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LIT 369 African and African Diasporic Literatures

This course examines contemporary literatures by African and African diasporic writers. Students will identify and compare the diversity of African and African diasporic literatures to critique and challenge monolithic understandings of Africa and the African diaspora. As students deepen their understanding of the construction of ¿Africa¿ and the African diaspora, we will distinguish the various ways these literatures reflect and innovate traditional narrative practices and Western literary forms. Finally, students will apply relevant socio-political and literary scholarship about literatures from the continent and the diaspora to literary analysis. Topics that may be studied in relation to literary production include but are not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, language, nationalism, anti-colonial resistance, decolonization, and globalization. All texts will be in English or English translation.


4 Undergraduate credits

Effective May 2, 2023 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Explain the cultural richness, diversity, and complexity of African continental and diasporic literatures by identifying differences and similarities among the literary production of writers from different national origins and ethnic identities.
  • Situate African and African diasporic literatures place in and contributions to global literary production.
  • Articulate complex literary analysis of African and African diasporic literatures, with particular emphasis on themes of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, language, nationalism, anti-colonial resistance, decolonization, and globalization.
  • Analyze literatures from both national and global contexts with attention to relevant sociopolitical and historical contexts.
  • Apply relevant literary criticism and theory to literary analysis.
  • Apply research conventions in literary studies, including the building of skills related to summary, annotation, analysis, and evaluation of primary and secondary sources.
  • Correctly use MLA bibliographic style to support developing academic writing practices.
  • Engage respectfully and dynamically with peers in a way that encourages scholarly community, and individual academic development.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

Goal 8: Global Perspective

  • Describe and analyze political, economic, and cultural elements which influence relations of states and societies in their historical and contemporary dimensions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of cultural, social, religious and linguistic differences.
  • Analyze specific international problems, illustrating the cultural, economic, and political differences that affect their solution.
  • Understand the role of a world citizen and the responsibility world citizens share for their common global future.