Events Calendar
Nov 16 - Dec 7
10:30 - 12:30
Women Writing Africa
short courses

Dates: 16, 23, 30 November; 7 December 2018

Fridays: 10.30 – 12.30

Course code: 18TON356

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This four week course gives a brief introduction to contemporary women's writing from and about Africa. Nervous Conditions is a semi-autobiographical novel by Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga. First published in the United Kingdom in 1988 it focuses on the story of a Shona family in post-colonial Rhodesia during the 1960s. Half of a Yellow Sun (2006) by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, examines the effects of the Biafran War of the 1960s, and We Need New Names (2013) by expatriate Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo, tells of the life of a young girl, first as a 10-year-old in Zimbabwe, and later as a teenager in the Midwest United States. Through these three novels and a selection of poetry (to be provided as handouts), we will explore themes such as gender, colonialism, war, politics and identity.

Required reading

Week 1: Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (1988)

Week 2: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006)

Week 3: Selected Poems (handout)

Week 4: NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names (2013)

Additional information

  • This course is suitable for beginners, intermediates or advanced students.
  • This course allows you to spend time exploring a subject for interest, among like-minded people, without formal assessment.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • understand and engage with some of the socio-political and national concerns explored in contemporary African literature
  • explore those concerns through a specifically gendered angle
  • interpret literary texts in a critical way, illustrating arguments with carefully chosen examples
  • demonstrate knowledge through the construction of critical arguments and present and defend those arguments.

About the tutor

Sarah Anthony studied for her Masters degree with the Open University specialising in postcolonial nineteenth century literature. For the last 12 years she has taught undergraduate students and adult learners in courses ranging from Shakespeare to the postmodern. She currently teaches for the University of Kent and the WEA.


United Kingdom



Contact: Tonbridge Centre
T: +44(0) 1732 352316


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