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.
Students in this course will sharpen their skills as critical readers of imaginative literary texts, as well as communicators of sophisticated literary and social analysis. With each text we analyze, will look at the ways that the author/producer has framed certain social issues, meaning that students will expand their knowledge in three key areas: 1) methods of formal literary analysis 2) social and cultural theory, and 3) the history and politics of Africa. With oral presentations and writing assignments, students will improve their ability to generate ideas, present them to others, receive feedback, and revise in order to better communicate those ideas.