Frieda Ekotto

Frieda Ekotto is the Lorna Goodison Collegiate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies, Comparative Literature and Francophone Studies at the University of Michigan. As an intellectual historian and philosopher with areas of expertise in 20th and 21st-century Anglophone and Francophone literature and in the cinema of West Africa and its diaspora, she concentrates on contemporary issues of law, race and LGBTQIA2S+issues. Her primary research to date has focused on how law serves to repress and mask the pain of disenfranchised subjects; her intention in this work is to trace what cannot be said in order to address and expose suffering from a variety of angles and cultural intersections and reassess the position and agency of the dispossessed. She is the author of multiple books, and numerous book chapters as well as many articles in prestigious literary journals. She is currently working on LGBTQIA2S+ issues, with an emphasis on Sub-Sahara African cultures within Africa as well as in Europe and the Americas. In addition to her academic work, she is also a creative writer. She received the Nicolàs Guillèn Prize for Philosophical Literature in 2014 and in 2015 she was awarded the Benezet Award for excellence in her field. In 2016, she was awarded the John H. D’Arms Faculty for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring in the Humanities at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 2018, she was awarded an Honorary Degree at Colorado College. She has produced two documentaries in 2017 Vibrancy of Silence: A Discussion with My Sisters and in 2021 Zurura Zurura: A Smile Blooms as part of the ongoing research on Vibrancy of Silence: Images and Cultural Production of Sub-Saharan African Women. She is the President of Modern Languages Association (2023-2024.)