AAS 385 - African Literature
Section: 001 The Novel in Africa
Term: FA 2012
Subject: Afroamerican & African Studies (AAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
AAS 200.
Other Course Info:
(African Studies).
May be elected twice for credit.
Primary Instructor:

The main task of this course will be to read novels by African writers. However, "The Novel in Africa" is meant to suggest a broader consideration of the connections between the literary genre of the novel and the historical processes of imperialism, national liberation and decolonization, modernization, and globalization in Africa. Thus we'll examine not only how African novels depict the experience of European colonialism or decolonization, but also how these historical processes created the conditions of possibility for a genre that we might otherwise think of as "European": the novel in Africa is one product of the colonial encounter. What difference, then, whether literary or political, does the novel in Africa make? We'll undertake a historical survey of novels from the 1920s to the present, with attention to various subgenres (village novel, war novel, urbanization novel, novel of postcolonial disillusion, Bildungsroman). We'll attend to how African novelists blend literate and oral storytelling traditions, how they address their work to local and global audiences, and how they use scenes of characters reading novels (whether African or European) in order to position their writing within national, continental, and world literary space.

Possible novels include:
Thomas Mofolo, Chaka;
Amos Tutuola, The Palm Wine Drinkard;
Cyprian Ekwensi, People of the City;
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart;
Speedy Eric, Mabel the Sweet Honey that Poured Away;
Ayi Kwei Armah, The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born;
Alex la Guma, A Walk in the Night;
Ama Ata Aidoo, Our Sister Killjoy;
Meja Mwangi, Going Down River Road;
Nadine Gordimer, July's People;
Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Matigari;
Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions;
Yvonne Vera, Without a Name;
Karen King-Aribisala, Kicking Tongues;
Zakes Mda, Ways of Dying or Heart of Redness;
Chris Abani, GraceLand;
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus;
Mariama Ba, So Long a Letter;
Tayeb Salih, A Season of Migration to the North;
Joyce Cary, Mister Johnson;
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.

Course Requirements:

The class will be a combination of brief lecture, discussion and other in-class activities. Students will write an essay-based midterm and several short papers. In addition to novels, readings will include literary criticism, some theory, and other contextual materials.

Intended Audience:

No data submitted

Class Format:

No data submitted

AAS 385 - African Literature
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780385474542
Things fall apart, Author: Achebe, Chinua., Publisher: Anchor Books 1994
ISBN: 9780802133632
The palm-wine drinkard ; and, My life in the bush of ghosts, Author: Tutuola, Amos., Publisher: Grove Press 1994
ISBN: 9780435900052
People of the city, Author: Ekwensi, Cyprian O., Publisher: Heinemann 1978
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 9780954702335
Nervous conditions : a novel, Author: Dangarembga, Tsitsi., Publisher: Ayebia Clarke 2004
ISBN: 9780435906542
Matigari, Author: Ngu?gi? wa Thiong?o, 1938-, Publisher: Heinemann 1989
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0312425287
Graceland, Author: Chris Abani., Publisher: Picador 1st Picado 2004
ISBN: 0435905406
The beautyful ones are not yet born, Author: Ayi Kwei Armah., Publisher: Heinemann [Repr.] 1988
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0140061401
July's people, Author: Nadine Gordimer., Publisher: Penguin Books Repr. 1982
ISBN: 0312420919
Ways of dying a novel, Author: Zakes Mda, Publisher: Picador 1. Picador 2002
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