African 201: Introduction to African Literature

Matthew H. Brown

3 credits, fulfills Communication B requirement, Honors (H) section available

Spring 2018

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.

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.

Honors Section (H)
Students will have the choice, when enrolling in discussion sections, to choose the honors (H) section of the course. The honors section will meet once a week for discussion, with the professor (not a TA), to discuss lectures and readings. Students in the honors section will also compose more sophisticated and lengthy research essays for the final project. Students who successfully complete the honors section will receive honors credit for the course.

Five-to-six short novels, translations from the oral tradition, some films, short stories, and examples of poetry from Africa.

Reading journals, two presentations, and two essays: a midterm essay and a final essay (drafted, reviewed, and revised).