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Introduction to African Cinema and Literatures in Translation


Block 1: Ibrahima Wade (GS234: Introduction to African Cinema)

Block 2: Mariètou Mbaye, Writer-Scholar (GS234: Introduction to West African Literatures and Cultures) 

This course fulfills two units of the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures requirement.

These two linked blocks will provide an in-depth introduction to West African Cultures and Civilizations through Cinema and Literature, in a two-block sequence.

Block 1: This block will focus on interpreting the African experience from the cinematic perspective. We will shift from literary to visual representations of Africa and Africans. Topics such as slave trade, roots and ancestry, diaspora, colonial dynamics, stereotypes, and Independence, will be approached through the viewing and discussion of important films by directors such as Ousmane Sembène, Moussa Touré, Jean-Marie Teno, and others.   - Prof. Ibrahima Wade

Block 2: The second block will explore several contemporary issues and themes in Sub-Saharan Africa, from perspectives and visions of traditional and contemporary West-African writers. African literature deals with a variety of themes amongst which we can discern a quest for Cultural Rehabilitation, for Identity re-construction and for a Renaissance contextualized globally. Thus literature, the novel and the poetic forms particularly, become stages for confrontations as well as dialectical interactions between the indigenous traditions on the one hand and colonialism, Arabo-Islamization, Westernization and Modernization on the other. Particular emphasis will be put on the study of the ideologies of Negritude, Pan-Africanism and of the African Personality in the writings of both Anglophone and Francophone African writers.  Women’s issue as represented and dealt with by African women will also be explored. Class assignments will include reading and discussions, and we expect our students to do analytical investigations rendered in forms of class presentations, short research papers, and a final research project focused on student interest or on an assigned topic..  - Mariètou Mbaye/Novelist

A set of linked one-block courses that must be taken together, with one instructor in each block. Separate grades will be assigned for each block.


• Possible field trips to be announced.