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Gender and Cultural Studies in Africa and the Diaspora

What Gender is Motherhood?

Changing Yorùbá Ideals of Power, Procreation, and Identity in the Age of Modernity

Authors: Oyěwùmí, Oyèrónkẹ́

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  • Demonstrates that there is significant religious and linguistic evidence that Yorùbá society was not gendered in its original form
  • Serves as a follow-up to The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses (1997)
  • Explores the intersections of gender, history, knowledge-making, and the role of intellectuals in the process
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eBook $24.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-52125-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-53877-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $34.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-58051-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

In this book, Oyěwùmí extends her path-breaking thesis that in Yorùbá society, construction of gender is a colonial development since the culture exhibited no gender divisions in its original form. Taking seriously indigenous modes and categories of knowledge, she applies her finding of a non-gendered ontology to the social institutions of Ifá, motherhood, marriage, family and naming practices. Oyěwùmí insists that contemporary assertions of male dominance must be understood, in part, as the work of local intellectuals who took marching orders from Euro/American mentors and colleagues. In exposing the depth of the coloniality of power, Oyěwùmí challenges us to look at the worlds we inhabit, anew.

About the authors

Oyèrónkẹ́ Oyěwùmí is Associate Professor of Sociology at SUNY Stony Brook, USA. She was born in Nigeria and educated at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and the University of California at Berkeley, USA. Her monograph, The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses won the 1998 Distinguished Book Award of the Sex and Gender Section of the American Sociological Association, and was a finalist for the Herskovitts Prize of the African Studies Association in the same year.

Reviews


 

“Oyěwùmí continues to proffer formidable power-knowledge moves beyond gendered concepts of ‘woman’. She tasks us with radical, matripotent comprehensions of the institutions and practices of Ifá, motherhood, marriage, and family, as charted through Yorùbá categories of knowledge. Consequently, Oyěwùmí provides considerable contribution to critical feminist and womanist scholarship.” (Epifania A. Amoo-Adare, Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn, Germany) 
  
What Gender is Motherhood? is a beginning rather than an ending, as it poses an important challenge to feminist history and theory that projects the world in hegemonic ways. Oyěwùmí’s contemporary examples of the chilling effect, on scholarship, of widespread acceptance of a natural male-dominated ethos among the Yorùbá are disconcerting to say the least. Let's get this book out there and keep the discourse invigorated.” (Cheryl Johnson-Odim, Provost Emerita, Professor, History, Dominican University, USA) 

“The central question asked in this book—‘what is the gender of motherhood?’—will set all readers thinking anew about sexuality, reproduction, and natality. Oyěwùmí’s original thinking about these issues will provoke reconsiderations of many axioms of knowing about the history of genders.” (Adélékè Adéẹ̀kọ́, Humanities Distinguished Professor, The Ohio State University, USA) 

 

Table of contents (10 chapters)

  • Introduction: Exhuming Subjugated Knowledge and Liberating Marginalized Epistemes

    Oyěwùmí, Oyèrónkẹ́

    Pages 1-8

  • Divining Knowledge: The Man Question In Ifá

    Oyěwùmí, Oyèrónkẹ́

    Pages 9-34

  • (Re)Casting The Yorùbá World: Ifá, Ìyá, and The Signification of Difference

    Oyěwùmí, Oyèrónkẹ́

    Pages 35-55

  • Matripotency: Ìyá, in Philosophical Concepts and Sociopolitical Institutions

    Oyěwùmí, Oyèrónkẹ́

    Pages 57-92

  • Writing and Gendering the Past: Akọ̀wé and the Endogenous Production of History

    Oyěwùmí, Oyèrónkẹ́

    Pages 93-115

Buy this book

eBook $24.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-52125-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $99.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-53877-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $34.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-349-58051-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
What Gender is Motherhood?
Book Subtitle
Changing Yorùbá Ideals of Power, Procreation, and Identity in the Age of Modernity
Authors
Series Title
Gender and Cultural Studies in Africa and the Diaspora
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-52125-5
DOI
10.1057/9781137521255
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-53877-2
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-58051-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 262
Topics