Literature in a Changing World 2


Course Objective

After 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
socio-political contexts.
• 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,
interpellation, decolonization.
• 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 Content

African 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 Methods

Seminar: 2 x 3 hours per week; possibly guest speakers from the literary
field; possibly excursion (museum, lecture at a cultural institute, film

Method of Assessment

30%: 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
week 7.

Entry Requirements

Prerequisites: Students must have taken part in the modules “Literature,
Culture, and Society” and “Literary Theory.”


The reading list (novellas, short stories, secondary sources) will be
uploaded on Canvas before the course starts.

Target Audience

BA students in the English track of Literature & Society; exchange

Additional Information

Attendance required: 80%. Students who miss more than 20% will not
receive credits for the course.

General Information

Course Code L_ELBALES305
Credits 6 EC
Period P5
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator dr. B. Boter
Examiner dr. B. Boter
Teaching Staff dr. B. Boter

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
Target audiences

This course is also available as: