Charlotte Hughes Bruner


"Charlotte Bruner [is] one of the most outstanding pioneers in the field of African and Women's Studies, as well as in Literature and Culture where her innovative and visionary approach has opened new avenues." —Evelyne Accad, 1997

Charlotte Hughes Bruner of Ames, born in 1917, is recognized as one of the pioneer scholars and editors in the field of writing by African women. She has had an impact in the field by bringing voices of known and unknown women from several continents to the rest of the world. Bruner has edited two collections of short stories by African women writers, published by Heinemann Press and distributed around the world: Unwinding Threads and African Women's Writings. A foreign language professor at Iowa State University for 33 years, Bruner has helped thousands of students get to know about the lives and experiences of women and men in other cultures. During the 1970s and 1980s, she codirected and cohosted, with her husband David, a series of 170 radio programs on WOI entitled First Person Feminine, that provided commentary and readings of short stories by and about women internationally. She has served as vice president of the African Literature Association and as African editor for The Feminist Companion to Literature in English. In addition to her feminist scholarship, Bruner has been an activist for peace, justice, and human rights issues. She was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1997.

UPDATE: Bruner served as the keynote speaker for the first Iowa State University International Women’s Day and presented a paper, The Grandmother Bond, at the 1998 National Meeting of African Literature Association. She died on December 4, 1999.