Wendy Laura Belcher

Wendy Laura Belcher
Princeton University | PU · Department of Comparative Literature

Doctor of Philosophy

About

46
Publications
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270
Citations
Introduction
My interdisciplinary scholarship is in comparative early modern African and European literatures, working with texts in English, French, and East and West African languages. Working at the intersection of early modern and postcolonial studies, I have a special interest in the literatures of Ethiopia, Ghana, and Britain and a multi-book comparative project demonstrating how African thought has animated EuroAmerican canonical literature.

Publications

Publications (46)
Article
For the past twenty years, early modern scholars have called for more scholarly attention to people and places outside of Europe. An impressive increase in literary research on non-European texts has resulted, and I describe positive aspects of this trend, using the MLA International Bibliography database. However, research on African-language lite...
Book
“Wow. No one ever told me this!” Wendy Laura Belcher has heard this countless times throughout her years of teaching and advising academics on how to write journal articles. Scholars know they must publish, but few have been told how to do so. So Belcher made it her mission to demystify the writing process. The result was Writing Your Journal Artic...
Article
Charter of the Princeton Ethiopian Miracles of Mary digital humanities project. Authored by Princeton University Center for Digital Humanities.
Book
Full-text available
This volume constitutes the first English translation of Latin letters relating to the Jesuit mission in Ethiopia. It covers a period beginning shortly after the accession of Emperor Susenyos, who would convert to Catholicism in 1612 and declare Roman Catholicism the religion of Ethiopia in 1621, to the ejection of the Jesuits by Susenyos's son Fas...
Book
This is the student teaching edition of a book translated into English for the first time, The Life of Walatta-Petros (1672), which tells the story of an Ethiopian saint who lived from 1592 to 1642 and led a successful nonviolent movement to preserve African Christian beliefs in the face of European protocolonialism. This is the oldest-known book-l...
Article
Privately Empowered: Expressing Feminism in Islam in Northern Nigerian Fiction by Shirin Edwin. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2016. Pp 248. $34.95 (pbk). - Volume 56 Issue 3 - Wendy Laura Belcher
Chapter
Full-text available
Three thousand years of writing in Africa has yielded perhaps ten known biographies of African women written by Africans before the nineteenth century. Autobiographies by premodern African women are even rarer; an early hagiography about an Ethiopian woman, however, may constitute such a text. Gädlä Krəstos Śämra (The Life-Struggles of Krəstos Śämr...
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The earliest known book-length biography about an African woman, writ-ten in 1672 in the Gəˁəz language, The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Wälättä P̣eṭros, features a life-long partnership between two women and same-sex sexuality among nuns. Revered Ethiopian Orthodox Täwaḥədo Church leader Wälättä P̣ eṭros (1592–1642) and another nun, ḫətä Krəs...
Book
The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros: A Seventeenth-Century African Biography of an Ethiopian Woman
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Full-text available
Filling a gap in scholarship, we provide the first thorough biography of the Ethiopian translator of Samuel Johnson's eighteenth-century English masterpiece *Rasselas* into Amharic. His name is Blattengetta Sirak Herouy. We also provide a short history of the process of translation, a brief analysis of translation, and a review of some of the criti...
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Many assume that African women did not play an intellectual or political role before the modern period. Taking advantage of rare sources in Portuguese, Latin, and Gəʿəz, this article analyzes European and African texts written in the 1600s about Ethiopian royal women who led their people in resisting Portuguese proto-colonialism. The texts display...
Book
As a young man, Samuel Johnson, one of the most celebrated English authors of the eighteenth century, translated A Voyage to Abyssinia by Jeronimo Lobo, a tome by a Portuguese missionary about the country now known as Ethiopia. Far from being a potboiler, this translation left an indelible imprint on Johnson. Demonstrating its importance through a...
Article
As a very young man, one of the most celebrated English authors of the eighteenth century translated a tome about Ethiopia. This experience permanently marked Samuel Johnson, leaving traces of the African discourse he encountered in that text in his drama Irene;several of his short stories; and his most famous fiction, Rasselas. This book provides...
Article
Kossoye: a village life in Ethiopia by CarlsonAndrew J. and CarlsonDennis G.Trenton, NJ: Red Sea Press, 2010. Pp. xix+239, $24.95 (pbk). - Volume 49 Issue 3 - WENDY LAURA BELCHER
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A growing body of research documents the connections between West African and American literatures.1 Henry Louis Gates's The Signifying Monkey locates the genesis of African American theories of signifyin(g) in West African rhetorical traditions; Keith Cartwright's Reading Africa into American Literature traces the philosophy of Africa's Senegambia...
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Perhaps the most vexed question in the humanities regards the agency of the other. In the cultural encounter, who acts, resists, speaks, or represents? Twentieth-century poststructuralists Althusser, Lacan, and Foucault asserted that all human subjects are constructed and that human action is necessarily a symptom of ideology, language, or discours...
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This article reports on the origins, pedagogy, structure, and limitations of a writing workshop the author devised for graduate students and faculty to aid them in publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals. Started in 1998, the ten-week seminar-style course provided participants the instruction, exercises, structure, and deadlines needed to per...
Article
Research in African Literatures 37.2 (2006) 199-204 The commercial title of this book may put off those literary scholars who would be interested in its contents. The purpose of this review is to call attention to some of the remarkable information it contains about medieval and early modern African literature, a body of work that is too little stu...
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Full-text available
Africa's newest country is obsessed with documenting the past. Still recovering from the trauma of thirty years of war and 65,000 dead, Eritrea's three million people are busy recording their struggle for freedom and visibly forging new identities from it. As Yoseph Libsekal, the director of Eritrea's new National Museum mildly stated, 'the country...
Book
The publication of this account of a young woman’s return journey to her childhood home of Ghana, West Africa, in 1982-1983, marks the debut of a writer whose passionate interest in the issues that divide the first and third worlds is reflected in her unusual ability to explore the nuances of cultural difference. With Mary, a lifelong missionary, a...
Article
Thesis (M.A.)--University of California, Los Angeles, 1992. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 60-67).

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Publications on Ethiopia that are not a part of the other projects.
Project
Books and articles that help graduate students, postdocs, adjuncts, and faculty succeed in publishing their research.
Project
Publishing translations of African texts written in African languages between 1200 and 1900.