Course Spotlight: INTL ST 401: Africa, Nonviolence, and Social Change

Instructor: Vincent R. Ogoti
Date: May 31-July 10, 2022
Meeting: Online: Synchronous and Asynchronous (MoFr 11:00 am -11: 50 am)

This course seeks to acquaint students with the theory and practice of active nonviolence as a strategy of social change. Students will analyze various readings, films, experiential activities and engage in discussions to develop knowledge and skills for practicing and promoting nonviolent action. The course aims to sharpen students’ understanding of nonviolence as practical politics—tactics, techniques, and strategies that mobilize and channel popular protest in constructive directions. Throughout the course, students will examine the evolution of M.K. Gandhi’s and Martin Luther King’s political thinking in relation to political experience and practice and how scholars and practitioners transformed the theory and practice of nonviolence as it moved from one context to another. Students will critically analyze the politics of nonviolence and develop skills for deploying nonviolent strategies in political and social campaigns. The course takes the view that strategic nonviolence is shaped by the politics of the “everyday.” Through readings and reflection, students will explore what this assumption means in theory and how it complicates and informs options for strategic action and personal and professional identity.

Vincent Ogoti is a Ph.D. candidate in African cultural studies with a minor in history. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and was a Fulbright scholar at Yale University. His research focuses on technocultural studies, global black cultural productions, and ideas of humanism and posthumanism.