Spring 2023 Middle East GU4122 section 001


Call Number 11913
Day & Time
MW 2:40pm-3:55pm
511 Hamilton Hall
Points 4
Grading Mode Standard
Approvals Required None
Instructor Jennifer Wenzel
Method of Instruction In-Person
Course Description The main task of this course will be to read novels by African writers. But the novel in Africa also involves connections between the literary genre of the novel and the historical processes of colonialism, decolonization, and globalization in Africa. One important question we'll consider is how African novels depict those historical experiences in their themes and plots—we'll read novels that are about colonialism, etc. A more complex question is how these historical processes relate to the emergence of the novel as an important genre for African writers. Edward Said went so far as to say that without imperialism, there would be no European novel as we know it. How can we understand the novel in Africa (whether read or written) as a product of the colonial encounter? How did it shape the process of decolonization? What contribution to history, whether literary or political, does the novel in Africa make? We'll undertake a historical survey of African novels from the 1930s 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.
Web Site Vergil
Department Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies
Enrollment 8 students (25 max) as of 8:10PM Friday, December 1, 2023
Subject Middle East
Number GU4122
Section 001
Division Interfaculty
Campus Morningside
Section key 20231MDES4122W001