Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Gender in African Fiction

ENGL 280.401
instructor(s):
MWF 12

Until very recently, it was an unfortunate truism: if you picked up any standard collection of criticism on African fiction you would find no African women novelists included. The Nigerian novelist Flora Nwapa, a contemporary of Chinua Achebe, is but one example of a writer who has been producing important fiction from the earliest moments of what we now consider to be the canon of African literature. Given the patterns of exclusion and segregation that have wreaked such havoc on the continent, it is indeed an irony that cultural and artistic voices "for" Africa have seen fit to practice their own form of exclusion with regard to women writers. This course explores that exclusion by reading within and against the "canon" of African literature.