This course explores the place of religion in shaping modern literature and aesthetics of the African Diaspora. With the model of Paul Gilroy's "Black Atlantic" as a geographical anchoring point, we will seek to understand how writers (and artists) on both sides of the hemisphere have negotiated different forms of religion (Christianity and Islam, but also Indigenous traditions, such as Odinani) in their aesthetics. The approach is deliberately transnational, pairing the work of Toni Morrison (African-American) with Chinua Achebe (Nigerian), and Ahdaf Souif (Arab-Egyptian), among others. Such modern and contemporary literatures will be read as points of cultural (and religious) translation, and as sites for the construction of Pan-African identities and forms of the cosmopolitan. One session will be spent on-site at MoAD, the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. Requirements: Two reflection papers; oral presentation; final research essay. Targeted audience; MA, MDiv students. This course is co-taught by PhD students May Kosba and Christian Suba with Newhall Awards, under the supervision of Dr. Devin P. Zuber.
Devin Phillip Zuber