Undergraduate Course: Africa in the Contemporary World (SCAN08014)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||YEAR 1 STUDENTS ARE WELCOME TO SIGN UP TO THIS COURSE.
This course will offer a broad interdisciplinary introduction to the study of contemporary Africa. Students will gain an insight into key concepts and themes as well as the theoretical and methodological debates that are critical for understanding the changing continent. They will acquire substantive knowledge about the history, politics, economy, anthropology and culture of the continent. Key themes include: democracy and the state, citizenship and identity, poverty and economic change, cities, popular culture, aid and debt, migration, civil war and conflict, land and environment, family, cities.
The aim of the course is to introduce students to the exciting inter-disciplinary study of contemporary Africa. The course will engage with African societies by examining the history, politics, economy, anthropology and culture of the continent and will explicitly draw on a range of disciplinary approaches. By taking this course students will gain knowledge of contemporary Africa and will be sensitized to the diverse experiences of continuity and change on the continent and how Africa is situated and understood by different actors within global debates on topical issues.
Africa in the Contemporary World will appeal to students from a diverse range of courses that touch on issues related to contemporary Africa. It will also be appealing for students who wish to go to Africa to pursue work or study. For students who wish to continue to study Africa in more depth, the course will expose students to a range of disciplines and research processes relevant to the study of contemporary Africa. Africa is also a focus for students interested in questions of international development and globalization and the course will address and provide a context for a deeper engagement with these topics.
The lectures will cover two related topics each week and will be delivered by lecturers from the Centre of African Studies as well as lecturers from across the school who will bring expertise on specific topics for this introductory course.
Tutorials will provide the opportunity for students to discuss and develop their own ideas and form an independent response to the readings and lectures. The tutors will assist in clarifying key concepts and will assist students in developing critical analysis of the material. The tutors will also provide feedback on presentations and support the peer feedback sessions on essay plans.
Students will be encouraged to attend extra-curricular events run by the Centre of African Studies and the School such as film screenings and seminar series as well as University talks on topics related to Africa. Students will also be encouraged to read a number of contemporary African novels.
Africa and the long duree
Colonialism and post colonialism
Liberation struggles and nationalism
Citizenship, ethnicity and identity
Social movements and democratization
Law and governance
Conflict and civil war
Poverty and economic change
Aid, debt and trade
The informal economy
China in Africa
Land and the environment
Food security and climate change
Health and disease
Religion, gender and the family
Is Africa Rising? For Whom?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2016/17, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||1) 40% written assignment (choice of essay question) 2000 words due wk 7
2) 10% Tutorial participation
3) 50% exam
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)||2:00|
|Resit Exam Diet (August)||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- gain knowledge of the scope, defining features and core issues in the study of contemporary Africa from a multidisciplinary perspective
- demonstrate specialist knowledge of the diversity and complexity of the continent and will have gained a critical awareness of their own positionality vis a vis an understanding of contemporary Africa
- develop skills to examine and evaluate competing arguments and have strengthened their skills in developing informed and independent arguments
- recognise the range of disciplinary approaches that can be used in the study of contemporary Africa and will have gained an understanding of a range of the core theories, concepts, principles and terminology related to the study of contemporary Africa
- gain awareness of the range of research that is being undertaken on contemporary Africa and will have an understanding of the scholarly processes undertaken within research. In this regard, students will be prepared for further study of Africa across a range of disciplines
|Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi, Half of a Yellow Sun, Knopf, 2006|
Chabal, Patrick & Jean-Pascal Deloz, Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument Oxford, 1999
Grinker, R. et al. Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History and Representation, London, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010
de Waal, Alex. Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997
Mosely, W Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial African Issues, 4th Edition Guilford, McGraw Hill
Mbembe, Achille. On the Postcolony. Berkely: University of California Press, 2001
J. Iliffe, Africans: The history of a continent, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007
Padayachee, V The Political Economy of Africa, London: Routledge, 2010.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Hazel Gray
Tel: (0131 6)50 3879
|Course secretary||Mr Ewen Miller
Tel: (0131 6)50 3925
© Copyright 2016 The University of Edinburgh - 3 February 2017 5:14 am