Oyeronke Oyewumi

Oyewumi

Associate Professor
Oyeronke.Oyewumi@stonybrook.edu

Areas of Interest

Sociology of Gender, Sociology of Knowledge, Sociology of Culture, Comparative Historical-Sociology, Feminist Theory, Transnational Feminisms, Social Theory, Social Inequalities in Local, Regional, and Global systems, African Studies, (Post) Colonial Studies and Modernities

Bio

In her award-winning book The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses (University of Minnesota Press, 1997), Oyeronke Oyewumi makes the case that the narrative of gendered corporeality that dominates the Western interpretation of the social world is a cultural discourse and cannot be assumed uncritically for other cultures. She concludes that gender is not only socially constructed but is also historical. Furthermore, she points out that the current deployment of gender as a universal and timeless social category cannot be divorced from either the dominance of Euro/American cultures in the global system or the ideology of biological determinism which underpins Western systems of knowledge.

Born in Nigeria and educated at the University of Ibadan and the University of California at Berkeley, Oyewumi has been widely recognized for her work. The monograph Invention won the 1998 Distinguished Book Award in the Gender and Sex Section of the American Sociological Association and was a finalist for the Herskovitts Prize of the African Studies Association in the same year.

She has garnered a number of research fellowships, including Rockefeller Fellowships, a Presidential fellowship, and a Ford Foundation grant. Oyewumi's most recent research support was a Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship on Human Security (2003/2004), managed by National Council for Research on Women. (NCRW).

Publications

Books

Gender Epistemologies in Africa: Gendering Traditions, Spaces, Social Institutions, and Identities, edited. Palgrave Macmillan (2010)

This book brings together a variety of studies that are engaged with notions of gender in different African localities, i nstitutions and historical time periods. The objective is to expand empirical and theoretical studies that take seriously the idea that in order to understand gender and gender relations in Africa, we must start with Africa. If gender emerges out of particular histories and social contexts, we must therefore pay attention to the histories of genderings as wel as the continuous ways in which gender is made and remade in everyday interactions, and by institutions. In this sense then, “gender” is actually more about gendering—a process—rather than something inherent in social relations. Gender Epistemologies in Africa

African Women and Feminism: Reflecting on the Politics of Sisterhood, edited. Africa World Press, Trenton: New Jersey (2003).

The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis: Minnesota (1997).

Selected Book Chapters

“Colonizing Bodies and Minds: Gender and Colonialism” in Postconialisms: An Anthology of Cultural Theory and Criticism, Gaurav Desai and Supriya Nair (eds). Rutgers University Press (forthcoming 2005).

“Translation of Cultures: Engendering Yoruba Language, Orature and World Sense” in Women, Gender and Religion: A Reader, Elizabeth Castelli (ed). Palgrave,: New York (2001)

“Multiculturalism or Multibodism: On the Impossible Intersections of Race and Gender in White Feminist and Black Nationalist Discourses” in Black Studies:

Current Issues, Enduring Questions, Claudine Michel and Jacqueline Bobo (eds). Kendal Hunt Publishing Company (2001).

“Alice in Motherland: Reading Alice Walker on Africa and Screening the Color Black,” in African Women and Feminism: Reflecting on the Politics of Sisterhood, Africa World Press, Trenton: New Jersey (2004)

News & Events

  April 2014  
 

•Florencia Arancibia has been awarded an Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Field Research Fellowship
IHSS, co-sponsored with the Department of History presents Samuel Roberts, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, April 22nd, 2:30 PM, SBS N320, "Black Politics, Caught Between Criminalization and Medicalization:  Methadone Maintenance, Decriminalization, and Harm Reduction, 1965-1990."
Natalia Sarkisian, Boston College, April 17th, 4:00 PM, SBS S403,"More or Less Kin:  Economic Disparities and Kin Support"
Oyeronke Oyewumi received the Distinguished Africanist Award by the New York African Studies Association (NYASA)
•Hyang-Gi Song has been awarded the Center for Korean Studies graduate fellowship
Jennifer London, Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, April 9, 2014, 3:00 PM, Stony Brook Manhattan, "Understanding Authoritarianism as a Dynamic Category of Practice:  Ibn al-Muqaffa's Legacy for the History of Arab Political Thought:"

 
  March 2014  
 

•Brooke Ellison, Ph.D. 2012, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy and Management at Stony Brook University, was selected by the World Economic Forum as a 2014 Global Leader.
•Oyeronke Oyewumi awarded 2014/15 Fulbright Scholar Grant for teaching and research in Harare, Zimbabwe
•Rebekah Burroway, Cathy Marrone, and Carrie Shandra awarded Dean's Funds for Excellence awards
•Sasha Rodriguez awarded the American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship
•Bethany Coston receives the Madeline Fusco Fellowship Award
•Sasha Rodriguez receives the Faculty-Staff Dissertation Fellowship
•Amanda Kennedy receives the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching
•Sociology Major Neha Kinariwalla receives Gates Cambridge University Fellowship
•Ambassador Robert Toscano, March 24, 2014, 4:00 PM, Center for Italian Studies, Library, Room E4340, "Putin's Russia: Between Soviet Nostalgia and Traditionalist Nataionalism"
Valerie Leiter, Simmons College, March 13th, 4:00 PM, Health Sciences Center,Level 2, Room 408 (School of Health Technology and Management Conference Room),"Power, Rights, and Participation among Youth with Disabilities."  Co-sponsored by the Program in Public Health
IHSS will present Lori Flores, Stony Brook University, Department of History, March 5, 12:00 Noon, SBS N320, "Battlegrounds of Masculinity:  Latino Servicemen, Zoot Suiters, and Farmworkers in World War II"

 
  February 2014
 
  •Tarun Banerjee receives Sociology Department's Judith Tanur Dissertation Research Award.
Crystal Fleming receives Career Enhancement Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation.
IHSS will present Lawrence Frohman, Stony Brook University, Department of History, February 12th, 11:30 AM, SBS N320, "Surveillance, Security, Divinity"
 
   November 2013  
   Michael Schwartz named Distinguished Teaching Professor by the State University of New York Board of Trustees  
   October 2013  
  Professor Adam Possamai, University of West Sydney, to speak on "Contemporary Religion and Australian Aborigines", Wednesday, October 30th, 3:00 PM, Stony Brook Manhattan, sponsored by the Dept. of Sociology, SBU Institute for Global Studies, and International Academic Programs and Services
Memory in the Disciplines Workshop welcomes Professor Suparna Rajaram, Stony Brook University, "Collaborative Memory:  A Cognitive Perspective", Wednesday, October 30th, 2:30 PM, SBS N403
IHSS co Sponsored with the Department of History presents Patrick Weil, CNRS and Yale Law School, October 30th, 4:30 PM, SBS N320, "From Emma Goldman to Edward Snowden:  How Denationalization of "Radical" Americans Reshaped American Citizenship
IHSS presents Robert Chase, Stony Brook History Department, October 22nd, 2:30 PM,  SBS N320, "Slaves of the State Revolt:  The Prisoners' Rights Movement and the Construction of the Carceral State"
 
  September 2013  
  Arnout van de Rijt wins $275k NSF grant for in vivo experimental research on arbitrary social inequality
•Screening of the film, ESCAPE FIRE, Tuesday, September 17th, 4:00 PM, SBS N403
IHSS presents Clayton Fordahl, Stony Brook Sociology Department, September 24th, 2:30 PM,  SBS N405, Imperium in imperio:  Martyrdom, the Roman Empire, and the Creation of Christian Sovereignty" 
 

Department of Sociology,  Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-4356, tel.: +1 (631) 632-7700