Teaching the African Novel

  • Editor: Gaurav Desai
  • Pages: vii & 427 pp.
  • Published: 2009
  • ISBN: 9781603290388 (Paperback)
  • ISBN: 9781603290371 (Cloth)
Teaching the African Novel Cover

“This is an important book, one that is going to become an indispensable theoretical and practical guide for teachers of the African novel and indeed of African literature in general.”

—Simon Gikandi, Princeton University

What is the African novel, and how should it be taught?

The twenty-three essays of this volume address these two questions and in the process convey a wealth of information and ideas about the diverse regions, peoples, nations, languages, and writers of the African continent. Topics include

  • Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s favoring of indigenous languages and literary traditions over European

  • the special place of Marxism in African letters

  • the influence of Frantz Fanon

  • women writers and the sub-Saharan novel

  • the Maghrebian novel

  • the novel and the griot epic in the Sahel

  • Islam in the West African novel

  • novels in Spanish from Equatorial Guinea

  • apartheid and postapartheid fiction

  • African writers in the diaspora

  • globalization in East African fiction

  • teaching Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart to students in different countries

  • the Onitsha market romance

The volume editor, Gaurav Desai, writes, “The point of the volume is to encourage a reading of Africa that is sensitive to its history of colonization but at the same time responsive to its present multiracial and multicultural condition.”

Cora Agatucci
Fernando Arenas
Louise Bethlehem
Nicholas Brown
Odile Cazenave
Brenda Cooper
Eleni Coundouriotis
Shirin Edwin
Dosinda García-Alvite
Harry Garuba
Olakunle George
Jarrod Hayes
Neville Hoad
Peter Kalliney
Mohamed Kamara
Lisa McNee
Onookome Okome
Tejumola Olaniyan
R. Radhakrishnan
Kimberly Wedeven Segall
S. Shankar
Zahr Said Stauffer
Christopher Wise

Acknowledgments (ix)

Introduction: Teaching the African Novel (1)

Gaurav Desai

Part I: Theories and Methods

African Novels and the Question of Theory (19)

Olakunle George

Marxist Approaches to the African Novel (37)

Nicholas Brown

Why History Matters in the African Novel (53)

Eleni Coundouriotis

Political Critique and Resistance in African Fiction (70)

Tejumola Olaniyan

Women Writers and Gender in the Sub-Saharan Novel (87)

Odile Cazenave

Translation and the African Novel: Reading as Re ⁄ Membering (102)

Lisa McNee

Part II: Regional Imperatives, Thematic Cartographies

Rethinking the Arab African Novel: A Case for Thematization (121)

Zahr Said Stauffer

Approaches to Teaching the Maghrebian Novel: Allegory at the Crossroads (131)

Jarrod Hayes

The Novel, Historiography, and the Griot Epic in the Sahel (154)

Christopher Wise

Approaches to Teaching Islam in the West African Novel (176)

Shirin Edwin

Unveiling the African Legacy in Spanish: Novels from Equatorial Guinea (193)

Dosinda García-Alvite

Teaching Lusophone African Fiction (205)

Fernando Arenas

The Pleasures of the Political: Apartheid and Postapartheid South African Fiction (222)

Louise Bethlehem

Language, Multiple Worlds, and Material Culture in the Teaching of African Migrant Fiction (246)

Brenda Cooper

East African Fiction and Globalization (259)

Peter Kalliney

Part III: Pedagogical and Institutional Contexts

The African Novel in a Course on the Twentieth-Century Novel in English (277)

S. Shankar

The Francophone African Novel in the French-Language Classroom (290)

Mohamed Kamara

Introducing African Novels in a Web-Enhanced Community College Survey Course (311)

Cora Agatucci

Between Three African Locations: Teaching Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart at the Universities of Ibadan, Zululand, and Cape Town (321)

Harry Garuba

The Blank Maps of Difficult Desires: Sexuality and African Literature in the Classroom (340)

Neville Hoad

Confessions of a Disinterested Didact: Teaching Nadine Gordimer’s Burger’s Daughter (358)

R. Radhakrishnan

Creating Contested Space through the “Nervous Conditions” of Postcolonial Theories (371)

Kimberly Wedeven Segall

Reading the Popular: Onitsha Market Romance and the Practice of Everyday Life (386)

Onookome Okome

Part IV: Resources

Further Resources for Teaching the African Novel (405)

Notes on Contributors (415)

Index (419)