HISTORY 6500 "Contemporary Africa"
Fall 2000
Instructor: Jay Spaulding

Dear Friends,

Greetings, and welcome to this course! Few subjects offer richer possibilities for discovery and the achievement of insight than does the examination of contemporary Africa. During our time together we will encounter Africa through the sharing of responses to some directed readings and via discussion of internet research. We will attempt to identify and learn to appreciate some African perspectives toward key issues, and to assess the opportunities and limitations of alternative courses of action by African political leaders.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:


  1. Regular class attendance and participation; alert yourselves to news from Africa.

  2. Obtain, read, and be ready to discuss in class the following required textbooks:

    1. Global Studies, Africa.
      A compact reference work useful for this course.

    2. Basil Davidson, Modern Africa.
      A short narrative history by a European apologist.

    3. George Ayittey, Africa in Chaos.
      An angry critical analysis by a native son.

    4. John Mihevc, The Market Tells Them So.
      Africa as Neocolony.

    5. Amma Darko, The Housemaid.
      A witty feminist view of contemporary gender relations.

    6. Alexander Kanengoni, Echoing Silences.
      The problem of violence dramatized.

  3. The Legacy Project. From a list of assigned titles choose, read and prepare for presentation to the class a review of one library book that affords a significant grounding in the historical background to one African situation.

  4. The Web Site Project. In preparation for each class session except the first and the last, hit on at least one web site relevant to contemporary Africa. Be ready to report on the site briefly in class and to pass along the URL to others. (An initial list of starter sites will be supplied.)

  5. Term essay. In consultation with the instructor, adopt an African country. Assume that by election, inheritance or coup you have just become that country's head of state; you will hold that position for ten years. Prepare a written agenda of the five highest priority issues you intend to address during your period of leadership. Explain why you selected those five issues, and what you intend to do about them. As preparation, be ready to discuss a series of key issues in class.

  6. Final exam (oral, pass/fail). Be ready to represent your country's interests at a model meeting of the Organization of African Unity, as we attempt to draft an agenda for continent-wide action over the next decade.


PROPOSED SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES:



  1. Session One:

    1. Introduction
    2. Choice of adopted country
    3. Video Workshop: (To be determined)

  2. Session Two:

    1. Website reports
    2. News reports
    3. Discussion of Text: Davidson, History, Part One
    4. Discussion of Policy Issue: Multiculturalism? Language Policy
    5. Video or Book Report: Heritage project report 1 (or video)

  3. Session Three

    1. Website reports
    2. News reports
    3. Discussion of Text: Davidson, History, Part Two
    4. Discussion of Policy Issue: Multiculturalism? Religious & Ethnic Policy
    5. Video or Book Report: Heritage project report 2 (or video)

  4. Session Four

    1. Website reports
    2. News reports
    3. Discussion of Text: Davidson, History, Part Three
    4. Discussion of Policy Issue: Educational Policy
    5. Video or Book Report: Heritage project report 3

  5. Session Five

    1. Website reports
    2. News reports
    3. Discussion of Text: Davidson, History, Part Four
    4. Discussion of Policy Issue: Social Policy & Gender Relations
    5. Video or Book Report: Heritage project report 4

  6. Session Six

    1. Website reports
    2. News reports
    3. Discussion of Text: Ayittey, Chaos, Chapters 1, 2 and 3
    4. Discussion of Policy Issue: Military Policy
    5. Video or Book Report: Heritage project report 5

  7. Session Seven

    1. Website reports
    2. News reports
    3. Discussion of Text: Ayittey, Chaos, Chapters 4, 5 and 6
    4. Discussion of Policy Issue: Alternative Forms of Government
    5. Video or Book Report: Heritage project report 6

  8. Session Eight

    1. Website reports
    2. News reports
    3. Discussion of Text: Ayittey, Chaos, Chapters 7, 8, 9 and 10
    4. Discussion of Policy Issue: Food Policy
    5. Video or Book Report: Heritage project report 7

  9. Session Nine

    1. Website reports
    2. News reports
    3. Discussion of Text: Mihevc, The Market Tells Them So
    4. Discussion of Policy Issue: Encourage foreign investment?
    5. Video or Book Report: Heritage project report 8

  10. Session Ten

    1. Website reports
    2. News reports
    3. Discussion of Text: Global Studies: Africa, Press clippings
    4. Discussion of Policy Issue: Relations with major world powers
    5. Video or Book Report: Heritage project report 9

  11. Session Eleven

    1. Website reports
    2. News reports
    3. Discussion of Text: Darko, The Housemaid
    4. Discussion of Policy Issue: Regional & Continental cooperation
    5. Video or Book Report: Heritage project report 10

  12. Session Twelve

    1. Website reports
    2. News reports
    3. Discussion of Text: Kanengoni, Echoing Silences
    4. Discussion of Policy Issue: Concerns unique to your chosen country
    5. Video or Book Report: Heritage project report 11

  13. Session Thirteen

    1. Final Examination
    2. Party



HERITAGE PROJECT BOOKLIST



The A List


The B List


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SOME WEBSITES ABOUT AFRICA



If you are new to working with the web

News from and about Africa

Access to Africa Sites

Themes

Individual Country Sites

Research Sites

Museum Sites

Other Sites
  1. If you are new to working the web:


  2. News from and about Africa (See country listings below for national sites)







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  3. Access to Africa Sites: Meta-Sites (Sites that lead to other sites)




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  4. Themes




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  5. Individual Country Sites: A Sampler




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  6. Research Sites




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  7. Museum Sites

    The Mourides at UCLA



    The Sukuma Museum, Tanzania





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  8. Other Sites

    The Sidama Concern

    Worldwide Nubians Organization

    Southern African Migration Project

    The Maria Theresa Dollar


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