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ROML 4120/6120

Course Name:
Topics in Culture, Language, and Literature
Credit Hours:
3 hours

Selected topics in culture, civilization, language, linguistics, literature, or literary theory. Given in English.


Spring 2023: Dr. Rachel Gabara, "Retelling Colonization in African Fiction and Film"

In her landmark Imperial Eyes, scholar Mary Louise Pratt defined the contact zone as “the space in which peoples geographically and historically separated come into contact with each other and establish ongoing relations, usually involving conditions of coercion, radical inequality, and intractable conflict.” In this class, we will study literary and cinematic representations of the contact zones in sub-Saharan Africa resulting from French, Italian, and Portuguese colonization, from retellings of conquest itself to explorations of its contemporary legacies. Although a few of these narratives date to the colonial period, most do not, and many are contemporary – we will examine why historical fiction and film were such important genres for African writers and filmmakers in the decades following independence and have become so again very recently. (All texts will be available in English and all films will have English subtitles. Students who read French, Italian, and Portuguese will be encouraged to read certain texts in the original.) 

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