This semester, African 201 places particular emphasis on science fiction and fantasy by African writers. We will consider how African culture, history, and experiences inspire re-imagined futures and offer new ways of thinking about technology, the human body, time travel, alternative histories, extraterrestrial life, space travel, and so on. We will address themes that range from feminism and sexuality to colonialism and climate change. The course will feature a mix of older works such as Lauren Beukes’ Zoo City, Nnedi Okorafor’s Marvel Comics spinoff Shuri, Tade Thompson’s Rosewater and more recent works such as Namina Forna’s The Gilded Ones, Tlotlo Tsamaase’s The Silence of the Wilting Skin, and T. L. Huchu’s Library of the Dead.
Official Course Description
This course will introduce students to a variety of literary texts (defined broadly) from Africa. Students will also be introduced to some of the languages spoken on the continent. By covering a wide range of genres and diverse geographical regions, the goal is for students to acquire a general understanding of the most important issues for African writers and artists, both historically and today. The course will also serve as an introduction to literary studies, and thus will focus on reading and writing skills, as well as basic techniques of literary analysis and academic communication.
Comm B Requirements
This is a “Comm B” course, meaning that it fulfills a major undergraduate requirement for advanced training in communication. As such, there is a great deal of attention paid to drafting and revising essays, delivering focused presentations, and discussing ideas with students and instructors.