Course Detail

195:363: Women Writers of Africa

This course is a survey of writings by women from a variety of cultural, linguistic, and regional areas of Africa and the Diaspora. Using an intercultural approach, it focuses on the imaginative works of African women, exploring the socio-cultural and political landscapes that have shaped their works, and how their works, in turn, are a reflection of the (pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial) conditions of their production. Special attention is given to the intersection of power, class and gender in the analysis of the texts covered in class, demonstrating how the writings of women often constitute a different voice about Africanity. The texts give testaments to women’s quest to re-imagine/reshape the world we share – to reinterpret history, re-read culture, reconfigure the structures that define female and male roles, and reconstruct identities. This course will focus on contemporary African women poets like Abena Busia, African women’s short Stories edited by Ama Ata Aidoo, novels written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Fatou Dione, Angélique Kidjo, Razinat T. Mohammed, a selection of African women’s verbal arts and performance, and films by African women. Course Cross-listings: 013:311; 016:363; 988:312

Required Texts
Ama Ata Aidoo, African Love Stories, Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publishers (January 30, 2007) – ISBN 0954702360
Busia, Abena, Testimonies of Exile. Africa World Press, ISBN 9780865431607
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's, Purple Hibiscus, Anchor 2004, ISBN-10-1400076943
Diome, Fatou, Belly of the Atlantic. Perseus, ISBN 9781852429034
Kidjo, Angélique, Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music. Harper Design ISBN 978-0-06-207179-8
Mohammed, Razinat T., Habiba, Kraftgriots Books, ISBN 9789789181254

Grading and Requirements
This course focuses on reading and discussions (of print, visual and audio materials). Therefore, it is very important that each student read assigned reading material before coming to class in order to fully participate in class discussions. Assignments consist of unannounced quizzes, leading class discussion of assigned readings, a comprehensive take-home midterm exam and a final exam paper. A failure to take a quiz, lead discussion of assigned reading, and turn in exams on due dates will result in a zero (0) grade unless a satisfactory document of excuse is presented.