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The College of Arts Sciences

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Naminata Diabate

Assistant Professor

Klarman Hall, Room 206

Educational Background

Ph.D., Comparative Literature, The University of Texas at Austin (2011)

Portfolios in African Diaspora Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies

M.A., Comparative Literature, The University of Texas at Austin (2006)

Advanced Degree, Maitrise, B.A, Universite de Cocody a Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) (1998- 2001)


A scholar of sexuality, race, biopolitics, and postcoloniality, Naminata’s research primarily explores African, African American, Caribbean, and Afro-Hispanic literatures, cultures, and film.


Agency, Resistance, Social Media, Digitality, Sexuality, Body, Pleasure, Shame, Biopolitics, Africa, Postcolonislism, Gender, Cinema


  • Comparative Literature
  • Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies Program

Graduate Fields

  • Africana Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender studies


My current teaching and research interests focus on forms of gendered, sexual, and racialized agency in a variety of cultural products (oral tradition, literary fiction, filmic and social media). These explorations in Malinke, French, English, and Spanish take the trans African context as their points of departure to make broader contributions to transnational reflections on questions of agency and resistance.

I'm currently working on two monographs:  Naked Agency: Genital Cursing and Biopolitics in Africa snf African Sexualities and Pleasures under Neoliberalism.



“The Cinematic Language of Naked Protest.” Critical Interventions: Journal of African Art History and Visual Culture 11.3 (2017): 248-268

“Genealogies of Desire and Radical Queerness in Frieda Ekotto’s Chuchote Pas Trop and Francophone African Literature.” Research in African Literatures 47. 2 (2016): 46-65.

“Women’s Naked Protest in Africa: Comparative Literature and Its Futures.” Fieldwork in the Humanities, ed. Debra Castillo and Shalini Puri. New York: Palgrave, 2016. 51-71.

“Jean Pierre Bekolo’s Les Saignantes and the Mevoungou: Ambivalence towards the African Woman’s Body.” Women, Gender and Sexualities in Africa, ed. Toyin Falola and Nana Akua Amponsah. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2013. 21-39

“Re-Imagining West African Women’s Sexuality: Jean Pierre Bekolo’s Les Saignantes and the Mevoungou.” Development, Modernism and Modernity in Africa, ed. Augustine Agwuele. New York: Routledge, 2012. 166-181.

“From Women Loving Women in Africa to Jean Genet and Race: A Conversation with Frieda Ekotto.” Journal of the African Literature Association (JALA) 4. 1. (2010): 181-203.

“African Women and Missionary Writings: Nineteenth-Century Boloki Women of the Congo in John H. Weeks’ Among Congo Cannibals (1913).” Intersections: Women’s and Gender Studies in Review across Disciplines 5. (2007): 44-51.

“From Research in African Literatures (RAL) to Ira Aldridge: An Interview with Bernth Lindfors.” The Ethnic and Third World Literatures Review of Books 8. (Fall 2008): 38-42.

"Ousmane Sembene." "Yvonne Vera." The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. Ed. Sangeeta Ray and Henry Schwarz. Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.

 The Amputated Memory by Werewere Liking, The Ethnic and Third World Literatures Review of Books 10. (2010): 67-69.

“Côte d’Ivoire Pre-Independence Protest and Liberation.” “Côte d’Ivoire Post-Independence Era Protest.” The International Encyclopedia of Protest and Revolution: 1500-Present, ed. Immanuel Ness. London: Blackwell, 2009.

Politics of the Female Body: Postcolonial Women Writers of the Third World by Ketu Katrak, The Ethnic and Third World Literatures Review of Books 9. (2009): 92-94.

The Bernth Lindfors Papers at the Harry Ransom Center. The Ethnic and Third World Literatures Review of Books 8. (2008): 42-44.

Postcolonialisms, Edited by Gaura Desai and Supriya Nair. The Ethnic and Third World Literatures Review of Books 7. (2007): 18-20