African 605: Cultural Geographies of Africa and the Middle East

Professor Samuel England
3 credits

Depending on who you ask, Ameen Rihani was a Lebanese writer with excellent knowledge of Mideast geography, or he may have been a US spy who happened to write books. Kenyan filmmaker Judy Kibinge insists that tableau-shooting techniques are the prime means of conveying citizens overwhelmed by their own physical landscape. In other words, literature, geography, and politics collide with each other all the time, with spectacular results. In this course we will examine travel and distinct cultures of travel, in sources from the Fertile Crescent to Africa and the Diaspora. What figures of the traveler emerge in writing, visual arts, and film? Our sources will include Arabic and sub-Saharan literature, lyric, and video.