The following are syllabi for courses I have taught in the Department of African Studies
Introduction to Contemporary Africa – AFST101 Fall 2016
This is our flagship course, in which we get the most enrollment. In the course students examine major themes in contemporary Africa, covering the past 50 years. The course covers the colonial period, up to and including contemporary structures of modern states and societies in Africa. This course also examines Africa’s diverse cultures and peoples, paying special attention to African social structures and artistic expression.
Africa World – Writing – AFST 701 Fall 2016
Africa World – Writing – AFST 701 Fall 2017
This course is the writing intensive version of AFST 101. The course helps students learn and begin to master some of the fundamentals of academic writing through assignments that require them to reflect on topics of relevance to contemporary African society.
Social Media and Political change in Africa – AFST 107 Fall 2016
In this course I introduce students to social movements in Africa and the United States through the lens of social media. Students learn how social media has been used by activists to engage the state and bring about social change. The course also engages students in the methods of social and political organizing. Using the campaign planning model used by Amnesty International, students have to plan a campaign around any social, human rights, or environmental issue. Students have to think in depth of long term and short term goals, as well as methods to achieve those goals.
Pan Africanism – AFST 215 Spring 2017
This is a graduate course that examines Pan-Africanism as a cultural and political movement. The course focuses on the height of Pan Africanism on the African continent in the 1950s and 1960s, looking at the classic works by influential Pan Africanist scholars. The students read the works of important Pan Africanist scholars like Frantz Fanon, Julius Nyerere, and Kwame Nkrumah. The course also looks at the legacy of early Pan African struggles and how they have impacted contemporary politics on the continent, as well as the relationship between the continent and its Diaspora.
Courses I Created
Approved & Taught Course: Hip Hop and Popular Culture in Africa – AFST 132 Spring 17
This course examines the development of hip hop culture throughout Africa. The course also focuses on the role hip hop culture as a method of social commentary, with a special focus on hip hop’s commentary on democracy, corruption, social institutions, and gender. The course also examines the ways in which hip hop culture has engaged youth, social institutions, and the state. The course focuses on case studies of hip hop communities in order to show the diversities found across Africa. The case studies look at hip hop and social participation within individual hip hop communities in Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania. The course includes an optional trip to the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival in Hartford, CT, as well as guest lectures by African artists based on the continent and in the Diaspora.
Approved Course: African Immigrants in the United States
This course examines African migration out of Africa, and into the United States. The focus of the course is on the growing African migrant community in the U.S., specifically the economic and political history of that migration, and its impact on host and home countries. The course looks at the ways in which economic and political changes in the world are impacting migration trends on the continent. This course examines the demographics and socialization patterns of African migrant communities in the US and the balancing of transnational identities among first and second generation African migrants.
Pending Approval: Black Women and the Politics of Representation
This course is an examination of the representations of Black (African and African American) women that have dominated popular culture. The course looks at the history of those representations, especially in systems of colonialism and enslavement. These representations have fed tropes about Black women, tropes that have reinforced patriarchal structures, silence around violence against Black women, and domestic policies that negatively impact Black women’s lives. The course also looks at how Black women are creating content to challenge those familiar tropes. The course considers how women create their own representations, which create spaces within patriarchal environments for women to exercise their agency and create counter narratives.