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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Kristy A. Leissle
JSIS A 481
Seattle Campus

August Strindberg and European Cultural History

Examines the work of Swedish dramatist, novelist, and painter August Strindberg, in the context of European literary movements and history of ideas from 1880 to 1912, and Strindberg's influence on twentieth-century drama and film. Offered: jointly with SCAND 481.

Class description

This course is concerned with the political economy of sub-Saharan Africa, as understood through the historic, economic, ethnographic, and theoretic 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. This course is structured by my research on the cocoa-chocolate trade in Ghana and Britain and my use of feminist analytics. As such, we focus on West African agricultural systems, land tenure issues, gender politics, cocoa and chocolate markets, commodity culture, Ghanaian economy, and international food systems.

Student learning goals

Understand political economic issues in Africa through a range of disciplinary texts

Understand how representations both shape and reflect political economies

Identify major historic influences on relations between African states and their economies

Document the relations between economics, politics, history, and society in African contexts

Analyze Africa's place in the global political economy, particularly neoliberal policies

General method of instruction

Close reading, small seminar discussion format, analysis of films and visual images

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites, but previous study of African history and politics and/or studies of economic ideologies would be useful for this course.

Class assignments and grading

Analytical essays and examinations, in-class participation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Muge Salmaner
Date: 01/23/2013