Middlebury

SOAN0232

Africa: Continuity & Change

Africa and Anthropology: Power, Continuity, and Change
Sub-Saharan Africa has long represented primitive mysteries for Europeans and North Americans, as a ‘Dark Continent’ full of exotic people and animals. Even now, many Americans learn little about Africa and Africans except for ‘thin’ media reports of political, economic, and ecological upheaval or persistent poverty, disease, and despair. This course provides a ‘thick’ description and analysis of contemporary African conditions using ethnographies and films. We will not be exploring ‘traditional African cultures’ outside of their historical contexts or generalizing about ‘what African culture really is.’ Rather, our focus will be on understanding social continuity and change alongside cultural diversity and commonality. Topics will include colonialism, critical kinship studies, African feminism, environmental management, witchcraft and religion. Throughout the course African ideas of power – what it is, who has it, and why –unify these diverse topics as social relations. (Anthropology)/
Subject:
Sociology/Anthropology
Department:
Sociology/Anthropology
Division:
Social Sciences
Requirements Fulfilled:
AAL SOC
Equivalent Courses:

Sections

Fall 2016

SOAN0232A-F16 Lecture

Fall 2015

SOAN0232A-F15 Lecture (Sheridan)

Fall 2013

SOAN0232A-F13 Lecture (Sheridan)