African and African Disapora Studies Department
African and African Disapora Studies Department

Tshepo Masango Chery

Assistant ProfessorPh.D., 2012, History, University of Pennsylvania

Tshepo Masango Chery



Dr. Tshepo Masango Chéry is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies. She will join the faculty in African and African Diasporic Studies as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2013. She earned her PhD in history with a certificate in Africana Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Her teaching and research interests include: Southern African history, racial formation, religious activism, and black nationalism. 


Her first book project, Kingdoms of the Earth: Coloured Identity and Religious Activism in South Africa, reexamines the racial contours of black nationalism and religious activism, linking together the political ambitions of South African Ethiopianism, American Garveyism, and East African radicalism. Her work has been supported by the Fontaine Society, Annenberg Foundation, and the University of Virginia's Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies.


AFR 372G • Jesus, Africa, And History

29485 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm PAR 310
(also listed as R S 360)

Explores the cultural, historical, linguistic, artistic, philosophical, and other intellectual traditions emerging from within Africa and as developed, reinterpreted, or reimagined in diasporic contexts. Exploration of the history of Christianity in Africa, from antiquity to the present, including the ways in which African interpretations and religious expressions of Christianity are presented in this history.

AFR 317C • Intro To The Study Of Africa

29645 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ 1.210

Who speaks for Africa and, by extension, African Studies? What has the emergence of new African diasporas meant for the study of Africa in the Western academy? And to what extent has those diasporic formations altered the relationship between African and African-American Studies? This course seeks to provide students with a deeper understanding of the complex histories, intellectual entanglements, and enduring hierarchies of these fields. Students will explore the evolution of African Studies (both intellectually and institutionally), particularly in regards to the emergence of Black Studies.



AFR 374C • Mandela:the Man & His Politics

30747 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm JES A203A

On December 5, 2013, the world mourned the loss of international icon: Nelson Mandela.

As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward a multiracial government and majority rule. His story is certainly one that is rooted in South African political history. Yet, his life, especially after enduring twenty-seven years of unjust imprisonment, captivated the world. He was revered as a champion of human rights and racial equality. As the former president of South Africa and a recipient of the Nobel peace prize, he became fixed in public consciousness as a remarkable model of supreme tolerance, generosity, grace, and reconciliation. This course relies on the personal and political history of Nelson Mandela to examine the history of modern South Africa. It seeks to unpack the Mandela as a mythical figure by examining some of the key experiences that shaped him as a man, revolutionary, and respected elder statesman. It will draw heavily on an array of primary evidence ranging from Mandela’s own writings, to government reports, contemporary newspaper articles and books, as well as popular art, films, and music. It critically traces his development across a range of issues from resistant strategies, gender, Pan-Africanism, as well as multiracialism, and nonviolence—hoping to give life to one of the most powerful and inspiring stories of the 20th century.

Texts (needs to be specific texts, not “course packet” or “TBA)”:

David James Smith, Young Mandela: The Revolutionary Years (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2010)


*Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (Boston: Back Bay Books, 1995)

* A portion of these books will be read throughout the semester.


Grading breakdown (percentages):

Participation 15%

Midterm Examination 25%

Final Examination 30%

Primary Source Analysis Paper 30%


AFR 372G • Jesus, Africa, And History

30425 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm JES A218A
(also listed as R S 360)

The belief in Jesus through Christianity has been a a tool of colonial oppression, subjection, and alienation as well as a forum of African resistance and cultural appropriation. This course charts the development of Christianity in Africa, taking note of its mutually transformative processes for missionaries and for converts, this course approaches the belief in Jesus in Africa as a genuine spiritual experience, and as a site white modern African political and intellectual history can be examined. It is especially attune to the religious traditions African Christians integrated in their religious practice both in mission and African Initiated Churches. This course seeks to introduce students to some of the most formidable scholarship on African Christianity. It is both a course in which we will be attentive to the largest scholarly debates and also contextualize this work into the meteoric rise of African-Initiated Churches in Africa and among Africans abroad, keeping its history at the center.



Attendance 10%Participation 10%Quizzes 10%Review Essay 20%Midterm 25%Final Exam 25%



Cornaroff, Jean and John. Of Revelation & RevolutionHoefler-Fatton, Cynthia. Women of Fire & SpiritMagaziner, Dan. The Law and The Prophets.Mbiti, John. African Religions and Prophecy.

AFR 372G • Histories African Liberation

30340 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm PAR 306
(also listed as HIS 364G)

Is Africa free from all forms of colonialism? This course engages this question by examining the historical moment of African independence. It focuses on a variety of texts, both primary and secondary, from across the continent and beyond that embody the romantic visions, realistic compromises, and some of the tragic aftermaths of independence on the African continent. The course will explore themes that include an examination of the anti-colonial movement, the role of Pan-Africanism within nationalistic dialogues, the strengths and weakness of African nationalism after independence, as well as the challenges of nationalism in contemporary Africa.

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