2017 - Spring: Journalism and Society -Reclaiming the Narrative

Course Number: JOUR-UA 503.002

Day & Time: Tues 3:30pm-6:00pm

Location: 20 Cooper Square, room 659

Instructor: Frankie Edozien

Reclaiming the Narrative: Contemporary West African Writers Unleash Their Africa upon the World

Comprehensive news coverage of Africa is scant. The sparse coverage is often a variation of an incomplete portrait that has dominated the Western media for the last fifty years: tales of starvation, political instability, and disease are mainstays. There is often little or no historical or political context in most of this coverage. In recent years, a cadre of West African writers has begun to change that narrative. These writers, often educated in the West and equally comfortable on the streets of Lagos, Accra, Rome, or New York, have churned out works of fiction and non-fiction essays about their homelands. Their writing offers a nuanced, balanced portrait of contemporary African life, giving a detailed understanding of issues and events and succeeding where their counterparts in mainstream journalism are not.