Contemporary African Writing

Ref: C3746084

This six week course looks at contemporary women’s writing from and about Africa. Nervous Conditions is a semi-autobiographical novel by Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga. First published in the United Kingdom in 1988 it focuses on the story of a Shona family in post-colonial Rhodesia during the 1960s. We will also look at the sequel, The Book of Not. Half of a Yellow Sun (2006) by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, examines the effects of the Biafran War of the 1960s, and We Need New Names (2013) by expatriate Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo, tells of the life of a young girl, first as a 10-year-old in Zimbabwe, and later as a teenager in the Midwest United States. Through these four novels and a selection of poetry (to be provided on Canvas), we will explore themes such as gender, colonialism, war, politics and identity.

Course aim

Following on from taster sessions on Chinua Achebe and Ngugi a Thiong’o, this six week course looks at contemporary women’s writing from and about Africa.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • This course is for a group of around 15 students studying in a live video-learning platform conference and an online digital learning environment platform from the comfort of your own home.
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Explore issues relating to African nations and their depiction in literature by contemporary writers.
  • Examine these issues through a specifically gendered lens.
  • Engage with literary texts in a critical way.
  • Share my findings with my peers and express my ideas with confidence and cultural sensitivity.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • You will need a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas so that you can receive resources, record your progress and achievement and to work with others and share ideas. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Pre-reading is required as follows: Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), Nervous Conditions Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), The Book of Not Selected Poems Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria), Half of a Yellow Sun NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), We Need New Names.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next

Download full course information sheet

Contemporary African Writing

Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions
  • I declare that the address I have provided is correct and that I will provide evidence of this and my eligibility to live and work in the UK

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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