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5ABA0009 Writing Africa: Anglophone, Francophone

Credit value: 15 credits
Module convenor: Dr Caroline Laurent
Assessment: 1 x 4,000 word essay (100%); 1 x seminar presentation (non-assessed); coursework reassessment in exam period 3
Teaching pattern: One-hour lecture and one-hour seminar, weekly
Pre-requisites: None
Reassessment: Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

Module description

Africa, a vast and varied continent, has produced some of the most exciting writing of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This module focuses on African literature written in English and French (available in English translation), although we will also touch upon texts published in African languages and Portuguese. The primary texts range from the early twentieth century to the present day. Reaching across Sub-Saharan Africa, they offer insights into anti-colonial resistance, the hope and disillusionment of Independence, subsequent conflicts and contemporary concerns. Students will complete the module with knowledge of overarching trends in African literature, insights into the aesthetic strategies of particularly influential writers, and awareness of the social and political context that remains so crucial, if controversial, for writers from Africa.

No prior knowledge of African literature is required.

Educational aims and objectives

Whilst it is impossible to give a complete overview of the literature of such a diverse continent in one course, this module will provide students with coherent knowledge of key texts and thinkers, alongside skills in close reading and contextual commentary for ongoing research in world literature.

All francophone texts are available in English translation, but students will be encouraged to read the French originals if possible.

This module is open to students on degree programmes other than those offered by the Department of Comparative Literature (subject to approval by the module convenor and availability of places).

The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

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