Culture Literature Of Africa
Standard letter grades
Total contact hours
Introductory study of representative oral arts, literature, film and related creative arts, in English or in translation, of sub-Saharan African peoples, examined in context of their histories and cultural traditions.
Course learning outcomes
1. Build knowledge of language arts and cultures different from one’s own:
a. Identify distinctive characteristics, genres, periods, themes of traditional and modern African orature, literature, and film (e.g., proverb wisdom, call-and-response, praise-poetry, African griot traditions, colonial and post-colonial African "response" literature, anti-apartheid resistance arts).
b. Situate individual African texts in their historical, national/regional and cultural contexts, and analyze significant ways that these texts reflect or represent those contexts (e.g. cultural values and beliefs, intellectual and creative traditions, historical and biographical backgrounds, social and political realities).
c. Evaluate the limitations and benefits of studying African works in cross-cultural translation (e.g., across one or more different languages; across oral and literate-based cultures; across orature, literature, film).
2. Apply this knowledge to cross-cultural comparative analysis:
a. Identify and analyze significant cross cultural differences and similarities--among different African texts and their cultures; between African language arts/cultures and one’s own; and/or between African works and cultures and those of other non-Western groups.
b. Examine the effects of individual and culturally-determined factors (such as race, gender, class, nation, biases of information sources, prior cross-cultural experiences) on one’s own and others’ responses to African texts and cultures.
c. Identify topics of personal interest, unanswered questions, controversial claims and alternative viewpoints arising from one’s cross-cultural comparative study for further research and investigation.
3. Construct and communicate persuasive cross-cultural interpretations:
a. Formulate responses and interpretations using varied strategies and resources (e.g., active reading/viewing skills; self-reflection, critical and empathetic thinking, oral discussion and writing, multiple perspectives, comparative analysis, and interdisciplinary knowledge).
b. Create a persuasive cross-cultural interpretation of an African text that integrates ethnorelative perspectives and analytical criteria appropriate to African language arts and their cultural contexts.
c. Communicate one’s interpretations in informal and formal writing, using relevant, well-selected evidence from African texts and their cultural contexts to support one’s points.
d. Avoid plagiarism by using an acceptable academic style (e.g. MLA) to cite direct quotations, paraphrases (indirect quotations), and summaries taken from primary and secondary sources.
General education/Related instruction lists
- Cultural Literacy
- Arts and Letters