Contemporary African Writing (LIT2383.01)

Phillip B. Williams

‘In your text, you treat Africa as if it were one country. It is hot and dusty with rolling grasslands and huge herds of animals and tall, thin people who are starving.’ —How to Write About Africa, Binyavanga Wainaina This class is an introductory survey of writing from Africa within the last few decades. The history of Africa has been captured in poetry, novels, plays, and short stories from writers of countries rich with literary traditions often ignored and vilified in the West. Individual experiences have been lumped into unrecognizable sameness that belies the truth about African writing: it has existed in complexity and diversity for a long time despite colonial and neocolonial attempts to erase and deny said existence. This class seeks to remedy that ignorance by looking closely at how African writers portray their own lives with critical rigor and imagination. Writers of interest may include but are not limited to Chimamanda Adichie, Nnedi Okorafor, Akwaeke Emezi, Wole Soyinka, Ladan Osman, Binyavanga Wainaina, and Uzodinma Iweala. Classwork consists of a midterm paper, weekly responses, and a final paper or project.

Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 4
M 10:00am - 11:50am; Th 10:00am - 11:50am
Maximum Enrollment: 20
This course is categorized as All courses, 2000, Monday and/or Thursday Mornings, Four Credit, Areas of Study, Literature, Phillip B. Williams.