Course ObjectiveAfter completing this course, students are able to
• close-read and compare “African texts” coming from a variety of
national and cultural backgrounds, and various historical and
• draw on academic theories that are relevant for an understanding of
the short story and novella genres; practices of canonization and
translation; orality and online writing space.
• apply theoretical concepts to the texts studied, such as narration,
focalization, voice, agency, subject-position, intersectionality,
• share their own reflections, both personal and academic, on assigned
readings with fellow participants.
• freely express their ideas in both written work and oral
• design and set up a class discussion with other members of their team.
• engage in class discussions in a diversity-sensitive and respectful
Course ContentAfrican writing is booming – both at home and around the world. This
module will examine significant questions that come with this growing
popularity: What exactly is “African writing”? Which African realities
are being documented, and who is eligible to do so? Are African literary
traditions different from other literary traditions? How Western-focused
are the popular African writers? Who are the gatekeepers of the
continent’s book industry? In order to be able to tackle these and other
important questions we will close-read and contextualize besides two
novellas one literary genre of African writing that is particularly
thriving: the short story, including flash fiction and online blogs.
Class discussions will focus on themes such as:
Narrative strategies of (gendered) displacement
The literary market: orality, translation, canon formation
Poverty-porn and the postcolony
Teaching MethodsSeminar: 2 x 3 hours per week; possibly guest speakers from the literary
field; possibly excursion (museum, lecture at a cultural institute, film
Method of Assessment30%: Participation (10% class participation; 20% student-led
discussion). Detailed instructions will be on Canvas before the course
30%: Written assignments (personal journal entries). Detailed
instructions will be on Canvas before the course starts.
40%: Take-home exam. Detailed instructions will be on Canvas before the
course starts. Students will work with sample questions in week 3 and
Entry RequirementsPrerequisites: Students must have taken part in the modules “Literature,
Culture, and Society” and “Literary Theory.”
LiteratureThe reading list (novellas, short stories, secondary sources) will be
uploaded on Canvas before the course starts.
Target AudienceBA students in the English track of Literature & Society; exchange
Additional InformationAttendance required: 80%. Students who miss more than 20% will not
receive credits for the course.
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Humanities|
|Course Coordinator||dr. B. Boter|
|Examiner||dr. B. Boter|
dr. B. Boter
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Last-minute registration is available for this course.
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