Course Spotlight: Africa South of the Sahara

Course DescriptionImage of women

This course is an intermediate-level introduction to the geography of Africa. While very much welcomed, no course work on Africa is required prior to taking this course. After a general overview of physical, social and historical geography in the first part of the course, we will focus on a number of important contemporary issues including population, urbanization, Chinese investments and economic development, gender, AIDS pandemic, ethnicity and politics, and environmental change.

Sample readings

The textbook supplemented with additional readings (including primary historical materials). Throughout the course, readings will be related to African current events through weekly group presentations of current events and critical engagements with media portrayals of the continent and its peoples. Every year a novel or biography is used to illuminate themes in the course. In Spring, 2014, portions of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom will be used.

Enrollment details

Geography 355: Africa, South of the Sahara
3 credits
MW 4:00-5:15pm, 444 Science Hall
Spring 2014

About the instructor

Professor Matthew Turner is a people-and-environment geographer with long-term experience in West Africa working and living in the countries of Mali, Niger and Senegal. His work is concerned with the relationship between social and environmental change with particular emphasis on the effects of changing political economies, gender relations, land tenure institutions, environmental governance on grazing, crop and soil management in agropastoral societies.