The African Studies Association (ASA) has awarded its Best Book Prize to Naminata Diabate, associate professor of comparative literature, for “Naked Agency: Genital Cursing and Biopolitics in Africa” (Duke University Press, 2020).
“This recognition from this stellar intellectual community is a dream of a lifetime. Yet, circulation of the book’s ideas, which the prize enables, is its most gratifying aspect,” said Diabate, a scholar of sexuality, race, biopolitics and postcoloniality. “Uncivil self-exposure continues to proliferate on the continent for reasons that I expose in the book.” For instance, in January 2022, Diabate said, women in Ondo State, Nigeria, staged a semi-naked protest against insecurity.
“It is my hope that ‘Naked Agency’ will reframe the terms of the conversation on defiant disrobing by inviting readers to take seriously the circulation of women’s grievances and hopes and the (mis)use of their bodies’ images in our hyper-visual world.”