Afraid to Say…..

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I have been a fan of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for many years. I was introduced to her work when I was studying in college and I was immediately hooked. I instantly read all of her writing that I could get my hands on. I also wrote about her and her stories many times over the course of my time in college. That is why I was so shocked and saddened when I heard that her father was recently kidnapped. It is strange when you hear stories about your favourite writers or musicians because although you don’t know these people you often feel like you do because their work means so much to you. Back in the beginning of May Adichie’s father who is 83 years old was kidnapped in Nigeria. James Nwoye Adichie became the first professor of statistics in Nigeria and he thought at the University in Nsukka for 50 years before he retired. It was reported that the kidnappers demanded 50 million Naira before they would release her father.

Kidnapping members of wealthy or prominent families is not uncommon in Southeastern Nigeria however the number of abductions has been declining in recent years. The kidnappers identified Chimamanda by name and asked that she bring them the money herself because she was known to them as a writer. She has spoken of her own guilt that her father was targeted because she is a public figure. Although it is in no way her fault or the fault of anyone but the people who commit these terrible acts it is an understandable reaction when your loved one has been hurt. It’s instinctual to try to protect the ones we love the most. Thankfully this story has a happy ending and her father was returned to his family unharmed after three days. The amount of money that they were forced to pay was never disclosed to the media. Continue reading

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Textualities Mini-Conference 2014

The UCC Textualities Mini-Conference took place on the 28th of March in the Western Gateway Building. All of the students in the English Masters Programme had to do a presentation. I did my presentation on the author Chimamamanda Ngozi Adichie. We had to use a presentation style Pecha Kucha. This is a Japanese presentation style. It is six minutes and forty-seconds long. It involves using twenty slides for twenty seconds. This was the first time I used Power Point for the first time in a presentation. I was very nervous about using it in this setting because I don’t have much experience in public speaking. The conference started at 10am and it was decided into three parts. My presentation was in the last panel. I was the second last speaker of the day. In order to settle the nerves I was hoping that my presentation would have been earlier in he day but I very much enjoyed listening to the others presenting. There was a very wide variation of topics in the presentations. It was very interesting and informative.

 

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As I said earlier my presentation was based on the author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I chose to do the presentation on her because it is connected to my thesis topic. I am going to explore representations of Race, Gender and Disability in my thesis and I am using Adichie’s books as a source to do this. In order to prepare for the presentation I had to first become more familiar with Power Point. I had to see what slides would be appropriate and interesting for the audience. In order to keep in time with the Pecha Kucha style I decided to make my slides more general and I also tried to make sure that they all linked together well. At first I thought that twenty slides was too many but in the end I had so many images that I wanted to use. I had to become more selective in this process and choose wisely. I also had to write my speech out and make sure the two were well connected. I wanted it to be interesting and engaging to the audience. The Power Point helped me to achieve that as it makes the presentation more striking and interactive. Putting the pictures and quotes up on a big screen  allows the presentation to reach out and grab the audiences attention. I had to time the presentation so that I did not go over the time allotted to me. Continue reading

Feminism, a dirty word?

Feminism has always been a very loaded word. It has been discussed and debated over and over again. It is a term that comes with a lot of baggage. Many people do not want to be connected with this word because of what’s associated with it. The word feminism seems to say to some people that you do not like men and that you cannot have feminine qualities. I identify myself as a feminist and I most certainly do not hate men. I also as it happens really like make up and fashion. These stereotypes similarly to gender stereotypes, are just constructs of society that we need to break down in order to live in a more equal society.

Feminism is also a word that makes some people role their eyes when they hear it. They say that we don’t need it anymore because everything is fine now. This attitude really infuriates me because yes it is true we have come a long way and we should be grateful for that. However we have a long way to go before we live in an equal world. I think that another reason the term feminism is feared is because it is often part of an academic discussion and perhaps others are afraid to join in this conversation. People are intimidated and afraid to have an opinion but the truth is gender is every bodies, it belongs to everyone. The term is automatically associated  with very impressive figures such as Gloria Steinem and Simone De Beauvoir etc, etc but anyone and everyone is affected by gender so everyone deserves an opinion. I think that feminism is for everyone no matter what your gender, race, sexuality, social class etc. Continue reading