Undergraduate Course: African Intellectual History, c. 1600-1970 (HIST10465)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||Africa has long been viewed by outsiders as the land without writing, a region of the world devoid of any intellectual traditions of its own. This course is a year-long refutation of that claim. Through close readings of works of political, economic and religious thought produced by African intellectuals, it will provide a grounding in some of the major debates around identity, sovereignty and racial, gender and sexual equality as they have played out on the African continent.
This course centers the production of African scholars, thinkers, and political figures. By foregrounding literary production in non-European languages, it will be able to examine the long histories of reading and writing on the African continent. The broad subjects to be covered - political activism, economic policy, religious traditions, gender discourses - will be highly relevant to students who plan to work on the continent in any number of contexts. Readings will run from the 17th century to the near-present and cover West Africa, East Africa, southern Africa and the Maghreb.
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 44,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Coursework, Semester 1: 2,000 word short historiographical essay (15%)
Non-Written Skills, Semester 1: Weekly participation, including at least one week of leading discussion along with instructor (10%),
Coursework, Semester 2: 2,000 word primary source analysis (15%)
Non-Written Skills, Semester 2: Weekly participation, including at least one week of leading discussion along with instructor (10%),
4-5,000 word research essay (combining secondary and primary sources) during the exam diet (50%)
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of major African intellectual traditions.
- Evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material in order to conceptualise both written and non-written intellectual traditions.
- Develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence.
- Identify historical and contemporary questions that are not adequately addressed in the extant scholarship on African intellectual history.
- Demonstrate a base knowledge of African history and intellectual history apart from the specific intersection of "African intellectual history."
|Adom Getachew, Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination|
Teodros Kiros, ed., Explorations in African Political Thought: Identity, Community, Ethics
Jessica A. Krug, Fugitive Modernities: Kisama and the Politics of Freedom
Daniel R. Magaziner, The Law and the Prophets: Black Consciousness in South Africa, 1968-1977
Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz, Kongo Graphic Writing and Other Narratives of the Sign Achille Mbembe, Critique of Black Reason
Thandika Mkandawire, "The Spread of Economic Doctrines and Policymaking in Postcolonial Africa," African Studies Review 57, no. 1 (April 2014): 171-98
Hlonipha Mokoena, Magema Fuze: The Making of a Kholwa Intellectual
Oyèrónke Oyewùmí, The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses
Abena Dove Agyepoma Osseo-Asare, Bitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa
Alden Young, "African Bureaucrats and the Exhaustion of the Developmental State: Lessons from the Pages of the Sudanese Economist," Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development 8, no. 1 (2017): 49-75
E. Centime Zeleke, Ethiopia in Theory: Revolution and Knowledge Production
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||- The ability to accurately synthesise significant amounts of new information on unfamiliar topics.
- The ability to participate in scholarly debates by identifying and assessing competing lines of argumentation in both oral and written forms.
- The ability to work independently and as part of a group.
|Course organiser||Dr Jeremy Dell
Tel: (0131 6)50 4476
|Course secretary||Miss Lorna Berridge