Institute of African Studies - Columbia University

Courses

African Language Courses

Fall 2018: Elementary Swahili Ihttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
72524
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
MTWR 9:10am-10:00am
Instructor: 
Abdul Nanji

Essentials of grammar, basic vocabulary, practice in speaking and reading Swahili the most widely used indigenous language of East Africa. No P/D/F or R credit is allowed for this class.

Fee: $15 Language Resource and $10 Swahili Materials

Fall 2018: Elementary Wolof Ihttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
60285
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
MTWR 12:10pm-1:00pm
Instructor: 
Mariame S Sy

Introduction to the basic grammatical structures of Wolof, a major language of West Africa spoken in Senegal and Gambia. No P/D/F or R credit is allowed for this class.

Fee: $15 Language Resource and $10 Wolof Materials Fe

Fall 2018: Elementary Zulu Ihttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
72574
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
MTWR 11:35am-12:25pm
Instructor: 
TBA

Introduces students to the basic structures of Zulu, a Bantu language spoken in South Africa, especially in the Zululand area of KwaZulu/Natal province.

Note: SCI course. Visit lrc.columbia.edu/sci for more info.

Fall 2018: Intermediate Wolof Ihttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
70739
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
MW 2:10pm-4:00pm
Instructor: 
Mariame S Sy

Prerequisites: WLOF W1101-W1102 or the instructor's permission. Further develops a student's knowledge of Wolof, a major language of West Africa spoken primarily in Senegal and Gambia. No P/D/F or R credit is allowed for this class.

Fee: $15 Language Resource and $10 Wolof Materials Fe

Fall 2018: Intermediate Yoruba Ihttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
67941
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
MTWR 11:10am-12:00pm
Instructor: 
TBA

Prerequisites: YORU W1101-W1102 or the instructor's permission. In this course, learners will continue practicing all four language skills through every day dialogues, writing letters, and describing basic situations. In addition, they will be introduced to Yoruba literature and learn how to read and comprehend basic Yoruba texts, such as newspaper articles. Finally, they will be introduced to current affairs as well as social, artistic and, cultural events and issues in Nigeria. The class uses a highly interactive classroom style, supplemented by extensive use of video – both prepared and student-produced – and other computer-assisted tools. Please note this course is offered by videoconferencing from Cornell as part of the Shared Course Initiative.

Note: SCI course. Visit lrc.columbia.edu/sci for more info.


Africana Studies

Fall 2018: Introduction to African Studieshttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
02457
Points: 
3
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
MW 11:40am-12:55pm
Instructor: 
Abosede A George

Interdisciplinary and thematic approach to the study of Africa, moving from pre-colonial through colonial and post-colonial periods to contemporary Africa. Focus will be on its history, societal relations, politics and the arts. The objective is to provide a critical survey of the history as well as the continuing debates in African Studies.

Fall 2018: Unheard Voices: African Womenhttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
04111
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
R 2:10pm-4:00pm
Instructor: 
Yvette Christianse

How does one talk of women in Africa without thinking of Africa as a 'mythic unity'? We will consider the political, racial, social and other contexts in which African women write and are written about in the context of their located lives in Africa and in the African Diaspora. How does one talk of women in Africa without thinking of Africa as a 'mythic unity'? We will consider the political, racial, social and other contexts in which African women write and are written about in the context of their located lives in Africa and in the African Diaspora.

Approvals Required: Instructor


Columbia College

Fall 2018: African Civilizationhttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
72468
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
TBA
Instructor: 
TBA

This course provides a general introduction to some of the key intellectual debates in Africa by Africans through primary sources, including scholarly works, political tracts, fiction, art, and film. Beginning with an exploration of African notions of spiritual and philosophical uniqueness and ending with contemporary debates on the meaning and historical viability of an African Renaissance, this course explores the meanings of ‘Africa' and ‘being African.' Field(s): AFR*

Fall 2018: African Civilizationhttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
002
Call Number: 
22673
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
TBA
Instructor: 
TBA

