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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Spring 2007

HIS 350L • History and Images of Hollywood's Africa-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

This course examines the impact of Hollywood's representation of Africa and explores the construct of myths, stereotypes, and the Western justification of white supremacy to rule and control the affairs of Africa. In the era of Mercantilist empires, Africa became the repository of slave labor and the object of racist ideologies to justify the slave trade. During the 19th century, Africa was the "heart of darkness," a mysterious virgin territory awaiting European conquest., and throughout the 20th century Hollywood created a history of imperial and racist images of Africa as the land of exotic jungles , home of Tarzan, and primitive tribes longing for civilization and uplift fimr the white race. More recently, Afrocentric theorists have tried to convert Africans into super Kings and Queens, serving as the course of many of the Wests grandest achievements. In their compensatory zeal, the Africanists have substituted a new set of myths for the old standards. Nonetheless, images of war, disease, poverty, AIDS, corruption, and numerous misperceptions of Africa continue to appear in Hollywood films. Hence, this course will critique Hollywoods understanding of Africa and will examine the treatment of the following topics: African culture, pre-colonial Africa, the slave trade, and its impact on Africa, the colonial experience, African nationalism, the critical development of Pos-Colonial nation-building, as well as the racial and civil strife of Southern Africa. Each week, a film will be viewed and critiqued.

Grading Policy

Attendance and Class Participation (25%) (4) Five page response papers to the readings and films (50%) (1) Final Exam of 8 to 10 Pages (Take-Home Exam) (25%)


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