Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

African Literatures and Cultures

Supervisors for theses at the Chair of African Literatures and Cultures:

Prof. Dr Susanne Gehrmann
Dr. Pepetual Mforbe Chiangong (focus on theatre)
Dr. Lutz Diegner (focus on Swahili literature)


This discipline encompasses courses on literary history and on questions of topical interest regarding African literatures and cultures. The regional focus is anglophone East, West and Southern Africa, as well as francophone West and Central Africa. Attention is also given to Orature and literatures in African languages and Portuguese.
Cultural processes in Africa, and especially literatures, owe their aesthetic plurality and social dynamics to the co-existing and mutually influential oral and written cultural assets. Thus, a high degree of interdisciplinary perceptiveness is required from both lecturers and students which is reflected in both research and teaching.
Themes of study are, among others, colonialism and postcolonialism, women's writing and gender questions, identity and alterity, globalization and localization, and continuity and discontinuity in African cultures and literatures.
In October 2002, a Junior Professorship with focus on "Literatures and Cultures of Africa with attention on West Africa as well as Gender relations and Oral Literatures" was established.
Introductory courses in African literatures and cultural studies provide the basis for research-oriented work after the intermediate examination. The rich material provided by oral and written literatures and new media art forms are used.
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