This course provides a general introduction to some of the key intellectual debates in Africa by Africans through primary sources, including scholarly works, political tracts, fiction, art, and film. Beginning with an exploration of African notions of spiritual and philosophical uniqueness and ending with contemporary debates on the meaning and historical viability of an African Renaissance, this course explores the meanings of ‘Africa' and ‘being African.' Field(s): AFR*
Web Site


Dance

Fall 2018: African Dance Ihttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
002
Call Number: 
03372
Points: 
0-1
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
TR 11:40am-12:55pm
Instructor: 
Maguette Camara

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Concentrates on the dances of West Africa, including Senegal, Mali, and Guinea, and a variety of dances performed at various functions and ceremonies. Explanation of the origin and meaning of each dance will be an integral part of the material presented.

Note: Attend first two classes.

Fall 2018: African Dance Ihttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
02678
Points: 
0-1
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
TR 9:30am-10:30am
Instructor: 
Maguette Camara

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Concentrates on the dances of West Africa, including Senegal, Mali, and Guinea, and a variety of dances performed at various functions and ceremonies. Explanation of the origin and meaning of each dance will be an integral part of the material presented. Attend first two classes.


English and Comparative Literature

Fall 2018: African American Novelist Question of Justicehttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
75881
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
M 10:10am-12:00pm
Instructor: 
Farah Griffin

This course asks, “What conceptions of Justice emerge from a selection of works by canonical African American writers? Are there other moral/ethical/social values that emerge as more significant than Justice ?” We open with an exploration of Justice in the works of the Greek dramatist, Aeschylus, the Hebrew Bible and recent scholarship on Pre-Colonial West Africa in order to consider what concepts of Justice African-American writers have inherited or that have informed them in less formal ways. We then turn to texts by Charles Chesnutt, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ernest Gaines, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison, to examine the way these writers engage, negotiate and critique the relationship between Justice and Race in the United States.

Fall 2018: The 30s: Metropole and Colonyhttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
26541
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
W 4:10pm-6:00pm
Instructor: 
Gauri Viswanathan

Prerequisites: Instructor's permission. (Seminar). This course focuses on the tumultuous 1930s, which witnessed the growth of anticolonial movements, the coming to power of totalitarian and fascist regimes, and calls for internationalism and a new world vision, among other developments. Even as fascism laid down its roots in parts of Europe, the struggle for independence from European colonial rule accelerated in Asia and Africa, and former subjects engaged with ideas and images about the shape of their new nations, in essays, fiction, poetry, and theater. Supporters and critics of nationalism existed on both sides of the metropole-colony divide, as calls for internationalism sought to stem the rising tide of ethnocentric thinking and racial particularism in parts of Europe as well as the colonies. We'll read works from the metropole and the colonies to track the crisscrossing of ideas, beginning with writers who anticipated the convulsive events of the 1930s and beyond (E.M. Forster, H.G. Wells, Gandhi), then moving on to writers who published some of their greatest work in the 1930s (Huxley, Woolf, C.L.R. James, Mulk Raj Anand), and finally concluding with authors who reassessed the 1930s from a later perspective (George Lamming). Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Viswanathan (gv6@columbia.edu) by noon on Wednesday, April 13th, with the subject heading, "The Thirties seminar." In your message, include basic information: name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course.


French Courses

Fall 2018: Questions in Africa Literaturehttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
26653
Points: 
3
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
M 2:10pm-4:00pm
Instructor: 
Souleymane B Diagne

History Courses

Fall 2018: Africa Before Colonialismhttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
27635
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
MW 11:40 AM - 12:55 PM
Instructor: 
Mamadou Diouf

This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the precolonial history of the African continent. It investigates in-depth the political, social, cultural and economic developments of different Africa communities, covering various regions and periods, from prehistory to the formation of the Indian Ocean and Atlantic worlds. Its focus is the intersection of politics, economics, culture and society. Using world history and Africa’s location in the production of history as key analytical frames, it pays special attention to social, political and cultural changes that shaped the various individual and collective experiences of African peoples and states and the historical discourses associated to them.

