1 AFR ICAN WOMEN WRITERS: SPRING 2012 SSW 4713 Section 6937, LIT 3383 Section 09DB, WST 3930 Section 09C9 Instructor: Dr. Rose Sau Lugano Time: T 1:55 3:50, R: 1:55 2:45 Office Location: 361 Pugh Ha ll Venue: T & R : MAT 151 Phone : 846 2433 Off. Hrs: Mon: 1 2. Wed: 1 2 Course Description: In this class we will explore African women writers and critics, looking at their theoretical priorities and cultural positions. This co urse is designed to provide students with both a specific and a general view of the status, achievements and experiences of African women in fiction. Using different genres (novels and plays) we will endeavor to as been shaped by history, culture, and their experiences, as well as see how they are addressing issues of gender in their respective societies. Our discussions will focus on issues of identity, oppression, resistance, exile, language, translation and col onialism, using as points of entry a diverse set of texts. The framework for classroom discussion will revolve around two central issues 1) The way in which women authors represent gender as a crucial variable for social stratification. 2) The use of writing itself as a tool for social transformation and critique. Course Objectives: 1. Introduce students to the different genres and literary themes presented by African women writers. 2. To understand the historical and social context in which Afric expressions have developed. production while endeavoring to understand more clearly the impact of colonialism, race, class, ethnicity a nd gender on women. Teaching Method Introductory lectures to relate the set texts to their context(s) and to place them within the A Textual study of the set texts. Required Tex ts: Tendi New York: Africana P. C., 1971 (Copy). Buchi Emecheta. The Bride Price Glasgow: Fontana, 1978. Tsitsi Dangarembga. Nervous Conditions New York: Seal Press,1988. Laureta Ngcobo. And they D New York: The Feminist Press, 1999. Mariama B. So Long a Letter Portsmouth (NH): Heinemann,1981. Ama Ata Aidoo. The Dilemma of a Ghost. Accra: Longmans, 1965. Movies: Faat Kine and Moolaade (2007) by Sembene Ousmane
2 References on c riticism and theory: Emerging Perspectives on Buchi Emecheta Ed. Marie Umeh, Trenton, N.J.: Africa World P, 1996. Libraray call # PR9387.9.N933 Z65 1998. Emerging Perspectives on Tsitsi Dangarembga: Negotiating the Postcolonial Eds. A nne E. Willey and Jeanette Treiber, Trenton, N.J.: Africa World P, 2002. Library call # PR 9390.9.D36Z66 2002 African Women & Feminism: Reflecting on the Politics of Sisterhood Ed. Oyeronke Oyewumi. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World P, 2003. Library call # HQ1787.A372 2003 Ngambika: Studies of Women in African Literature Ed. Carole Boyce Davies Trenton, N.J.: Africa World P, 1986. Lib # PL8010.N47 1986 Francophone African Women Writers: Destroying the Emptiness of Silence Irene REQUIREMENTS. I. Regular attendance at all classes is very important. Reading of the assigned class texts before class is necessary for meaningful participation in cl ass discussion. The instructor may expect students to present on certain topics as part of their class participation. 2. Completion of all assignments and homework on time is an important aspect of the course. Late exercises may be accepted but will attrac t a 5% deduction in points. ACADEMIC CONDUCT. Cheating of any kind is a serious university policy offence. You can work with others on assignments but be sure to always write your own answer(s). Be sure to express your concern about your performance (esp ecially if you are having problems) early instead of late in the semester. Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must the n provide this documentation to the instructor when requesting GRADING POLICY : The following grading policy will be used in awarding grades. A =93 100, A =90 92, B+ = 87 89,B =83 86, B =80 82, C+ =77 79, C =73 76, C = 70 72, D+ =67 69, D=63 66, D =60 62, E less than 60. COURSE EVALUATION. There will be no final examination in this course. Evaluation will be based on six reaction papers of 2 pages each and a 10 page report based on independent study to be submitted by the last week of cl ass. This paper will be presented to the class before collection. 1. Class attendance and participation: 15% 2. 5 Reaction papers of 5% each 25 % 3. Mid Term Exam 20 % 4. Special Topic presentation 10% 4. Final Paper 30% Tot al Points: 100%
3 Student Requirement. 1. A two page reaction paper on each text must be handed in the first day of text discussion. Students must read the texts before the class discussion begins. 2. Each student will choose one special topic from an array of questions which deal 1. Attendance and Class participation =15% The course format is a combination of lecture and discussion, therefore regular attendance is required. Students may miss only one class meeting without penalty. This one day allow for absence due to illness, time conflicts, university activities, etc. You do not need to present an excuse for this absence. Beyond the one day allowabl e for absence, 1 point will be deducted for any subsequent absence from class. 2 5 Reaction Papers =25 % A two page (typed) reaction paper due on the day we begin discussion will be expected for each text reading. Your paper should be an analysis and not a summary of the work. Students should focus on one aspect of the text: the narrator, the plot, gender roles, language, or any other relevant issues. Students must include at least one question on any aspect of the book they did not understand at the end o f the reaction paper. 3. Mid term exam = 20 % This will be an in class exam based on issues raised in the analysis of texts read so far as well as all the background information on African feminism, status of African women their wr iting, and form of texts. 4 Special Topic presentation =10% (See special topic list) Students will work in groups to research on special topics on women in the countries represented by the texts, as well as supply background information on the writers. 5. Final Paper =30% This will be 10 pages long. Students must consult the instructor to discuss their topics before writing the paper. Students will be expected to focus on a theme developed during the course of the semester, and in addition to cons ulting relevant articles on their chosen topics, they must reference two or more texts read in class. Note : Cheating of any kind is a serious university policy offence. You can work with others on assignments but be sure to always write your own answer(s) When you reference articles you must acknowledge the critics and not present the information as your own. If you find you are having problems with any part of the course, please see the instructor early in the semester. Do not wait until the end of the semester! There will be no extra credit opportunities.
