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Research seminar: "The emergence of LGBTQ-themed writing in Africa"

Thursday 26 May 2022, 4.00-5.30 pm BST
Michael Sadler SR (LG.15) University of Leeds

Please join us on Thursday 26th May, 4.00-5.30 pm (BST) for a research seminar with Chris Dunton who will speak about

"Tuning into the Polyphony: the emergence of LGBTQ-themed writing in Africa"

The research seminar is hosted by the Leeds University Centre for African Studies.  The event  will take place in hybrid form, meaning that you can attend in person or online (via MS teams).


The paper takes as its starting-point Lindsey Green-Simms’ observation that following a long period in which there were virtually no African literary texts that took on board same-sex sexuality as a serious topic for exploration, the resounding silence on the issue is now rapidly turning into a polyphony. A substantial corpus of LGBTQ-themed fiction and poetry now obtains, and a series of recent sociological and historical texts provide a solid matrix for the production of the literary criticism that has also emerged. This, despite the consolidation of homophobic legislation and oppressive practices in many parts of Africa. The paper highlights some of the relevant literature, especially from Nigeria, discussing its thematic diversity, and explores issues such as the expatriation of writers who focus on same-sex sexuality. Of particular interest is the production of a number of volumes of life testimonies, most notably Unoma Azuah, ed. Blessed Body.


Chris Dunton is an Oxford graduate and has taught at universities in Nigeria, Libya and South Africa. Most recently he was Professor and Dean of Humanities at the National University of Lesotho. He is now a freelance scholar, specializing in African literature and in rhetoric studies applied to African texts.