Nadine Ellinger M.A.


The figure of the (African) mother can be found in numerous literary productions both by African post-independence as well as African diasporic writers. In such contexts, motherly figures serve a plethora of functions. The mother can act as a national allegory (Elleke Boehmer 2005), as a supreme symbol of motherly love, affection and care (Marie Umeh 1982), or as a point of opposition in the emancipatory processes of identify formation of their daughter(s) (Marianne Hirsch 1989), as numerous studies have explored to date. Such representations, despite their diversity in both form and function, have one thing in common: they render the woman as mother silent. In such literary productions, motherly figures are written through the eyes and voices of others and thus often reduced to precisely their role and function as mother. This PhD project explores how recent works of fiction complicate such reductive, monolithic and oft stereotypical representations of motherly figures by foregrounding the voices as well as (strategic) silences of African(a) mothers, including those on the verge of becoming, struggling or refusing to be(come) mothers, who are often excluded or marginalized in discourses on motherhood. In doing so, it aims to bring to the fore the ambivalences and contradictions inherent in the motherly experience.

Akademischer Lebenslauf

Seit 05/2022 - laufend

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin Professur für Neue Englische Literaturen und Kulturwissenschaft,

Universität Augsburg


10/2017 – 02/2022

MA Nordamerika-Studien und MA English and American Studies 

Universität Augsburg


04/2019 – 07/2020 

Wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft (Tutorin) 

Juniorprofessur für Neue Englische Literaturen und Kulturwissenschaft


08/2018 – 12/2018 

Auslandssemester im Rahmen eines Fulbright Studienstipendiums Fachlicher Schwerpunkt: African American Studies 

University of Wisconsin–Madison


10/2013 – 09/2017 

BA Anglistik/Amerikanistik, Nebenfach: Deutsch als Zweit- und Fremdsprache und Interkulturelle Kommunikation 

Universität Augsburg

Arbeitsschwerpunkte und Interessensgebiete

  • (West and Southern) African anglophone literature
  • (African) diaspora
  • migration & transnationalism
  • African American literature and culture
  • Popular culture and media
  • Gender & motherhood studies
  • Postcolonial studies


Vorträge: (Abstract angenommen)

“The God Within: Interrogating Queer Practices of Faith in Francesca Ekwuyasi’s Butter Honey Pig Bread and Akwaeke Emezi’s ‘Who Is Like God’.

” Postcolonial Narrations Forum 2023: Queering Postcolonial Worlds, Universität Bremen, 06.-07.10.2023.

“Speaking the Unspeakable: The Maternal Voice in Ayọbámi Adébáyọ’s Stay With Me (2017).” Posterpräsentation, Postcolonial Infrastructures: Jahreskonferenz der Gesellschaft für Anglophone Postkoloniale Studien (GAPS), Universität Konstanz, 17.-20.05.2023.

“‘A Mother Must Be Vigilant’: A Matrifocal Reading of Ayọbámi Adébáyọ’s Stay with Me.” Forschungstag der Professur für Neue Englische Literaturen und Kulturwissenschaft, Universität Augsburg, 09.02.2023.

“Be(com)ing Mothers: Complicating Motherly Figures in Africana Fiction and Film.” Projektpräsentation, Postcolonial Faultlines, Digitale Konferenz der Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen, 10.-12.10.2022.

Preise und Stipendien

Oskar-Karl-Forster Stipendium 03/2020

Fulbright Studienstipendium 08/2018 – 12/2018

Deutschlandstipendium 04/2016 – 03/2017


Mitglied der Gesellschaft für Anglophone Postkoloniale Studien (GAPS)

Mitglied der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien (DGfA)