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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Politics and Power in Post-Colonial Africa (HIST10382)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn the years around 1960, new post-colonial states were born across Africa. New states promised a great deal and the expectations of independence were high. But what changed? Did independence make a difference? To what extent did post-colonial states simply adopt the governing practices and ideologies of their colonial predecessors?

This course asks how far and in what ways independence constituted a rupture in the political, cultural and intellectual history of twentieth-century Africa. To answer this question, we explore a series of themes - power and authority, citizenship, nationalism, race and gender. We tackle these themes through a close reading of contemporary texts with a particular focus on speeches, letters to newspapers and novels. Our focus is on late colonial and early independent East Africa, particularly Tanzania but also Kenya and Uganda.

We start in the 1940s and 1950s as new political ideas circulated and gave rise to new types of political thinking, at both local and national level. We consider the concept of "development" and the ways in which it provided a vocabulary for thinking about what modernity might mean. We then track the rise of new nationalist parties which called for immediate independence, promising that independence would bring the social, economic and political development which new African voters demanded. From there we move to the post-colonial period, and explore the ways in which post-colonial states performed the ideological work needed to build nations, but also the conflicts and fissures which persisted just below the surface.
Course description 1. Introduction: African independence in historical perspective
2. The "Second Colonial Occupation" and concepts of development in late colonial Africa
3. One nationalism or many?
4. From nationalist opposition to post-colonial government
5. Chiefs, subjects and citizens
6. Race
7. Taxation, Voluntary Work and Nation-Building
8. Creating a national culture
9. Gender and the City
10. Elections and One-Party Democracy
11. Legacies of independence
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503783).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents should normally have taken a university-level course in the twentieth-century history of Africa
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  26
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course will use the following assessments:
- two-hour Degree Examination, (50%)
- 2,500-3,000 word essay, including footnotes but excluding bibliography (35%)
- oral presentation (10%)
- class participation (5%)

The oral presentation will be assessed by the course leader according to published criteria. The criteria for assessment, marks and written reports on each oral presentation will be made available to the external examiner.

Visiting Student Variant Assessment:

When this course is taught in Semester 1, the Visiting Student assessment will be:
- one 'take home' examination paper (50%)
- 2,500-3,000 word essay, including footnotes but excluding bibliography (35%)
- oral presentation (10%)
- class participation (5%)

If taught in Semester 2, the assessment is as detailed for full year students.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to demonstrate by way of examination, essay, oral presentation and class participation:
- an understanding of key themes in the political and intellectual culture of late colonial and early post
- colonial East Africa;
- an understanding and ability to critically assess current historiographical debates around the meaning and significance of African independence;
- the ability to present an argument in a clear, logical and persuasive manner, in both written and oral form, using appropriate evidence and referencing;
- a degree of research initiative commensurate with this level of study, including the ability to identify research questions and select relevant primary and secondary material (using the course bibliography as a starting point).

In their preparation and contributions to weekly seminars, students will in addition be expected to show:
- the ability to formulate appropriate questions and to provide answers to them using valid and relevant evidence and argument;
- the ability to engage in reasoned, respectful debate with others and amend views as necessary in the light of evidence and argument.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will help students develop a range of transferable skills, including:
- the ability to manage one's time effectively, work to deadlines, and perform effectively under pressure;
- the ability to gather, sift, organise and evaluate large quantities of textual evidence;
- the ability to marshal argument in both written and oral form;
- the ability to work independently and as part of a pair or larger group.
KeywordsPost-colonial Africa
Course organiser Course secretaryMs Marie-Therese Rafferty
Tel: (0131 6)50 3780
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