Teaching workshop: African Land. An Interdisciplinary Workshop

A.Y. 2021/2022
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
Second semester
More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for the academic year 2021-22 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evolution of the public health situation. In the case of distance teaching, the access code to Teams will be uploaded before the beginning of the laboratory on the ARIEL platform (lab. website).
Course syllabus
The laboratory takes place in the second semester and is addressed to students of Lingue e Letterature Straniere.
It is entitled "Terre d'Africa" and it investigates the relationship between environmental issues and the literary and cultural expressions of Sub-Saharan Africa. We will deal with the way in which the different narrations on 'the land of Africa' contribute to the shaping of a widespread conception of 'African nature'; conversely, we will also take into consideration the way in which the African environment partakes to the construction of African literary expressions.
Meetings are held by three professors in team teaching: prof. Valerio Bini (Geography - Dip.to di Beni Culturali e Ambientali); prof. Giuliana Iannaccaro (English Literature, Anglophone Literatures - Dip.to di Lingue e Letterature Straniere); prof. Vincenzo Russo (Portuguese and Brazilian Literature and African Lusophone Literatures - Dip.to di Lingue e Letterature Straniere). The interdisciplinary nature of the lab. is guaranteed by the teachers' different fields of research. The laboratory means to address some key questions concerning the relationship between the African territory and its inhabitants, in order to widen the students' knowledge and to encourage their critical and argumentative skills.

The laboratory can accommodate 25 students maximum; students attending the second and the third year have precedence on first-year students. To book your presence, it is necessary to write a mail to prof. Giuliana Iannaccaro before the course beginning (deadline: 31 January 2021). That mail must be written using the Unimi mail address. Please check your own timetable before signing up for the lab, to make sure that you can take part to classes.
Prerequisites for admission
The laboratory is addressed to undergraduate students of Lingue e Letterature Straniere; it is held in Italian, but some readings could be proposed in English. To attend the lab successfully, it is important to be ready to read short literary and critical material in-between classes, in order to be able to discuss it together.
Teaching methods
Interactive introductory lectures, individual reading in-between classes, informed discussion during classes. Images and videos will also be employed.
Teaching Resources
Study material for analysis and discussion will be indicated or distributed during classes: short literary texts, essays, journal articles, blogs. Also visual material and music can provide 'food for thought', and can engage students and teachers in reflection.
Suggested reading:
Catherine Coquery Vidrovitch, Breve storia dell'Africa, Il Mulino, 2012 [it can be also read in the French original version, of course].
This short introductory textbook is useful to contextualise the various topics discussed during the laboratory.
Assessment methods and Criteria
By completing the laboratory, students get awarded 3 ECTS credits if their assessment is 'approvato'; the laboratory is not assessed in thirties. According to the kind of activities proposed during the lab., students will be assessed either through an oral interview, a presentation in class, and/or a short written text. Throughout the lab., students will be asked to take active part in the critical reading of the texts proposed. Attendance is compulsory; it is possible to miss only one class without an absence justification; any other absence for serious reasons will have to be communicated beforehand to the teachers.
- University credits: 3
Humanities workshops: 20 hours
Wednesday, 15:30-18:30, either in person or on Teams. Please send me a mail in advance to make an appointment.
Piazza S. Alessandro 1, Anglistica; or Microsoft Teams Platform
3-5 p.m. (every Tuesday)
Teams/ Department (Iberistica)