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An Introduction of the Courses on African Literature and Culture

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An Introduction of the Courses on African Literature and Culture

——From Department of African and Asian Literatures and Cultures

Our department (Department of African and Asian Literatures and Cultures) attaches great importance to the study of African literature and culture, and we have offered various courses related.

In terms of language courses, we offer Kiswahili course, Hausa course and we intend to offer Yoruba course in the near future. The teachers who are engaged in teaching the language courses are more than experienced and professional. Like our Kiswahili teacher, Fadhili, whose mother tongue is Kiswahili, is a native Tanzanian. He taught Kiswahili in Communication University of China during 2004 to 2008, who has worked for Kiswahili channel of China Radio International as broadcaster for more than 7 years. Besides language teaching, Fadhili also introduces the history, current status as well as local customs of Eastern African to the students.
Another widely-spoken language in Africa—Hausa, is offered this semester. Cheng Ruxiang, professor of Beijing Foreign Studies University is invited to take charge of the course. Professor Cheng, who is proficient in Hausa, and has edited many books on Hausa learning, is the most recognized specialist in Hausa in China.
Apart from language, our department places special emphasis on the study of African literature. In recent years, numerous renowned scholars and professors in the field of African literature are invited to teach or give lectures in our department.
Last year, we were honored to invite Biodun Jeyifo, professor of African and African American Studies and professor of Comparative Literature of Harvard University to instruct our students in African literature. Professor Jeyifo who is widely viewed as an authority on African drama, is a leading literary critic and cultural theorist with great prominence in African intellectual circles. African Fiction Study and African Theater and Performance, the two courses, taught by professor Jeyifo were greatly favored not only by the students in Peking University, but also attracted many students from other universities. The courses covering the most representative literary works, from Southern Africa to Northern Africa, from Eastern Africa to Western Africa, provided our students with a deepen and systematic understanding on African literature. This year, professor Jeyifo will come to Peking University again to offer courses on African poems and folk tales.
Another most noted playwright in Niger, Femi Osofisan, professor of Drama at the University of Ibadan was invited to give lectures in our department in June, 2011. Professor Osofisan has written over fifty plays, which have been performed in various parts of the world. He is also a prolific Nigerian critic, poet and novelist whose numerous works have been studied in the literary circles worldwide. Our department is going to invite professor Osofisan to offer courses on African literature in the coming three years.
To promote the study of African literature and culture in Peking University or even in China, our department will spare no effort to do more in the future.


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