Comparative Literature | Intro to African Literature
C261 | 1278 | Ai

Meets:  9:30-10:45   MW   BH 011
*Satisfies Cultural Studies List A & AHLA requirements*

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 Nigeria Naguib
Mahfouz of Egypt and Nadine Gordimer of South Africa.
This course will introduce you to a broad 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.