Teaching workshop: African Lexicon, an interdisciplinary laboratory

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The workshop is addressed to undergraduate students in Foreign Languages and Literatures. Focus of the workshop is the relationship between environmental issues and the literary and cultural expressions of sub-Saharan Africa. The workshop has a strong interdisciplinary nature; some lexical and cultural commonplaces referred to 'Africa' will be identified at the beginning and then discussed in class, subject to previous readings on the part of all participants. Students will increase their knowledge on various aspects of African cultural and literary life and will be stimulated to develop their analytical, critical, and argumentative skills.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the workshop, students will have increased their knowledge on different aspects of the cultural and literary expressions of the African Continent; their critical and argumentative skills will be strengthened by the constant stimulation to partake in the discussion in class, as a result of their reading brief texts assigned as 'homework'. They will have also understood the difference between voicing mere (uninformed) personal 'opinions' and the discussion of an issue on the basis of their previous reading up and careful consideration.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
The laboratory, entitled "African Lexicon", means to investigate the relationship between environmental issues and literary-cultural African productions. The meetings are interdisciplinary (anglophone, lusophone, francophone literatures; geography and anthropology). They will start by taking into consideration some commonplaces regarding the African continent; through readings and discussion in class, some aspects of African literature, history and culture will be rendered more nuanced and complex.

The laboratory accepts a maximum of 30 students. Priority is given to those who register first.
The laboratory is held in Italian.
Prerequisites for admission
The laboratory is addressed to students belonging to the degree course: Lingue e letterature straniere. Students are expected to take active part in the laboratory, by discussing issues in class and by reading up at home in-between meetings.
Teaching methods
The course adopts the following teaching methods: reading and discussion of the texts proposed, introduced by a geographical, historical and cultural contextualisation of the same. The course employs PPT presentations with visual material (like films and movie shots). The teachers promote the constant engagement of students in the analytical and critical process of learning.
Teaching Resources
Students are expected to read up short texts in-between meetings (newspaper/magazine articles and short literary works like short stories, essays, poems) in order to take active part to the discussion in class. Some readings could be in English.
All texts will be provided in class by the teachers, and/or uploaded on the Ariel platform.

Ariel online platform (course website)
All students are expected to check on the Ariel online platform regularly (http://ariel.unimi.it), as new material will be uploaded during the course. The website also contains general information on the course.
Please do not use e-mail to require information that may be found elsewhere (www.unimi.it, www.lingue.unimi.it, https://www.unimi.it/it/chi-e-dove)
Assessment methods and Criteria
The laboratory bears 3 credits. Assessment methods: teachers take note of the various speeches by students in class. If the quantity (minimum two) and the quality of individual critical interventions is satisfactory, the 3 credits will be bestowed automatically. Otherwise, the teachers will assess the knowledge of the reading list through a brief final discussion, with the individual student, of the texts proposed and of the issues debated in class.
- University credits: 3
Humanities workshops: 20 hours