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Cherise Smith, Ph.D, Director JES A232A, Mailcode D7200, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-1784

Toyin Falola

Professor Ph.D., 1981, University of Ife

Professor of History; Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professorship in History
Toyin Falola

Contact

Biography

Toyin Falola is the Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History at the University of Texas at Austin. A Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters, he is the author of numerous books, including Key Events in African History: A Reference Guide, Nationalism and African Intellectuals, and many edited books including Tradition and Change in Africa and African Writers and Readers. He is the co-editor of the Journal of African Economic History, Series Editor of Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora, and the Series Editor of the Culture and Customs of Africa by Greenwood Press. He has received various awards and honors, including the Jean Holloway Award for Teaching Excellence, the Texas Exes Teaching Award, and the Ibn Khaldun Distinguished Award for Research Excellence. For his singular and distinguished contribution to the study of Africa, his students and colleagues have presented him with three Festschrifts - two edited by Adebayo Oyebade, The Transformation of Nigeria: Essays in Honor of Toyin Falola, and The Foundations of Nigeria: Essays in Honor of Toyin Falola, and one edited by Akin Ogundiran, Pre-Colonial Nigeria: Essays in Honor of Toyin Falola. He has recently published an acclaimed memoir, A Mouth Sweeter than Salt: An African Memoir.

Interests

African history since the nineteenth century

AFR 317C • The United States And Africa

30395 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.112
(also listed as HIS 317L, WGS 301 )
show description

This class will look at the history of the political, economic and cultural relations between the United States and Africa from the early origins of the slave trade to the present. It explores the role of the US in historical global contexts. The class is intended to elucidate historical developments both in the US and on the African continent, and should satisfy students with a strong interest in US history as well as those interested in the place of the US in the African Diaspora.  The semester is divided into four parts, each covering a major theme.

This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the U.S. history component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, personal responsibility, and social responsibility.

Course Objectives

To develop a base of African and US history and increase the level of awareness of the African Diaspora in the US. 

Toobtain a well-rounded approach to the political, economic, and cultural connections between the United States and Africa.

To reevaluate perceptions of Africa, to recognize the vibrant nature of African culture, and to apply new knowledge to the different cultural agents active in US popular culture, such as music, dance, literature, business and science.

To help students understand present-day politics in Africa at a deeper level and to obtain a better understanding of racial conditions in the US.

To learn how to assess historical materials -- their relevance to a given interpretative problem, their reliability and their importance -- and to determine the biases present within particular scholarship. These include historical documents, literature and films.

Texts:

1. Joseph E. Holloway, ed., Africanisms in American Culture  (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005 second edition).

2. Curtis A. Keim, Mistaking Africa: Curiosities and Inventions of the American Mind (Westview Press, 1999).

3. Alusine Jalloh, ed., The United States and West Africa (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2008).

4. Kevin Roberts, ed., The Atlantic World 1450-2000 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008).

5. Karen Bouwer, Gender and Decolonization in the Congo: the Legacy of Patrice Lumumba (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

6. Gendering the African diaspora : women, culture, and historical change in the Caribbean and Nigerian hinterland / edited by Judith A. Byfield, LaRay Denzer, and Anthea Morrison. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.   

Grading:

i. Public Lecture Review 10%    

ii. First  Examination 25%

iii. Book Review 20%

iv.   Book Review 20%

v. Second Examination 25%

AFR 374F • Historcl Images Afr In Film

30630 • Fall 2014
Meets T 330pm-630pm CBA 4.344
(also listed as HIS 350L, WGS 340 )
show description

Since the late 1980s, the African film industry has undergone radical changes that reflect an increasingly globalized economy and the impact of structural adjustment policies. This revolution is characterized by the low-budget, direct to video films commonly referred to as Nollywood.  While these films have come under criticism for their low production values and popularization of negative cultural stereotypes, the Nigerian video industry has risen to colossal proportions, sweeping across the continent and throughout the global diaspora.  The purpose of this course is to examine the rise of Nollywood and the genesis of a popular African art form.  Through a combination of films and readings, students will explore how Nollywood, in comparison with the established FESPACO film industry and Hollywood, depicts the society and culture of Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.  Additionally, this course seeks to engage students in a debate about how popular films affect historical imaginations and memory.  While these images have previously been the product of Hollywood and Francophone films, this course will introduce Nollywood as an alternative to how Nigerians and Africa as a whole understand their history. 

Texts:

Haynes, Jonathan, ed. Nigerian Video Films. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000.

Rosenstone, Robert A. Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History.

Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.

Saul, Mahir and Ralph A. Austen, eds. Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-First Century:

Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010.

*There will also be several journal articles assigned throughout the semester.  These will be available through the university library’s online databases and posted to the course documents section of the class Blackboard page.

Grading:

ASSSIGNMENTS:

Assignment                     Due                              Points

Attendance                      Every class session         50

Book/Film Review           Week 6             100

Conference Report            Week 10                       50

Final Paper                      Week 15                       200

Discussion Posts   See syllabus for deadlines            100

AFR 381 • Subaltern Epistemologies

30647 • Fall 2014
Meets TH 900am-1200pm CBA 4.336
(also listed as HIS 381, WGS 393 )
show description

The graduate seminar focuses on subaltern epistemologies and evaluates the arguments and roles of subaltern theories in various disciplines through a global context. Course readings evaluate subaltern arguments and how they contribute to the knowledge of their respective regions and fields. The course readings transcend local histories and reflect broad theoretical ideas across the disciplines as manifest in different global cultures including literature, history, religion, politics, economics, gender, and identity. Students will be expected to critique the readings and engage in a lively discussion designed to advance their research. For the second half of the course, students will engage in original research and produce a peer reviewed article length paper revised to the stage where it can be submitted for publication or presented at a conference.

 

Texts:

MacKenzie, John M.  Orientalism: History, Theory, and the Arts. Manchester University Press, 1995.

Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies. University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Ranajit Guha and Gayatri Spival Eds. Selected Subaltern Studies. Oxford University Press, 1988.

Sweet, James. Recreating Africa: Culture, Kinship, and Religion in the African-Portuguese World, 1441-1770. The University of North Carolina Press, 2006.

Asante, Molefi Kete. Afrocentricity: The Theory of Social Change. African American Images, 2003.

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. The Ethics of Identity. Princeton University Press, 2007.

Collins, Patricia Hill. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. Routledge, 2000.

Wallerstein, Immanuel. World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction. Duke University Press, 2004.

Martinez-Alier, Verena. Marriage, Class and Colour in Nineteenth-Century Cuba: A Study of Racial Attitudes and Sexual Values in a Slave Society.  Ann Arbor:  University of Michigan Press, 1989

 

Grading:

Seminar Participation 20%

Rough Draft of Research Paper 20%

Final Draft of Research Paper 60%

AFR 310K • Introduction To Modern Africa

30580 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as HIS 310 )
show description

This course introduces students to the modern history of Africa, beginning from the nineteenth century to the present.   The course starts with an overview analysis of the great changes of the late nineteenth century, notably the partition of the continent.  The twentieth century forms the major concern, divided into two phases: the colonial and post-colonial. In the first phase, the imposition of colonial rule, the changes of colonial rule, and decolonization are the three principal themes. The second phase examines a variety of issues dealing with independence, the management of modern states, and the international environment.

 

As most of these issues are new to students, books have been carefully selected, and the lectures are organized in such a way that the students may follow. At regular intervals, films and documentaries will be used as illustrations.

 

BOOKS AND RESOURCES

 

* Reading all the assigned materials will reflect positively on the quality of projects and examinations.

 

** Students often make the mistake of assuming that an introductory course means minimum reading. NO! This class is defined as “introductory” only to mean that most students have limited familiarity with Africa. In selecting the books, the idea is to attain the maximum impact within a limited time, balancing the interests of depth with width, narratives with concepts. Critical thinking is rewarded.

 

Although 2 books are assigned reading, students interested in additional reading will be supported with references and lead to journals.

 

1.   Contemporary Africa, Vol. 5, (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2002).  

 

2. Richard J. Reid, A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present, ( West Sussex, UK: John Wily, second edition, 2012).

All books can be purchased at Coop. In case of difficulty, contact University Co-op, Textbook Dept.

2244 Guadalupe St.

Austin, TX 78705

Phone: (512)476-7211 x8108

 

**Films and documentaries will be brought to class by the Instructor.

Final Grade Breakdown

Assignment                                                                         Grade Percentage (100%)

Class Attendance                                                                                          10%

Book Review                                                                                                15%

Mid-Term Exam                                                                                           30%

Conference Review                                                                                      15%

Final Examination                                                                                        30%

AFR 372G • African Hist In Films & Photos

30700 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm UTC 3.122
(also listed as HIS 364G )
show description

Western exposure to Sub-Saharan Africa has primarily been through stylized Hollywood films which rarely speak to the historical backgrounds of past and present conflicts.  These films can have detrimental effects on popular conceptions of Africa, its peoples, and its plights.  Furthermore, these films can lead to an overwhelming lack of understanding for the complexities of the events in Africa’s recent history.  This course seeks to increase understanding of the social, economic, and political challenges present in the past fifty years of Africa’s history through an examination of several poular films.  Each film will serve a twofold purpose.  First, they will act as a case study used to speak to an issue central to the history of Africa, and second, aid in dispelling many of the misconceptions present in popular portrayals of Africa.  Each film will be accompanied by a text that corresponds with the respective subject matter.  It is the intention of these texts to offer greater analysis and generate critical discussions of the films, their subjects, depictions of characters, and events.  The ultimate goal of these discussions is to enhance students’ knowledge and perceptions of Africa, its societies, cultures, governments, and histories.

 

Grading

Two book reviews of 4-5 pages.

