Africa in Atlantic Writing (AFRICAAM 148, AFRICAST 145B, COMPLIT 345B, CSRE 145B, FRENCH 145B, FRENCH 345B)
This course explores the central place Africa holds in prose writing emerging during periods of globalization across the Atlantic, including the middle passage, colonialism, black internationalism, decolonization, immigration and diasporic return. We will begin with Equiano's Interesting Narrative (1789), a touchstone for the Atlantic prose tradition, and study how writers crossing the Atlantic have continued to depict Africa in later centuries: to dramatize scenes of departure and arrival in stories of new citizenship, to evoke histories of racial unity and examine social fragmentation, to imagine new national communities or question their norms and borders. Our readings will be selected from English, French, Portuguese and Spanish-language traditions. And we will pay close attention to genres of prose fiction (Adichie, Condé, Olinto), prose poetry (Césaire, Neto, Walcott), theoretical reflection (Fanon, Glissant), reportage (Gide, Gourevitch), ethnography (Leiris, Ouologuem) and autobiography (Barack Obama).