Comparative Literature | Theatre in Africa
C301 | 27298 | Prof. Femi Osofisan

TR 9:30-10:45
fulfills A&H and CS requirements

This course is an introduction to the history and development of the
theatre in Africa south of the Sahara, from traditional festival and
ritual forms in shrines and open spaces, to the modern practice of
written texts and paying audiences in enclosed halls. Factors such as
colonization and its consequences—the disruptions in the religious,
social and economic life; alphabetism and the problem of language; the
collision with new aesthetic forms and mechanics; etc —plus the
post-Independence explosion in the growth of tertiary institutions as
well as of Euro-American cultural centres, and so on, will be explored
to give a comprehensive background to this cultural phenomenon and
establish the appropriate context in which it flourishes. Finally the
course will focus on the work of notable individual dramatists, from
the Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, who has been regarded as perhaps the
single most significant influence, to others who have established an
international following, such as Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Athol Fugard, Efua
Sutherland, Ola Rotimi, Ama Ata Aidoo, Tess Onwueme, and Femi Osofisan.
For more information, contact Prof. Julien at