University of Notre Dame

Exploring Anthropology Through African Fiction

Course Number: ANTH 13181 – 3
Instructor: Catherine Bolten

Anthropology, the holistic study of humanity, is the framework of this course. Through discussion and analysis of a range of works of fiction by African authors, this seminar aims to develop writing skills and oral expression among first-year students while exposing you to some central problems and issues of being human in an amazingly complex world. We will engage with authors as they use storytelling to grapple with topics such as domestic violence, childhood and motherhood, colonialism, death, labor, and human rights. You will be encouraged to engage with the range of experiences of life in Africa, and how writers use fiction to create a nuanced understanding of different cultural milieus as they craft potent social critique. From magical fiction to science fiction to all points in between, the style of storytelling creates the possibility for understanding the universalities of human experience across cultures. You will be expected to learn analytical and critical writing skills, as well as honing your oral skills in class presentations.