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Unit information: African narratives of migration TB-2 in 2021/22

Unit name African narratives of migration TB-2
Unit code FREN30127
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Ruth Bush
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of French
Faculty Faculty of Arts


Migration is a defining feature of African cultural and political history. This course will explore how a range of writers and filmmakers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have represented experiences of movement: from the migrations that shaped pre-colonial empires in West Africa, to the traumatic forced migration of the transatlantic slave trade, and more recent patterns of movement from Africa to Europe and North America. We will consider literary texts and films from Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali and Togo that engage with this theme, in order to consider diverse creative responses to migration as a process of self- and societal transformation. Our reading will be framed by recent theorisations of travel, exile, cosmopolitanism and globalization.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate sophisticated knowledge of a range of literary and filmic narratives that engage with the theme of migration;
  2. define and apply key critical terms such as migration, exile, cosmopolitanism, nomadism, globalization, community, diaspora;
  3. illustrate different critical approaches to reading African literature and the theoretical debates surrounding these approaches;
  4. evaluate and analyse relevant material from a significant body of primary and secondary source materials;
  5. explain key questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at a high level of complexity.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation.

Assessment Details

1 x 2000-word essay (40%) testing ILOs 1-5; 1 x 3000-word essay based on student's own title (60%) testing ILOs 1 - 5.


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