Prof Judith A. Byfield presents WORDOC-IFRA June seminar

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The June edition of the WORDOC-IFRA seminar held on the 3rd of this month, with Prof Judith Byfield of the Department of History, Cornell University, USA, as the guest lecturer.

Prof Byfield’s lecture on the topic ‘Gender, Spectacle, and Nation-Making in Colonial Abeokuta’ poured fresh light on one of the more memorable events in the evolution of the women’s movement in colonial Nigerian society—the mobilization of women in Abeokuta in the late 1940s against the colonial power structure. Prof Byfield centred her lecture on the impact that the action of the women had on the agitation for representative democracy in Nigeria, indeed a model of activism that utilized indigenous strategies of popular resistance to create and achieve spectacular political effects, forging a bond of solidarity among women from diverse social backgrounds.

Prof Judith Byfield
                                                       Prof Byfield

Prof Byfield’s lecture underscored the need for a historical consciousness that gives due consideration to women’s roles as active agents negotiating, demanding, and constructing spaces of participation and decision-making in the socio-political sphere. The discussion that ensued from her lecture was a testimony to the topicality of the issues she raised, and provided an opportunity for the audience to consider the problem of women’s voices and visibility in the public domain, both from a historical perspective and in relation to the current situation.  

Prof Judith Byfield at WORDOC IFRA Seminar