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Courses

Spring 2017

ENGL 186s Migration Narratives
Professor Tsitsi Jaji
 
The story of black literature is made of many chapters of migration. From the beginnings of the enforced migration of Africans kidnapped into the slave trade, telling the story of one’s self was an important way to claim and maintain one’s humanity, as we will see in The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano (1789). Literacy was forbidden to slaves, and so when enslaved people liberated themselves by running away, their stories were acts of resistance as well as ways to motivate abolitionist activism, as we will see in Running 1000 Miles to Freedom, William Craft’s story of escaping with his wife Ellen in disguise as a man. In the early twentieth century the Great Migration that brought black southerners to urban centers in the north and migrations between the Caribbean and the U.S. inspired Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston and others we will read. In the last century, black literature has expanded to includeAfrican, Caribbean and African American stories about movement and encounters with the diaspora and beyond. We will read stories from Trinidad, Ghana, Paris and beyond, by familiar names like Maya Angelou and new voices like NoViolet Bulawayo. Two short essays and one longer essay are required.

Special topics course:
 
ENGL 290s Diaspora Literacies:  Reading Zimbabwe and Its Diasporas
Professor Tsitsi Jaji

African literature is often studied from a continental perspective. But this class takes an approach that allows for a more nuanced, locally informed version of global  studies. Focusing on a single country, Zimbabwe, we will encounter its history of colonization, independence, land redistribution and post-colonial economic malaise through literature and film. How do literature and film upend stereotypes, pointing out the limits of governmental, development, and NGO aid policies?
 
There is no danger of a single story in the works we’ll study: experimental and traditional praise poetry; novels and films about an ancient monumental city (in King Solomon’s Mines), colonial life (in Nobel laureate Doris Lessing’s The Grass Is Singing), winning independence, a gay hair dresser in Harare, and the Booker finalist NoViolet Bulawayo’s story about the transition from aid-recipient to Detroit teenager. We will end with a poetry collection (by the professor) that will be published during the semester. Assignments include weekly one-page response papers, an annotated bibliography and a term paper based on the bibliography.

Spring 2016

AAAS 316S-01 Apartheid South Africa and the Struggles for Democracy
Professor Karin Shapiro
Duke Immerse

Working through an array of diverse organizations – including the African National Congress, the Pan African Congress, the Black Consciousness Movement, a host of liberal organizations, the churches, the trade union federations, and countless more – black and some white South Africans fought against apartheid from its inception.  In 1994 they achieved a multi-racial democracy led by President Nelson Mandela.  This seminar explores key themes in post-World War II South African history, paying special attention to the plethora of anti-apartheid struggles, while giving voice to some pro-apartheid proponents.

The readings are arranged both chronologically and thematically.  Some, like Mandela’s autobiography, provide a broad sweep of 20th century South Africa.  Others, like the readings on the Black Consciousness Movement, provide intensive examinations of a particular era.  Over the term, we will discuss how apartheid affected people’s daily lives, the ideological and programmatic opposition to apartheid, and the internecine struggles between and within the anti-apartheid organizations and movements.  We will conclude the course with contemporary reflections on life during apartheid.

(CCI) Cross Cultural Inquiry
(EI) Ethical Inquiry
(R) Research
Cross-listed in another department
(CZ) Civilizations
(SS) Social Sciences

AAAS  346S – 01   Racial Justice in the 20th Century US and South Africa
Professor Karin Shapiro
Duke Immerse

In this seminar, students will write a roughly 25-30 page research paper on some aspect of either the civil rights movement or the anti-apartheid struggles in South Africa.  We will meet on a weekly basis, working to define individual topics and research agendas. We will also meet with relevant librarians and workshop your papers.  Papers will be based on primary and secondary sources.

The reading for the class will be shaped by students’ research papers. During the first week, we will discuss doing historical research.  Students are expected to read each other’s work thoroughly and come ready to discuss it in each class.

Seminar
(CCI) Cross Cultural Inquiry
(R) Research
(W) Writing
Cross-listed in another department
(CZ) Civilizations
(SS) Social Sciences