Are you looking for an African Studies course to take this spring? Here are some great options!
AFRICAN 405: ISLAM IN AFRICA AND THE DIASPORA
Dr. Katrina Daly Thompson, Professor of African Cultural Studies (Department Chair) and Director of the Program in African Languages
Wednesdays, 2:30-3:45, virtual
In New Muslim Cool, African American Muslim anthropologist Su’ad Abdul Khabeer argues that Africa is rarely understood “as an archive for Islamic authenticity and authority.” This course asks how our understanding of Islam might change by exploring that under-examined archive. Focused on close readings of ethnographies, fiction, films, and other forms of cultural expression, we will examine the practice of Islam and representation of Muslims in Africa and the Diaspora. By pairing primary and secondary sources, we will explore themes of not just authenticity and authority but also related issues of representation, positionality, difference, otherness, essentialism, normativity, and queerness. Ultimately, you will come away with a deeper understanding of the diversity and complexity of Islam and Muslims.
AFRICAN 905: RETHINKING DEVELOPMENT: CAPITALISM, PAN AFRICANISM, AND THE PLANTATIONOCENE
Dr. Reginold Royston, Professor of African Cultural Studies
Mondays, 2-4:30p, virtual
Development, a policy word used by radical reformers and economists alike, is fraught with contradictions. What role does technology play in accounting for it? Since the inception of the World Bank, Africa’s nations have languished at the bottom ranks of its human and economic metrics. Sixty years into the independence era, who is to blame? More importantly, what can be done? How can Africa’s successes with COVID19 serve as a model? This course attempts to assess approaches to improved African livelihoods through the concept of “human development” as it used in African Studies, international aid policy, anthropological, and practitioner literature. Since the early 2000s, the acronym ICT4D has fascinated development scholars and NGO- workers, with the premise that the broad adoption of information and communication technologies(ICT) could allow Africa to “leapfrog” past the Industrial Era into the Age of Techne. China has also emerged as counter- veiling force to Europe in Africa’s development politics. But whether through gold, socialism, Christianity, or coltan, Africa has struggled to formulate a development agenda on its own terms. In this graduate seminar, participants will take up the task of defining and assessingnotions of “development” through a range of academic literature, creative work, and practitioner discourse. Coursework involves classroom presentations, development of annotated bibliographies, and a final publication-ready paper.
HISTORY 600: GANDHI, KING, MANDELA: NON-VIOLENCE IN THE WORLD
Dr. Mou Banerjee, Professor of History
Thursdays, 11a-12:55p, virtual
This course is a historical introduction to the idea and practice of non-violence as a method of civil resistance and political protest.
HISTORY 861 HEALTH, MEDICINE, AND HEALING IN AFRICA
Dr. Neil Kodesh, Professor of History
Thursdays, 10a-12p, virtual
This graduate seminar will examine the historical and anthropological literature on health, medicine, and healing in Africa. We will explore the creative and shifting ways in which Africans have sought to compose healthy communities through the expansion of therapeutic repertoires, the adaptation of deeply rooted ideas and practices, and the adoption and transformation of new technologies. We will also examine the ways in which different historical perspectives inform and transform our understanding of more contemporary developments, such as the emergence of medical humanitarianism and the flourishing of health-related non-governmental organizations in the Global South. Finally, we will consider the possibilities and potential pitfalls of deeper engagement by scholars working in Africa with those working on medicine, science, and related topics in other parts of the world.
View the full African Studies Spring 2021 Course List here.