• 00:01 Thinking beyond the individual: the first couple
  • 02:15 The invention of women
  • 10:27 Writing a dissertation in Berkeley
  • 18:53 Gender is differently constructed
  • 23:10 New tools and the colonialism of knowledge
  • 28:47 Genderism: shifts in the vocabularies
  • 31:13 Seniority as tool
  • 38:22 Gendered African art & motherhood as an art form
  • 43:30 A spiritual category
10/01/2020 47' 48''

The work of Professor Oyèrónké Oyèwùmi (b. Nigeria, 1957) examines the ways in which universalism in academia distorts our understanding of African cultures, especially in relation to race and gender: anatomical materiality, scientific visuality, and the emphasis on genitality result in an exaggeration of differences.

Professor Oyèwùmi looks at how this matrix was historically imposed on the culture and worldview of the Yoruba, whose language, for example, did not stipulate the existence of sons or daughters, wives or husband, and whose deities always display a fluid identity. Going beyond gender as an abstract cultural construct, Oyèwùmi begins to identify the space-time coordinates in which the construct emerged, and to recognise the impossibility of disentangling it from openly racist and colonial processes.

In this podcast, Professor Oyèrónké Oyèwùmi talks about age, seniority, and respect, about unscrupulousness and academia, dispossession and spirituality. She considers the oxymoron of the notion of “single mothers” from the point of view of Yoruba culture, and describes the process by which children choose their mothers before they are born. She also notes how observance of community practices from non-Western cultures may be a necessary step as we face the planetary challenges to come.

Son[i]aYoruba culturefeminismcollectivityOyèrónké OyèwùmiJohn Mason14 years + 14 memorable moments of RWM+listened-july-2020Most listened - September 2020#8MMost listened podcasts: 2006-2021. 15 years of podcasting+ listened 1st semester 2022

Related RWM programmes