Research paper of 15-20 pages.

Regular class attendance and participation.

 

Texts (subject to change)

  • Ukadike, N. Frank.  “Western Film Images of Africa:  Genealogy of an Ideological Formulation.” Black Scholar 21 n. 2 (March-May 1990): 30-48
  • Price, Robert M.  The Apartheid State in Crisis:  Political Transformation in South Africa, 1975-1990.  New York and Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1991.
  • Brantley, Cynthia.  The Giriama and Colonial Resistance in Kenya, 1800-1920. Berkeley: The University of California Press, 1981.
  • Mamdani, Mahmod. When victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nationalism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton Unversity Press, 2001.
  • Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

AFR 374C • Globl/Internatlsm/Transnatlsm

30745 • Spring 2014
Meets T 330pm-630pm CBA 4.340
(also listed as HIS 350R )
show description

This course seeks to address the complex role of the United States in the greater scope of international relations in politics with an emphasis on how political currents in the U.S. reach the African continent in a variety of ways. While this course will focus predominately on American history from approximately 1935 onward, it is important to note that we will give considerable attention to the interactions between the United States and Africa on multiple levels. Through the use of digital media sources (film, photographs, and digital archives), this course seeks to push students beyond traditional primary sources to understand the complexities of issues such as globalization, internationalism, and transnationalism in the context of the (often inter-weaving) histories of the United States and Africa. Each digital media source will serve as a way of engaging with representations (and misrepresentations) of the United States and Africa in political and cultural spheres. These weekly sources will also be supplemented by a variety of readings including memoirs, political texts, and cultural histories. The goal of this course is to create a unique dialogue about the past and present interactions between the United States and Africa through the use of traditional and non-traditional sources.

 

Grading

Conference report                   150 points

Kinship review                       150 points

Wikipedia Project                   100 points

Class discussion/attendance    100 points

Final paper/essay                    300 points

 

 

Texts (subject to change)

 

Wamba, Kinship: A Family’s Journey in Africa and America.

Course Packet with weekly readings

AFR 317C • The United States And Africa

30265 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.112
(also listed as HIS 317L, WGS 301 )
show description

This class will look at the history of the political, economic and cultural relations between the United States and Africa from the early origins of the slave trade to the present. It explores the role of the US in historical global contexts. The class is intended to elucidate historical developments both in the US and on the African continent, and should satisfy students with a strong interest in US history as well as those interested in the place of the US in the African Diaspora.  The semester is divided into four parts, each covering a major theme.

Course Objectives

To develop a base of African and US history and increase the level of awareness of the African Diaspora in the US. 

To obtain a well-rounded approach to the political, economic, and cultural connections between the United States and Africa.

To reevaluate perceptions of Africa, to recognize the vibrant nature of African culture, and to apply new knowledge to the different cultural agents active in US popular culture, such as music, dance, literature, business and science.

To help students understand present-day politics in Africa at a deeper level and to obtain a better understanding of racial conditions in the US.

To learn how to assess historical materials -- their relevance to a given interpretative problem, their reliability and their importance -- and to determine the biases present within particular scholarship. These include historical documents, literature and films.

 

 

Texts:

1. Joseph E. Holloway, ed., Africanisms in American Culture  (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005 second edition).

2. Curtis A. Keim, Mistaking Africa: Curiosities and Inventions of the American Mind (Westview Press, 1999).

3. Alusine Jalloh, ed., The United States and West Africa (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2008).

4. Kevin Roberts, ed., The Atlantic World 1450-2000 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008).

5. Karen Bouwer, Gender and Decolonization in the Congo: the Legacy of Patrice Lumumba (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

6. Gendering the African diaspora : women, culture, and historical change in the Caribbean and Nigerian hinterland / edited by Judith A. Byfield, LaRay Denzer, and Anthea Morrison. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010.

Grading:

i. Public Lecture Review 10%    

ii. First  Examination 25%

iii. Book Review 20%

iv.   Book Review 20%

v. Second Examination 25%

AFR 372G • Historcal Imges Africn In Flms

30420 • Fall 2013
Meets T 330pm-630pm CBA 4.344
(also listed as HIS 350L, WGS 340 )
show description

Since the late 1980s, the African film industry has undergone radical changes that reflect increased globalization, the availability of new production and distribution methods, and the rise of a new generation of African filmmakers. This revolution is characterized by the low-budget, direct to video films commonly referred to as Nollywood.  While these films have drawn criticism for their low production values and popularization of negative cultural stereotypes, the Nigerian video industry has become the third largest film industry in the world, sweeping across the continent and throughout the global diaspora.  

This course examines the rise of Nollywood and the genesis of a popular African art form. It assesses aspects of African culture such as gender roles in the society, cultural beliefs, westernization, education, and social constructs that are depicted in the films. One major way to evaluate these will be through examination of African women, who play diverse roles in the films. Women have been the bedrock of African societies ensuring continuity in traditions and families as well as socializing the young generations. Using films and the readings, this course seeks to highlight the status of African women, and to understand the changing roles of women in Africa.   

Through a combination of films and readings, students will explore how Nollywood, in comparison to Hollywood, depicts the society and culture of Nigeria and Africa as a whole.  Each week addresses a different theme in an attempt to introduce students to the various dynamics that shape African cultures, societies and governments.  Additionally, this course seeks to engage students in a debate about how popular films affect historical imaginations and memory.  While these images have previously been the product of Hollywood and European films, this course will introduce Nollywood as an African alternative to how films depict, and people understand, their history. 

COURSE OBJECTIVES:

 

1.     To increase the knowledge and understanding of African history, culture, and society.

2.     To identify key themes in African history that transcend national boundaries.

3.     To help students understand the social, cultural, political, and economic agents that have affected African history, particularly the role of women and gender.  

4.     To assess the viability of film as a historical source.

5.     To understand popular perceptions about Africa depicted in films and how they lead to misunderstandings of the past.

Texts:

Haynes, Jonathan, ed. Nigerian Video Films. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000.

Rosenstone, Robert A. Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History.

Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.

Saul, Mahir and Ralph A. Austen, eds. Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-First Century:

Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010.

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster, Women Filmmakers of the African & Asian Diaspora: Decolonizing the Gaze, Locating Subjectivity  Southern Illinois University Press; 1st edition (May 1, 1997).

Kathleen Sheldon, ed. Courtyards, Markets, City Streets: Urban Women In    Africa. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1996.

Toyin Falola and Nana Akua Amponsah. Women's Roles in Sub-Saharan Africa. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2012.

Kathleen M. Fallon. Democracy and the Rise of Women's Movements in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.

*There will also be several journal articles assigned throughout the semester.  These will be available through the university library’s online databases and posted to the course documents section of the class Blackboard page.

Grading:

Assignment              Due                         Points

Attendance              Every class session 50

Book/Film Review   Week 6             100

Conference Report  Week 10             50

Final Paper              Week 15             200

Discussion Posts   See syllabus for deadlines 100

AFR 381 • Nations And Nationalism

30523 • Fall 2013
Meets T 900am-1200pm CLA 0.124
(also listed as HIS 381, WGS 393 )
show description

This class (research seminar) will examine the history of the political, economic and cultural relations between the United States and Africa from the early origins of the slave trade to the present. It explores the role of the US in historical global contexts. The class is intended to elucidate historical developments both in the US and on the African continent, and should satisfy students with a strong interest in US history, women and gender issues across cultures, as well as those interested in theplace of the US in the African Diaspora.  The semester is divided into four parts, each covering a major theme.

Course Objectives

 

·      To develop a base of African and US history and increase the level of awareness of the African Diaspora in the US.  

·      To obtain a well-rounded approach to the political, economic, and cultural connections between the United States andAfrica.

·      To reevaluate perceptions of Africa, to recognize the vibrant nature of African culture, and to apply new knowledge to the different cultural agents active in US popular culture, such as music, dance, literature, business and science.

·      To help students understand present-day politics in Africa at a deeper level and toobtain a better understanding of racial conditions in the US.

·      To learn how to assess historical materials -- their relevance to a given interpretative problem, their reliability and their importance -- and to determine the biases present within particular scholarship. These include historical documents, literature and films.

·      To understand the role of women and gender in development in different locations and in comparative perspective

 

Texts:

Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflects on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (2nd edition, Verso, 2006).

Kelly Askew, Performing the Nation: Swahili Music and Cultural Politics in Tanzania (University of Chicago Press, 2002).

Ernesto Chávez, “¡Mi Raza Primero!” (My People First!): Nationalism, Identity, and Insurgency in the Chicano Movement in Los Angeles, 1966-1978 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002).

Adeed Dawisha, Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century: From Triumph to Despair (Princeton University Press, 2005).

Don H. Doyle, Nations Divided: America, Italy, and the Southern Question (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2002).

Laurent Dubois, Soccer Empire: The World Cup and the Future of France (University of

California Press, 2011).

Toyin Falola, Nationalism and African Intellectuals (Rochester University Press, 2004).

Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (Grove Press, 1952/1967)

Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (2nd edition, Cornell University Press, 2009).

Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger, eds., The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge University Press, 1992).

Nelson Maldonado-Torres, “On the Coloniality of Being: Contributions to the Development of a Concept” (Cultural Studies, 2007).

Robert Vinson, The Americans Are Coming!: Dreams of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa (Ohio University Press, 2012).

Ng g  wa Thiong’o, Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (Heinemann, 1986).

 

Grading:

Class Participation: Students are expected to arrive in a timely fashion for all class

sessions, as well as participate actively in class discussions.  (20% of final grade)

 

Paper Proposal:  Before the start of week seven’s class meeting, students will submit a

two-page paper proposal.  This proposal should outline the student’s topic of

choice for the final paper, and also address the feasibility of this topic and/or any

potential challenges associated with it. (10% of final grade)

 

 Research Paper:  Students will select a national group or nationalist movement and

examine the experience of that group or movement in light of the materials

covered during the first six weeks of the course.  Do the concepts discussed

during those weeks relate to the group or movement that you have selected?  The

research paper must address materials from each of the first six weeks and must

also incorporate primary source material relating to the group or movement under

consideration.  (60% of final grade)

 

 Paper Presentation:  Students will discuss their papers in a brief presentation, (roughly

twenty minutes), to be given during the final class meeting.  The presentation

should consist of an overview of the paper, followed by a ten-minute question and

answer session.  (10% of final grade)

AFR 310K • Introduction To Modern Africa

30270 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as HIS 310 )
show description

AFR 372G • African Hist In Films & Photos

30345 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm UTC 3.122
(also listed as HIS 364G )
show description

Western exposure to Sub-Saharan Africa has primarily been through stylized Hollywood films which rarely speak to the historical backgrounds of past and present conflicts.  These films can have detrimental effects on popular conceptions of Africa, its peoples, and its plights.  Furthermore, these films can lead to an overwhelming lack of understanding for the complexities of the events in Africa’s recent history.  This course seeks to increase understanding of the social, economic, and political challenges present in the past fifty years of Africa’s history through an examination of several poular films.  Each film will serve a twofold purpose.  First, they will act as a case study used to speak to an issue central to the history of Africa, and second, aid in dispelling many of the misconceptions present in popular portrayals of Africa.  Each film will be accompanied by a text that corresponds with the respective subject matter.  It is the intention of these texts to offer greater analysis and generate critical discussions of the films, their subjects, depictions of characters, and events.  The ultimate goal of these discussions is to enhance students’ knowledge and perceptions of Africa, its societies, cultures, governments, and histories.

 

Grading

Two book reviews of 4-5 pages.

Research paper of 15-20 pages.

Regular class attendance and participation.

 

Texts (subject to change)

  • Ukadike, N. Frank.  “Western Film Images of Africa:  Genealogy of an Ideological Formulation.” Black Scholar 21 n. 2 (March-May 1990): 30-48
  • Price, Robert M.  The Apartheid State in Crisis:  Political Transformation in South Africa, 1975-1990.  New York and Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 1991.
  • Brantley, Cynthia.  The Giriama and Colonial Resistance in Kenya, 1800-1920. Berkeley: The University of California Press, 1981.
  • Mamdani, Mahmod. When victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nationalism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton Unversity Press, 2001.
  • Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

AFR 374C • Globl/Internatlsm/Transnatlsm

30357 • Spring 2013
Meets T 330pm-630pm CBA 4.340
(also listed as HIS 350R )
show description

This course seeks to address the complex role of the United States in the greater scope of international relations in politics with an emphasis on how political currents in the U.S. reach the African continent in a variety of ways. While this course will focus predominately on American history from approximately 1935 onward, it is important to note that we will give considerable attention to the interactions between the United States and Africa on multiple levels. Through the use of digital media sources (film, photographs, and digital archives), this course seeks to push students beyond traditional primary sources to understand the complexities of issues such as globalization, internationalism, and transnationalism in the context of the (often inter-weaving) histories of the United States and Africa. Each digital media source will serve as a way of engaging with representations (and misrepresentations) of the United States and Africa in political and cultural spheres. These weekly sources will also be supplemented by a variety of readings including memoirs, political texts, and cultural histories. The goal of this course is to create a unique dialogue about the past and present interactions between the United States and Africa through the use of traditional and non-traditional sources.

 

Grading

Conference report                   150 points

Kinship review                       150 points

Wikipedia Project                   100 points

Class discussion/attendance    100 points

Final paper/essay                    300 points

 

 

Texts (subject to change)

 

Wamba, Kinship: A Family’s Journey in Africa and America.

Course Packet with weekly readings

AFR 317C • The United States And Africa

30190 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.112
(also listed as HIS 317L )
show description

Course Description

This class will look at the history of the political, economic and cultural relations between the United States and Africa from the early origins of the slave trade to the present. It explores the role of the US in historical global contexts. The class is intended to elucidate historical developments both in the US and on the African continent, and should satisfy students with a strong interest in US history as well as those interested in the place of the US in the African Diaspora.  The semester is divided into four parts, each covering a major theme.

Course Objectives

To develop a base of African and US history and increase the level of awareness of the African Diaspora in the US.  

To obtain a well-rounded approach to the political, economic, and cultural connections between the United States and Africa.

To reevaluate perceptions of Africa, to recognize the vibrant nature of African culture, and to apply new knowledge to the different cultural agents active in US popular culture, such as music, dance, literature, business and science.

To help students understand present-day politics in Africa at a deeper level and to obtain a better understanding of racial conditions in the US.

To learn how to assess historical materials -- their relevance to a given interpretative problem, their reliability and their importance -- and to determine the biases present within particular scholarship. These include historical documents, literature and films.

 

Required Materials

**It is a course requirement to have all the books.

1. Joseph E. Holloway, ed., Africanisms in American Culture  (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005 second edition).

2. Curtis A. Keim, Mistaking Africa: Curiosities and Inventions of the American Mind (Westview Press, 1999).

3. Alusine Jalloh, ed., The United States and West Africa (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2008).

4. Kevin Roberts, ed., The Atlantic World 1450-2000 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008).

 

Internet Resources

http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html

http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue

 

Evaluation and Points--100% (there is no extra credit, and the course is not graded on curve)

** The weight is distributed to ensure success for all students, balancing the various needs to participate, interact, engage, think critically, and write well. Not all students seek an A or B grade, but those who do should expect to do the maximum required.

i. Public Lecture Review                                      10%                    

ii. First  Examination                                           25%                     

     (Two essay questions, at least three pages on each)

iii. Book Review,                                                 20%                    

iv.   Book Review                                                20%                    

v. Second Examination                                       25%                     

        (Two essay questions, at least three pages on each)

 

Alternative Option to  the Second Examination

8 page research paper on a topic approved by the TA                     

 

This course partially fulfills the legislative requirement for American history.

AFR 374F • Historical Images Afr In Films

30387 • Fall 2012
Meets T 330pm-630pm GAR 2.112
(also listed as HIS 350L )
show description

Since the late 1980s, the African film industry has undergone radical changes that reflect an increasingly globalized economy and the impact of structural adjustment policies. This revolution is characterized by the low-budget, direct to video films commonly referred to as Nollywood.  While these films have come under criticism for their low production values and popularization of negative cultural stereotypes, the Nigerian video industry has risen to colossal proportions, sweeping across the continent and throughout the global diaspora.  The purpose of this course is to examine the rise of Nollywood and the genesis of a popular African art form.  Through a combination of films and readings, students will explore how Nollywood, in comparison with the established FESPACO film industry and Hollywood, depicts the society and culture of Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.  Additionally, this course seeks to engage students in a debate about how popular films affect historical imaginations and memory.  While these images have previously been the product of Hollywood and Francophone films, this course will introduce Nollywood as an alternative to how Nigerians and Africa as a whole understand their history.  

READING LIST:

Haynes, Jonathan, ed. Nigerian Video Films. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000. 

Rosenstone, Robert A. Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.

Saul, Mahir and Ralph A. Austen, eds. Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-First Century:

Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010.

*There will also be several journal articles assigned throughout the semester.  These will be available through the university library’s online databases and posted to the course documents section of the class Blackboard page.

ASSSIGNMENTS:

Assignment             Due                         Points

Attendance             Every class session 50

Book/Film Review  Week 6             100

Conference Report Week 10             50

Final Paper             Week 15             200

Discussion Posts   See syllabus for deadlines 100

 

AFR 381 • Subaltern Epistemologies

30428 • Fall 2012
Meets TH 900am-1200pm MEZ 1.104
(also listed as HIS 381, WGS 393 )
show description

Course Description:

The graduate seminar focuses on subaltern epistemologies and evaluates the arguments and roles of subaltern theories in various disciplines through a global context. Course readings evaluate subaltern arguments and how they contribute to the knowledge of their respective regions and fields. The course readings transcend local histories and reflect broad theoretical ideas across the disciplines as manifest in different global cultures including literature, history, religion, politics, economics, gender, and identity. Students will be expected to critique the readings and engage in a lively discussion designed to advance their research. For the second half of the course, students will engage in original research and produce a peer reviewed article length paper revised to the stage where it can be submitted for publication or presented at a conference.

Course Objectives:

The course has several objectives: (1) Students will acquire an in depth knowledge of subaltern theories and their importance to the development of various disciplines; (2) Students will learn, assess, and debate how subaltern epistemologies have been engaged in the existing literature; (3) Acquire knowledge on methods of applying subaltern theories to research; (4) Understand a variety of topics such as indigenous knowledge production, situated knowledge(s), community research methods, subaltern public spaces, queer epistemology, and many other approaches to and from various marginalities.  (5) Complete a research paper that evaluates a body of literature relevant to the student’s work in terms of subaltern epistemologies.

Class Format:

This course will be conducted in weekly seminars lasting 3 hours.  As we only meet once a week, and our topics of discussion change every week, attendance is mandatory.  Seminars will include extensive discussion, student presentations, and some guest lectures.  Discussion will focus on the assigned readings and peer critiques of student research papers.

Grade Breakdown:

Seminar Participation 20%

Rough Draft of Research Paper  20%

Final Draft of Research Paper  60%

Total  100%

Seminar Participation:

20% of your grade will be based on your active contribution to our weekly meetings.  Showing up for class does not count for class participation.  On a weekly basis you will be expected to do all the required readings and be prepared to present on the material.  During week 1 we will discuss the readings that were mailed over the summer.  On week 3 students will be required to present their working bibliography of 13 different types of primary sources and elaborate on 3 sources in particular that could be used for their research paper.  During weeks 4-8 each student will be assigned a specific article to present to the class assessing its methodology and what it contributes to the investigative process of historical work.  Weeks 10-12 will be dedicated to peer-critique.  Failure to actively participate in these group discussions will undermine the success of the course. 

Research Paper:

Students will submit both a rough draft and final draft of their research paper comprising 20% and 60% of their grade respectively.  Rough drafts will be presented to the class during weeks 10-12.  Rough drafts of papers must be sent electronically to the entire class by an email list by 12:00 AM on the Friday before the class meets.  It is essential that these are submitted on time to provide adequate time to read the paper in detail before the seminar meets.  One hard copy will be placed in the instructor’s history department mailbox by noon on the Monday before the class meets in case of formatting problems.  Two copies of a revised final draft of the paper along with the rough draft corrected by the instructor, all in hard copy, will be submitted at 3:30 PM in class on December 3rd. 

Academic Honesty and Plagiarism:

You are expected to be familiar with and abide by the University's regulations.  It is expected that you know the definition of plagiarism.  You may not collaborate with any individuals on the writing of your research paper. You are responsible for being sure that others do not plagiarize your work.  Research papers are to be composed independently. Failure to abide by the honor code will result in an "F" for this course. 

Books:

MacKenzie, John M.  Orientalism: History, Theory, and the Arts. Manchester University Press, 1995.

Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies. University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Ranajit Guha and Gayatri Spival Eds. Selected Subaltern Studies. Oxford University Press, 1988.

 

AFR 310K • Introduction To Modern Africa

30370 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as HIS 310 )
show description

This course introduces students to the modern history of Africa, beginning from the nineteenth century to the present. The course starts with an overview analysis of the great changes of the late nineteenth century, notably the partition of the continent. The twentieth century forms the major concern, divided into two phases: the colonial and post-colonial. In the first phase, the imposition of colonial rule, the changes of colonial rule, and decolonization are the three principal themes. The second phase examines a variety of issues dealing with independence, the management of modern states, and the international environment.As most of these issues are new to students, books have been carefully selected, and the lectures are organized in such a way that the students may follow. At regular intervals, films and documentaries will be used as illustrations.

 

BOOKS AND RESOURCES

 Course Package (CP). The CP contains the weekly reading list

Gordon and Gordon, Understanding Contemporary Africa

Kwame Appiah, In My Father's House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture

Peter Lewis, Africa: Dilemmas of Development and ChangeKwame Gyekye, Tradition and Modernity

F. Cooper, Decolonization and African Society

 

Distribution of Grades

 1. Mid-term exam in mid-March: 25%

2. Book Review in late March:  20%

3. First Project at the beginning of April: 20%

4. Second Project in mid-April: 10%

5. Final Examination in May: 25%

AFR 374F • Historical Images Afr In Films

30530 • Spring 2012
Meets TH 330pm-630pm CBA 4.344
(also listed as HIS 350L )
show description

Since the late 1980s, the African film industry has undergone radical changes that reflect an increasingly globalized economy and the impact of structural adjustment policies. This revolution is characterized by the low-budget, direct to video films commonly referred to as Nollywood.  While these films have come under criticism for their low production values and popularization of negative cultural stereotypes, the Nigerian video industry has risen to colossal proportions, sweeping across the continent and throughout the global diaspora.  The purpose of this course is to examine the rise of Nollywood and the genesis of a popular African art form.  Through a combination of films and readings, students will explore how Nollywood, in comparison with the established FESPACO film industry and Hollywood, depicts the society and culture of Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.  Additionally, this course seeks to engage students in a debate about how popular films affect historical imaginations and memory.  While these images have previously been the product of Hollywood and Francophone films, this course will introduce Nollywood as an alternative to how Nigerians and Africa as a whole understand their history.  

READING LIST:

Haynes, Jonathan, ed. Nigerian Video Films. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000. 

Rosenstone, Robert A. Visions of the Past: The Challenge of Film to Our Idea of History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.

Saul, Mahir and Ralph A. Austen, eds. Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-First Century:

Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2010.

*There will also be several journal articles assigned throughout the semester.  These will be available through the university library’s online databases and posted to the course documents section of the class Blackboard page.

ASSSIGNMENTS:

Assignment             Due                         Points

Attendance             Every class session 50

Book/Film Review  Week 6             100

Conference Report Week 10             50

Final Paper             Week 15             200

Discussion Posts   See syllabus for deadlines 100

 

AFR 381 • Africa And African Diaspora

30579 • Spring 2012
Meets T 330pm-630pm UTC 3.120
(also listed as HIS 382L )
show description

This course will be a combination of research and readings that will, by design at least, allow students to pursue projects that best fit their needs.    

The course is organized into three sections.  The first is an overview of the theoretical and analytical dimensions of studying the African Diaspora.  Here we will discuss the meanings of diaspora, including the elements of "homeland," dispersal, and community formation. The second section of the course will explore the historical phenomenon which allowed for the creation of the diaspora. In particular, we will investigate: 1) the African background to diasporic communities, and 2) the role of the Atlantic Slave Trade as initiating the creation of the diaspora. The third section will examine various societies and cultures of the African diaspora to highlight some its most important social, political and cultural dimensions.  In general, this course will survey the various ways that the African diaspora might be conceptualized.  The goal of the course is to provide students with a historical understanding of African diaspora and a framework with which to draw connections between its historical development and contemporary social realities. 

AFR 317C • The United States And Africa

30155 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.112
(also listed as HIS 317L )
show description

Course Description

This class will look at the history of the political, economic and cultural relations between the United States and Africa from the early origins of the slave trade to the present. It explores the role of the US in historical global contexts. The class is intended to elucidate historical developments both in the US and on the African continent, and should satisfy students with a strong interest in US history as well as those interested in the place of the US in the African Diaspora.  The semester is divided into four parts, each covering a major theme.

Course Objectives

To develop a base of African and US history and increase the level of awareness of the African Diaspora in the US.  

To obtain a well-rounded approach to the political, economic, and cultural connections between the United States and Africa.

To reevaluate perceptions of Africa, to recognize the vibrant nature of African culture, and to apply new knowledge to the different cultural agents active in US popular culture, such as music, dance, literature, business and science.

To help students understand present-day politics in Africa at a deeper level and to obtain a better understanding of racial conditions in the US.

To learn how to assess historical materials -- their relevance to a given interpretative problem, their reliability and their importance -- and to determine the biases present within particular scholarship. These include historical documents, literature and films.

 

Required Materials

**It is a course requirement to have all the books.

1. Joseph E. Holloway, ed., Africanisms in American Culture  (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005 second edition).

2. Curtis A. Keim, Mistaking Africa: Curiosities and Inventions of the American Mind (Westview Press, 1999).

3. Alusine Jalloh, ed., The United States and West Africa (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2008).

4. Kevin Roberts, ed., The Atlantic World 1450-2000 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008).

 

Internet Resources

http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html

http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue

 

Evaluation and Points--100% (there is no extra credit, and the course is not graded on curve)

** The weight is distributed to ensure success for all students, balancing the various needs to participate, interact, engage, think critically, and write well. Not all students seek an A or B grade, but those who do should expect to do the maximum required.

i. Public Lecture Review                                      10%                    

ii. First  Examination                                           25%                     

     (Two essay questions, at least three pages on each)

iii. Book Review,                                                 20%                    

iv.   Book Review                                                20%                    

v. Second Examination                                       25%                     

        (Two essay questions, at least three pages on each)

 

Alternative Option to  the Second Examination

8 page research paper on a topic approved by the TA                     

 

This course partially fulfills the legislative requirement for American history. 

AFR 374C • African Hist In Films & Photos

30215 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm UTC 3.102
(also listed as HIS 364G )
show description

Western exposure to Sub-Saharan Africa has primarily been through stylized Hollywood films which rarely speak to the historical backgrounds of past and present conflicts.  These films can have detrimental effects on popular conceptions of Africa, its peoples, and its plights. Furthermore, these films can lead to an overwhelming lack of understanding for the complexities of the events in Africa’s recent history.  This course seeks to increase understanding of the social, economic, and political challenges present in the past fifty years of Africa’s history through an examination of several popular films.  Each film will serve a twofold purpose.  First, they will act as a case study used to speak to an issue central to the history of Africa, and second, aid in dispelling many of the misconceptions present in popular portrayals of Africa.  Each film will be accompanied by a text that corresponds with the respective subject matter.  It is the intention of these texts to offer greater analysis and generate critical discussions of the films, their subjects, depictions of characters, and events.  The ultimate goal of these discussions is to enhance students’ knowledge and perceptions of Africa, its societies, cultures, governments, and histories.  

Texts 

Toyin Falola, Key Events in African History: A Reference Guide (Westport, Conn: Greenwood, 2002). (hereafter listed as Key Events)

Toyin Falola and Adam Paddock, The Women’s War of 1929: A History of Anti-Colonial Resistance (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2011). (hereafter listed as Women’s War)

And one of the following books:

Davidson, Basil. African Civilization Revisited: From Antiquity to Modern Times. New York, African World Press, 1990.

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. New York: Modern Library, 1999.

Van Woerden, Henk. A Mouthful of Glass. London: Granta Books, 2000.

Biko, Steve. I Write What I Like: Selected Writings. London: Bowerdean Press, 1978.

Gourevitch, Philip. We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our Families: Stories from Rwanda. New York: Picador, 1998.

Eggers, David. What is the What? New York, First Vintage Books, 2006.

 

Requirements 

• 2 book reviews of 4-5 pages

• Research paper of 15-20 pages

• Regular class attendance and participation

AFR 310K • Introduction To Modern Africa

30405 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.134
(also listed as HIS 310 )
show description

AFR 374C • Nigeria: Hist Of Nat-Bldg

30475 • Spring 2011
Meets TH 300pm-600pm CBA 4.338
(also listed as HIS 350L )
show description

350L

This course focuses on Nigeria to examine the problems of nation building in developing countries.  It is designed to expose students to various materials on (i) the concept of the nation-state; (ii) the complexities of developing formations; (iii) core issues in the nation-building process, notably cultural, political and economic transformations; and (iv) the difficulties of modernization. This course will begin with an overview history of Nigeria. Students are expected to develop an interest in comparative history, theories and ideas of development, culture and nationalism. A well-focused research project teaches students how to conduct an independent study-they are expected to identify specific topics, collect primary and secondary data, and write a creative paper.

AFR 317C • The United States And Africa

35250 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WEL 2.312
(also listed as HIS 317L )
show description

UNITED STATES AND AFRICA

His 317L7   (39135) 

AFR 317C  (35250)

Class:  T&TH, 12.30-2PM     Wel 2.312
Instructor
: Toyin Falola
Email:
  Toyin.falola@mail.utexas.edu
TAs: Tosin Abiodun

Instructor:  2-3 p.m. T. & Th.  Office:    Gar 2.142 (In matters relating to grade, you must first of all see the TA before you talk to me)

Course Description

This class will look at the history of the political, economic and cultural relations between the United States and Africa from the early origins of the slave trade to the present. It explores the role of the US in historical global contexts. The class is intended to elucidate historical developments both in the US and on the African continent, and should satisfy students with a strong interest in US history as well as those interested in the place of the US in the African Diaspora.  The semester is divided into four parts, each covering a major theme.

Course Objectives

  1. To develop a base of African and US history and increase the level of awareness of the African Diaspora in the US.  
  2. To obtain a well-rounded approach to the political, economic, and cultural connections between the United States and Africa.
  3. To reevaluate perceptions of Africa, to recognize the vibrant nature of African culture, and to apply new knowledge to the different cultural agents active in US popular culture, such as music, dance, literature, business and science.
  4. To help students understand present-day politics in Africa at a deeper level and to obtain a better understanding of racial conditions in the US.
  5. To learn how to assess historical materials -- their relevance to a given interpretative problem, their reliability and their importance -- and to determine the biases present within particular scholarship. These include historical documents, literature and films.

 

Required Materials

**It is a course requirement to have all the books.

1. Joseph E. Holloway, ed., Africanisms in American Culture  (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005 second edition).

2. Curtis A. Keim, Mistaking Africa: Curiosities and Inventions of the American Mind (Westview Press, 1999).

3. Alusine Jalloh, ed., The United States and West Africa (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2008).

4. Kevin Roberts, ed., The Atlantic World 1450-2000 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008).

 

Students can buy books from Coop and other sources.

2244 Guadalupe St., Austin, TX 78705

Phone: (512)476-7211 x8108

 Internet Resources

http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/index.html

http://groups.google.com/group/USAAfricaDialogue

Evaluation and Points--100% (there is no extra credit, and the course is not graded on curve)

** The weight is distributed to ensure success for all students, balancing the various needs to participate, interact, engage, think critically, and write well. Not all students seek an A or B grade, but those who do should expect to do the maximum required.

September cumulative 30%

i. Public Lecture Review                                      10%                    September 23  

ii. First  Examination                                           25%                     October 7

     (Two essay questions, at least three pages on each)

iii. Book Review,                                                 20%                    October 26 

iv.   Book Review                                                20%                    November 16 

 v. Second Examination                                       25%                    December 2   
        (Two essay questions, at least three pages on each)

 

Alternative Option to  the Second Examination

8 page research paper on a topic approved by the TA                     December 2

 

Class rules

i.) All assignments must be submitted on due dates. 5 points per day are deducted thereafter

ii.) Except on medical grounds or permission from the Dean’s office, there are no make-up examinations

iii.) There is no option for extra credit.

iv.) Failure to read the assigned materials will incur negative grading and treated as an evidence of cheating. Answers to questions will be used to reveal the failure to read

A part of writing history includes clearly communicating your ideas. As such, written assignments must conform to standard rules of written English including the organization of essays and grammar

SPECIAL EVENT, September 21, 7 pm

A public lecture is a mandatory part of the class.

 

PART A: CONNECTIONS, RELEVANCE, AND PREJUDICES

August 26: Introduction (by the TA, Tosin Abiodun) 

*About the course

**Teaching Approach:

Lectures

Class discussions

Films (these are integral to the class, and materials can be drawn from them).

Reading: Always read before the class so that you can understand the lectures and ask questions.

Africa—the continent and its people.

August 31: Africa and the United States: Historical Overview

Reading: The United States and West Africa, chapter 1.

September 2: Africa and the United States: Why Is the Connection Important?

Reading: The United States and West Africa, chapter 1.

**Students to volunteer to lead the discussion  next week

Reading: Mistaking Africa, chapters 1 2, 3, and 4.

September 7: Stereotyping Africa, 1

Class seminar on Mistaking Africa, chapters 1-4.

Reading, Mistaking Africa, chapters 7,8,9,& 10

**Students to volunteer to lead the discussion next week

September 9: Stereotyping Africa, 2

Chapters 7, 8, 9. & 10.

Read the remaining chapters in Mistaking Africa.  

September 14: Documentary

 Black Studies in the United States

 Read the remaining chapters in Mistaking Africa

 ***students to volunteer to lead discussions.

September 16: Class Seminar

Is there an Obama impact?

Review of knowledge update

Part B: The Origins of Contacts: The Atlantic Slave Trade 

September 21: Africa, the USA and the Atlantic World

Tuesday, September 21 7PM

Reading:  The Atlantic World, Introduction

**Mandatory Public Lecture in the evening.

2010 Africa Distinguished Lecture

Lecturer: Professor Barbara Harlow, Dept of English

 First class assignment: Report on lecture to be submitted by September 23rd. (10% of grade).

September 23: The Atlantic Slave Trade 

Reading:  The Atlantic World, chapters 1 & 2.

***Submit report on public lecture

September 28: Commodities and Connections: Spices

USA and West Africa, chapter 16.

September 30: Documentary

Africa Buried Past
 

Part C: Slavery and Africanism in the United States

October 5: The Impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade 

Reading: The United States and West Africa, chapter 3.

Review Questions

Prepare for first exam: Materials to be drawn from books, lecture notes, and films. Students who show a wide range of reading and engagement will be rewarded.

Questions will be drawn from Mistaking Africa, public issues, and key the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery.

October 7:  Mid-Term Exam in Class

Class Period: Bring Blue Books. Students will write two long inter-connected essays. Essays will be drawn from a pool submitted by an Examination Committee comprising 5 students, with TA as Chairperson

October 12: The Basis of Africanisms: Slavery in the United States 

Holloway, Africanisms, chapter 1, “The Origins of African American Culture”

Holloway, Africanisms, chapter 4, “Gullah Attitudes”

October 14: Voodoo in New Orleans

Holloway, Africanisms, chapter 3, “The case of Voodoo.”

October 19: Documentary

 Documentary

 African and African-American religions. / Wynnewood, PA.# 1998

        VIDCASS 7789

 ****students to volunteer for next week.

October 21: Seminar on Africanisms (to be coordinated by the TA)

 Various issues and topics drawn from Holloway, Africanisms 

Prepare to write the first book report on The Atlantic World (any section of your choice. The book is divided into four parts—review only one part).

 

Part D: ABOLITION AND MODERN RELATIONS 

  

October 26: Abolition and Back to Africa Movements

 The Atlantic World, chapter 10.

***Submit First Book Review.

October 28: Pan Africanism  

 The United States and West Africa, chapter 4.

November 2: Documentary

Marcus Garvey: Black-nationalist leader. Vidcass 6648

November 4: Africans and African Americans  

Reading: The United States and West Africa, part 3

Volunteers to lead discussion

November 9 Class Seminar on Africans and African Americans

November 11: Comparative Food Cultures

United Tastes of America." VIDCASS 9980

Prepare the second book review on Part IV of The United States and West Africa

November 16: Contemporary Economy and Politics 1

 The United States and West Africa, chapter 13.

***Submit second book review

 November 18: Contemporary Economy and Politics, 2

The Atlantic World, chapters 13 & 15. 

November 23: The China Factor

Nov. 25: Globalization, 1

The United States and West Africa, chapter 13.

Nov. 30: Globalization 2

The United States and West Africa, chapter 22.

December 2: Final Examination

Exam in class or the submission of the alternative papers to exam.

Bring Blue Books.

APPENDICES

Appendix 1

Instructions for writing Public Lecture Review

  1. Of course you must be there and listen carefully.
  2. Ask the speaker about issues that are not clear to you.
  3. Summarize the lecture in no more than 1 page—the idea here is that you must understand the major arguments and issues.
  4. Give your opinions of the lecture in no less than 1 page

Minimum page count: 2 typed pages, double-spaced. If you write more than this, focus on your opinions/reflections and not on the summary of the lecture.

**Can you bring other materials as you reflect? Yes, and remember to provide the source.

***Can you disagree? Yes, but remember to back it up with evidence.

Appendix 2

Instructions for writing book reviews

1. Reviews should be no less than 3 pp. and no more than 5 pp., typed and double spaced.

2. Book reviews should be analytical, and not just a retelling of the narrative.  The best way to do this is by synthesizing the narrative in your own mind and then critically examining such things as the historical content, style and the overall impression the book made on you. You will probably want to assess how the book fits in with particular topics or themes we are developing in the course.  Feel free to express your own opinion, but do so clearly.  Organize and develop the main points you wish to make and re-emphasize them in a conclusion.

