The objective of this course is to stimulate a life-long engagement with Africa. We seek to appreciate the joys and dynamism of African life as well as understand the sources and histories of suffering and miseries that are emphasized in media coverage of the continent.
We begin by surveying some of the history, geography, politics, economics, and culture, of the continent and its peoples. Next we examine some exemplary scholarship in African Studies, both classic and contemporary. Throughout the course, we engage with current issues and events in Africa by reading African news media online.
Assessment will consist of two mid-term exams (20% each), one final paper (40%), and class participation (20%).
April A. Gordon and Donald L. Gordon, Understanding Contemporary Africa (4th Edition) (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 2007).
Adam Ashforth, Madumo, A Man Bewitched (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2000).
Note: this is a reading intensive course. In addition to the required texts, extensive reading materials will be made available online at the c-tools site. Students are expected to choose a country or region of Africa for particular attention through self-directed research.