Case Study of the Teaching of two Caribbean Texts at the University of Nairobi
Keywords:black diasoporas, postcolonialism, comparative approaches, Brand and Brodber, reflective teaching
I focus on Dionne Brand’s In Another Place, Not Here and Erna Brodber’s Myal to discuss the how reflective methodologies of teaching can be used to deal with the challenges of teaching and learning black diasporic literature at a Kenyan University. The paper shows how these approaches can be used to encourage students to use higher-order learning processes spontaneously and create an appropriate teaching environment suited to Kenya’s historical, geographical, and cultural context vis-à-vis black diasporic cultural, historical, geographical, and literary backgrounds to students with some grounding in African Literature. The paper further explicates how reflective teaching can take into account challenges of students accessing learning resources, students’ individual strengths and interest, and class sizes that tend to be medium or large. The paper addresses the challenge of providing adequate background information for the courses that focus on literatures from geographically, linguistically, and culturally different and diverse backgrounds from that of the students. Mostly taught within an implied comparatist, multi-disciplinary, and translational mode, the selected texts also provide context for postcolonial inquiry into the wider black cultural and historical issues emerging from European imperialism and resultant power relations in the black diaspora.