Past and current courses in African Studies and related fields at the graduate level.



CourseShare Language offerings. As of Autumn 2015, the University of Chicago is strengthing its language offerings by being an active member of the CourseShare initiative. Course offerings include Zulu, Wolof, Yoruba, Bamana, Mandinka, and Malagasy.

LING28356/LING38356: Linguistic Introduction to Swahili II | Fidele Mpiranya

Based on Swahili Grammar and Workbook, this course is a continuation of Linguistic Introduction to Swahili I. It addresses complex issues related to grammatical agreement, verb moods, noun and verb derivation, non-typical adjectives and adverbs, double object constructions, subordinate / coordinated clause constructions, and dialectal variation. Additionally, this course provides important listening and expressive reading skills. For advanced students, historical interpretations are offered for exceptional patterns observed in Swahili, in relation with other Bantu languages. This course allows fulfilling the non-Indo-European language requirement.

SWAH25400/SWAH35400: Swahili III | 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.

SWAH 27000/SWAH37000: Intermediate Swahili III | Fidele Mpiranya

Students focus on broadening their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in this course.

CMLT22900/CMLT42900/CMST24201/CMST34201/ENGL27600/ENGL47600/GNSE28602/GNSE48602/RDIN27600/RDIN37600: Cinema in Africa | Loren Kruger

This course examines Africa in film as well as films produced in Africa. It places cinema in Sub Saharan Africa in its social, cultural, and aesthetic contexts ranging from neocolonial to postcolonial, Western to Southern Africa, documentary to fiction, art cinema to TV, and includes films that reflect on the impact of global trends in Africa and local responses, as well as changing racial and gender identifications. We will begin with La Noire de… (1966), by the “father” of African cinema, Ousmane Sembene, contrasted w/ a South African film, African Jim (1960) that more closely resembles African American musical film, and anti-colonial and anti-apartheid films from Lionel Rogosin’s Come Back Africa (1959) to Sarah Maldoror’s Sambizanga, Sembene’s Camp de Thiaroye (1984), and Jean Marie Teno’s Afrique, Je te Plumerai (1995). The rest of the course will examine 20th and 21st century films such as I am a not a Witch and The wound (both 2017), which show tensions between urban and rural, traditional and modern life, and the implications of these tensions for women and men, Western and Southern Africa, in fiction, documentary and fiction film. (20th/21st)

ECON35585/PLSC32736/PPHA32736: Economics, Politics, and African Societies | James Robinson

This course has two objectives. First, we will try to convince ourselves that the lenses through which economics and political science have tried to explain “African” “development” are charged with presuppositions that have limited our ability to grasp the logic of those societies. There is nothing specific to those disciplines in that regard, they are part of a given cultural and historical context. In doing that, this course is also about the rich diversity of the societies lumped in the term Africa. Second, we will try to undo the learnings weaved through that lens, but at the same time engage with a fertile ground for research, with a focus on generating new research ideas that carry less, we hope, the heavy veil of our assumptions. It is open to Masters students but it is primarily aimed at PhD students who want to know about Africa and can imagine themselves doing research there. We hope that it will help them identify new and interesting questions. The Masters students will be examined by an exam. The PhD students will have to write a short research proposal on some question on Africa and the last two lectures will be devoted to presentations.

Arabic, including Elementary, Intermediate, High Indermediate Modern, High Intermediate Classical, Advanced, and regional colloquial. This sequence concentrates on the acquisition and mastery of speaking, reading, and aural skills in a variety of types of Arabic.

Please email Ryan Eykholt with any questions.