Phyllis Martin, Professor Emerita of History at Indiana University, has published her new book, _ Catholic Women of Congo-Brazzaville: Mothers and Sisters in Troubled Times_ (Indiana University Press, 2009).
"Catholic Women of Congo-Brazzaville explores the changing relationship between women and the Catholic Church from the establishment of the first mission stations in the late 1880s to the present. Phyllis M. Martin emphasizes the social identity of mothers and the practice of motherhood, a prime concern of Congolese women, as they individually and collectively made sense of their place within the Church. Martin traces women's early resistance to missionary overtures and church schools, and follows their relationship with missionary Sisters, their later embrace of church-sponsored education, their participation in popular Catholicism, and the formation of women's fraternities. As they drew together as mothers and sisters, Martin asserts, women began to affirm their place in a male-dominated institution. Covering more than a century of often turbulent times, this rich and readable book examines an era of far-reaching social change in Central Africa." (from the publisher's website)
Eileen Julien, Professor of Comparative Literature, African American and African Diaspora Studies, and French and Italian at Indiana University, has just completed a memoir about childhood and growing up in New Orleans: _Travels with Mae: Scenes from a New Orleans Girlhood_, to be published by IU Press in August 2009.
"With a series of lyrical vignettes Eileen M. Julien traces her life as an African American woman growing up in middle-class New Orleans in the 1950s and 1960s. Julien's narratives focus on her relationship with her mother, family, community, and the city itself, while touching upon life after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Haunted by a colonial past associated with African presence, racial mixing, and suspect rituals, New Orleans has served the national imagination as a place of exoticism where objectionable people and unsavory practices can be found. The destruction of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath revealed New Orleans' deep poverty and marginalized population, and brought a media storm that perpetuated the city's stigma. Travels with Mae lovingly restores the wonder of this great city, capturing both its beauty and its pain through the eyes of an insider." (from the publisher's website)