Kristy A. Leissle
Introduces historical and contemporary issues facing the continent of Africa through an examination of films dealing with African themes. Addresses the strengths and weaknesses of how African issues are depicted within and outside the continent.
What is Africa? In the West, we receive little information about Africa, and few of us have firsthand knowledge of the continent. Much of what know is conveyed through images: Hollywood portrayals of tribal conflict or exploitative resource extraction (think Blood Diamond); news clips of war and poverty; the stunning photographs of National Geographic magazine. Such images tend to show Africa as a place of either “trouble” or “exotic curiosity,” thus limiting Western understandings of the continent to these two ideas. In this course, we broaden our engagement with the histories, politics, economies, and cultures of this diverse continent through filmic representations, both classic and recently released, including several by Africa-based filmmakers.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Please note: This class has a very high participation component as well as several short essays.