Laura McGrane, Associate Professor of English
This course explores literary, historical, and popular material productions of South African apartheid from its inception in 1948 to the present, with a particular focus on memory, memorial and violence in contemporary politics.
We will consider the interplay between race, gender/sexuality, nation, illness, and violence in fiction, plays, essays, film, and popular media—reading works that reflect the apartheid years, their legacy today, and current resonances with brutality in the United States. We will also discuss the tension between an ethics and aesthetics of literary production in the context of oppression.
Who is allowed to speak, to create representations of self and other? How does an author’s identify affect the significance of his/her/their literary productions? Authors will include Alex La Guma, Nadine Gordimer, Athol Fugard, Antje Krog, Phaswane Mpe, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Claudia Rankine, and Steve Biko.