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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gender, narrative space, and modern Hausa literature
Author:Alidou, OusseinaISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Northern Nigeria
Subjects:gender relations
oral literature
Cultural Roles
Abstract:This essay demonstrates the interplay between gender and (oral and written) narrative spaces, and the relationship between those spaces and the shifting roles of men and women in the production of literatures in Hausa culture. The discussion is placed in historical space - from the indigenous oral heritage, through the Islamic and jihadist phase, to the more modern period of the Western impact in northern Nigeria. The view adopted is that tradition and modernity are coexisting modes/ways of (re)inventing and (re)interpreting culture within a given space. The essay argues that imaginative literature within the Hausa oral tradition was primarily the domain of women. The recording of this heritage in 'ajami' and Roman script, however, tended to alter its character in a way that de-feminized it, rendering it seemingly gender-neutral. However, the substance and style of this creativity of female agency ultimately found its way into Hausa written literature, both in Hausa and in European languages. What emerges from the analysis is the remarkable resilience of the oral tradition in the face of 'hostile modernizing' forces. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]