A scholar of sexuality, race, biopolitics, and postcoloniality, Naminata’s research primarily explores African, African American, Caribbean, and Afro-Hispanic literatures, cultures, cinema, and new media.
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.
Naked Agency: Genital Cursing and Biopolitics in Africa, Duke UP, 2020.
I'm working currently on two monographs:
The Pleasure Turn and Neoliberalism in Africa
Digital Insurgencies and Bodies
Naked Agency: Genital Cursing and Biopolitics in Africa. Duke University Press, 2020. https://www.dukeupress.edu/naked-agency
Peer-reviewed Articles and Book Chapters
“Nudity and Pleasure." Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art 46, May 2020.
“The Forms of Shame in African Literature.” Routledge Handbook of African Literature, ed. Moradewun Adejunmobi and Carli Coetzee. New York: Routledge, 2019. 339-353.
“African Queer African Digital: Reflections on Zanele Muholi’s Films4peace and Other Works.” African Literature Today ALT 36 (2018): 17-37 (Queer Theory in Film & Fiction).
“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.
“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 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.
“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." The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. Ed. Sangeeta Ray and Henry Schwarz. Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.
"Yvonne Vera." The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Postcolonial Studies. Ed. Sangeeta Ray and Henry Schwarz. Wiley-Blackwell, 2016.
“Côte d’Ivoire Pre-Independence Protest and Liberation.” The International Encyclopedia of Protest and Revolution: 1500-Present, ed. Immanuel Ness. London: Blackwell, 2009.
“Côte d’Ivoire Post-Independence Era Protest.” The International Encyclopedia of Protest and Revolution: 1500-Present, ed. Immanuel Ness. London: Blackwell, 2009.
The Amputated Memory by Werewere Liking, The Ethnic and Third World Literatures Review of Books 10. (2010): 67-69.
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
"Cornellians Explore Stories of Sexual Violence Around the World." The Cornell Daily Sun. March 10, 2019. https://cornellsun.com/2019/03/10/cornellians-explore-stories-of-sexual-violence-around-the-world/
In the news
- Naminata Diabate wins ASA book prize for ‘Naked Agency’
- Society for the Humanities 'Afterlives' theme draws record interest
- Cornell faculty featured on ‘The Academic Minute’
- Portland protestor used ‘insurrectionary nakedness’ to manage conflict
- Teaching awards honor Arts & Sciences faculty, graduate students
- ‘Dramas of desperation’: Book examines naked protest in Africa
- Fulbright scholar engages with indigenous communities
- Professor offers talk on history of sexual minority rights in Zimbabwe
- Scholars, artists convene to discuss black girls, women