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Dissociation, Amnesia, memory hoarding and Trauma in Sub-Saharan African Fe-migritude Writing

This call for papers is on African women who migrate between unstable environments in pursuit of better opportunities, healthcare, socioeconomic independence, and other goals. Most of these women are faced with dissociative amnesia of traumatic events that had happened to them in the past either as a child or as an adult. James Chu et al (1999, p. 753) study shows that majority of such women who had partial or complete traumatic amnesia tend to recall those events not in a therapy session, but they do it when they are alone with family or with friends because they found a strong collaboration of their recovered memory. Freud’s idea of regression and repression in his work on Dreams interpretation explains this memory recall.

Femigritude which is a word we coined from Jacque Chevrier’s Migritude to refer to both female who writes on migration and female involved in migration. How do these women handle dissociation, amnesia, memory conflicts, trauma, and other challenges they face in the moving process or in their pays d’arrivee? Contemporary sub-Saharan African Femigritude writers like Calixthe Beyala, Fatou Diome, Mady Diallo, Ken Bugul, Monique Ilboudo, to mention but a few have expressed these concerns in their works. Considering the numerous conflicts that exist in Sub-Saharan Africa today, women’s and children’s migration is becoming more and more inevitable. As the saying goes, “When an old person dies, a library is burnt to the ground,” we say “when a woman migrates, a whole culture, tradition, and history are uprooted from one location to another”. In this panel, we will focus on a certain research axes including but not limited to::
Women and migration
Migration and memory
Movement as (in)security
dissociation, amnesia, and trauma
biopower and necropolitics
Chu, J., Frey, L. M., Ganzel, B. L., & Matthews, J. A. (1999, May). Memories of Childhood Abuse:. Am J Psychiatry, 156, 749–755
Chevrier (Jacques), Littératures francophones d’Afrique noire. Aix-en-Provence : Edisud, coll. Les écritures du Sud, 2006, p. 215.

Submit your paper abstracts to mdafong@crimson.ua.edu by March 8 to be considered for the panel.

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