Fanm se chatenn, nonm se fouyapen dou” (Kreyol Martinique)
“Women are breadnuts, men are breadfruits”
(Once fallen, breadnuts sprout whereas breadfruits rot)
Generations of Caribbean women have been moulded by proverbs of this kind, glorifying what Mirza calls the “Super Black Woman” (1997) and questioning the men’s emotional strength. On one hand, songs, games, folk stories would paint women as strong, financially and emotionally independent, hard working, virtuous, devoted, long suffering and selfless. Men on the other hand are almost expected to be abusive, unfaithful, lazy, immature and above all unreliable.
This event’s aim is to construct a healthy debate around the question of gender representation in the African Diasporic people. How are these stereotypes transmitted? What purpose do they serve? What images are African Diasporic men and women projecting in their communities and in their “hosting” environment? Can everything be blamed on slavery and colonialism? This symposium will be an opportunity for men and women to share what they identify as problematic discrepancies between gender representation and reality, and the best ways to remediate them.
Academic or non academic papers, poems and art performances are welcome to tackle the following themes:
Gender stereotypes and history:
- Which historical figures remained in the collective memories to shape the current gender stereotypes of the African Diaspora?
-What is the role of official historical curriculum, in promoting these stereotypes?
Gender stereotypes in Art:
-How is traditional music vectoring gender stereotypes?
-In which ways have these stereotypes evolve with the socio-economical changes and the various musical fusions?
- Gender stereotypes carnaval: catharsis or bacchanal?
-Light skinned women dark skinned men and the media: the establishment of beauty canons.
Gender stereotypes in literature:
- How are stereotypes sustained or discarded in literature from the African Diaspora.
-How can these stereotypes differ in non African Diasporic discourses?
Gender stereotypes in religious settings:
- Dogmas and syncretism in the shaping of gender stereotypes: gender stereotypes in Rastafari, Christian, Vodun and Muslim contexts.
Abstracts are to be submitted by the 15th of September to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reference: Mirza, Heidi. S. (1997). Black British Feminism: A reader. New York: Routledge.
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