Comparative Literature | Special Topics in Comparative Lit: Folklore and Magical/Animist Realism
C301 | 14270 | Prof. Adesokan

CMLT-C301 (14270) Special Topics in Comparative Literature:
Folklore and Magical/Animist Realism
Prof. Adesokan MW 2:30-3:45
*fulfills A&H and Culture Studies requirements*

The publication of Ben Okri’s The Famished Road in 1991 marked an
important moment in the re-direction of modern African literature
from strictly realist modes, forcing comparison with the South
American tradition of magical realism. Yet, next to this shift also
stood an earlier form of “animist realism”, one strongly based on
African folklore and oral storytelling. Tracing the points of contact
between the so-called “Latin boom” and contemporary traditions of
animist realism in parts of Africa, this course examines the
transformative impact of folklore, oral narrative, and other forms on
this influential literary tendency, especially in their relationships
to issues of morality (religious and otherwise), power, censorship,
and social attitudes to technological changes.