This course seeks to use African literature, memoir, film, biography, autobiography, history, library and on-line sources to begin to understand the enormous complexity of Africa and the challenges facing the continent. A cornerstone of this course is the idea that knowledge creates responsibility. Students will be expected to address what they are learning by research, collaboration, and action.
We begin our study of the current crisis in Africa by looking at the colonial and early national period. Turning to literature from the present we will encounter issues such as economic and political corruption and collapse, resource exploitation, poverty, education, the condition of women, the environment, warfare and child soldiers, AIDS, immigration, etc.
As we learn about challenges in Africa we will also explore solutions. Africa is young; in some countries half of the population is under 25. Most of our reading will be about young people, many college age, their life experience and how they are making a positive difference. After extensive reading and study as a class, students will form groups focused on specific issues to engage in additional reading, research, action, and work with African and international organizations dedicated to a brighter future for the continent.
We will engage in reading and discussion, in a threaded on-line computer conference at Nicenet. The course name is "2010 African Literature" and our class key is E30Z348292. Our threaded discusion connects reading and research and creates a collaborative, interactive community of learning.
Investigations of African life, history, religion, news, politics, etc. will help students learn more not only about the crisis in Africa but its rich and diverse cultures.
The Solutions Project will allow significant student creativity and choice and the development of wiki. This section of the course is experimental and the syllabus provisional.
This course fulfills a General Education requirement for Distribution Area IV: Other Cultures and Civilizations. This course will follow WMU procedures regarding academic honesty. Controversy and difference of opinion are welcomed. Since the class is discussion-based, attendance and preparation are essential. Missing classes will affect your final grade and missing more than four classes may lead to failing the course.
Dr. Webb's office is 723 Sprau Tower, 387-2605, and his office hours are Wednesdays 1-2, by appointment and email at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Feeling stress? English 3140 offers free on-line therapy from Eliza.)
Sep 13 MondayThings Fall Apart Part I
Sep 22 Wednesday How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
Sep 27 Monday
Sep 29 Wednesday Things Fall Apart Essay DUE
Oct 4 Monday Wangari Maathai and Green Belt Movement
Oct 18 Monday Monique and the Mango Rains
Nov 8 Monday Midterm Exam
Dec 13-17 Finals Week
Dec 15 Wednesday 2:45-4:45 Presentation of Solutions Projects
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