The History and Literature of Post-Colonial Lusophone Africa

Languages & Cultures, School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

College of Arts and Law


Code 15672

Level of study Third/Final year

Credit value 10

Semester 0

Module description

The module will explore the history and literature of late-colonial and Postcolonial Lusophone Africa. It will focus on the relationship of the literature to the particular historical and political environment: that is, the characteristics of Portuguese colonial rule, in particular, during the period of the Estado Novo; revolutionary socialism and the colonial wars of independence and the civil wars, exacerbated by Cold War rivalries, that followed independence in Angola and Mozambique. It will also examine the relationship of the literature to the emergent nationalism and literary and cultural movements such as Claridade in Cape Verde and to such notions as Mocambicanidade - those who were writing a self-consciously indigenous Mozambican literature. The emergence of a 'national literature' in the five Portuguese-speaking states in Africa will also be explored in relation to traditional African oral literature and culture, literary movements such as négritude and the more general question of the use by Africans of the language of the coloniser. A variety of prose and some poetry will be studied including works by Angolan writers such as Pepetela and Manuel Rui, Mozambicans such as Mia Couto and José Craveirinha and the Cape Verdean, Germano Almeida.