HISTORY 197 - First-Year Seminar in the Humanities
Section: 007 Making News in Africa
Term: FA 2018
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This seminar is about the history and politics of newspaper journalism in Africa. As we will see, a history of newspapers is also a history of intellectual infrastructure. In the early 20th century, missionaries used printing presses to create a textual apparatus for evangelism. In the 1930s and 40s, African nationalists used newspapers to define and defend the cultural norms that drew them together as a people. In the 1950s, urban populists found in newspapers a vehicle by which to mobilize campaigns. In the 1960s, after independence, African governments sought to close down avenues of free speech. But newspapermen kept publishing; and in the 1990s, newspapers were the forums where a new generation of democratic politics could be conceived.

Each week we will focus on a different newspaper. We'll discuss the newspaper that Mahatma Gandhi published in South Africa during the 1920s. We'll talk about the 'Voice of Uganda', which was an instrument for Idi Amin's dictatorship. We’ll study the politics of Drum, a news magazine that made African cities look posh, modern and romantic. Nowhere was the ‘news’ simply available, ready to be reported. African editors made choices about what was newsworthy, and by their news-making work they encouraged their readers to see themselves as sharers of particular experiences. Our interest here is in how newsmen used print to create news, address publics, organize people, and open up paths of political action. At the end of the semester students will prepare a research paper about the biography of an African newspaper.

Course Requirements:

Two short thematic papers and one larger research project.

Intended Audience:

First year students, especially those interested in journalism and communication studies.

Class Format:

Twice-weekly meetings. One meeting will be a lecture; the other will be a seminar-style discussion.

HISTORY 197 - First-Year Seminar in the Humanities
Schedule Listing
002 (SEM)
12Enrollment Management
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
006 (SEM)
12Enrollment Management
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
007 (SEM)
12Enrollment Management
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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