SOAS University of London

African Languages, Cultures and Literatures Section

Perspectives on African experience

Module Code:
155900933
Credits:
30
FHEQ Level:
5
Year of study:
Year 2, Year 3 or Year 4
Taught in:
Term 1

The module is designed to familiarize students with a selection of the varying perspectives from which African experience has been perceived, analysed and interpreted, primarily by Africans and persons of African descent, both on the continent and in the Diaspora.

It is further designed to provide students with a good general introduction to the work of critics and writers who are either from Africa or of African-descent and who examine the historical legacy of Africa and its Diaspora by engaging with such important themes as self-representation and cultural identity.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

 

At the end of this module a student will be able to...

  • Demonstrate an understanding of varying perspectives from which African experience has been perceived, analysed and interpreted through time.
  • Evaluate the different perspectives in their historical and ideological contexts and in terms of contemporary realities in Africa;
  • Understand Africa through specific themes including Africa’s contact with Europe; slavery and colonialism
  • Understand African and Diaspora responses to slavery and colonialism
  • Gain awareness about African contemporary thought and the search for new epistemologies

Workload

Taught over 22 weeks with 1 hour lecture and a 1 hour seminar each week.

Scope and syllabus

The module is designed to provide students with a critical framework for their study of cultural expression in Africa, and to encourage them to grapple with the ideas and perspectives introduced in the course as a way of generating new and fresh thinking about African experience. 

The module will also enable students further to develop their critical and analytical skills through group presentations, discussions and essay writing. While helping students come to an understanding of how the African experience has been examined and engaged with in terms of the historical vicissitudes of the people of the continent and its Diaspora, the course also aims at helping and encouraging them to develop critical and analytical skills that move away from dominant Eurocentric and Western perspectives.

 

Method of assessment

  • 1 x essay (2500 words) (15%)
  • 1 x essay (2500 words) (15%)
  • 1 x unseen written exam in May/June (70%)

Suggested reading

The reading list for this module will be made available from the convenor at the beginning of the module.

Disclaimer

Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules