HIS 306N • History of Pop Culture in Africa
This course explores the history of African popular culture from its earliest developments to the present. We focus on the various forms of popular culture, including music, oral traditions, and theatre. The course introduces the different genres present in Africa and connects them to major themes such as politics, globalization, and spirituality. No previous knowledge of Africa is necessary for this course. Historical texts and novels are used to emphasize the major issues and debates regarding the progression of popular culture and to provide an accessible narrative of Africa. Coursework will include two take-home exams, each based on course material and an assigned novel, and six short quizzes on the readings. As a class, we will attend an international conference on African popular culture in March. A substantial portion of class time will be devoted to listening, watching, and appreciating the subject matter through carefully selected films, music samples, and works of art.
Pop Quizzes-10% Video Journal-15% Conference Report -15% First Take Home Exam-30% Second Take Home Exam-30%
. Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Weep Not, Child, Heinemann, 1988. ISBN 0435908308 . D.T. Niane, Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali, Longman African Writers, 1994. 0582264758 . Wole Soyinka, Madmen and Specialists, Hill and Wang, 1971. 080901226X. . Basil Davidson, Modern Africa, Longman, 1989. 0582019001. . Course Packet (available at Paradigm Printing on the corner of 24th and Guadalupe).