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

Undergraduate Course: Politics and Power in Post-Colonial East Africa (HIST10418)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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.
Course description This course explores the meaning of independence in East Africa's twentieth-century history through seminars organised around 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.

This course engages with current debates in the history of Africa, the comparative history of decolonization and the emerging fields of African and global intellectual history.
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 Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStudents should normally have taken a university-level course in the twentieth-century history of Africa
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 90 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
3,500 word Essay (80%)
100-200 word weekly course diaries (10%)

Non-Written Skills:
Presentation (pre-recorded, 5 minutes, focusing on a primary source) (10%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate command of key themes in the political and intellectual history of late colonial and early post-colonial East Africa;
  2. demonstrate an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon current historiographical debates around the meaning and significance of African independence;
  3. demonstrate an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise primary source material;
  4. demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in written form;
  5. demonstrate, by way of coursework, clarity, fluency, and coherence in written and oral expression.
Reading List
Brennan, James Taifa: Making Nation and Race in Urban Tanzania, Athens OH: Ohio University Press, 2012

Burton, Andrew and Jennings, Michael, 'The emperor's new clothes? Continuities in governance in late colonial and early postcolonial East Africa' IJAHS 40, 2007

Callaci, Emily, Street Archives and City Life : Popular Intellectuals in Postcolonial Tanzania, Durham Duke University Press, 2017

Cooper, Frederick, 'Possibility and Constraint: African Independence in Historical Perspective', Journal of African History, 49, 2, 2008

Fair, Laura, Reel Pleasures: Cinema Audiences and Entrepreneurs in twentieth-century urban Tanzania, Athens OH: Ohio University Press, 2018

Ivaska, Andrew, Cultured States: Youth, Gender and Modern Style in 1960s Dar es Salaam, Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2011

Khanakwa, Pamela, 'Reinventing Imbalu and Forcible Circumcision: Gisu Political Identity and the fight for Mbale in late colonial Uganda', Journal of African History, 59, 3 (2018), 357-379

Kresse, Kai, 'Kenya: Twendapi: Re-reading Abdilatif Abdalla's Pamphlet Fifty years after independence', Africa, 86, 1 (2016), 1-32

Macarthur, Julie, 'Decolonizing Sovereignty: States of exception along the Kenya-Somali frontier', American Historical Review, 124, 1 (2019), 108-143

Mbee, Gideon. "Letter from Mbugwe, Tanganyika." Africa 35 (1965): 198-208.

Mutongi, Kenda, Matatu: A history of popular transportation in Nairobi, Chicago IL: University of Chicago Press, 2017

Muoria-Sal, Wangari et al., Writing for Kenya: the life and works of Henry Muoria, Leiden: Brilli, 2009

Peterson, Derek, Ethnic Patriotism and the East African Revival, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012
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.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Emma Hunter
Tel: (0131 6)50 4034
Course secretaryMiss Katherine Perry
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