Körper-Pamphlete: Weibliche Genitalbeschneidung in Afrikanischen Literaturen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In Western discussions the bodies of women who have undergone female genital excision
are generally looked upon as disturbing, horrifying bodies because they are
regarded as irrevocably disturbed, in the literal sense of disfigured. However, this perception
of genitally-excised bodies as mutilated is not universally shared. For African
population groups upholding the tradition, female genital excision functions as a vital
gender-constructing ritual that ensures a girl's transition into adulthood. This article,
rather than examining the debate on female genital excision as such, explores how this
debate has been reflected (upon) in African literatures since the early 1960s. It argues
that this unique corpus of literary explorations by authors from the African continent
and diaspora, especially when they are read together, offers a unique insight into the
discursive tensions underlying past as well as present discussions of female genital excision,
while showing at the same time its interrelatedness with women's identity, the
practising community's gender system, national and/or global politics.
Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationDisturbing Bodies, Sylvia Mieszkowski and Christine Vogt-William (eds.)
PublisherTrafo, Berlin
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)978-3-89626-722-1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameFrankfurter Kulturwissenschaftliche Beiträge


  • African literatures
  • African American literature
  • female genital excision
  • Ngugi wa Thiong'o
  • Flora Nwapa
  • Nuruddin Farah
  • Saïda Hgi-Dirie Herzi
  • Alice Walker

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