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South African Literature

ENGL 775.401
instructor(s):
W 9-12:00

This course will introduce graduate students to an important body of postcolonial writing and to such internationally acclaimed authors as J.M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Andr� Brink, Athol Fugard, and Bessie Head, as well as many of their lesser known compatriots.� The readings, both literary and theoretical, should be compelling to anyone interested in questions of race, colonial and postcolonial discourse, and, more generally, in the relationship between literature and politics.� The course will be organized thematically and will address the following issues: the "discourse of the Cape" and colonial exploration; the ideology of the pastoral; sex and the color bar; autobiography and identity; the representation of violence; the poetics of nationalism; commitment and resistance; the "political uncanny"; the ethics of narration; confession, truth, and reconciliation; the "rediscovery of the ordinary"; feminism and magical realism.� Readings (covering a range of poetry, novels, autobiographies, and plays) are likely to include: Coetzee, Dusklands, Life and Times of Michael K., and Age of Iron; Lessing, The Grass is Singing; Modisane, Blame Me on History; Mphahlele, Down Second Avenue; Head, The Collector of Treasures; Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions; Fugard, Kani, and Ntshona, Statements; Brink, Dry White Season; Cronin, Inside; Gordimer, July's People; Mda, Ways of Dying; Behr, The Smell of Apples; Van der Vyfer, Entertaining Angels. Films will include Mtwa and Ngema's Woza Albert!; Mgotlana and Schmidt's Mapantsula; and Simons's City.