This course seeks to use African literature, memoir, film, 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.
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 and growing quickly; in some countries half of the population is under 25. More than 70% of the world's populatoin growth in this century will take place in Africa. Most of our reading will be about young people, many college age, their life experience and how they are making a positive difference.
2011 was the year of the Arab Spring, and our reading will help us understand these popular uprisings and revolutionary struggles against dictatorships across North Africa including Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, and other countries that have demonstrated widespread determination to confront economic and political conditions, the aspirations of a new generation of Africans, the impact of new media and technologies, and found their echo in the Occupy Movement.
Learning about Africa often reflects back to a learning about the United States and the rest of the world.
As the students in this class immerse themselves in learning about Africa, they will participate in making a difference in Africa via the Solutions Project. During our reading and study, students will focus 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. This may be undertaken in collaboration with the new WMU registered student organization (RSO) created by students in African Literature last semester, Students 4 Africa.
We will engage in reading and discussion, in a threaded on-line computer conference at Nicenet. The course name is "2012 African Literature" and our class key is E327544267. Our threaded discusion connects reading and research and creates a collaborative, interactive community of learning. Our class will meet in an advanced laptop computer lab that I designed and that will facilitate technology enhanced 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.
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 any classes will affect your learning. Missing three classes will affect your final grade and missing five or more classes may lead to failing the course. See my philosophy regarding preparation, attendance, and participation.
Dr. Webb's office is 723 Sprau Tower, 387-2605, and his office hours are M/W/F afterclass, and by appointment and email at email@example.com. (Feeling stress? English 3140 offers free on-line therapy from Eliza.)
Jan 19 Thursday Solutions Project: Organizing Day
Jan 26 Thursday Village of Umuofia Role Play
Jan 31 Tuesday Things Fall Apart Essay DUE
Feb 7 Tuesday How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
Feb 9 Thursday Solutions Project: Organizing Day
Feb 14 Tuesday
Feb 16 Thursday Wangari Maathai and Green Belt Movement
Feb 23 Thursday Solutions Project: Organizing Day
Feb 28 Tuesday
------------ Spring Break Mar 5 - Mar 12 -------------
Mar 22 Thursday Africa and Climate Change: Presentation by Dr. David Karowe
Mar 27 TuesdayWar in Africa and Child Soldiers
Mar 29 Thursday Solutions Project: Organizing Day
Apr 3 Tuesday Finish A Long Way Gone
Apr 5 Thursday Roots of Arab Spring Revolutions
April 10 Tuesday
April 12 Migration
April 17 Tuesday
April 19 Thursday
------------------------- Finals Week April 23-27 -------------------------
April 26 Thursday 12:30-2:30
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