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Knowing Women
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Book description

Knowing Women is a study of same-sex desire in West Africa, which explores the lives and friendships of working-class women in southern Ghana who are intimately involved with each other. Based on in-depth research of the life histories of women in the region, Serena O. Dankwa highlights the vibrancy of everyday same-sex intimacies that have not been captured in a globally pervasive language of sexual identity. Paying close attention to the women's practices of self-reference, Dankwa refers to them as 'knowing women' in a way that both distinguishes them from, and relates them to categories such as lesbian or supi, a Ghanaian term for female friend. In doing so, this study is not only a significant contribution to the field of global queer studies in which both women and Africa have been underrepresented, but a starting point to further theorize the relation between gender, kinship, and sexuality that is key to queer, feminist, and postcolonial theories. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.


‘This remarkable book deserves a wide audience … Theoretically subtle and accessible and beautifully written … Highly recommended.’

C. Higgs Source: Choice Magazine

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Full book PDF
  • Knowing Women
    pp i-i
  • African Identities: Past and Present - Series page
    pp ii-ii
  • Knowing Women - Title page
    pp iii-iii
  • Same-Sex Intimacy, Gender, and Identity in Postcolonial Ghana
  • Copyright page
    pp iv-iv
  • Dedication
    pp v-vi
  • Contents
    pp vii-vii
  • Figures
    pp viii-viii
  • Acknowledgments
    pp ix-xii
  • Prologue: Arrival Stories
    pp 1-17
  • Introduction: Freeing Our Imaginations
    pp 18-46
  • 1 - Tacit Erotic Intimacies and the Culture of Indirection
    pp 47-78
  • 2 - Supi, Secrecy, and the Gift of Knowing
    pp 79-122
  • 3 - “The One Who First Says ‘I Love You’”
    pp 123-171
  • Ɔbaa Barima, Gender, and Erotic Subjectivity
  • 4 - Sugar Motherhood and the Collectivization of Love
    pp 172-219
  • 5 - “Doing Everything Together”
    pp 220-266
  • Siblinghood, Lovership, Incest, Family
  • Conclusion: A Fabric that Never Goes Out of Fashion
    pp 267-279
  • Bibliography
    pp 280-302
  • Index
    pp 303-318


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