"Icons of Women's Spirituality and Social Autonomy" Presentation by Dr. Diedre Badejo

UCLA alum and Kent State Pan-African Studies Chair Dr. Diedre Badejo will present on contemporary Yoruba and Akan women in both their ritual and civic roles. This Powerpoint presentation explores notions of gender, spirituality, and women's authority.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
10383 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

"Icons of Women's Spirituality and Social Autonomy" presents contemporary Yoruba and Akan women in both their ritual and civic roles.  It documents these roles and illustrates the fluidity between these West African women's traditional and contemporary social roles captured in their respective cultural settings.  This powerpoint presentation explores notions of gender, spirituality, and women's authority by juxtaposing their respective spiritual and socio-cultural environments.  Although Yoruba and Akan Women perform differently within their respective patrilineal and matrilineal societies, their cultural affinities and cultural discordances raise questions about the way in which gender is constructed in these West African communities.

Dr. Diedre Badejo is a professor of English and Pan-African Studies, as well as the Chair of the Pan-African Studies Department at Kent State University.  She received both her M.A. in African Area Studies (Literature/Theatre, History, Political Science) and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (Yoruba, African American, Francophone Theatre/Theatre/History) from UCLA.  Dr. Badejo’s areas of concentration and fields of interest include African and African American Oral & Written Literatures and Theatre; West African History and Politics; Educational and Curricular Development, Women’s Studies, and African religion and mythology.  In March, she represented Senegal at the National Model African Union in 2004 at Howard University. 

Dr. Badejo’s publications include “Femininity as a Literary and Social Function of Power in Yoruba Oral Literature.” In Religion and Society in Nigeria. Ed. J. Olupona and Toyin Falola. Ibadan: Ibadan UP, 1991. 77-92; “The Bridges: Africans and Africans in the Diaspora.” Uhuru (Accra, Ghana) 4 (1992): 66-68; With E. Coli, N. Yacoubou, and O. Traore.” “La Porte sans retour: Recit oral de captivité l’Île de Goree.” The Literary Griot 7 (1995): 1-19; “Birthing Orality in Mother Tongue Ebonics: Sister Sonia Speaks.” The Literary Griot 10 (1998): 85-94; “Triply: Three Views on the Status of African Progress since Independence.” The Journal of African Studies 16 (1998): 9-11; and “Womenfolks: Race, Class and Gender in works by Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison.” In Black Identity in the Twentieth Century: Expression of the US and UK African Diaspora. Mark Christian (ed). London: UK: Hansib Publications Ltd.. 2002. 213-233. (R,I).  Dr. Badejo has been a Rockefeller Research Fellow at Brown University, a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Ghana, and the research project director for the Kentucky Humanities Council and Kentucky Derby Museum project, African Americans In Thoroughbred Racing.


Special Instructions

Parking is available in lot #3 for $7.

Cost : Free and open to the public

For more information please contact:

James S. ColemanAfrican Studies Center

Tel: 310-825-3686



Sponsor(s): African Studies Center