Comparative Literature | The Twentieth Century II: Afro-cosmopolitanism
C538 | 11760 | Prof. Akin Adesokan


MW 4:00-5:15

This is a seminar on the intellectual relationships between the
African continent and the progressive world in the second half of
the 20th century, focusing upon three related historical and
aesthetic formations: the recovery of African agency in the pre-1945
collaborations between nationalists and diasporic and liberal
intellectuals and activists; the rise of tricontinental liberation
movements and anti-colonial artistic cultures (cinema, literature,
music) for which the journal Presence Africaine and the Cuban
revolution were catalysts; and the unfolding reassessments of
postcolonial political culture in the aftermath of Soviet communism
and apartheid regime. The course works with the premise that these
formations are unavoidably internationalist, given that the leading
figures are diasporic intellectuals dealing with issues of race and
class in multiple contexts. Readings will be organized around the
decisive role of the African continent in the structural relations
between contemporary discourses of cosmopolitanism and the global
migrations of the late-19th century. Authors may include Abrahams,
CÚsaire, Conde, Derrida, Du Bois, Edwards, Fanon, Guevara, James,
Pasolini, Soyinka, and Wright.