Visible Bodies

Where are the African female writers of the 20th century? This project addresses the critical issue of the invisibility of female authors within established canons of 20th-century African literature, and it urgently seeks to remedy the extent to which women-authored bodies of work from this period continue to be lost, misplaced, forgotten, and ignored.

Entitled “Visible Bodies”, the project thus aims to give greater visibility to hitherto marginalized bodies of work. Assembling an interdisciplinary team of historians, literary scholars, and archivists, the project will create a critical digital archive displaying the key work of largely unknown 20th-century African female writers. The archive will be aimed at scholars and the general public, especially emphasizing audiences on the African continent. Phase One of the project will digitize and curate the output of Regina Twala (1908- 1968), an important South African-Swazi politician and activist who wrote four manuscripts, none of which were published. The project will be launched at a high-profile public symposium, disseminating the key findings of the archive and increasing public awareness of the literary and cultural importance of African female authors.

Core People