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African Literatures

Code: EIMAS07     Acronym: LA

Instance: 2022/2023 - 1S

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Department of History, Political and International Studies
Course/CS Responsible: European Interdisciplinary Master African Studies

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
EIMAS 4 Study Plan 1 - 5 26 135

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Francisco José de Jesus Topa

Teaching - Hours

Seminar: 2,00
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Seminar Totals 1 2,00
Francisco José de Jesus Topa 2,00

Teaching language



The main goal of the curricular unit is to provide students with a global view of the diversity of literatures from Africa. To this end, a minimally representative set of texts, written in English or translated into this language, of various
genres (including oral literature) and of various linguistic, cultural and national spaces will be studied. The period of time covered will also be extended, including texts from the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial period. Some of the themes that mark African literatures, such as the colonial clash, the conflict between tradition and modernity, the African identities, the post-independence disillusion, and gender issues will be discussed.

Learning outcomes and competences

At the end of the course, students should be able to formulate, supported in the literature, a personal discourse about the topics covered.

Working method



I. Introduction: Theoretical problems
II. The pre-colonial literature
1. The Pot of Wisdom: Ananse Stories (Ghana)
2. Folktales of Angola, by Héli Chatelain (Angola)
III. The colonial literature
1. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa (1789) (Nigeria)
2. Leopold Sedar Senghor, The Collected Poetry (Senegal)
3. Chinua Achebe, Things fall apart (1958) (Nigeria)
4. Luandino Vieira, Luuanda: short stories of Angola (1964) (Angola)
IV. The postcolonial literature
1. Theater: Wole Soyinka, Death and the King’s Horseman (1975) (Nigeria)
2. Novel: Assia Djebar, Fantasia: an Algerian cavalcade (1985) (Algeria)
3. Poetry: Chris Mann, South Africans: A Set of Portrait-poems (1996) (RSA)

Mandatory literature

Killam, Douglas & Rowe, Ruth, ed.; The companion to African literatures, Oxford: James Currey, 2000
Manu, S. Y.; The four stories of Ananse, Accra: Afram Publications Ghana, 1998
Equiano, Olaudah; The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or, Gustavus Vassa, the African written by himself, Edited by Angelo Costanzo. Peterborough, Ont, 2002
Senghor, Leopold Sedar; The Collected Poetry, University Press of Virginia, 1991
Achebe, Chinua; Things fall apart, Authoritative text, contexts and criticism. Edited by Francis Abiola Irele. New York / London: Norton, 2009
Vieira, Luandino; Luanda: short stories of Angola, by Tamara L. Bender with Donna S. Hill. London: Heinemann., 1980
Soyinka, Wole; Death and the King’s Horseman, Critical Edition by Simon Gikandi. New York: Norton & Company, 2002
Mann, Chris; South Africans: A Set of Portrait-poems, University of Natal Press, 1996

Comments from the literature

The works of theoretical orientation and the more specific bibliography for each topic will be indicated in the course documents.
Minimum bibliography will be available in the same space, in pdf format.

Teaching methods and learning activities

Teaching will seek to foster individual inquiry, critical thinking and problem solving, and will try to prevent lectures from being just expositive. In this sense, students will be encouraged to have an active participation in the sessions,
either through the presentation and discussion of previously prepared small papers, or through the involvement in the
debate of theoretical-practical subjects and commentary on texts.
The evaluation will be continuous, taking into account the students' qualified intervention in the classes and an
individual research work on one of the program's issues.


Humanities > Literature

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Designation Weight (%)
Trabalho escrito 75,00
Apresentação/discussão de um trabalho científico 25,00
Total: 100,00

Amount of time allocated to each course unit

Designation Time (hours)
Estudo autónomo 59,00
Frequência das aulas 26,00
Trabalho de investigação 50,00
Total: 135,00

Eligibility for exams

100% attendance with duly justified exceptions

Calculation formula of final grade

Report: 75%
Oral presentation: 25%

Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

According to the regulations.

Classification improvement

According to the Regulations.
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