Stephanie Cuevas’s Profile
Calling fiction the “soul of history,” Chimamamanda Ngozi Adichie argues that “Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize.” In this course, we will read the work of the contemporary Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, exploring themes of race, class, gender and identity in both Nigeria and the United States. In doing so, we will also examine the concept of globalization both from above—i.e. the spread of American and European consumer culture and corporate interests from Big Oil and McDonalds to Hollywood and corporate publishing powerhouses—and below—i.e. the growth of resistance via social movements, social media and contributions of writers from diverse cultures. In reading Adichie’s work, we will consider her use of fiction to speak truth to power and challenge stereotypes in her depictions of Nigerian society both in in the present and historically, particularly during the era of the Biafran War; while also intervening in current debates about racism, sexism, class inequality, and immigration in the United States.
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