ENGL 348
Imagining Africa: The Politics of Representation
Last Offered Spring 2008
Division II Writing Skills
Cross-listed COMP 347 / ENGL 348 / AFR 377
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

This course will examine cultural representations of Africa in an effort to sharpen critical thinking and interpretive skills. Taking “Africa” as our focal point, we will collectively consider key questions about representations: Who has the authority to define an “object” (i.e., Africa or Africans), and how is that authority conferred? What motivates particular images and, more importantly, what are their effects? What role do particular assumptions or constructions of race play in shaping culture? What is the relationship between a “simple” book or image and “the real world”? And what, finally, does it mean to make claims about an entire continent? Our primary source material may include travel narratives, novels, journalism, and films that variously represent Africa. Along with some theoretical essays on representation (including some by Stuart Hall, Roland Barthes, and W.J.T. Mitchell), primary texts may include Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions, The Gods Must Be Crazy, Out of Africa, Guelwaar, Nightline’s report Heart of Darkness, the documentary Amandla!, and photographs of Darfur.
The Class: Format: seminar; class will consist of lively class discussions and revision workshops
Limit: 16
Expected: 16
Class#: 3025
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: regular 1-page writing assignments, one final project, and two formal essays
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Africana Studies concentrators
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AFR; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL or COMP
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 347 Division II ENGL 348 Division II AFR 377 Division II
Attributes: INST African Studies Electives

Class Grid

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