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Honours Core Course

ELL4062S Literary Criticism and the Archive

24 NQF credits at HEQSF level 8


Dr P. Moji and A/Prof C. Ouma

Course entry requirements

Acceptance for the English honours programme.

Course outline

Debates in African Literarure and Critical Thought

Debates in African Literature and Critical Thought is the Honours core course which develops an understanding of some of the major debates and issues within the field of African literary and cultural studies. It is a team-taught seminar which engages critically with terms such as Afropessimsm, Afrosurrealism, Afrocosmopolitanism and Afrofuturism, as well as concepts such as extroversion. Students encounter African archival practice and popular cultures; aesthetics and materiality, as well as the spatial and temporal dimensions of the African literary imaginary, developing the necessary skills to undertake literary criticism, synthesise their thinking and conduct independent archival research. 

Term 3:  Roots and Routes: Imagining Pasts, Present and Futures (Dr Polo Moji)
Term 4: African archival practice and popular cultures (A/Prof Christopher Ouma)

Set works

  • Fiston Mwanza Mujila – Tram 83 (2014)
  • Noviolet Bulawayo – We Need New Names ( 2013)
  • Nnedi Okorafor – Binti (2015)
  • Archival texts TBC
  • Extracts of relevant theoretical texts will be made available on VULA


  • Including (but not limited to)  group or individual presentations, a literature review essay, reading response exercises and an archival research essay / project.  
  • Total word count: 6000 words