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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Spring 2009

MES 322K • GENDER IN NORTH & WEST AFRICA

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41435 MWF
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
PAR 301
MOSADOMI, F

Course Description

Scholarship on gender in Africa has increasingly become more inclusive and more encompassing. While Western feminist discourses of 'Third World', particularly African women, tell tales of voicelessness, victimization, weakness, subjugation, and oppression, another set of images depicts African women as assertive and self reliant. This war of double imaging and doubled image will be investigated in relation to another set of contradicting images, that of African men: powerful and indispensable products of colonial masters ideologies, and useless characters that women can do without. Are these double identity images of African men and women configured or reconfigured by colonial discourses? This course will examine gender discourses through North African and West African literary works by looking at the role(s) played by Islam and Christianity in the creation of the identities of African men and women. We will also discuss the question of what gender is, and whether it is socially constructed. The course seeks to develop in students an understanding and appreciation of African gender theories through an examination of the variables between the realities of African gender perspectives and current gender theories. Students should engage in effective and meaningful dialogue that not only affects Africa but also the West, thus increasing an awareness in cross-cultural gender issues.

Grading Policy

Attendance and Participation 10%, Individual Term Paper 30%, Individual Oral Presentation 15%, Group Term Paper 30%, Group Oral Presentation 15%

Texts

Akinwumi Isola. Efúnsetán Aníwúrà, Ìyálóde Ìbàdàn and Tinúubú,Ìyálóde Egbá: Two Yorùbá Historical Dramas. Trans. Pamela Olubunmi Smith. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press Inc., 2005. Bâ, Mariama. So Long a Letter. Trans. Modupe Bode-Thomas. London and Nairobi: Heinemann, 1981. Djebar, Assia. Fantasia: An Algerian Calvacade. Trans. Dorothy Blair. London: Quartet Books, 1989. Trans of L'Amour, la fantasia. Oyôno-Mbia, Guillaume. "Three Suitors, One Husband" in Faces of African Independence: Three Plays. Charlottesville, 1988.

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