ONLINE: This lecture and discussion course, conducted in the French language, will attempt to give a true picture of sub-Saharan Francophone West Africa that is far from the myth of an Africa devoid of a past and labeled “primitive.” In the 1950s and 1960s, the Francophone Senegalese Cheikh Anta Diop wrote several books claiming that, on the contrary, the world owed much to Africa in terms of civilization, religion, art and society. In fact, before the ravages of the slave trade, Africa had powerful empires and a strong economy. The course will consider evidence by Diop and others on these issues, and will study the traditional African religions, the customs, the art and the way of living. Literary excerpts, African tales and videos will illustrate the topics listed above. Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali will be studied as good examples. | Facilitated discussion.
Max enrollment: 30.
Class sessions are recorded.
Claire Davidshofer was born in Cote d’Ivoire and lived there as a child. After her family returned to France, she never forgot the Africa of her childhood. She holds a master’s degree in English and American literature from the Universite d’Aix-en-Provence. She has lived in England and the United States, and taught courses at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, where she created a French course on Francophone Africa and the Antilles. This OLLI course is an offshoot of that course.