Z’étoile Imma

Zetoileimma Pic Web

Dr. Z’étoile Imma is an Assistant Professor in the English Department and Concurrent Faculty in the Gender Studies program at the University of Notre Dame. Her work studies gender and sexuality in contemporary Anglophone African literature, visual culture, performance, and new media. Through her teaching and research, Dr. Imma seeks to contribute to African gender analysis, Black feminisms, postcolonial queer studies, and the larger project of decolonizing knowledge production. Due to her commitment to exploring transdisciplinary spatial epistemologies, with the support of the Ford Foundation, Mellon Mays Fellowship, and numerous travel grants, she has engaged in literary-critical fieldwork in Ghana, Benin, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Senegal, The Gambia, and Eritrea. Her major work in progress, Our Queer Mandela: Simon Nkoli, the Archive, and the Making of an African Queer Icon, analyzes a diverse set of visual and discursive texts which archive the life and times South African anti-apartheid, gay and lesbian rights, and AIDS activist Simon Nkoli. Imma is currently developing her second project, Love Stories from Africa, in which she considers how representations of love and urban desire in emergent African literary and visual texts interrupt long-standing local and global discourses on African bodies, spaces, sexualities, and gender, as well as, challenge increasingly pervasive homonationalist ideologies. She has published and forthcoming essays in Representation and Black Womanhood: The Legacy of Sarah Baartman (Palgrave), Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Africa (Carolina Academic Press), Research in African Literatures, and Journal of Lesbian Studies. Alongside her scholarly work, Imma, a Cave Canem affiliate, continues to write creatively and has published poems in African Voices, ShadowBox, and The Brooklyn Review.

Department of English bio  zimma@nd.edu  574/631-9035

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