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Naked Agency: Genital Cursing and Biopolitics in Africa
by Naminata Diabate
Duke University Press, 2020
Cloth: 978-1-4780-0615-2 | Paper: 978-1-4780-0688-6 | eISBN: 978-1-4780-0757-9
Library of Congress Classification BJ1500.N8D533 2020

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
Across Africa, mature women have for decades mobilized the power of their nakedness in political protest to shame and punish male adversaries. This insurrectionary nakedness, often called genital cursing, owes its cultural potency to the religious belief that spirits residing in women's bodies can be unleashed to cause misfortune in their targets, including impotence, disease, and death. In Naked Agency, Naminata Diabate analyzes these collective female naked protests in Africa and beyond to broaden understandings of agency and vulnerability. Drawing on myriad cultural texts from social media and film to journalism and fiction, Diabate uncovers how women create spaces of resistance during socio-political duress, including such events as the 2011 protests by Ivoirian women in Côte d’Ivoire and Paris as well as women's disrobing in Soweto to prevent the destruction of their homes. Through the concept of naked agency, Diabate explores fluctuating narratives of power and victimhood to challenge simplistic accounts of African women's helplessness and to show how they exercise political power in the biopolitical era.

See other books on: Africa, Sub-Saharan | Biopolitics | Human body | Political activists | Social action
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