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2021-2022 Catalog

FYS 197 Deconstructing "Africa"

This first year seminar addresses popular images of the African continent with the intention of getting beyond media stereotypes of poverty, hunger, and ethnic conflict. It tackles these problematic ideas by reading African novels and watching African films in order to better grasp how writers and artists from across the continent have imagined “Africa.” Classic works by Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Bessie Head, J. M. Coetzee, and Chimamanda Adichie will be assigned, as well as films by Ousmane Sembène, Djibril Diop Mambéty, and Mati Diop. Students will have weekly writing assignments as well as a research paper to gather their reflections and develop critical analytic skills which they can apply to future coursework.