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2010 Western4Water Project

2011
Students 4 Africa:
Website; Video

2014 On-Line
Video; Website;
Wiki 1; Wiki 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

English 3140, Spring 2012

African Literature:

Challenges and Solutions
to Contemporary Crisis


Today there are 1 billion people living in Africa, speaking perhaps 2000 languages. The continent comprises 20% of the land of the planet, is enormously rich in resources, yet much of Africa is desperately poor with vast populations attempting to live on less than $2 per day.

africa

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 allen.webb@wmich.edu. (Feeling stress? English 3140 offers free on-line therapy from Eliza.)

Reading

 

Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Wangari Maathai, Unbowed
Sembene Ousmane, Xala
Kris Holloway, Monique and the Mango Rains
Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone
Yusuf al-Quayd, War in the Land of Egypt
Laila Lalami, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits

Major Assignments

Class Participation including Computer Conference 10%
Investigations 10%
Things Fall Apart Essay 20%
Research Paper 20%
Final Exam 20%
Solutions Project 20%

Electronic Syllabus

Jan 10 Tuesday Introductions

Join Computer Conference, respond to item "Introductions."


Jan 12 Thursday Things Fall Apart

1) Read Things Fall Apart chapters 1-6. Pay close attention to the character you have been assigned to role play.
-- Resources to support reading Things Fall Apart: List of Charactors, Igbo Art, Study Guide, Reading and Study Questions, Lifongo's Study Questions, Achebe in the Postcolonial Web, Postcolonial Dialogues.

2) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading Exceed expectations!


Jan 17 Tuesday

1) Finish Things Fall Apart.

2) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading.

3) Make a first visit to the Village of Umuofia, and write a conference post on one of the images from the point of view of your character.

masked native

Jan 19 Thursday Solutions Project: Organizing Day

Jan 24 Tuesday

1) Bring Rough Draft Things Fall Apart Essay to class.

2) Post ideas for your essay on our computer conference.

Jan 26 Thursday Village of Umuofia Role Play

1) Email class about your first Investigation (use "Reply All").

2) Write a post on our computer conference on the role play.

Jan 31 Tuesday Things Fall Apart Essay DUE

Feb 2 Thursday Africa Map Test and Answers

1) Study for the map test at liketolearn

Feb 7 Tuesday How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

1) Read: from How Europe Underdeveloped Africa Chapters 1-6 by Walter Rodney

Study Questions for How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

Resources: European Slave Trade Map, European Colonialism of Africa Map, Berlin Conference, African Resources, Chinese Investment

2) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading.

3) Watch clips on history of colonialism in Africa.

 

Feb 9 Thursday Solutions Project: Organizing Day

Feb 14 Tuesday

1) Read selections from King Leopold's Ghost Chapters 8-10, 15, 300-304 (reading will be handed out in class)

2) Watch clips about ongoing scramble for African resoures:

 

3) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading.

4) Optional: King Leopold's Ghost documentary:

Feb 16 Thursday Wangari Maathai and Green Belt Movement

1) Read: Unbowed Chap 1-5

2) Read about the Mau Mau Uprising.

3) Watch clip about Wangari Maathai:

 

4) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading.

Feb 21 Tuesday

1) Read: Unbowed Chap 6-10

2) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading.

sleep of reason

 

Feb 23 Thursday Solutions Project: Organizing Day

Feb 28 Tuesday

1) Read: Finish Unbowed

2) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading.

Mar 1 Thursday New Class of African Leaders

1) Read: Xala

2) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading.

3) Optional: Read comments on Xala on the Postcolonial Dialogues, Postcolonial Web, & Watch film Xala:

Sembene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

------------ Spring Break Mar 5 - Mar 12 -------------

Mar 13 Tuesday Women and Village Life

1) Read: First half Monique and the Mango Rains

2) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading.

Mar 15 Thursday Solutions Project: Organizing Day

Mar 20 Tuesday

1) Read: Finish Monique and the Mango Rains

2) Watch clip about Kris Halloway

3) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading.

4) Optional: NPR "Here on Earth" interview with Kris Holloway (click "Listen")

Mar 22 Thursday Africa and Climate Change: Presentation by Dr. David Karowe

Mar 27 TuesdayWar in Africa and Child Soldiers

1) Read: A Long Way Gone to Chapter 12

2) Read: Background on the Sierra Leone Civil War.

3) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading.

4) Optional: Watch documentary on which Blood Diamond was based, Cry Freetown (brutal) and the National Geographic documentary, Diamonds of War.

Cry Freetown

 

Diamonds of War

 

Violence and African Men in Hollywood

 

Ishamael Beah

Invisible Children

4) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading and film.

Mar 29 Thursday Solutions Project: Organizing Day

Apr 3 Tuesday Finish A Long Way Gone

2) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading

Apr 5 Thursday Roots of Arab Spring Revolutions

1) Read: War in the Land of Egypt Chapters 1-3

2) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading.

April 10 Tuesday

1) Read: Finish War in the Land of Egypt

2) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading.

April 12 Migration

1) Read Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits

2) Watch The ImmigrationTrail documentary (all parts).

3) Write a post on our computer conference on the reading and film.

April 17 Tuesday

Research Paper Final Due Date

April 19 Thursday

Share ideas for the Final Exam.

------------------------- Finals Week April 23-27 -------------------------

April 26 Thursday 12:30-2:30

Solutions Project Self-Evaluation Due

Final Exam

 


created by: allen.webb@wmich.edu
updated: 1/12