The MAADL degree programme aims to produce postgraduate students with an informed historical and cultural consciousness for the development of the Arts.


2.1 To teach African and Diasporan literature in English with emphasis on historical, cultural and ideological leanings.
2.2 To arm students with research and analytical skills in the feld of literature and cultural studies.
2.3 To prepare students for higher intellectual pursuits by exposing them to various literary theories, critical theories, discourses and paradigms.


A good honours degree in the feld of Literature or related feld.


4.1 The Master of Arts in African and Diasporan Literature (MAADL) is studied through taught modules with continuous assessment and examinations will be offered at the end of each semester, and an examinable dissertation.
4.2 Normally, the programme is completed over a period of three semesters comprising two semesters of taught modules and continuous assessment and one semester dedicated to research work (dissertation/ thesis writing).
4.3 Each student is required to earn thirty six (36) credits in the taught component of the programme, and twelve (12) credits in the research component.
4.4 Students may select any combination of modules on offer to satisfy the requirements of the degree
4.5 Each module contains material equivalent to forty eight (48) hours contact time.
4.6 The Departmental Higher Degrees Committee shall assign dissertation/thesis supervisors to students.



5.1 Overall assessment shall be based on continuous assessment and formal examination.

Continuous Assessment

Assignments related to the objectives of the programme will be set. These may include, but are not limited to, essays, group presentations, tests and reports. A candidate who fails to fulfill continuous assessment requirements may be barred from sitting the examination.


5.3.1 Examinations shall normally be written at the end of each semester.
5.3.2 Each module will be examined by a paper which is, at most, three (3) hours long.
5.3.3 In determining marks for modules, weighting will be as follows:

Continuous assessment



Students will retain credits from modules passed. All module work must be completed before registering for the dissertation.


Refer to Section 22 of the General Regulations for Postgraduate Diplomas and Taught Masters degree programmes.


8.1 No requests for remarks of examinations shall be entertained unless Senate directs such requests.
8.2 However, a student who has been given a withdraw decision may appeal against such a decision to the Registrar, in writing, within 21 days after publication of examination results

80% -100%
Pass with Distinction
Pass with Merit
0%-49% Fail


Module Synopses


MAADL701 Postcolonial Cultures of Encounter and Settlement in Africa
This module examines a range of literary texts from Africa and its thrust will be to interrogate the often traumatic processes of postcolonial encounter and settlement. The theoretical underpinnings of the module will be theories of Postcoloniality/Postmodernism, Pan Africanism, Negritudism and other relevant theories. Encounter represents those moments of engagement between Africa and the West, both in the physical and cultural or discursive senses. The module will critically trace the effects produced by this encounter, ranging from the destabilization of ideas of self to the rupture of culture and community. Settlement is viewed as a continuation of the precarious legacy where communities (both settler and indigenous) are built on contested
versions of both physical space and constructed narrative. Special focus will also be on the representation of encounter and settlement, gender and sexuality, cultural difference, nationalism and postnationalism, historical memory, autobiography and personal testimony.

MAADL702 Themes and Perspectives in American Literature
The module will examine African-American literary texts. Its focus will be on history, experiences and culture of the African-American people. Critical attention will be given to specific themes such as history of slavery and the slave trade, race relations, questions of identity and belonging, alienation and participation. Themes and perspective will be examined in the context of ideas and critics at different historical phases in the history of African-American literature

MAADL703 Language, Ideology and Gender in Literature.
The module focuses on the interface between language, ideology and gender in literature. It looks at how language and ideology are critical areas of contestation in gender discourses. Perspectives on issues of gender are examined using texts that present different cultural, historical and ideological issues on gender with the major thrust being towards African and Diasporan texts and other texts from those cultures whose gender perspectives have affected and influenced African and Diasporan perspectives.

MAADL704 Critical Theory from Enlightenment to Modernity
The module aims to study and critically interrogate critical theory and modes of perception that constructed Africa as the “other” in relation to the west.

MAADL705 Development Theories, Strategies and Issues in Theatre
The module focuses on the role of theatre in social development. Areas to be examined in the main include development theories and critical strategies and issues in theatre.

MAADL706 Literature in a Changing Society
The module examines the critical role of literature as an agent of social change and barometer for developments in society. The thrust of the module will be on the revolutionary nature of literature.

MAADL707 Caribbean Literature and Ideological Thought
The module discusses the literary responses of people in the Caribbean Diaspora. Focus will be on peculiar experiences in the Caribbean Islands which are engendered by geography, colonialism, indenture ship as well as history of slavery.

MAADL708 Mediating Southern African Identities
The module investigates how southern African identities have been shaped historically and in the present by claims of location, tradition, nationhood, literary imagination and culture. While identity issues have been theorised, the question of how identities are mediated remains implicit. This module engages with the connection between historically specific categories of identity determined by class, gender, nationality, religion, political factions and age, and the available media including novels, newspapers, photographic images and theatre. We will make modern identities in southern Africa a focus and deal with ideas and problems of representation, tradition, modernity, memory, and identity; these are integral to postcolonial studies as a whole.
The module is meant to enrich postcolonial history and literature in general.

MAADL709 Autobiography and Identity
The module traces shifts in self conception and self representation. It looks at a diverse range of texts from around the world and will consider key questions raised in the theories of autobiography and literary theories in general. The module also considers the historical and cultural capital that has been invested in the creation of self and other by autobiographers. Focus will also be on how autobiographical narrators balance truth-telling and textual representation. The generic qualities of autobiography and the functions to which autobiographies are put will be considered in this module.

MAADL710 Literature and Film
The module focuses on literature, film and ideology as critical areas of contestation in cultural discourse.

MAADL870 Dissertation
The dissertation is expected to be between 15 000 to 20 000 words, or 100 pages of font 12 with double line spacing and it should be in the area of African and Diasporan Literature.
NB: Not all Modules will be on offer every semester.