Germany, Bayreuth

African Studies

when 3 July 2016 - 16 July 2016
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 10 ECTS
fee EUR 1320

Week 1
Africas in the World. Migrating/Travelling Ideas and Persons – the Example of West-Africa
The students of the Bayreuth International Summer School will be provided with a socio-anthropological exploration of West African Migration, contextualized through the lens of the Senegalese and European experience of transnationalism, co-development and citizenship – ending with the case of the children of African migrants and the racism they encounter.

The course is structured as follows:

1. General introduction to academic terminology and socio-anthropological perspectives towards mobility (discussion of keywords such as ethnicity, transnationalism, borders and boundaries, multiculturalism etc.).

2. Case studies on:

African mobilities and African cultures of migration – the example of Senegal
West African Associations Transnational and Civic Engagements in an European context – the examples of Italy, France and Switzerland
Racisms as social and political reality, current trends ranging from cultural fundamentalism to racialization – the example of Italy
Citizenship and the second generation migrants: postmigration diversity and the challenges of everyday discrimination
Transnationalism, Diaspora and Creolization: The Entanglements of (Post)Colonialism
Although the term “postcolonial” suggests a temporal break (“post”) with the colonial era, the criteria that define postcolonial literature (political engagement, resistance to oppressive power, nationalism, memory, denunciation of racism, return to so-called “authentic” pasts, ironic intertextuality, etc.) have a much longer and more varied history than is generally acknowledged by standard theories of postcolonialism. The mid-twentieth century era of decolonization was preceded, in the French empire, by two centuries of poetic practices that announce post- and de- colonial literary history as well as contemporary global problems linked to the occupation or non- ownership of space (e.g. migration and human rights, genocidal conflicts, and the creolization of identities). The field of Francophone Studies, grounded today in works by Aimé Césaire (Discourse on Colonialism) and Frantz Fanon (Black Skin, White Masks), has helped shape Anglophone postcolonial studies, but it remains a distinct discipline with roots beyond mere oppositional practices. It is marked by a complex engagement with universalism(s) and the question of rights.

We shall focus on twentieth- and twenty-first century Francophone and Anglophone writers and filmmakers whose sensibilities are as large as the multipolar empires from which they emerge: Aimé Césaire (Martinique/France), Ananda Devi (Mauritius/France), Aminatta Forna (Sierra Leone/Scotland), Bessie Head (South Africa/Botswana), Édouard Maunick (Mauritius, South Africa), Soeuf Elbadawi (Mayotte, Comoros), and filmmakers Sembene and Traore (Senegal)

The thematic focus of the course is love, loss, war, and death for authors who engage with what it means to live in a world that has undergone sudden, radical, and sometimes violent transformations which produced in turn changes in the relationship between individuals and communities, the present and the past, the here and the there. Out of such transformations, artists create, with words and images, new worlds of meaning. How do we approach the deliberate aesthetic dimension of their texts while doing full justice to their socio-cultural and political contexts?

Course leader

Week 1:
Prof. Bruno Riccio
University of Bologna, Italy
Week 2:
Prof. Françoise Lionnet
Harvard University

Fee info

EUR 1320: Students from partner universities may qualify for a reduced tuituin/fee waiver