Prospectus

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African Postcolonial Theories and Literary Criticism

Course
2022-2023

Admission requirements

Elective for MA African Studies, compulsory for RESMA African Studies Those from other MA programs may be admitted with prior registration (please contact the course coordinator).

Description

This course aims at raising and answering to some relevant questions relating to the political and cultural independence of formerly subjugated people, and themes such as racialism and colonialism. By looking at alternatives intellectual histories, namely histories outside of Western epistemology, the course will focus on African movements, thinkers and their pivotal texts.
The literary and ideological philosophy, developed by francophone African intellectuals, writers, and politicians in France during the 1930s and called Négritude along with the Pan-Africanism movement which spread among English-speaking black intellectuals will be investigated. Postcolonial feminism – which emerged as a response to the Eurocentric focus of feminism – will be also investigated. Lastly, the course delves also into a selection of novels which explore contemporary Afro-diasporic identity politics and have shed light how Afropolitanism is relevant for both the diaspora and for Africa.

Course objectives

General Learning Objectives:

  1. Formulate judgements, based on a question or problem in the field of African Literatures by taking into account social and cultural, academic and ethnical responsibilities linked to the student’s own application of knowledge and judgement;
  2. Clearly communicate, both in oral and written form, the outcomes based on the students own academic research, knowledge, motifs, and considerations to professionals as well as the broader public.

Learning skills pertaining to the course:

  1. The student will obtain the ability to apply knowledge, insights and different methods from the discipline Literature and Culture Studies in new or unknown circumstances within the domain of African Studies, in order to solve problems, integrate knowledge and deal with complex matters;
  2. The student will acquire knowledge of African cultural production engaging with issues of postcolonial history and literature;
  3. The student will acquire knowledge and understanding of major debates on postcolonialism relevant to African studies;
  4. The student will acquire skills of analysing the aesthetics of African texts, films in
    socio-historical contexts.

Timetable

The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Seminar.
Research.
Practical training for creative writing.

Assessment method

Presentations (20%): (measured course objective 1-9)
Active participationin class (10%): (measured course objective 1-9)
Take home exam (70%): (measured course objective 1-9)

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Resit

Resit will be done in consultation with the course coordinator.
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The following list is a selection. Please consult the syllabus for more detailed information.

  • Binyavanga Wainaina. 2005. ‘How to write about Africa’. Granta 92.

  • Frantz Fanon. 1967[1952]. Black Skin, White Masks. New York: Grove Press.

  • Tsitsi Dangarembga. 1988. Nervous conditions. London : Women’s Press.

  • Sylvia Tamale. 2020. Decolonization and Afro-Feminism. Ottawa: Daraja Press.

  • Ama Ata Aidoo. 1977. Our Sister Killjoy. London: Longman.

  • Felwine Sarr. 2016. Afrotopia. Paris: Philippe Rey.

  • Ngũgĩ wa Thiongo. 1986. Decolonising the Mind: The politics of language in African literature. Oxford: James Currey.

Registration

Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact

  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats

Remarks

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