Guillaume’s syllabus


Guillaume had trouble uploading this and sent it to me via email last week – my apologies for only posting it now.

Colonizing the West and beyond.


This course explores the theme of immigration in the African novel. We will first focus on the mechanisms underpinning the massive African immigration – whether legal or not- to the global West that has been and is taking place and put it against the continent’s troubled postcolonial, colonial and pre-colonial legacies.

We will also have a closer look at the challenges the diaspora is faced with regarding its coping with the quasi-inevitable identity crises that might arise. It has to be noted that part of the texts proposed also explore the ways in which novelists from African and the diaspora tackle emigration and the cultural challenges inherent to entering and/or re-entering African society.

Learning outcomes:

Students are expected to:

  • Deepen their knowledge of the modern African novel
  • Achieve a better understanding of the social, economic and cultural dynamics underlying African immigration and emigration.
  • Engage in fruitful discussions about cross-cultural challenges related to these movements of populations.



Week 1

– Primary text: Fatou Diome, The Belly of the Atlantic. Serpent’s Tail, 2006.

– Secondary texts: Moussa Touré, La Pirogue, 2013. Film.

-Dominique Thomas. “Black France.” Indiana University Press. 2006


Week 2

– Primary text: Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Ambiguous Adventures. Melville House, 1961

– Secondary texts: Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land. Wesleyan University Press, 2001.
Week 3
– Primary text: Chimamanda N. Adichie. Americanah. Anchor, 2014.

– Secondary texts: Adélékè Adéèkó. Power Shift: America in the New Nigerian Imagination. The Global South 2.2 (2008) : 10-30


Week 4

– Primary text: Aminatta Forna, The Memory of Love. Grove Press, 2011.

– Secondary texts:

  • Stef Craps, “Beyond Eurocentrism: Trauma Theory in the Global Age.” The Future of Trauma Theory : Contemporary Literary and Cultural Criticism. Routledge, 2014. 45–61.
  • Richard Brennan and Egbert Sondorp. “Humanitarian Aid: Some Political Realities.” BMJ: British Medical Journal 333.7573 (2006): 817–818. Print.


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One Response to Guillaume’s syllabus

  1. Anne Gulick says:

    A great combination of Francophone and Anglophone literature. I am interested in your decision to begin with a recent novel and then backtrack in Week 2 to Ambiguous Adventure and Césaire. I can imagine how disrupting a chronological survey could be a useful provocation but would love to hear your reasons for that ordering.


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