Tanella Boni from Ivory Coast is a world renowned scholar, poet, philosopher, literary and art critic, novelist, and human rights activist. She did her graduate studies in France where she earned doctorate degrees—Doctorat de troisième cycle en philosophie (1979) and Doctorat ès Lettres (University of Paris, Sorbonne, 1987). For many years, she was professor of philosophy and literature at the University of Cocody (Abidjan) where she also held many high-profile administrative positions—Chair of the Department of Philosophy (1982-1984), Editor of the Annals of Letters (1986-1993), and Deputy Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Humanities (1993-1997). She was also the Director of the study abroad program at the College International de Philosophie (Paris) from 1992-1998; President of the Association of Writers of Ivory Coast (1991-1997); and the organizer of the Abidjan International Poetry Festival (1998-2002). Over the years, she has combined her extensive scholarly, administrative and creative activities with a strong commitment to human rights and social justice work as well as the promotion of the arts and humanities worldwide. She has served as the President of the network Africa, Philosophy and Democracy (APHIDEM) under the auspices of UNESCO (Yamoussoukro, 1999), Director of Francophonie in the Ivory Coast Ministry of Culture (2000-2002), Vice President of the International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies (2002-2006). She is a member of the World Academy of Poetry (Verona, 2001), member of the Scientific Council of the Groupe d’Etudes et Recherches sur les Mondialisations (GERM), member of the scientific Council of Diogenes and member of the editorial board of the electronic journal, Mots Pluriels; she has worked for the magazine, Africultures, since 1998.
In addition to her numerous scholarly works on philosophy, gender, and art/literary criticism, Professor Boni has published many novels, short stories, poetry and children’s books some of which have won critical acclaim and literary prizes. Her creative writings include the following–Novel: Une vie de crabe Dakar (1990), Les Baigneurs du Lac Rose (1995),Matins de couvre-feu (2005), Les nègres n’iront jamais au paradis. (2006); Poetry: Labyrinthe (1984), Grain de sable (1993), Il n’y a pas de parole heureuse, (1997), Chaque jour l’espérance (2002), Ma peau est fenêtre d’avenir (2004), Gorée île baobab. (2004) ; Short story: Les Chaînes de l’esclavage (1998), Etonnants voyageurs. Nouvelles voix d’Afrique (2002), and Dernières nouvelles de la Françafrique (2003); Children’s literature : De l’autre côté du soleil (1991), La Fugue d’Ozone (1992), and L’Atelier des génies, (2002).