Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
HUM 205
Course Title:
African Literature
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Introduces written and oral literature of the African continent, from ancient to modern and from many different geographic regions, cultures and religions. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students will be able to:

  • Think critically about a text in order to evaluate its effectiveness in terms of conveying theme.
  • Identify how culture affects an author€™s perspective, choice of genre, style, and overall purpose in writing.
  • Use collaborative techniques to explore texts and test interpretations.
  • Construct an original interpretation of a literary text and communicate it effectively both orally and in writing.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

The SAC expects the instructors will assess student learning throughout the term using a variety of methods. The SAC encourages instructors to consider the following in determining the achievement of course outcomes:

  • Analyze primary literary texts and secondary sources of contextual information both in written work and in oral presentations.
  • Present ideas, analyses, and interpretations both in small group activities and in large class discussions.
  • Investigate the historical, cultural, and social contexts in which a particular text was created and read/heard, as well as any specific references or allusions in the text itself.
  • Assess how literature has responded to historical events.
  • Demonstrate mastery of the technical vocabulary for literary analysis.
  • Make connections and comparisons between texts and our own lives.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Literature as a vehicle for protest and revolution

  • Gender roles

  • Agency and voice

  • Identity construction (personal, political, national)

  • Literature as laboratory (experimental fictive space)

  • Literature as history

(Specifically how these things contribute to the success of a literary work)

  • Genre

  • Structure and form

  • Figurative language, imagery, and symbolism

  • Point-of-view and voice


  • Ethnicity, gender and socio-economic class

  • Contribution of oral/folkloric traditions

  • Role of European education

  • Accessibility

  • Language and translation


  • Thinking critically and creatively

  • Identifying literary devices in a primary text

  • Researching cultural and historical information

  • Constructing and evaluating interpretations of literary texts

  • Communicating ideas both orally and in writing

  • Producing and receiving constructive criticism effectively

  • Drawing connections between literary texts and our own lives

  • Working collaboratively with others

  • Contributing actively to group discussions