3.   Proofread your review before submitting it.

4. Turn your review in on time (that means at the beginning of class on the assigned day), because late reviews will be penalized.

 

Appendix 3

Instead of the Final Examination, students have the option of writing a research paper.  If the student chooses the research paper option, he or she is responsible for choosing a topic and getting it approved by the instructor.  The student may choose essentially any topic for this paper with the only requirement being that it must be clearly related to one or more of the themes of the course (this relationship must be clear to both the student and the instructor).  If a student wishes to write a paper and is having difficulty producing an acceptable topic, the TA will be more than happy to help shape the argument and relate it back to the course. By the end of the semester the student should be able to produce a comprehensive paper outlining the salient information concerning the, including its structure, effects, and implications.  Any further requirements will be clarified as the class proceeds and any questions regarding either option will be answered as they emerge.

 

 Appendix 4

Style to be used in writing footnotes and bibliography

Please, follow this style carefully for all the papers, reviews, reports, etc. Failure to do so will mean points deducted from your grade.

Footnotes

Historical style only; numbered sequentially, at bottom of the page.

First citation: full reference.

Book: author (first name first), title (place, date) pp.

      Toyin Falola, Violence in Nigeria: The Crisis of Religious Politics and Secular Ideologies. (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 1998), pp. 9-23.

Article in Journal: author (first name first), “title”, journal. Vol. (date), pp.

        Toyin Falola, "The Yoruba Toll System," Journal of African History, 30, 1, 1989, 

        pp. 41- 63.

Article in Book  author (first name first), “title”, in name/names of editor(s), ed(s); title (place, date), pp.

      Toyin Falola, "The Imperial Experience: Africa," in P. J. Marshall, ed., British Empire. Cambridge: C.U.P., 1996, pp. 347-356.

Subsequent Citations

Book: last name of author, short title, pp.

Article: last name of author, “short title”, pp.

If the same source is cited in the next following footnote, use Ibid., pp.

Bibliography-- Historical style, alphabetically, as follows:

     Book: author (last name first), title. Place: publisher, date.

     Article in Journal: author (last name first), “title”, journal. Vol. (Date).

     Article in Book: author (last name first), “title”, in name/names of editors (first names first), ed(s), title. Place: published, date.

     (Note: If there is more than one author of a book or article, list the first with last name first and the second with first name first.)

If you copy a map, table, graph, etc., for inclusion with your paper, you must give a full citation.

Appendix 5

SAMPLE EXAMINATION QUESTIONS

  1. Why did slavery become such a prominent institution in the New World? What other systems of labor exploitation were attempted in the Americas?  Why were Africans selected as slaves as opposed to other population groups?  What conflicts did the growth of slavery raise, and how was slavery justified?
  1. What were the inter-relational precursors to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade?  Go into detail about European-African relations before the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
  1. How did Africans resist their initial enslavement?  Once enslaved in the New World, how did they continue this resistance?  Use examples from voodoo, music and the Gullah.
  1. In what ways is voodoo an African institution?  In what ways Western?  Is it more one than the other?
  1. Compare the movement to abolish the slave trade with the movement to emancipate slaves in the US.  How are they similar?  How do they differ? Discuss in terms of ideology, influences, politics and economics.  

6.   Compare the movement to abolish the slave trade with the pan-African movement.  How are they similar/different?  Discuss in terms of ideology, influences, politics and economics.

 7.    Discuss arguments for and against the repatriation and Back-to-Africa movements.  Examine the successes and failures of these movements.

8.    Compare the ideology and goals of the pan-African movement in the Caribbean with the pan-African movement in Africa.  

10.    Why are good relations with African countries important to the US?  Discuss political, economic, and health/environmental issues.  How do these factors shape US policy towards Africa.  

 

Appendix 6

Plagiarism:

How do you avoid committing plagiarism?  Here are some basic tips:

1. Historians use a variety of citation formats, including footnotes, endnotes, and indicating their source directly in their text within parentheses.  Within those formats, they use a variety of styles.  Ask your instructor for guidance on a uniform system of citations--and follow that advice.

2. Take notes carefully.  Whenever you copy a direct quotation, protect yourself by putting quotation marks around it.  Attach a full, accurate citation to any borrowed passage, whether quoted or paraphrased, and keep it attached as you write.

3. Although borrowed ideas must be fully acknowledged in a citation, you do not need to provide a citation for information that your reader can reasonably be expected to know.  When in doubt, include a citation.

4. You can avoid plagiarism by learning how to paraphrase.  It is much easier to avoid plagiarism that involves verbatim copying or handing in the same paper twice than it is to avoid plagiarism that involves paraphrase, probably the trickiest area of all.  Certainly it is the area where most instances of plagiarism occur.

 

 

Appendix 7

HOW TO WRITE

             This packet is a color-coded explanation and sample of how to outline and write an argument for a paper.  This is by no means the only way to write a paper, but may be regarded as an efficient and basic way to organize the information needed to impart an opinion and to provide support.  For the sake of clarity, each part of the argument on both the outline and the paper itself will be color-coded so you may see where they correspond and how they all fit together.

Thesis:  Put into simple terms, your paper is your answer to a question.  Your thesis is this answer put concisely.  For example, if the question before you is “Why is hip-hop music flourishing in Nigeria?” Your answer might be, “Nigerian hip-hop is a vital method of social communication, transmitting public information, protest, and national pride.”  Remember, this does not need to be a scientific fact- your thesis is what you think the answer is and the rest of the paper is information showing why you think that.

Points:  These will be the broader pieces of your argument that support your Thesis.  If you are arguing Nigerian hip-hop’s vital role in social communication, you will need broad points on where and how it is vital.  So, as shown, the points will demonstrate how it is vital in terms of spreading public information, voicing protest, and instilling national pride.

Examples:  These will be the specific examples of the Points you are making.  The Thesis and the Points are your opinions and argument.  These examples are facts- they must be verifiable and true.  Examples given for each of the major Points lend them legitimacy in the argument and bolster the Thesis itself.  So, for each of the categories you have chosen under Points, you should try and find several outside sources that you may quote and discuss. 

Explanation:  These are the sentences where you explain how the Examples relate to the Points.  By elaborating and discussing the Examples, you show their common thread and how this commonality fits them together into the category that you are using as a Point. 

To put it in short, the Explanation explores your Examples (facts) and tells us how and why they matter.  Examples then are the facts that are put together to construct the Points.  The Points, in turn, support the Thesis.  The Thesis is therefore built on a foundation of facts and explanation, which is then structured effectively to build a coherent argument.  The result is a solid answer to the question you set out to solve.

In the interest of integrity, it would also be best to mention that this essay and its sources are false and meant only as an example.  This is to be regarded only as a teaching aid, not as a proper academic paper.  No information in this paper is real.

Title:  “Elevate Your Mind, Lower the Taxes:  Nigerian Hip-Hop’s Social Messages”

  1.  Opening:
    1.  Nigerian music has a long radical tradition
      1.  Traditional Nigerian Music
      2. Nigerian Jazz in the 50s
      3. Western Ideas and Music in the 70s
      4. Hip-Hop begins in the late 80s
      5.  Thesis:  Nigerian hip-hop is a vital method of social communication, transmitting public information, protest, and national pride.
    2.  Publicly Needed Information
      1.  Afigbo’s “Wrap it Up.”
        1.  Written late 80s
        2. About AIDS crisis
        3. Spread awareness of the disease before government dissemination
      2.  Olosegun’s “Huffin’ to Death”
        1.  Written mid-90s
        2. About the drug abuses in urban Lagos
        3. Spread information about the detrimental effects of inhalants
      3.  Abiodun’s “Disappeared”
        1.  Written late 90s
        2. About the kidnappings on the Delta
        3. Attempted to educate people on the dangers the kidnappings posed/protested against the governments actions (this transitions into the ideas of protests)
    3. Protests
      1.  Oyebade’s “Tax Man”
        1. Written in the 80s
        2. A protest against the new agricultural taxes
        3. Caused widespread demonstrations and a reappraisal of the policy
      2.  Keto’s “Bus Fare”
        1.  Written in the mid 90s
        2.  Protest against the rising costs of public transportation
        3. Caused demonstrations but little government action. Represented a decline in the protest song.
      3.  Alagoa’s “Generallissimo”
        1.  Written in the late 90s
        2. A protest against the coups and military rule
        3. Helped spearhead the public movements towards the republic again and instill national pride (this can help lead into the nationalism ideas)
    4.  Nationalism
      1.  Achebe’s “Lion Waking”
        1.  Written in the late 80s
        2. A discussion of the importance of national pride in spite of critical cutbacks
        3. Credited with holding the nation together during the tumultuous years of the late 80s.
      2.  Abiola’s “Phoenix in the Ashes”
        1.  Written in the early 90s
        2. Discussion of hope after the near chaos in the nation
        3. Helped give identity to Nigeria after the late 80s- was appropriated by the Abacha government to legitimize their rule
      3.  Fodio’s “Still Standing”
        1.  Written in the late 90s.
        2. Discussion of defiance in the wake of military rule
        3. Has helped the country regain its confidence in the course of rebuilding
    5.  Conclusion
      1. Nigeria has a vibrant arts tradition
      2. Hip-hop has taken up the mantle of a public voice, a protest, and a nation-builder
      3. The tradition carries on today.

Is all of that clear?  Wonderful, now here is your sample essay!  Remember, not all sentences may be colored.  These sentences exist to help with the flow and transition of the paper or to give a richer background.  This is completely fine.

