Her office telephone is
Phone: (419)-372-7396;  Fax: 419-372-7332 

Email: ozongo@bgsu.edu


  Tanella's photo                                          
   Professor Tanella Boni, PhD
   Coordinator/FrancophoneAfrica, Association of African Women Scholars (AAWS)

Dr. Tanella Boni is an educator and a well-known poet and novelist from Ivory Coast. After her secondary school education in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, she travelled to France where she studied in Toulouse and Paris. After earning a doctorate degree in philosophy, she returned to Ivory Coast where she teaches philosophy at the University of Abidjan. An accomplished and prolific writer, Dr. Boni has published numerous critical and literary works including Labyrinthe (Dakar: Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines, 1984) Une Vie de crabe (Dakar: Les Nouvelles Editions Africaines, 1990), De l’autre côté du soleil (Paris: EDICEF, 1991), and short stories for children.

Née à Abidjan, Tanella Boni est Professeure Titulaire (1994). Sa leçon inaugurale du 16 mars 1995, à l’Université de Cocody à Abidjan a pour titre : « Le philosophe et l’étranger ».

Elle a fait ses classes préparatoires aux Grandes Ecoles à Toulouse puis à Paris ; obtenu un Doctorat de troisième cycle en philosophie en 1979 et un Doctorat ès Lettres en 1987 à l’Université de Paris Sorbonne. Elle est poète, philosophe, romancière, nouvelliste, critique littéraire et critique d’art.

Hormis ses charges d’enseignement et de recherches, elle a occupé quelques fonctions administratives à l’Université d’Abidjan : Chef du Département de Philosophie de 1982 à 1984, Rédactrice en chef des Annales de Lettres de 1986 à 1993 et Vice -Doyen de la Faculté des Lettres, Arts et Sciences Humaines de 1993 à 1997. Elle fut aussi Directrice de Programme à l’étranger au Collège International de Philosophie (Paris) de 1992 à 1998. Présidente de l’Association des Ecrivains de Côte d’Ivoire de 1991 à 1997, puis organisatrice d’un Festival international de Poésie à Abidjan de 1998 à 2002. Elle a mené, pendant toutes ces années, une vie associative et engagée en faveur du rayonnement des Arts et des Lettres en Afrique et ailleurs dans le monde.

Présidente du réseau « Afrique, Philosophie et Démocratie » (APHIDEM) sous l’égide de l’UNESCO (Yamoussoukro, 1999) elle fut, en outre, Directrice de la Francophonie au Ministère de la Culture à Abidjan de 2000 à 2002. Membre du comité du réseau « Etat de droit saisi par la philosophie » de l’Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (2001-2004) ; vice-présidente du Conseil International de la Philosophie et des Sciences Humaines (2002-2006), elle mène aujourd’hui ses activités d’écriture et de recherches hors de Côte d’Ivoire.

Elle est membre de l’Académie mondiale de poésie (Vérone, 2001) ; membre d’honneur et membre du conseil scientifique du Groupe d’Etudes et de Recherches sur les Mondialisations (GERM) ; membre du conseil scientifique de la revue Diogène et membre du comité de rédaction de la revue électronique Mots Pluriels (1996-2003), elle collabore également à la revue Africultures depuis 1998.

Dans ses écrits (poèmes, romans, essais, nouvelles…), elle s’intéresse au partage des savoirs, à la défense des droits humains, au vivre ensemble, à l’idée d’humanité et à la vie quotidienne des femmes, comme le montrent ses textes théoriques, sa « Lettre aux générations futures » (UNESCO, 1999) et ses deux derniers romans : Matins de couvre-feu (Le Serpent à Plumes, LiBeratur-Förderpreis et prix Ahmadou Kourouma 2005) et Les nègres n’iront jamais au paradis (Le Serpent à Plumes, 2006).


Editor (jvolet@cyllene.uwa.edu.au)
The University of Western Australia/French
Created: 24 Dec. 1995
Modified: 11 Jan. 2007

Email:  bonita@syfed.ci.refer.org

To Frontdoor  Menu   To AAWS Menu         To Page Top

Page Title: AAWS Headquarters
Last Update: Dec 1, 2009
Web Page by C. G. Okafor
Contact: aaws@africanwomenstudies.org
Copyright© by AAWS