Fall 2018

African Literature and Social Media

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-412  |  English, as ENGL-472


C. Rhonda Cobham-Sander (Section 01)
Elijah Koome (Section 01)


(Offered as BLST 412 [A] and ENGL 472) This advanced, digital humanities, project-based course allows students to develop individual projects that follow and critique the social media presences of selected twenty-first-century African writers for whom digital spaces have become significant sites for creating, disseminating, and theorizing their work. Alongside independent projects, students will work collaboratively to understand the social and political events that have shaped recent technological shifts in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as to locate and critique theoretical texts that attempt to account for how digital technologies shape new literary genres and publics. In collaboration with the library staff, students will develop their proficiency in using a variety of bibliographical resources and digital humanities tools. Possible projects may engage such online artifacts as the video loops created by Kenyan filmmaker Jim ChuChu, YouTube performances by the Ghanian duo, Fokn Bois, and fanzines dedicated to the work of Chinua Achebe, as well as tweets and Instagram postings of a range of writers who work in multiple hybrid forms.

Requisite: Previous coursework in or knowledge of Africa or previous work on digital humanities projects preferred. Limited to 15 students. Open to Juniors and Seniors. Fall semester. Professor Cobham-Sander.

If Overenrolled: In case of over-enrollment, preference will be given to Black Studies and English majors.


Attention to Issues of Class, Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Issues of Race, Attention to Research, Transnational or World Cultures Taught in English


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2018