AAA Conference: "Women Agency in Africa: Role, Motivation and Voice"

The African Activist Association at UCLA presents the 6th Annual Graduate Student Colloquim at the Fowler Museum, May 20-21, 2011. The keynote address on Friday, May 20 features UCLA African Studies alum Muadi Mukenge, discussing "Who Will Fund the Revolution: Women's Funds and Social Justice in Africa." The Saturday, May 21 program will consist of panel discussions and presentations on cinematic, artistic, and gender representations of women in Africa.

Friday, May 20, 2011
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Fowler Museum at UCLA
Los Angeles, CA 90095


Friday, May 20 Preliminary Schedule:

  • 6:00pm: Reception and Refreshments
  • 6:30pm: Wilfried Souly, World Arts and Cultures Performance
  • 7:00pm: Keynote Address by Muadi Mukenge
  • 7:30pm: Horoya Kan Group (“The Sound of Freedom”)
  • 8:30pm: Closing

About Muadi Mukenge:

Muadi Mukenge is currently the program officer for Africa at The Global Fund for Women, an international network of women and men who advocate for and defend women's human rights.  Her background is in women's health, as well as African politics and economic development in Africa.  She frequently advises donors on their Africa programs. She presents often, at international conferences and media outlets such as NPR and Pacifica Radio Affiliates. She has contributed to several articles on women's rights and African development and regularly writes opinion pieces.

Since joining the Global Fund in 2004, Mukenge has increased support in the areas of conflict-prevention, economic policy advocacy, empowerment of rural women, and expansion of grants to French-speaking countries. She has stewarded the deepening of support to the women's movement in the Great Lakes Region (DRC, Burundi, CAR), and facilitated GFW grantee convenings in DRC on ending sexual violence and advancing women's rights. Prior to joining the Global Fund in 2004, she served as Program Officer for Africa at the Pacific Institute for Women's Health, where she managed training and evaluation projects, and managed the Pacific Institute's grant-making program and communications initiative. At Coro Southern California, a leadership training institute, she produced communications materials and managed alumni fundraising campaigns.

From 1993-1997, Mukenge worked at the African Studies Center at UCLA, where she assisted research initiatives, organized international conferences and the teacher training program, and produced research publications on political transition in Africa.  Mukenge holds a Master's Degree in African Studies from UCLA.  She is fluent in French and is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mukenge is active in volunteer organizations focused on African immigrant rights, foreign policy toward Africa, and promotion of human rights in the Congo.  Mukenge is on the Boards of Priority Africa Network, New Field Foundation, and the African Studies Association. 



Saturday, May 21 – 10am to 4pm at the Fowler Museum Lenart Auditorium  --  Panel Discussions (subject to change)

Panel I  --  Cinematic Representations of Women in Africa (10am-11:30am)

Moderator:  Claudia Hoffmann, Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow and Visiting Interdepartmental Program in African Studies and the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media

  • Dana Turken (Film and Television, UCLA): "Storytelling and Silence: Identity Re-Construction in Julie Dash’s “Daughters of the Dust"
  • Nina Lavelanet (Film and Television, UCLA): “The Roses and gifts are like a machine-gun against your neck”: The Politics of Haitian Female Sexuality in Heading South (Vers le Sud)
  • Elinam Dellor (Public Health, UCLA): "Modernity and Women's Sexuality in Nigerian Film"
  • Jane'a Johnson (Film and Television, UCLA): "What If Mary Was An Illegal African Immigrant? The Children of Men as a Near-Future Nativity Story"
  • Alexander Woodman (African-American Studies, UCLA): "Struggle of Perceptibility"

Panel II  -  Artistic Representations of Women Agency in Africa (11:45am-1:00pm)

Moderator: Mary (Polly) Nooter Roberts, Professor, Worlds Arts and Cultures, UCLA

  • Mary (Polly) Nooter Roberts (Worlds Arts and Cultures, UCLA): "African Women at the Cutting Edge of Power and Resistance"
  • Casey O'Neil (Applied Linguistics, UCLA): "Powerlessness of Women: A Study of Referential Expressions in the Music Industry"
  • Charmaine Lang (African World Literature and Rhetoric, CSU Dominguez Hills): "Authentic Voice, Agency and Empowerments: Teaching the Works of Ama Ata Aiodoo"
  • Ndubuisi C. Ezeluomba (Art History, University of Port Harcourt): “Implications of Texts in Analyzing Material Culture: A Case of Olokun Shrine Sculptures”

Lunch: 1:00pm to 2:30pm on the Fowler Terrace – Lunch is provided free to conference attendees

Panel III  -  Gender Representations of Women in Africa (2:30-3:45pm)

Moderator: Edith M. Omwami, Assistant Professor, School of Education, UCLA

  • Barbara Goldberg (Founder, Wells Bring Hope): "Transforming the Lives of Women in West Africa"
  • Clemence Pinaud (History, University of Sorbonne, Paris): "From Huts to the Front: Women's Roles in Southern Sudan's Civil War”
  • Sarah Watkins (History, University of California, Santa Barbara): “The Triumph of the Wife: Sex, Gender and the State in Nineteenth Century Rwanda”
  • Amanda Silver-Westrick (Geography, UCLA): “Gender Roles and Inequalities Regarding Domestic Water Acquisition in Guede”
  • Rayed Khedher (Anthropology, UCLA): “The African Court of Women: A Deconstruction of the Widely Used and Misused Neoliberal Concepts of ‘Victimization and Empowerment’”

African Activist Association:
Co-Chair: Deborah Dauda
Co-Chair: Adaeze Nnamani
Treasurer: Anne Mueller
Secretary: Farah Abdi
Public Relations: Ridwa Abdi
Planning Committee: Cynthia Ugwuibe, Brian Smithson, Lafayette Gaston

Pay-by-space and all-day parking ($10) available in lot 4 (enter UCLA at Westwood Plaza and Sunset Blvd., off Sunset). For campus map, directions, transportation options to UCLA, visit

Cost : Free and open to the public

African Activist Association at UCLA310-825-3686

Sponsor(s): African Studies Center, UCLA International Institute, Fowler Museum at UCLA, UCLA Graduate Students Association, UCLA Campus Programs Committee (CPC), USA for Africa, African Education Project (UCLA)