“Elevate Your Mind, Lower the Taxes:  Nigerian Hip-Hop’s Social Messages”

            Since pre-colonial days, Nigerian music has held a central place in Nigerian culture.  It had often functioned as a conscience of the people, a teacher, even a radical voice that might educate or inflame.  The coming of European colonialism did not alter the purpose of the music, but it did alter its form.  New instruments and philosophies behind musical types influenced the art, but the radical messages often remained.  The jazz that emerged out of Lagos in the 1950s often held messages of self-sufficiency and independence for the populace. The concepts of Pan-Africanism and Funk infused the 1970s Ibadan music scene, attempting to forge a tie across the Atlantic Ocean.  The heir to this tradition is hip-hop, which has taken a firm root in all areas of Nigeria.  The explosion of this music form began in the mid 1980s and has continued unabated.  With such Western influences as NWA, Ice-T, and even Tupac Shakur, Nigerian hip-hop spreads essential messages to the masses.  The music has become central to the dialog within the nation.  Today, Nigerian hip-hop is a vital method of social communication-transmitting public information, encouraging protest, and instilling national pride. 

            Perhaps the most utilitarian aspect of the hip-hop movement in Nigeria has been its use in spreading vital public information.  Few media outlets have such reach as the music industry, leaving socially conscious performers to spread messages within their songs.  Perhaps the earliest known public information song was Afigbo’s “Wrap it Up.”  Written in early 1983, Afigbo was attempting to spread awareness of the spread of AIDS and how it might be halted.  With so little accurate information being disseminated, Afigbo claimed “…I can only hope that this song can encourage safe sex and save lives.”[i]  Taking his cue from this new development, Olosegun was encouraged to write his chart-topping “Huffin’ to Death” in 1991.  The government had refused to deal with the explosion of inhalant abuse among urban Nigerian youths, leading Olosegun to “…force the nation to understand the permanent damage that huffing could do.”[ii]  These two were perhaps the most influential of the deluge of public informing songs, until 1999’s “Disappeared” by Abiodun.  The female singer captured a solid hook and used her imaginative lyrical styling to highlight the growing problems of the kidnappings on the Niger Delta.  Having lost her own sister there, Abiodun combined an announcement of the dangers of the Delta with a formal protest about the government’s “complicity and duplicity”[iii] in terms of the kidnappings. 

            This would not be the first time formal protest was involved in Nigerian hip-hop.  Beginning with the historical roots of the music in Africa, protest music had often taken center stage.  In 1983, the same year as “Wrap It Up,” Oyebade’s “Tax Man” created extreme controversy.  The inflammatory lyrics about the new agricultural taxes the government had put into effect caused massive demonstrations.  At the time, an unnamed government minister credited the song as having caused the downfall of the tax policy.[iv]  However, such power would not always follow a song.  Perhaps the nadir of the protest song over the next decade would be Keto’s “Bus Fare,” which was a scathing indictment of the mishandling of the public transportation system in Lagos.  When it was released in 1991 it gathered a great deal of attention, but the demonstrations by urban youth were simply ignored by the government and quickly dispersed.[v]  The protest song then became dormant until the almost terrifying bombast of Alagoa’s 1998 “Generalissimo.”  The song gained critical acclaim and unprecedented press, as until then Alagoa was not regarded by the public as a political artist.  However, with a booming back beat and a thrilling call to action, “Generalissimo” galvanized the country against the military coups which had wracked the nation and caused a massive backlash against the authorities.  Later it was credited as helping “…the country remember its roots, its fire, and its republican traditions.”[vi]  By combining a fiery protest with ardent nationalism, Alagoa fused two powerful themes of Nigerian hip-hop. 

            Alagoa was certainly not the first to bring national pride into his hip-hop stylings.   With the major budgetary cutbacks of the 1980s, Achebe’s “Lion Waking” (1985) attempted to instill a feeling of out-at-the-elbows pride in the nation.  His lyrics implored the nation to take pride in their accomplishments and look toward better days.  With several provinces looking decidedly shaky during the government cutbacks, it has been argued the song might have been the only thing that stopped a popular secession movement.[vii]  The depression of the 80s was followed by relative stability in the nineties, embodied in Abiola’s “Phoenix in the Ashes.”  In 1993, the song spoke about the shared uncertainty that was giving rise to a strong national identity and drive.  It was such a hit that the Abacha government would co-opt the tune when they seized power in late 1993, hoping to associate themselves with the triumph spoken of in the song.[viii]  The military government could not last though, and in 1999 elections were held, glorified in the song “Still Standing” by political radical Fodio.  His chart-topper celebrated the strength of the nation that had made it through the crushing burden of an oppressive military rule.  When asked about the defiant, almost jaunty tone of the piece, Fodio responded, “What we need now is that confidence… that swagger that we have lost as a nation.  We are strong and we need to remember that strength.  We will need it to rebuild after this time of tears.”[ix]

            All of the arts of Nigeria have carried the traditions of the nation through the years.  Throughout its tenure in Nigeria, hip-hop has acted as a voice for the people, taking up the mantle of a newspaper, people’s voice, and even pride.  It is undeniable that hip-hop has played a vital part in the shaping of Nigeria’s history and society.  From reforming taxes to building national feeling, from warning of kidnappings to toppling regimes, hip-hop has left an indelible footprint on the largest African nation.


[i] William S. Korn, “Hip-Hop’s African Messages,” Rolling Stone, June 20, 1983, 84.

[ii] William Bradford, “Hip-Hop and Head Trauma in Tropical Africa,” National Geographic, July, 1992, 112.

[iii] Jessica Achberger,  “An Interview with Abiodun,” Lagos Times, February 24, 1999, C1.

[iv] Robert Whitaker,  “The Song that Overturned a Nation,” US News and World Report, September 1984, 56.

[v] Charles Thomas, “Schrodinger’s Protests,” Time Magazine, November 1991, 10.

[vi] Bill Smith, “Protest Songs and the Nigerian Military Government,” Nigerian Review38 (1998): 639–40.

[vii] Sarah Jones,. “Nation Bought for a Song,” Nigerian Studies 24 (1987): 276-285.

[viii] Peter Thomas,  “Coup Troops Blare Hip-Hop to Confuse and Inspire,” Cameroon Today, December 22, 1993, F2.

[ix] Paul Toole,  “An Interview with the Radical: Fodio on Fodio,”  Rolling Stone, November 11, 1999, 121.


AFR 374C • African Hist In Films & Photos

35305 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm UTC 3.104
(also listed as HIS 364G )
show description

  Hist 364 G Africa in Films and Photographs

Course Description:

            Western exposure to Sub-Saharan Africa has primarily been through stylized Hollywood films which rarely speak to the historical backgrounds of past and present conflicts.  These films can have detrimental effects on popular conceptions of Africa, its peoples, and its plights. Furthermore, these films can lead to an overwhelming lack of understanding for the complexities of the events in Africa’s recent history.  This course seeks to increase understanding of the social, economic, and political challenges present in the past fifty years of Africa’s history through an examination of several popular films.  Each film will serve a twofold purpose.  First, they will act as a case study used to speak to an issue central to the history of Africa, and second, aid in dispelling many of the misconceptions present in popular portrayals of Africa.  Each film will be accompanied by a text that corresponds with the respective subject matter.  It is the intention of these texts to offer greater analysis and generate critical discussions of the films, their subjects, depictions of characters, and events.  The ultimate goal of these discussions is to enhance students’ knowledge and perceptions of Africa, its societies, cultures, governments, and histories.  

 

Course Objectives:

  1. To consider the use of film as a viable historical source.  Notably, how its application can illustrate biases and perspectives outside traditional historical scholarship.
  2. To increase general knowledge and understanding of African history, culture, and society.
  3. To identify key themes in African history that transcend national histories.
  4. To help student’s reexamine their individual perceptions of Africa and understand the social, cultural, political, and economic agents that have impacted Africa’s post-colonial trajectory. 

Course Requirements:

  • 2 book reviews of 4-5 pages 
  • Research paper of 15-20 pages 
  • Regular class attendance and participation

Required Texts:

  • Ukadike, N. Frank.  “Western Film Images of Africa: Genealogy of an Ideological Formulation.” 

Black Scholar 21 no. 2 (March-May 1990): 30-48.

  • Price, Robert M.  The Apartheid State in Crisis: Political Transformation in South Africa, 1975-1990.  New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991.
  • Brantley, Cynthia.  The Giriama and Colonial Resistance in Kenya, 1800-1920.  Berkeley: The University of California Press, 1981.
  • Mamdani, Mahmood.  When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nationalism, and the Genocide in Rwanda.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.
  • Beah, Ishmael.  A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.  New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

Week 1: Course Introduction: Portrayal of Africa in Western Popular Cinema

Recent Hollywood films such as Blood Diamond, The Last King of Scotland, and Hotel Rwanda have focused on the rampant corruption, violence, and divisiveness which plague countries throughout Africa.  However, to what degree are these portrayals of Africa and Africans accurate, and to what extent are they determined by preexisting stereotypes?  Furthermore, what do these films say about Western perspectives of issues and themes key to African history such as racism, colonialism, national revolution and independence movements, and individual countries’ colonial legacies?  This week’s discussion will introduce these themes as well as the issue of ethnographic representations between African films and their Western counterparts. 

Additional Readings:

Shillington, Kevin.  History of Africa, 2nd ed.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Week 2: Race and Identity in Film

Film: Africa Screams

Throughout Africa’s colonial and post-colonial history, race and identity have played key roles in political and social discourse.  This issue transcends national and regional boundaries to impact nearly every country across the African continent.  Released in 1949, Africa Screams follows comedy troupe Abbot and Costello through their misadventures hunting diamonds in Africa.  How does this film utilize comedic Hollywood representations of Africa, the social and cultural identities associated with colonialism, and western conceptions of Africans?  Also, in what ways are these representations a comedic tool and how are they indicative of deeply rooted beliefs about Africa and its people?

