WiSe 14/15: S-Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures: Postcolonial Studies II: Mapping the South African City
What shape is the South African city taking in the cultural imaginary of the 2000s? In this seminar we will read a range of texts that contribute to the imaginative mapping of Johannesburg and Cape ... read more
What shape is the South African city taking in the cultural imaginary of the 2000s? In this seminar we will read a range of texts that contribute to the imaginative mapping of Johannesburg and Cape Town. These texts will include fictional accounts in novel and short story, as well as non-fiction, essay and film. Niq Mhlongo's Dog Eat Dog and Ivan Vladislavi?'s Portrait with Keys will help us sketch Johannesburg, taking us from Soweto to campus life at the University of the Witwatersrand, and invite us to accompany a modern-day flâneur through the streets of Joburg. Jonny Steinberg's non-fiction work The Number, an investigation into the complex and highly ritualized world of gangsterism in the Cape Flats, offers an altogether different map of Cape Town to those constructed by Zoë Wicomb and Stephen Watson's varied and evocative writing on the city. We will read selected short stories and essays by Wicomb and Watson from You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town and A City Imagined, amongst others (these will be provided). Additionally, we will look to Four Corners, a South African film set in the Cape Flats. Assessment will include creative as well as academic responses, and an oral presentation and class participation in discussion will also be given considerable weighting. Students are advised to buy and read the Mhlongo, Vladislavi? and Steinberg texts before classes start. Additional readings will be provided.