Course Spotlight: Tales of Love and War from Portuguese-speaking Africa

Course DescriptionMicrosoft Word - Lit Trans 226 description _rev_.docx

The African literature this course studies arises from a creative will to bring a new community into being. It is fueled, at the same time, by a desire to undo the destructive legacy of racism and oppression bequeathed by centuries of Portuguese colonial domination. Since, in several instances, this desire led to a protracted armed struggle against the colonial order, this is in a sense a literature born out of violence and war. In the case of Angola and Mozambique, the bloodshed, in the form of brutal and devastating civil wars, lasted well into the post-independence period. Thus, by the end of the millennium, the lofty dream of a free, equitable and more just society lay in shambles. Throughout it all, literature endured, not only as a mode of bearing witness to often unspeakable pain and destruction but as a stubborn reminder that despite the violence, people tenaciously maintained their will to re-invent themselves, to convert the days of blood and horror into the stuff of hope and tenderness, to produce order where chaos had entrenched itself, and to create life and beauty where death had spread its mantle of agony and sorrow.

Sample readings

Germano Almeida, The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo
Mia Couto, Sleepwalking Land
Lília Momplé, Neighbours: The Story of a Murder
Ondjaki, Granma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secret
Pepetela, Jaime Bunda, Secret Agent

Enrollment details

Literature in Translation 226 (FIG)
3 credits
TH 1:00-2:15pm, 1140 218 Educational Sciences
Fall 2014

About the instructor

Luís Madureira is a professor on the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. His major areas of specialization include Luso-Brazilian colonial and postcolonial studies, as well as Modernism and Modernity in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean. He has written two books and published several articles on topics ranging from Luso-Brazilian literature and cinema to early modern travel narratives and postcolonial theory. His current research focuses on Mozambican theatre and the politics of time in contemporary Lusophone fiction.