Autumn 2020 Course Offerings

Introduction to African Civilization I
ANTH 20701, HIST 10101, CRES 20701, MDVL 10101
Monday/Wednesday, 1:50-3:10pm
Instructor: Emily Osborn

African Civilization introduces students to African history in a three-quarter sequence. Part one considers literary, oral, and archeological sources to investigate African societies and states from the early Iron Age through the emergence of the Atlantic World. We will study the empires of Ghana and Mali, the Swahili Coast, Great Zimbabwe, and medieval Ethiopia. We will also explore the expansion of Islam, the origins and effects of European contact, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

African Civilizations I: Colonialism, Migration, Diaspora
SOSC 19031
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 9:00am-12:00pm
Instructor: Francois Richard

African Civilizations II: Colonialism, Migration, Diaspora
SOSC 19032/99
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 9:00am-12:00pm
Instructor: Jennifer Cole

African Civilizations III: Colonialism, Migration, Diaspora
SOSC 19033
Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 9:00am-12:00pm
Instructor: Natacha Nsabimana

Theorizing the State in Africa
ANTH 52615
Wednesday, 10:20am-1:10pm
Instructor: Kathryn Takabvirwa

In this course, we will examine the ways the state has been theorized in Africa, as shifts within the discipline of anthropology engender shifts in the conceptualization of political life in Africa. The course asks how the theorization of the state in Africa relates to that of the state more broadly in Anthropology, and beyond. In it, we will consider the variegated histories of how state forms emerged in Africa, interrogating the ways colonialism, independence movements, and the postcolonial have informed political formation. We will study the representational politics and discursive practices of how the state is thought and made from within and outside the continent. The course asks: is there such a thing as an ‘African state’? Even as anthropologists are studying the state ‘from the ground up,’ what would it look like to rethink the state from outside of a western canon? The class will draw on a range of sources and materials including African literature, ethnographies, films, music, and political philosophy.

Africa and the World: Ancient to Early Modern Times
MLAP 46300
Thursday, 6:30-9:30pm
Instructor: Emily Osborn

This class introduces students to ancient, medieval, and early modern African states and societies. The first half of the course focuses on ancient Egypt, empires of West Africa, the maritime worlds of the Swahili Coast, the pastoral peoples of Great Zimbabwe, and the highlands of Ethiopia. The second half of the course investigates Africa in the era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We will study the history of slavery in Africa and also consider the transformations on the continent wrought by the demand in the Americas for enslaved peoples from Africa.

Ecrire le « Printemps arabe » au Maghreb : témoignages et perspectives littéraires
FREN 28410, FREN 38410
Tuesday, 2:40-5:30pm
Instructor: Khalid Lyamlahy

Fin 2010, l’immolation de Mohamed Bouazizi, un vendeur ambulant tunisien, déclenche un soulèvement populaire qui s’étend rapidement au reste du monde arabe, entraînant notamment la chute des régimes en Tunisie et en Egypte et une série de reconfigurations d’ordre politique et socio-économique. Si les pays du Maghreb ont vécu ces soulèvements et leurs conséquences de manières différentes, les écrivains maghrébins ont été particulièrement sensibles à l’élan et à la promesse de changement portés par la rue. Ceci étant, et à l’image de l’appellation « Printemps arabe », à la fois utilisée et récusée, les dynamiques et les résultats des protestations ont fait l’objet de nombreux débats. En s’appuyant sur ce contexte historique, ce cours s’intéresse aux différentes modalités d’écriture des soulèvements au Maghreb à travers divers genres littéraires, du témoignage à la fiction, en passant par l’essai, le théâtre ou encore la poésie. En étudiant un corpus de textes francophones issus de la Tunisie (Meddeb, Filali, Bekri), de l’Algérie (Benfodil, Boudjedra, Tamzali, Sebbar) et du Maroc (Ben Jelloun, Elalamy, Terrab), nous nous intéresserons à la représentation de la révolte populaire dans ses dimensions socio-politique et culturelle mais aussi à des questions clés telles que les formes d’engagement des écrivains, leurs approches et choix esthétiques et le rapport entre la dynamique des soulèvements et la construction narrative ou poétique des textes.

Xenophobia and the Politics of Belonging
ANTH 22845, CRES 22845
Tuesday/Thursday, 11:20am-12:40pm
Instructor: Kathryn Takabvirwa

What work does xenophobia do in the making and marking of nation-states? What does it mean to belong, in a world structured by migration? In this course, we will examine the practices and politics of exclusion, of othering and of unbelonging. Drawing on cases from North America and Sub-Saharan Africa, we will study xenophobia at different points along its spectrum of intensity – from mass atrocities to the seemingly banal ways in which othering and exclusion are baked into everyday life. We will study each case in depth in its own right, as well as how it sits within broader experiences of exclusion and violence around the world and across time. In the course, we will explore theoretical debates surrounding nativism, autochthony, and different forms of nationalism, and the ways they relate to xenophobia. Scholars of migration and belonging have long shown that collective identities are constructed in large part in relation to an external other. Does (one person’s) belonging necessitate (another’s) unbelonging? In this course we ask: how does the ‘stranger’ come to be seen as threatening or destabilizing? How does one come to be seen as a ‘stranger’?

Swahili I
SWAH 25200, SWAH 35200
Tuesday/Thursday, 11:20am-12:40pm
Instructor: Fidele Mpiranya

Swahili is the most popular language of Sub-Saharan Africa, spoken in most countries of Eastern and Central Africa by more than 50 million people. Swahili is characterized by the typical complex Bantu structure. However, it is particularly easy to pronounce and fast learned. The Elementary Swahili series is designed to help students acquire communicative competence in Swahili and a basic understanding of its structures. The course presents basic phonological, grammatical, and syntactic patterns of Kiswahili. Through a variety of exercises, students develop communicative functionality in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Emphasis is put on dialogues and role-plays, individual and group presentations, and the use of audiovisual and web-based resources. Swahili culture and African culture in general are an important component of the course. At the end of the elementary course series, the students are able to communicate efficiently in everyday life situations, write and present short descriptive notes about elementary pieces of verbal creation (documentaries and video series in Swahili). This course allows fulfilling the non-Indo-European language requirement.

Intermediate Swahili I
SWAH 26800, SWAH 36800
Tuesday/Thursday, 2:40-4:00pm
Instructor: Fidele Mpiranya</strong
Students focus on broadening their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in this course.