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Required Readings:

Lecture 1:

  • Frantz Fanon The Wretched of the Earth [1961]:
    • "Concerning Violence" (pp. 27-85)
    • "On National Culture" (pp. 166-190)

Lecture 2:

  • Chidi Amuta The Theory of African Literature [1989]: "A Dialectical Theory of African Literature: Categories and Springboards" (also in course folder)


  • In the tutorial this week, we will try to kill one bird with two stones by answering the following question: What precisely makes a Feminist or a Post-colonial thinker Marxist in orientation?  Discuss with reference to the views of Engels and / or Fanon.

Recommended Readings:






Chidi Amuta "A Dialectical Theory of African Literature: Categories and Springboards":

  1. How does Amuta define ‘African history’ (pp. 80-81)?
  2. What does Amuta mean when he describes the African writer as a ‘mediating subject’ (pp. 81-82)?
  3. How does Amuta define what he calls the African ‘literary event’ (pp. 82-83)?
  4. How does Amuta define the ‘context’ of an African literary work (pp. 84-85)?
  5. How does Amuta conceptualise the relationship between the ‘content’ and the ‘form’ of an African literary work (pp. 86-89)?
  6. Amuta insists on the "rootedness of literary art . . . in the very processes and social experiences which constitute African history" (80) but contends that the "precise nature of the relationship between history and . . . [African] literature is problematic" (80). Why, in the light of the foregoing, does he contend this?
  7. What does Amuta mean when he writes that the "artist is a member of society and incarnates its structural and ideological inflections; the artist’s individuality and the society’s values are mediated in the work of art" (79)?
  8. Why does Amuta also describe the literary work as a "constitutive social practice" (80)?
  9. Why does Amuta argue that a "truly decolonised . . . theory of African literature can only be derived from an anti-imperialist ideological framework, not from a perennial feeling of nostalgia about forgotten pasts and romantic re-creations of village life" (89)?
  10. What does Amuta mean when when he writes of an 'anti-imperialist consciousness'?  How is this concept a useful one for understanding the project in which Anti-colonial writers are engaged? Compare this concept with Lukács’s notion of ‘class consciousness’ and Hartsock’s notion of a ‘feminist standpoint.’