Fall 2018: Gender & Sexuality in African History

Call Number: 
UN2761
Day/Time: 
T/R 10:10-11:25
Instructor: 
Rhiannon Stephens

A new Global Core Course covering:
• history of gender, sexuality & ways of identifying along these lines in Africa--early times – 20th century
• how gender & sexuality shaped African kingdoms & empires & postcolonial states
• impact of gender & sexuality on colonial conquest & movements for independence, indigenous healing practices & biomedicine, work, labour & households

Fall 2018: Gender and Sexuality in Africahttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
23318
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
TR 10:10 AM - 11:25 AM
Instructor: 
Rhiannon Stephens

The main task of this course will be to read novels by African writers. But "the novel in Africa" also involves connections between the literary genre of the novel and the historical processes of colonialism, decolonization, and globalization in Africa. One important question we'll consider is how African novels depict those historical experiences in their themes and plots—we'll read novels that are "about" colonialism, etc. A more complex question is how these historical processes relate to the emergence of the novel as an important genre for African writers. Edward Said went so far as to say that without imperialism, there would be no European novel as we know it. How can we understand the novel in Africa (whether read or written) as a product of the colonial encounter? How did it shape the process of decolonization? What contribution to history, whether literary or political, does the novel in Africa make? We'll undertake a historical survey of African novels from the 1930s to the present, with attention to various subgenres (village novel, war novel, urbanization novel, novel of postcolonial disillusion, Bildungsroman). We'll attend to how African novelists blend literate and oral storytelling traditions, how they address their work to local and global audiences, and how they use scenes of characters reading novels (whether African or European) in order to position their writing within national, continental, and world literary space.

Fall 2018: Gender and Sexuality in Africahttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Graduate Lecture
Section: 
021
Call Number: 
18696
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
TR 10:10am-11:25am
Instructor: 
Rhiannon Stephens

Note: GRAD STUD ONLY_PERM REQ_INSTR MUST ADD U 2 CANVAS

Fall 2018: Gender and Sexuality in Africa - Discussionhttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
12779
Points: 
0
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
TBA
Instructor: 
Rhiannon Stephens

Fall 2018: Health and Healing in Africahttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
72896
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
R 12:10pm-2:00pm
Instructor: 
Rhiannon Stephens

This course charts the history of health and healing from, as far as is possible, a perspective interior to Africa. It explores changing practices and understandings of disease, etiology, healing and well-being from pre-colonial times through into the post-colonial. A major theme running throughout the course is the relationship between medicine, the body, power and social groups. This is balanced by an examination of the creative ways in which Africans have struggled to compose healthy communities, albeit with varied success, whether in the fifteenth century or the twenty-first.

Note: MUST JOIN WAITLIST FOR INSTR PERMISSION

Fall 2018: Health and Healing in Africahttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Graduate Seminar
Section: 
009
Call Number: 
72496
Points: 
4
Day/Time: 
R 12:10pm-2:00pm
Instructor: 
Rhiannon Stephens

Note: GRAD STUD ONLY_PERM REQ_INSTR MUST ADD U 2 CANVAS

Fall 2018: West Africahttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
67319
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
TR 2:40pm-3:55pm
Instructor: 
Gregory Mann

This course offers a survey of main themes in West African history over the last millenium, with particular emphasis on the period from the mid-15th through the 20th century. Themes include the age of West African empires (Ghana, Mali, Songhay); re-alignments of economic and political energies towards the Atlantic coast; the rise and decline of the trans-Atlantic trade in slaves; the advent and demise of colonial rule; and internal displacement, migrations, and revolutions. In the latter part of the course, we will appraise the continuities and ruptures of the colonial and post-colonial eras. Group(s): C Field(s): AFR

Note: STUDENTS MUST REGISTER FOR DISCUSSION SECTION HIST UN2773


International Affairs

Fall 2018: The Security Council and Peacekeeping in Africa in the 21st Century

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
U8507
Points: 
3.0
Location: 
801 International Affairs Building
Day/Time: 
W 11:00 AM-12:50 PM
Instructor: 
Elisabeth Lindenmayer

