Images of Women in Lusophone African Film and Literature

3:30 to 4:30 p.m., Nov. 8, 2012


The five Portuguese-speaking countries of Africa have produced a rich literary and growing cinematic tradition in the past 50 years. Many of the films, novels, plays and poetry feature women as central characters who are intrinsic to the development of the nation. In this presentation, Dr. Wasserman examines themes such as “Mãe África” or Mother Africa, women’s involvement in the colonial wars and the challenges of post-colonial society. Some of the authors and directors who will be discussed include; Pepeleta, Flora Gomes and ZeZe Gamboa.


Bonnie S. Wasserman earned her doctorate in Portuguese with a minor in African Languages and Literatures at the University of Wisconsin. Her research is interdisciplinary and covers film, theatre and the novel in a number of languages. Dr. Wasserman is a specialist in Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) African Literature as well as Afro-Brazilian Cinema and has spent a great deal of time doing research in Brazil. She has been awarded two Fulbright Scholarships (Portugal and Barbados) to study African Diaspora topics and has published two books: Metaphors of Oppression in Lusophone Historical Drama (Peter Lang Publishing) and Cinema for Portuguese Conversation (Focus Publishing). At the University of Arizona Dr. Wasserman is Visiting Assistant Professor of Africana Studies. She teaches courses on African Literature, Africana Studies, Lusophone African Literature and Film, as well as advise students in the program.