AFST 101 Introduction to Contemporary Africa
This course, Introduction to Contemporary Africa, seeks to illuminate and clarify the profoundly international character of the world we live in and to introduce a set of contemporary issues and challenges that affect every region of Africa. This interdisciplinary course is designed to introduce students to Africa’s history, geography, culture and political economy. Nevertheless, Africa is unquestionably diverse; it is the world’s second largest continent and the second most populous with 54 countries. In this course, students will challenge their assumptions, ask critical questions and seek new knowledge of Africa. Individual country cases will be used to explore contemporary theoretical debates in history, political science, geography, development economics and anthropology.
AFST 110 African Development and Underdevelopment
Nelson Mandela stated that, “poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” Both economic development and globalization are complex and subjective concepts debated by practitioners and scholars alike. It’s generally understood that economic development is a process that leads to sustained and sustainable economic growth per capita, a reduction in poverty, an expansion of economic opportunities for all citizens and thus higher standards of living. This course unpacks the contested concepts of development with the intent to explain the development gap between rich and poor nations as indicated by income, life expectancy, health and education. The gap between rich and poor countries is evolving, in some cases widening and in others shrinking. This course explores the trends in uneven development and strategies to overcome it.
AFST 125 Africa and China
This course explores the historical and contemporary components of African countries’ diplomatic, economic, and cultural relations with China from the seventh century to the present. Students critically examine the foreign policies of African nations and China with a particular focus on how those policies impact local communities in Africa. The nature of this relationship raises questions about China’s ‘intentions’ in Africa—‘Is this a new scramble for Africa?’ Students employ a multidisciplinary analysis of Sino-African relations to unpack and then deliberate on the complexities of Africa and China’s relationship. Discussion topics include: China’s loan and aid programs, foreign direct investment, infrastructural development, governance, military cooperation, cultural diplomacy, and migration.
AFST 271 The Rising Powers? Brazil, Russia, India and China in Africa
For the past decade, the combined economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and arguably South Africa have shifted power in the international system and Africa away from the G7 countries. This seminar course will address this shift and situate it within wider debates and processes around the changing nature of the international system, the politics of development, and the political relations of ‘South-South’ globalization. The BRICS have changed the nature of international political economy not only in the world system but also in developing countries where their investment will continue to shape local markets. This interdisciplinary course stands at the intersection of international relations, development studies and international political economy.
AFST 157 African Film, Literature and Society
Africa has had a rich tradition of expressive cultures from the griot to the Nollywood film director. This course explores the evolution of postcolonial African film and literature. African films and literatures are a vital part of the cultural artifacts that reflect the creative imaginations of people of African descent. This course approaches these mediums as art that should be interpreted and critiqued within a historical context that reflects a specific time and place. Film and literature often address, implicitly or explicitly, our assumptions, our values, our aspirations, and our fears. Thus, this course will explore how writers and filmmakers imagine their subjects in the midst of rapidly changing societies. This course will allow you to begin your exploration of the field by watching, discussing, and writing about films, and engaging in critical readings of major texts.