Week 3: Race and Identity in Film Reading Discussion

Required Reading:

Ukadike, N. Frank.  “Western Film Images of Africa: Genealogy of an Ideological Formulation.” 

Black Scholar 21 no. 2 (March-May 1990): 30-48.

 

Additional Readings:

Burns, J.M.  Flickering Shadows: Cinema and Identity in Colonial Zimbabwe.  Athens: Ohio University Press, 2002.

Week 4: Representations of African Colonialism in Film

Film: Out of Africa

Out of Africa is Academy Award winning director Sydney Pollack’s idyllic portrait of Africa.  It is based on the autobiography of Isak Dineson (pseudonym for Dutch Baroness Karen Blixen) and revolves around her marriage to Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke and romance with hunter Denys Finch Hatton while maintaining her coffee plantation in Colonial British East Africa (Kenya).  How does this film portray the colonial experience, for both Africans and Europeans?  Also, what voice does it give Africans, and what identity does it establish for them?

Week 5: Representations of African Colonialism in Film Reading Discussion

Required Reading:

Brantley, Cynthia.  The Giriama and Colonial Resistance in Kenya, 1800-1920.  Berkeley: The University of California Press, 1981.

Week 6: Nationalism and Independence Struggles in Film

Film: Catch a Fire

Following the Second World War and the influx of Europeans into Africa, the issue of African Nationalism became an ever increasing issue.  However, in South and Southern Africa, the system of Apartheid created a country and region divided between its disenfranchised black majority and the ruling white minority.  Catch a Fire tells the story of the violent opposition to Apartheid that plagued the 1980s and the journey of one man against an increasingly oppressive government.  How does this film address ideas such as violence and reciprocity, national identity, and post-apartheid reconciliation?

Week 7: Nationalism and Independence Struggles in Film Reading Discussion

Required Reading:

Price, Robert M.  The Apartheid State in Crisis: Political Transformation in South Africa, 1975-1990.  New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 199

Week 8: Ethnicity in Film

Film: Sometimes in April

            Between April 6 and mid-July 1994, between 800,000 and 1,000,000 Tutsi’s and Hutu moderates were slaughtered by radical Hutu Power forces in the East African nation of Rwanda.   Sometimes in April is two brothers’ story during those 100 days and how ethnicity and politics divided their family and a nation.  How does this film portray the politicization of ethnic identity, victimization, and the lingering effects of colonial rule?

Week 9: Ethnicity in Film Reading Discussion

Required Reading:

Mamdani, Mahmood.  When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nationalism, and

the Genocide in Rwanda.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Week 10: Differing Ethnographic Representations in Film

Film: Ezra

For the final film of our study, we look at Ezra, an examination of child soldiers during Sierra Leone’s civil war.   Unlike previous films in this course, Ezra is distinctly African in perspective.  While watching this film consider how it compares with Hollywood films such as Blood Diamond in its depiction of issues such as child soldiers and conflict diamonds. 

Week 11: Differing Ethnographic Representations in Film Reading Discussion

Required Reading:

Beah, Ishmael.  A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.  New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.

Week 12: No Class – Research and Writing Sabbatical

Week 13: No Class – Research and Writing Sabbatical

 

Week 14: Individual Presentations

Week 15: Individual Presentations and Final Papers Due

UGS 302 • Africa In Films-W

63745 • Spring 2010
Meets T 330pm-630pm GAR 2.112
show description

 UGS 302 Africa in Films: History and Knowledge

63745

T 3:30-6:30PM, GAR 2.112

Instructor: Toyin Falola, Garrison Hall 2.142

Telephone: 512-475- 7224
Email address: Toyin.Falola@mail.utexas.edu
Office Hours: T & Th 2-3 PM

 

Course Objectives

With the aid of visual materials, this interdisciplinary seminar will introduce students to major themes in African history and culture from earliest times to the present. Readings and projects will focus on the ability of students to connect Africa with their own experiences and cultures. In addition to films, the course will have a vital reading and discussion component to enhance the visual experience. Reading assignments will be no less important than in any more conventional course.

 

Students are expected to:
      i)         understand the main themes in African history;
      ii)        formulate a research topic on Nigeria and write about it;
      iii)       write very well and persuasively; and
      iv)       discuss critically on various subjects.

Achievements:
a)  students to acquire an interdisciplinary perspective;
b)  course is at the level and type of scholarship expected in college courses; and
c)  students to use resources of the whole University.

 

Reading Materials

1.   A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt: An African Memoir (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2004). 

2.   Culture and Customs of Nigeria (Westport, Conn: Greenwood, 2000).

3.   Key Events in African History: A Reference Guide (Westport, Conn: Greenwood, 2002).

Students can buy books from Coop and other bookstores on campus. In case of problems, please contact
University Co-op, Textbook Dept.
2244 Guadalupe St., Austin, TX 78705
Phone: (512)476-7211 x8108

 

Week 1, January 19:  Introduction to Africa

Class and Course Introduction

Film:    Mazrui, The nature of a continent VIDCASS 1649, No.1.  

Film discussion

Reading for the week:  Key Events, pp. 3-17.         [must read on  leaving class]

Reading for next week: ancient and precolonial Africa. Students to read two events of their choice in Part 1 of Key Events.

Week 2, January 26:   Peoples and Cultures

Film: Mazrui, A legacy of lifestyles, VIDCASS 1649. No. 2.

Film discussion.
Discussion: Precolonial Africa. Each student to make a short presentation.

*Weekly journal begins (combine report with previous week). If in doubt or confused, send sample to me by Email.

Class presentation begins next week: class to draw up a roster.

**Reading for next week: Colonial Africa  --read items 18, 19, and 22 in Key Events.

Week 3, February 2:  Religions

Film: Mazrui, New Gods, VID CASS 1649, No.3.

Discussion: Current issues on world politics             

Reading for next week: Key Events, 28 and 30.

Week 4, February 9:  Globalization

Film: Mazrui, Tools of exploitation, VIDCASS 1649, No. 4.

Discussion: Religions  (students to present their readings in turn).

Reading for next week: A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt, chapters 1-5.

Week 5, February 16: Problems of state-building

Film: Mazrui, New conflicts VIDCASS 1649, No. 5.

Discussion: A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt.

Assignment for next week

Book Review: finish reading A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt and write the book review to be submitted  next week

Week 6, February 23: Problems of Politics

Film: Mazrui,  In search of stability VIDCASS 1649, No. 6.

Submit  the first book review of A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt.

Discussion: Is leadership important?

Week 7, March 2 :   

Black and white in color, VIDCASS 2102 

Reading for next week: Key Events, 26 and 27

Discussion: Possible Research Topics

Week 8  March 9: Underdevelopment   

Film: Mazrui, A Garden of Eden in Decay? VIDCASS 1649, No. 7.

Discussion: Environment and Development

Research topic:  Students to talk about research interests.

Reading for next weekCulture and Customs of Nigeria.

Week 9, March 23:  Culture and Politics

Film: Mazrui, A clash of cultures, VIDCASS 1649, No.8.

Discussion: Culture and Customs of Nigeria.

Reading for next week:  Key Events, no. 31.

Submit the second book review, Culture and Customs of Nigeria.

Week 10, March 30 : International Politics  

Film: Mazrui, Global Africa, VIDCASS 1649, No .9.

Discussion:   African women.

Reading for next weekKey Events,  32 and 33

Submit conference report.

Week 11, April 6: Nature of Power

Film: Chef, Chef, VIDCASS   8158.

Discussion: African economies

Reading for next week: Key Events, no. 35.

Discuss progress with research  

Week 12, April 13: Globalization

Film: Lumumba

Reading: Key Events, No.35.30.

Class discussion: World Politics

Discuss progress with research. 

Week 13, April 20   

Film: African music: Ipi Tombi

Class discussion: Research Update.

Week 14, April 27

Presentation of research update

 Week 14, May 4

Submit Research Project   

Submit Journal Entries

Assignments and Evaluation     (**Guidelines will be discussed in class)

1. Class attendance, class presentation, and 5 journal entries  20% journal entries on commentaries on film and reading,  one page each. (submit journal entries when they are ready—last day is May 4. All students will make power point presentations on any Africa-related subject of their choice.

2. First Book Review              15 %      February 23

3. Second Book Review          15 %      March 23  

4. Conference Report             20%        March 30

5. Research Project. Take any issue of interest to you and write a research paper of 7 to 10 pp. The paper must demonstrate interest in reading, and ability to think critically, and  to reach sound conclusions.   30% May 4

Rules

i.  Late attendance will disturb the class; you must come early.

ii.  An absence requires an immediate make-up (go to the library for private viewing and submit a 3 pp. report on the film).

iii.  Ten points will be deducted for failure to submit assignments on due dates, and also for missing classes.

iv. A part of writing history includes clearly communicating your ideas. As such, written assignments must conform to standard rules of written English including the organization of essays and grammar.

 

BOOK REVIEW: GUIDELINES

Reviews should be no more than 5 pp., typed and double-spaced.

Book reviews should be analytical, and not just a retelling of the narrative.  The best way to do this is by synthesizing the narrative in your own mind and then critically examining such things as the historical content, style and the overall impression the book/film had on you. You will probably want to assess how the book fits in with particular topics or themes we are developing in the course.  Feel free to express your own opinion, but do so clearly.  Organize and develop the main points you wish to make and re-emphasize them in a conclusion.

Do not simply reiterate the story line, but discuss the context, style and perspective, and how the book helps to define topics and themes of our course.  By all means, express your own opinions (“two thumbs up”!) and perceptions, but do so clearly and objectively.

Proofread your review before submitting it.

Turn your review in on time (that means at the beginning of class), because late reviews will be penalized.

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