This course will explore salient aspects of African literatures and cultures. It will focus on selected issues of special resonance in contemporary African life. African-language literatures in English translation will be explored. Key issues in colonial policy in cultural matters and its legacy in Africa: language, politics, education. The course will examine the image of the postcolonial state and society as found in contemporary arts: painting, sculpture, music, and cinema. Selections from contemporary painters’ and sculptors’ oeuvre and from musicians and filmmakers will be discussed.
Field WorkCountry: Morocco
Day: 1 - Casablanca - 23 April
We will attend a local drama exhibition at a university in Casablanca. Every year, students at the Faculté of Sciences Ben M’Sik host a drama festival complete with seminars as well as exhibitions of local and international drama. Join these students for one of their local drama presentations hosted at their university. From the performance(s), students will prepare a report on a play or a theme and give an oral presentation followed by Q&A in class. The next day they must turn in the final written paper (5 double-spaced pages) on the subject they have discussed in their presentation in class. In addition to the summary of the play and discussion of the selected theme, the papers must reflect key aspects of the genre, the literary qualities of the play, audience response to the performance, and what the response may signify in the social and cultural context. Academic Objectives:
- To connect class readings to a live performance of an African work of literature.
- To have an idea of the creative approaches used by young Moroccan artists to achieve full artistic expression.
- To gain an understanding of social and political issues important to African artists.