This course, which will be taught by a practitioner, will focus on United Nations peacekeeping operations as one of the main conflict management tools of the Security Council (SC) in Africa. Through an extensive series of case studies (Somalia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Libya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, the Central African Republic and Cote d'Ivoire), It will closely examine the tool of peace keeping, the context in which it operates, the evolution of its doctrine, the lessons learned, and the challenges ahead. Drawing on the recent report of the High-level Independent Panel on peace operations (HIPPO), and the cases studies above, it will elaborate on the many issues in peacekeeping today,in particular the limits of the use of force, the protection of civilians, the nexus peacekeeping/peacebuilding, and the increased partnership with regional and subregional organizations.


Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies

Fall 2018: DEBATES ON CAPITALISM: AFRICANS AND THE EUROCENTRIC LENS

Points: 
4
Location: 
TBD
Day/Time: 
Wednesdays, 4:10-6:00pm
Instructor: 
Elleni Centime Zeleke

Within the literature on the history of capitalism there is a lively debate that seeks to explain the world-historical transition from feudal and tributary modes of production to the capitalist mode of production. Substantial issues raised in this debate include the question of whether capitalism can be characterized as a mode of production dominated by the exploitation of free labor; the role of international trade in the origin and development of capitalism; and the role of agriculture in promoting a transition to capitalism. Through the publication of two key texts in the late 1970s Robert Brenner's proposition that capitalism had its origins in English agriculture came to dominate the transition debate. More recently, however, there have been a number of publications that seek to challenge the Anglo-centric and Eurocentric tendencies of the entire transition debate. This course begins with the Brenner debates and then takes up revisions, critiques and challenges to that debate. Ultimately, the aim of this course is to more clearly understand the place of non-European polities and peoples in the history and development of capitalism. Africa will be featured prominently throughout the readings, while bearing in mind that capitalism is a global phenomenon that should be addressed globally.

Fall 2018: Foundation to Islamic Studies and Muslim Societieshttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
61781
Points: 
4
Location: 
207 Knox Hall
Day/Time: 
T 10:10am-12:00pm
Instructor: 
Kathryn Spellman Poots

This course provides students with a foundation to the key concepts, theories and debates in the field of Islamic studies. Interdisciplinary in scope, and wide-ranging in substantive coverage, the seminar features weekly visits by faculty from across the university. The course will utilize major approaches in the classic areas of history, law and political economy as well as sociology, anthropology, media studies, and colonial and postcolonial studies. We will critically address theoretical questions and debates about culture and civilization, religion, secularization, law and authority, nation-states, globalization, minority rights and technology. While engaging with archetypal themes in Islamic studies, this course will also concentrate on gender and sexuality, cultural production and articulations, transnational movements, and modes of religious association and ritual in everyday life. We will examine the variety of ways that Islamic norms and practices are developed, reinterpreted, embodied and regulated in contemporary Muslim societies as well as among Muslims minorities in western contexts. This seminar is a core course for the MA in Islamic Studies and will be helpful for graduate students studying the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. Qualified undergraduates may register with permission of the instructor.

Fall 2018: Major Debates Study of Africa

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
26343
Points: 
4.0
Location: 
330 Riverside C
Day/Time: 
TU TH 10:10 AM-11:25 AM
Instructor: 
Mahmood Mamdani

This course will focus on key debates that have shaped the study of Africa in the post-colonial African academy. We will cover seven key debates: (1) Historiography; (2) Slavery and slave trades; (3) State Formation; (4) Colonialism; (5) Underdevelopment; (6) Nationalism and the anti-colonial struggle; (7) Political Identity and political violence in the post-colony. Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement.

Fall 2018: Theory and Culture

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
17836
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
MW 1:10pm-2:25pm
Instructor: 
Gil Hochberg

Required of all majors. Introduces theories of culture particularly related to the Middle East, South Asia. and Africa. Theoretical debates on the nature and function of culture as a symbolic reading of human collectivities. Examines critical cultural studies of the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. Enables students to articulate their emerging knowledge of Middle East, South Asian, and African cultures in a theoretically informed language.