4 AFRICAN WOMEN WRITERS, SPRING 2009 COURSE SCHEDULE: Week 1. Jan 5 & 7 Tue : Introduction to course /syllabus Stereotypes about African women Thur : Ref: Carole Boyce Davies and Elaine Sa A History of African Literature in the Twentieth Century Ed. Oyekan Owomoyela. Week 2: Jan 12 & 14 Tue: Survey of African literature: Women and literary production. The male and female writing traditions in Afri ca. Lecture. Thur: Student Presentation Group 1 : Feminist movement /African Feminism By Carole Boyce Davies in Ngambika: Studies of Women in African Literature. Week 3: Jan 19 & 21 Tu e. Student presentation, Group 2: The Swahili people of East Africa Tendi Pages 55 71 (Copies will be given in class). Structure, themes, and religious ideology. Thur: Background on the Bildungsroman Week 4: Ja n 26 & 28 Tues: Student presentation. Group 3 : Cultural and social contestation/ Women in Nigeria Reaction paper # 1 on The Bride Price due January 28 th Discussion of The Bride Price by Buchi Emecheta Thur: ons.. Ref: Emerging Perspectives on Buchi Emecheta Week 5: Feb 2 & 4 Tues Student presentation, Group 4 : Slavery / traditions and Societal expectations/ Women in Ghana Reaction paper # 2 on The Dilemma of a Ghost due on Tuesday, Feb 2 nd Thur : Discussion of The Dilemma of a Ghost Ref: Emerging Perspectives on Ama Ata Aidoo Week 6: Feb 9 & 11 Tues .Continue discussion of The Dilemma of a Ghost Thur: Student presentation, Group 5 : African wo men and excision, Feb 11 th Week 7: Feb 16 & 18 Tue : viewing movie Moolaade (2007) by Sembene Ousmane
5 Thur: Discussion of the movie Week 8: Feb 23 & 25 Tue: Individual oral presentation of reaction # 3 on So Long a Letter Feb 23 rd Student presen tation, Group 6 : Women and Islam / Women in Senegal So Long a Letter Thur: in Ngambika. Week 9: Mar 2 & 4 Tue Continue discussion of So Long a Letter Documenta ry: A Veiled Revolution Thu r : Mid Term Exam Thursday 4 th SPRING BREAK: March 6 13 No classes Week 10: Mar 16 & 18 Tue : Student presentation, Group 7: Women and Apatheid in South Africa. Reaction paper # 4 on due Tuesday March 1 6 th Thur Week 11: Mar 23 & 25 Tue. Continue discussion of Thur Week 12: Mar 30 & April 1 Tue: Student presentation Group 8 : Contesting marginalizati on and Neo colonialism/ Women in Zimbabwe. Reaction paper # 5 on Nervous Conditions due Tuesday, April 1 st Nervous Conditions Thur : Themes and issues Week 13: April 6 & 8 Tues Continue discussio n of Nervous Conditions Thur: Ref. Emerging Perspectives on Tsitsi Dangarembga: Negotiating the Postcolonial Week 14: April 13 & 15 Tue The modern African woman. Movie Faat Kine by Sembene Ousmane The fu ture of African women writers / current themes. Thur : Presentation: African women in politics Week 15: April 20 Tues. Course conclusion. Study Days: April 22 23 Final Pa per due Wednesday April 23 rd in my mail box.
6 SPECIAL TOPICS FOR CLASS GROUP PRESE NTATION Each student must choose one of the listed topics for presentation in class. These serve as background information for the understanding of the texts. 1. The Feminist move ment / African Feminism Jan 14 th Simmilarities and differences Feminist literary criticism 2. The Poem of Mwana Kupona Jan 18 th ----Islam and the status of Swahili woman then and today --Role of poetry among the Swahili 3. The Bride Pri ce Jan 26 th ----the Igbo speaking people of Nigeria & Traditional gender socialization. --the African perspective of bride price --Beliefs and superstitions what are they? Their significance in society. 4. The Dilemma of a Ghost Feb 2 nd ----Domestic and international slave trade in Ghana --Continental African and African American relationships --view of life in Ghana 5 Moolaade Feb 11 th --Female cutting: the controversy/ what is the basis? --What is the current situation in African countries? --External and internal intervention 6. So Long a Letter Feb 23 rd --divorce in Islamic tradition --Polygamy and Islam, Women in Senegal --Can one generalize about the situation of women in the Islamic world? --The role of the veil/ women and dress Mar 16 th --rival of Europeans in South Africa ---What was Apartheid? How did it affect Black South Africans? --Effects of urbanization and migration on S. African women --S. Africa today 8. Nervous Conditions. Mar 30 th --ation of Zimbabwe ----Present political climate in Zimbabwe
7 CLASS GROUP PRESENTATION : African Women Writers. Spring 2010 1. The Feminist move ment / African Feminism Jan 14 th 2. The Swahili of East Africa: The Poem of Mwana Kupona Jan 19 th 3. Women in Nigeria: The Bride Price Jan 28 th 4. Women in Ghana: The Dilemma of a Ghost Feb 2 nd 5 Women and excision : Moolaade Feb 11 th 6. Women in Senegal : So Long a Letter Feb 23 rd 7. Women in South Africa: Mar 16 th 8. Women in Zimbabwe: Nervous Conditions. Mar 3 0 th