Wolfgang Schneider and Lebogang L. Nawa (eds). Theatre in Transformation: Artistic Process and Cultural Policies in South Africa, Transcript Verlag, 2019
Osita Okagbue. African Theatre and Performances, Routledge, 2013
Graeme Counsel. Mande Popular Music and Cultural Policies in West Africa. Griots and Government Policy since Independence. VDM Verlag, 2009
This course offers an overview of varied literary, performance and drama forms that exist across Africa before and after colonial contact. Students will be introduced to the foundation of African literature beginning with orature and in doing so will look into the policies that govern the creation, production and reception of forms such as mime, storytelling, epic narratives and the performance of proverbs and riddles. Further, how literary and performance forms have changed over time will be a major discussion in the seminar as course participants will be encouraged to engage in critical debates that look at the nature of literary transformation and importantly the forces responsible for trends in literary and performance forms in Africa. Engaging with these topics will enable us to project specific cultural elements of selected African performance, literary and oral forms as a whole and importantly examine the policies that govern their existence. Therefore, a critique of cultural policies (definition, sources and counter-discourse), particularly associated with select texts and performances in the seminar, will be the overall goal of the course. Debates in the course will centre on concepts associated with politics, culture, transformation, gender, identity, race/ethnicity and class.