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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21ST STREET STOP B7600, HRH 2.114A, AUSTIN, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Spring 2009


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36135 T
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
MEZ 2.118

Course Description

We will be studying plays written in French from North and sub-Saharan African authors, examining the treatment of similar themes that denounce, in many cases, the violent and absurd political context surrounding their work. Over the course of the semester, we will analyze the use of theatrical devices, discussing the history of francophone African theatre and the different approaches used. Théâtre is a powerful mode of expression that involves stage setting, interactions of actors, costumes, and in certain instances music and dance. Writers incorporate ancient procedures such as rituals (e.g., the use of masks) and village performances, adapting them to present needs and concepts, staging at times an inner quest as well as raising a variety of disturbing questions.

Class will be taught in French.

Grading Policy

Students will be asked to keep up with the reading assignments and fully participate in class discussions as well as prepare oral presentations. Essay: 70% Class participation: 15% Oral presentation: 15%      


READINGS: - Kateb Yacine: Les Ancêtres redoublent de férocité; La boucherie de l'espérance - Assia Djebar: Rouge l'aube - Cheick Alio Ndao: L'exil d'Albouri - Bernard Dadié: Les Voix dans le vent - Sony Labou Tansi: La parenthèse de sang - Tchicaya U Tam'Si: Le Zulu; Le Destin glorieux du maréchal Nnikon, Nniku - Werewere Liking: La puissance de Um; Un Touareg s'est marié à une Pygmée - Abdelwahab Meddeb: La gazelle et l'enfant SECONDARY READINGS: - John Conteh-Morgan: Theatre and Drama in Francophone Africa - Marie-José Hourantier: Du Rituel au theatre-rituel - Gilbert and Tompkins: « Traditional Enactements : Ritual and Carnival » in Post-Colonial Drama FILM : - Djibril Diop Mambety: Hyenas - Film by North Africans will be included. MUSIC : - Music selections will be included.


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