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Contemporary African Literature and Film

ENGL 077.401
crosslisted as: AFRC 074, CIMS 77
instructor(s):
TR 10:30-12
fulfills requirements:
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major

This course will introduce students to contemporary African literature and film. We will focus in particular on a new body of work by African immigrants, and first generation African Americans, that’s changing the American cultural landscape. From Chimamanda Adichie to Dinaw Mengestu, NoViolet Bulawayo to Teju Cole, writers with immediate ties to the African continent are not only revising the figure of Africa in the American imaginary, but also narrating the stories of record number of Africans who have immigrated to the U.S. in the past five decades. Sometimes called the “new” African Americans, or American Africans, or what Adichie calls “non-American blacks,” more Africans have come to the U.S. since 1965 than through the Middle Passage, and their experience is finally gaining the creative and critical attention it merits. This course will explore a series of novels and films that articulate the experience of what it means to be both African and American. In addition to aesthetic questions, we will explore the themes of migration, national identity, and globalization that loom large in our contemporary moment.