In this essay, I channel Kweku Ananse, the trickster in West African tales. Extending upon this figure, I re-gender Kweku Ananse as Akua Ananse and offer “spider stories” to make sense of my transnational identities as a West African and French woman, who is a professor in US academe. I offer a conversation between Akua Ananse, my French-speaking grandmother figure Marie, and my professional self. My spider stories subvert usual categories of knowledge and function as a form of episteme. They borrow from the genre of Indigenous folktales, which have historically been dismissed as appropriate knowledge under Western-centered worldviews.
Akua Ananse Is a “She”: Transnational Autoethnographic Tales
Joëlle M. Cruz is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Boulder. Correspondence to: Joëlle M. Cruz, Department of Communication, Hellems 96, University of Colorado Boulder, UCB 270, Boulder, CO 80309, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Joëlle M. Cruz; Akua Ananse Is a “She”: Transnational Autoethnographic Tales. Departures in Critical Qualitative Research 1 December 2021; 10 (4): 7–29. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/dcqr.2021.10.4.7
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