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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2007

T C 301 • Disease, Development, and Democracy in Postcolonial Africa

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
44620 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
CPE 2.204

Course Description

This is an introductory course that examines the rapid and far-reaching changes in Africa during the 20th and 21st centuries. The course will explore the impact of the Western world on traditional African social systems, economic organizations, political institutions, health and healing rituals, religious beliefs, and other patterns of life. The course will first provide some historical background on European colonization in Africa before charting the rapid transformations of Modern Africa bound up in such phenomena as urbanization, labor migration, and the growth of diverse political consciousness throughout Africa. The themes presented in this course will focus on issues ranging from: contact and transformation of cultures, the origin of myth-making and stereotypes about Africa, the colonial economic model for development, the rise of African resistance, the emergence of African nationalism, the impact of the Cold War on Africa, the contributions of Women in Africa, the role of education and African leadership, new global networks and technology in Africa, and the challenge of diseases such as Malaria, TB, Polio, Yellow Fever, and AIDS throughout Africa.

The objective of this course is to develop critical thinking, writing and reading skills to reconstruct history by using a variety of sources to develop an understanding and appreciation for the study of African History.

About the Professor

James A. Wilson, Jr. is an Assistant Professor in the History Department, specializing in the political history of Kenya, colonialism, and African responses, and post-colonial Africa as it relates to globalization. Dr. Wilson also researches and teaches courses that examine the history of African women and gender discrimination during the colonial era in East and Southern Africa countries, the History of HIV/AIDS in Africa, and he is currently researching emerging sexual identities and the reconstruction of penal laws in Kenya. He received his PH.D. in History from Princeton University in 2002 and immediately began his academic career at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 2005, he joined the UT History Department as a Visiting Assistant Professor and gladly accepted a permanent position in the History Department and the Center for African and Africana-American Studies. Dr. Wilson is no stranger to Austin because he received his undergraduate degree from UT in 1984. Shortly after graduating from UT, he accepted an assignment with the US Peace Corps in Kenya and taught English and African literature to 450 high school students in the beautiful mountains of Taita Hills, Kenya. Dr. Wilson's return to UT was prompted shortly after he received one of the four-awarded Outstanding Young Texas Ex Awards in 2004. At present, he is finishing a manuscript entitled The Untold Story: Kikuyu Christians, Memories, and the Kikuyu Independent Schools Movement in Kenya, 1922-1962. Dr. Wilsons non-academic interests and hobbies involve a wide range of activities: cooking, international travel, performing classical music, fencing, collecting African coins, and photography.

Grading Policy

Attendance, Class Participation, and Map Quizzes 25%
(4) Five page response papers related to the readings 50%
(1) Final Exam of 8 to 10 pages (Take-Home Exam) 25%


Erik Gilbert, Africa in World History: From Prehistory to the Present Michael Bratton and Nicolas van de Walle, Democratic Experiments in Africa Jeffrey Herbst, States and Power in Africa Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa: From Crisis to Sustainable Growth Glenda Fick, One Woman One Vote: The Gender Politics Megan Vaughan, Curing Their Ills: Colonial Power and African Illness Tony Barnett and A. Whiteside, AIDS in the 21st Century: Disease and Globalization


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