Comparative Literature | Literature and Cultures of Africa
C361 | 1187 | --


Topic: Prisoners to Presidents: South African Film and Literature
Natasha Vauble		4:00-5:15   	MW      BH 317

South Africa is a land of great complexity and contradiction; it is
reknown worldwide for both the beauty of its natural landscape, and for
the singular brutality and stridently racist nationalism of Apartheid.
South African film and literature draws on the many rich and conflicting
traditions of its  peoples, and in this course we will read novels, short
stories, literary and historical essays, and view films which document,
explore, and tell tales beautiful and tragic of the struggles of South
Africans -- black, white, Indian and "coloured" -- for land, identity and
freedom.  Spanning from 1916 to 1999, we will read a mixture of prison
diaries, political thrillers, and novels and films of romance, student
protests, and personal soul searching.  Readings will include the works of
Brink, Essop, Gordimer, La Guma, Head, Mzamane, and Ndebele, which narrate
the lives of South Africans on both sides of Apartheid, from the mass
democratic movts. of the 1950's, treason trials of the 1960's, student
protests of the 1970's, to the increasingly violent government crackdowns and state of emergencies of the 1980's.  Finally, we
will explore the "New" South Africa of the 1990's, when the country's most
notorious "terrorist" prisoner was elected president in its first
non-racial democratic elections.  What roles do literature and film play
in the process of reconciliation as former enemies must now live side by
side and forge a common future?