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140245 VO Issues in African Literature (2013S)

Details

Language: English

Examination dates

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 05.03. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Tuesday 12.03. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Tuesday 19.03. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Tuesday 09.04. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Tuesday 16.04. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Tuesday 23.04. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Tuesday 30.04. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Tuesday 07.05. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Tuesday 14.05. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Tuesday 28.05. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Tuesday 04.06. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Tuesday 11.06. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Tuesday 18.06. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Tuesday 25.06. 15:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

This introductory lecture series will trace the birth and development of modern African literature in English and French up to the present time, exploring the political, aesthetic, and philosphical issues in this literaure. The political issues include the colonial encounter, anti-colonial nationalism, post-independence disillusionment and the issues of decolonization, the clash between tradition and modernity, the position of African women, African diaspora, the impact of neo-colonization and globalization on Africa, the process of canonization of certain writers, and the material aspects of publishing. The aesthetic issues include topics such as social realism versus experimental approaches, Black writing, language choice, the influence of African orality and Western forms on the African novel, popular literature and the history of criticism of African writing. The philosophical issues to be explored include African identity and the postcolonial self, the position of African literature in world literature, the universal versus local, and the influence of poststructuralist, postcolonialist and postmodernist discourses on these identities. Framing the discussion will be the question of how African literature can be defined and whether the term 'African literature' is useful at all in approaching writing from the continent.

Assessment and permitted materials

Essay (10-12 pages, 2500-3000 words) due to August 31, 2013 to me by email.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

-) Identify, analyse and understand key political, aesthetic and philosophical issues in African literature in European laguages
-) apply theory to a variety of literary texts and reflect critically on the relations between primary texts and relevant secondary texts
-) discriminate between ideas and define personal positions and justify them intellectually
-) produce well-structured, relevant arguments with an appropriate intellectual framework

Examination topics

Lecture

Weekly schedule:
1) Introduction: The birth and development of African writing in English
(The colonial factor. Language. Audience. Relationship with orality. Missionary education factor. The publishing of African literature in English.)
2) The rise of national consciousness and modernity in Africa
Camara Laye, The Dark Child (1953)
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart (1958)
Ngugi, The River Between (1965)
Political autobiography
Chinua Achebe, 'Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness'
3) The role of the writer in Africa and the development of African literary aesthetics
('writing back' versus 'writing alongside' the Western tradition; politics versus aesthetics; the 'truth of fiction'; 'decolonizing the mind'; 'realism' versus 'modernism')
Chinua Achebe, 'The Truth of Fiction'
Chinua Achebe, 'Novelist as a Teacher'
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Decolonizing the Mind
Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, The Empire Writes Back
4) The African writer and the divided nation: marxism and African socialism
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Devil on the Cross (1980)
Chinua Achebe, No Longer at Ease (1960)
Ousmane Sembene, Xala (1974)
Armah, The Beautyful Ones are Not Yet Born (1968)
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, 'Writing against Neo-colonialism' (1988)
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, 'Writers in Politics: The Power of Words and the Words of Power'
Aye Kwei Armah, 'Masks and Marx'
5) The criticism of African literature: from commonwealth to postcolonial
Achebe, Chinua. 'Colonialist Criticism' (1974). Hopes and Impediments (1988), 46-61.
Biodun Jeyifo, 'The Nature of Things: arrested decolonization and critical theory' (1990)
Christopher Miller, 'Reading through Western Eyes' (1990)
6) The aesthetics and politics of Black writing: Negritude, Black Consciousness, Pan-Africanism
Negritude poetry
Senghor, 'Negritude: A Humanism of the Twentieth Century'
Irele, 'What is Negritude?'
Soyinka, 'Neo-Tarzanism: The Poetics of Pseudo-Tradition'
Jean-Paul Sartre, 'Black Orpheus.' Introduction to Anthology of Negritude Poetry ed. by Senghor.
7) Women’s writing and feminism
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions
Buchi Emecheta, Joys of Motherhood
Ama Ata Aidoo, 'To be an African Woman Writer'
Buchi Emecheta, 'Feminism with a small f'
8) Defining African modernism,
Dambudzo Marechera, The House of Hunger
Dambudzo Marechera, 'The African Writer’s Experience of European Literature'
Yvonne Vera, Without a Name
Yvonne Vera, 'Writing Near the Bone'
9) African postmodernism and magical realism
Ben Okri, The Famished Road (1990) (Nigeria)
Helon Habila, Waiting for an Angel (2001) (Nigeria)
Olaniyan, Tejumola, 'Postmodernity, Postcoloniality and African Studies', African Literature: An Introduction of Criticism and Theory, eds. Ato Quayson and Tejumola Olanyian, 637-645
Gaylard, Gerald, After Colonialism: African Postmodernism and Magical Realism (2005)
Cooper, Brenda. Magical Realism in West African Fiction (1998).
Quayson, Ato, 'Postcolonialism and Postmodernism', African literature: an anthology of criticism and theory, ed. Tejumola Olaniyan and Ato Quayson (Blackwell, 2007), 646-654
10) Diaspora writing
Biyi Bandele, The Street (1999)
Chika Unigwe, Black Sisters’ Street (2009)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 'The Arrangers of Marriage' (from The Thing Around Your Neck)
Helon Habila, 'Imigrants', Chika Unigwe, 'The Secret'
Brenda Cooper, A New Generation of African Writers (2008)
11) Queer writing
Sello Duiker, The Quiet Violence of Dreams (2001)
Chris Dunton, 'Wheyting be dat? The treatment of homosexulity in African literature'
12) Popular literature
13) The Caine Prize and the legitimation of African writing in the West

Reading list

1) Main secondary text: Tejumola Olaniyan and Ato Quayson, eds., African literature: an anthology of criticism and theory (Blackwell, 2007) AVAILABLE on HANDAPPARAT IN AFRICAN STUDIES LIBRARY

2) Other secondary texts:
Achebe, Chinua. Morning Yet on Creation Day (1975)
Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, eds., The Empire Writes Back (Routledge, 1989)
Booker, Keith M. The African Novel in English: An Introduction. Oxford: James Currey, 1998.
Boehmer, Elleke. Migrant Metaphors: Colonial and Postcolonial Literature. Oxford: OUP, 1995.
Coundouriotis, E. Claiming History: Colonialism, Ethnography, and the Novel. NY: Columbia UP, 1999.
Gaylard, Gerald. After Colonialism: African Postmodernism and Magical Realism (2005).
Gikandi, Simon and Abiola Irele, eds. The Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature (2004)
Gikandi, Simon, Reading Chinua Achebe: language and ideology in fiction (1991)
Gikandi, Simon, African literature and the colonial factor. In: Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature, vol. 1, ed. Abiola Irele and Simon Gikandi. (2004), 379-85.
Holst Petersen, Kirsten and Anna Rutherford, eds., A Double Colonization (1986).
Larson, Charles R. The Emergence of African Fiction. London: Macmillan, 1978.
McEwan, Neil. Africa and the Novel. London: Macmillan, 1983
McLeod, John. Beginning Postcolonialism. Manchester UP, 2000.
Ngara, Emanuel. Art and Ideology in the African Novel: a Study of the Influence of Marxism on African Writing. London: Heinemann, 1985.
Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African literature (1986)
Olaniyan, Tejumola and Quayson, Ato. African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory. Oxford:Blackwell, 2007.
Palmer, Eustace. An Introduction to the African Novel. London: Heinemann, 1972.
Wright, Derek. New Directions in African Fiction. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1997.

3) Primary texts: see weekly schedule

Association in the course directory

ÜAL 1/2, EC-148

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:34