This course will focus on the work of Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish Iranian writer and asylum seeker who is currently being held on Manus Island as part of Australia’s Pacific Solution. The course will focus on his recent autobiographical work No Friend But the Mountains (2018), a book written entirely in the form of text messages sent to his translator on an illegally kept smartphone and which won Australia’s most prestigious literary prize earlier this year, but will also look at his co-directed film Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time (2017) and his journalistic writings. The course will contextualise his writings within the theoretical work by Australian scholars responding to Australia’s immigration detention regime.

This course is an introductory exploration of the literatures and cultures of eastern Africa. Focus is on the critical appreciation of cultural and literary initiatives and perspectives in the region. The convergences between the cultural, historical, social and political is examined, especially with the construction of modernity in eastern Africa. A background to the plurality of cultures and literatures of eastern African, including the influence of oral tradition and European literary conventions are surveyed in depth, among other factors.