Omar Sougou teaches African, American, and Comparative
Literatures at the Department of English at Gaston Berger
University. He is a former Chair of the English Department.
After graduating at the University of Dakar, he taught English
in high schools in Senegal before further studies in Edinburgh
and at Aberdeen University where he received his M.Litt.
and PhD. He was a fellow of the School of Criticism and
Theory at Darmouth College, New Hampshire, USA, in 1991,
and Visiting Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
in 1995. Dr. Sougou was aVisiting Professor in the Department
of African and African-American Studies department, University
of Kansas at Lawrence, in Fall 1998.
The following year he won a Fulbright Scholarship and was
based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from January
to October 1999 doing research on African and African-American
Literatures, and giving occasional lectures. He has frequently
been invited to the University of Lecce in Italy and the
University of Madeira, Portugal for seminars and examination.
Dr. Sougou is member of learned societies such as The African
Literature Association (ALA), The African Studies Association
(ASA), The Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language
Studies (ACLALS), The Modern Language Association of America
(MLA), Poetics and Language Association (PALA). His publications
include various articles on gender in African literature,
language and style, and the diapora in literature. He has
recently published a book, Writing Across Cultures. Gender
Politics and Difference in Buchi Emecheta's Fiction, Amsterdam,
NewYork: Rodopi, 2002. He is currently the editor of SAFARA:
An International Journal of Language, Literature and Culture.
'Ayi Kwei Armah's Politics in Osiris Rising: The Diaspora
Re-crossing. Identity, Culture & Politics: An Afro-Asian
Dialogue 2.2 (2001): 103-127, CODESRIA, Dakar, Senegal
& International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Colombo,
'From Alterity to Being Subjects: Women in African Literature.'
O Feminino nas Linguas, Culturas e Literaturas. Eds
Maria Elisete & Michel Maillard, Universidade da Madeira,
Centro Metagram, 2000, pp. 403-412.
'Resisting Hybridity: Colonial and Postcolonial Youth in
Ambiguous Adventure by Cheikh
Hamidou Kane and l'Appel des arenas. African Cultures,
Visual Arts, and the Museum. Ed. Tobias Doring. Amsterdam,
New York, NY: Rodopi, 2002, 213-227.
'Em/bodying the Text: African and African Diaspora Women
in Dialogue.' SAFARA: Revue
Internationale de Langues, Litteratures et Cultures 2
'Nation and Iconicity in Ifi Amadiume's ''Nok Lady in Terracotta'''
Internationale de Langues, Litteratures et Cultures 3
(2003) SAFARA: Revue Internationale de Langues, Litteratures
et Cultures 2 (2003): 159-175.
Transformational Creativity: Women Writing Resistance
This project follows from the work I did on women writers
and published in articles and a book: Writing Across
Cultures: Gender politics and Difference in the Fiction
of Buchi Emecheta, Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2002.
I intend to study African women's creative writings as sites
of resistance and transformation for a prospective course
on gender that would evolve into a program at the School
of Arts and Social Sciences of Gaston Berger University
in Senegal. The New Century Scholars Program, 'Toward Equality:
The Global Empowerment of Women' is timely for my purpose.
The course will be interdisciplinary. It seeks to address
the empowerment of women on a comparative basis. I intend
to focus on the transformative functions of African women's
writings, especially with respect to combating poverty and
illiteracy. This means researching the issue through a body
of works by representative women writers such as Ama Ata
Aidoo of Ghana, Bessie Head of South Africa, Buchi Emecheta
of Nigeria, Mariama Ba of Senegal, and other relevant writers.
I will examine how women writers use fiction to advocate
transformation and improvement in women's lives. In doing
so, I will also build on critical essays by African women,
especially Molara Ogundipe's work on social transformation.
On the whole, the project aims at using literature together
with sociology, history and anthropology to foster transformation
in women's in their socio-economic status and attitudes.
It seeks also to help women in rural and urban areas access
literacy for the progressive eradication of poverty. Education
is a major avenue for transformation. The international
research exchange visit will allow me to make the relevant
contacts with other researchers, to exchange views, and
engage in enduring multidisciplinary collaboration. Such
an opportunity will ensure guidance for the development
of our intended course into a gender studies program. It
will allow the planning of related activities aimed at the
empowerment of women in Sub-Saharan Africa.