Comparative Literature | Introduction to African Literature
C261 | 1208 | --


*Carries a Culture Studies & AHLA Credit*
MWF 	11:15-12:05 	SY 200
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, Portuguese, 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 recent 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.  Through close readings, we shall
examine the artistry 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.  Students will keep a journal
of one page responses to the texts, lead a group discussion, write one
short  paper, and take a final exam.