Comparative Literature | Introduction to African Literature
C261 | 1202 | Tba
9:30-10:45 MW BH 011
**Cultural Studies Credit**
*Satisfies COAS AHLA Requirement*
This is my story which I have related, if it be sweet or if it be not
sweet, take some elsewhere and let some come back to me.
-Ashanti, tale ending.
Literary traditions are ancient in Africa. Centuries ago there were
bards, scribes, storytellers, and poets and writers in hundreds of
languages from Amharic to Zulu. Many of these traditions endure, and
now, given the recent history of colonialism, there are writers who
write in English, French, Portugese, and Arabic. Today's writers draw
on the oral and written traditions of Africa as well as those of
Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Africa is a particularly fertile space
for the literary imagination, as suggested by three Nobel Prizes in
literature awarded to Wole Soyinka of Niger, Naguib Mahfouz of Egypt
and Nadine Gordimer of South Africa.
This course will introduce you to a board array of literatures from
around the continent. We shall read proverbs, oral and written tales,
poetry and novels, and shall see several films. From performance to
autobiography, from magical love story to feminist rebellion, from
fantastic tales to detective story, we shall examine the art of each
text and its particular contribution to contemporary debates on
identity, race, gender, and power. All readings will be in English and
of manageable length.