Courses

Fall 2022

Indigenous North Africa: Amazigh Communities
This course exposes students to the historical, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural factors that have shaped Indigenous Amazigh communities in Tamazgha (North Africa) and its diasporas. It examines the role that Amazigh communities have played in revitalizing their cultures in contemporary Tamazgha and makes visible the acknowledgement the Amazighity of lands in North Africa and complexities of language, cultural identity, and colonialism in the region. Many resources in the source will be taken from the instructor's talks with family members, other Indigenous scholars, and activists in the community.
Instructors: Mounia Mnouer
Politics in Africa
This course introduces the study of African politics. The lectures briefly review the social and historical context of contemporary political life. They then profile some of the changes of the early post-Independence period, the authoritarian turn of the 1970s and 80s, and the second liberation of the 1990s and 2000s, before turning to some contemporary challenges (e.g., conflict resolution, land tenure, natural resource management, public goods provision, climate resilience, health, urbanization). Each session introduces a major analytical debate, theories, and African views. Broadly comparative; some special attention to selected countries.
Instructors: Jennifer Anne Widner
Sex, Gender, and Desire in Francophone Africa
This course examines the complex role of gender and sexuality in Francophone Africa's literature and visual cultures. Framed primarily by postcolonial criticism, we will explore how Francophone African writers, filmmakers, and artists treat historical and contemporary issues connected to women and marginal sexualities' experiences, and how they appropriate vernacular/conventional modes of writing and filmmaking in their works. By reading critical writings alongside the novels and films, we will explore questions such as: How stories shape our understanding of gender roles? From whose perspective are they told? What do they exclude/repress?
Instructors: André Benhaïm, Saadia El Karfi
Studies in African Performance
This course presents a cross-disciplinary and multi-modal approach to African music, dance, and culture. Co-taught by a master drummer and choreographer (Tarpaga) and an ethnomusicologist (Steingo), students will explore African and African diasporic performance arts through readings, discussions, listening, film analysis, music performance, and composition.
Instructors: Gavin Steingo, Olivier Pawangnimdi Frank Tarpaga
The History of Christianity in Africa: From St. Mark to Desmond Tutu
This course will trace the history of Christianity in Africa from the first to twentieth centuries. We will focus on issues as diverse as the importance of Christians from Africa in the development of central Christian doctrines and institutions, the medieval Christian-Muslim encounter, the modern missionary movement, colonization and decolonization, the role of the church in freedom struggles, and more. We will ask the questions:how does studying the history of Christianity in Africa de-center Europe and the European experience in the history of Christianity? And:What would a global history of Christianity, pre-modern and modern, look like?
Instructors: Jacob S. Dlamini, Jack Boulos Victor Tannous