Fall 2018: Theory and Methods Ihttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
11077
Points: 
4
Location: 
207 Knox Hall
Day/Time: 
M 12:10pm-2:00pm
Instructor: 
Timothy Mitchell

This course will be the first part of a two part introduction to theoretical approaches to modern social science and cultural studies in Asian and African contexts. The first course will focus primarily on methodological and theoretical problems in the fields broadly described as historical social sciences - which study historical trends, and political, economic and social institutions and processes. The course will start with discussions regarding the origins of the modern social sciences and the disputes about the nature of social science knowledge. In the next section it will focus on definitions and debates about the concept of modernity. It will go on to analyses of some fundamental concepts used in modern social and historical analyses: concepts of social action, political concepts like state, power, hegemony, democracy, nationalism; economic concepts like the economy, labor, market, capitalism, and related concepts of secularity/secularism, representation, and identity. The teaching will be primarily through close reading of set texts, followed by a discussion. A primary concern of the course will be to think about problems specific to the societies studied by scholars of Asia and Africa: how to use a conceptual language originally stemming from reflection on European modernity in thinking about societies which have quite different historical and cultural characteristics.

Open to: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


Other Departments

Fall 2018: Colonization and Decolonizationhttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
71657
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
TBA
Instructor: 
Mae M Ngai

Prerequisites: Open to CSER majors/concentrators only. Others may be allowed to register with the instructor's permission. This course explores the centrality of colonialism in the making of the modern world, emphasizing cross-cultural and social contact, exchange, and relations of power; dynamics of conquest and resistance; and discourses of civilization, empire, freedom, nationalism, and human rights, from 1500 to 2000. Topics include pre-modern empires; European exploration, contact, and conquest in the new world; Atlantic-world slavery and emancipation; and European and Japanese colonialism in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The course ends with a section on decolonization and post-colonialism in the period after World War II. Intensive reading and discussion of primary documents.


Political Science

Fall 2018: Colloquia: Aid, Politics, Violence in Africahttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
01289
Points: 
4
Location: 
Barnard College
Day/Time: 
T 4:10pm-6:00pm
Instructor: 
Severine Autesserre

Prerequisites: POLS UN1601 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Explores the concepts, theoretical traditions and debates around development and humanitarian aid, focusing on the relationships between aid, politics, and violence. It looks at the political and military impacts of aid, the linkage between humanitarian aid and conflict resolution, and aid's contribution to perpetuating subtle forms of domination. (Cross-listed by the Africana Studies and the Human Rights Programs.)

Fall 2018: Contemporary African Politics

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
29588
Points: 
4.00
Location: 
222 Pupin Laboratories
Day/Time: 
Tu-Th 2:40 PM-3:55 PM
Instructor: 
Kimuli Kasara

This course aims to teach students what, if any, answers social scientists have to the questions that concern anyone with an interest in African politics: 1) Why have democratic governments flourished in some countries and not others? 2) What institutions may enable Africans to hold their leaders accountable? 3) How do people participate in politics? 4) In what ways do aspiring African political leaders build public support? 5) To what extent does persistent poverty on the continent have political causes? and 6) Why is violence used to resolve some political disputes and not others?

Fall 2018: War, Peace, and International Intervention in Africahttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/bulletin/uwb/

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
01291
Points: 
4
Location: 
TBA
Day/Time: 
T 11:40am-2:40pm
Instructor: 
Severine Autesserre

Prerequisites: At least sophomore standing, except in consultation with the instructor. Interested students should join the wait list; attendance at the first class is required in order to secure a spot in the class. Registration to discussion section is mandatory. This course analyzes the causes of violence in wars and examines the debates around emergency aid, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. In addition, it focuses on recent conflict situations in Africa -- especially Congo, Sudan, and Rwanda -- as a background against which to understand the distinct dynamics of violence, peace, and international interventions in civil and international conflicts.

Note: Must attend 1st class to be moved off waitlist and registered for course.