Daniel J Hoffman
Survey of the many cultures of pre- and post-colonial sub-Saharan Africa. Appreciation of the adaptability, strength, and creativity of African peoples. Recommended: ANTH 100.
This course examines culture, politics, history, aesthetics and religion in Africa through a variety of sources scholarly works by historians and anthropologists, films, journalistic accounts, novels with an eye toward understanding the way in which Africans have creatively responded to the slave trade, to European colonialism, and to the more recent crises of a globalized postcolonial world. An important focus of the course will be to examine Euroamerican representations of Africa, and the way in which they are often at odds with African realities. The need to think critically about such representations is particularly pressing at a moment when images of Africa as failure as a place of famine, AIDS, failed democracies, failed development have (once again) come to dominate Euroamerican popular and media understandings.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
This course will combine lecture with in-class discussion.
No background in African studies is required or expected for this course - just an interest in the issues. Students should be prepared to discuss the material presented in the readings and in lectures.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments will include one short paper and in-class mid-term and final exams.
A four page essay will constitute 20% of the final grade. In class exams each make up 35% of the grade, and 10% will be based on class participation.