Kristy A. Leissle
This course is concerned with the political economy of sub-Saharan Africa, as understood through the historic, economic, ethnographic, and theoretical scholarship produced in the United States and Europe. Just as importantly, it is concerned with representations of Africa in advertising, consumer culture, journalism, and film, and how these inform and intersect with political economy. Course materials cover historic and contemporary relationships between African states and their economies, focusing on colonialism, neoliberalism, and contemporary trade relations. The case studies reflect my own research on agricultural transformations in West Africa, the politics of representation, gender analytics, cocoa and chocolate trade, Ghanaian economy, and international food systems.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Small seminar discussion format of book chapters and articles; students lead most course sessions in pairs by preparing discussion questions beforehand.
Class assignments and grading
Analytical essays, participation (including student led discussions), and examination.