Institute of African Studies - Columbia University

Courses

African Language Courses

Fall 2019: ADVANCED WOLOF I

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
41144
Points: 
4
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
TR 2:10pm-4:00pm
Instructor: 
Mariame S Sy

Prerequisites: Two years of Wolof or instructor permission. No P/D/F or R credit is allowed for this class

Fall 2019: ELEMENTARY SWAHILI I

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
41145
Points: 
4
Location: 
To be announced
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.

Fall 2019: ELEMENTARY WOLOF I

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
41256
Points: 
4
Location: 
To be announced
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.

Fall 2019: ELEMENTARY ZULU I

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
55393
Points: 
4
Location: 
To be announced
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.

Fall 2019: INTERMEDIATE SWAHILI I

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
41203
Points: 
4
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
MTWR 10:10am-11:00am
Instructor: 
Abdul Nanji

Prerequisites: SWHL W1101-W1102 or the instructor's permission. A review of the essentials of Swahili grammar; detailed analysis of Swahili texts; practice in conversation. No P/D/F or R credit is allowed for this class.

Fall 2019: INTERMEDIATE WOLOF I

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
41205
Points: 
4
Location: 
To be announced
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.


Africana Studies

Fall 2019: "BLACKNESS" IN FRENCH

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
06761
Points: 
4
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
W 2:00pm-4:00pm
Instructor: 
Kaiama L Glover

Blackness in French

Fall 2019: INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN STUDIES

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
06762
Points: 
3
Location: 
To be announced
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 2019: SHANGE & DIGITAL STORYTELLING

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
06751
Points: 
4
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
R 12:10pm-2:00pm
Instructor: 
Kim F Hall

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 12 students. Permission of the instructor required. Interested students should complete the application at http://bit.ly/Ntozake2019. Students should have taken a course beyond the intro level from ONE of the following areas: American Literature (through the English Department), Africana Studies, American Studies, Theatre or Women's Studies. Students who successfully complete into this course will be eligible to take the second half of the course in Spring 2019. NOTE: There will be three extra sessions scheduled in the Digital Humanities Center. A poet, performance artist, playwright and novelist, Ntozake Shange's stylistic innovations in drama, poetry and fiction and attention to the untold lives of black women have made her an influential figure throughout American arts and in Feminist history. This semester will examine Shange's works in the context of political and artistic organizing by women of color in the 1970s and 80s. In addition to our analysis of primary texts, students will be introduced to archival research in Ntozake Shange’s personal archive at Barnard College. This in-depth exploration of Shange's work and milieu is complemented with an introduction to digital tools, public research and archival practice. You can find more information and apply for the course at http://bit.ly/Ntozake2019. On Twitter @ShangeWorld


Anthropology

Fall 2019: ARCHAEOL OF ANC EGYPT & NUBIA

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
07554
Points: 
3
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
TR 1:10pm-2:25pm
Instructor: 
Ellen Morris

Thanks to the pyramids of Giza, the treasure of Tutankhamun, and other remains of royal activity, pharaonic Egypt is justly famous for its monuments and material culture. Equally fascinating, if less well known, however, are the towns, fortresses, cultic centers, domestic spaces, and non-elite cemeteries that have been excavated over the past 200 years or so. The archaeology of Nubia is also little known but fascinating on many levels. This course will focus on what archaeology can reveal about life as it was experienced by individuals of all social classes. Through a combination of broad surveys and case studies of some of Egypt and Nubia’s most culturally indicative and intriguing sites, we will explore issues such as the origins of inequality, state formation and its effects, the uneasy mix of state-planned settlements and village life, urbanism, domestic and community worship, gendered spaces, ethnicity and colonialism, religious revolution and evolution, bureaucracy, private enterprise, and the effects of governmental collapse on life and death in ancient Egypt and Nubia.


Art History

Fall 2019: Art in the African Diaspora

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
14149
Points: 
3
Location: 
807 Schermerhorn Hall [SCH]
Day/Time: 
W 10:10am-12:00pm
Instructor: 
Kellie Jones

This course explores developments in contemporary art history in an international framework. Our specific focus is the art of the African Diaspora, defined as the cultures of peoples of African descent worldwide living both within and outside of the African continent. We will consider art and aesthetics in Africa, the Caribbean, Britain, and the U.S., interrogate ideas of the postcolonial, concepts of diaspora, and the Atlantic world. How do such works engage a global community and marketplace? In what ways does theory and criticism further elucidate the practice of these artists as well as their objects in order to address culture as a site of ideological contestation and the relationship of the formal aspects of a work to its representational significance?

Department Art History and Archaeology


Core Curriculum (Global Core)

Fall 2019: AFRICAN CIVILIZATION

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
13534
Points: 
4
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
TR 10:10am-12:00pm
Instructor: 
Elleni Zeleke

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*. NO FIRST YEAR STUDENTS PERMITTED.


Dance

Fall 2019: AFRICAN DANCE I

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
07682
Points: 
0-1
Location: 
To be announced
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.

Fall 2019: AFRICAN DANCE II

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
07643
Points: 
0-1
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
TR 10:30am-11:30am
Instructor: 
Maguette Camara

Prerequisites: DNCE BC2252 or permission of instructor.


French Courses

Fall 2019: AFRICAN LIT & PHILOSOPHY

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
51014
Points: 
3
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
T 2:10pm-4:00pm
Instructor: 
Souleymane B Diagne

Negritude: Literature and Philosophy. The movement of Negritude started in the 1930’s in Paris by African and Caribbean francophone writers was at once a literary and a philosophical project. The literature of Negritude will then be studied in this seminar as literature and as philosophy.

Fall 2019: Francophone Romance Love, Sex, Intimacy

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
10234
Points: 
3
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
W 4:10pm-6:00pm
Instructor: 
Madeleine Dobie

The forms of domination and violence that have characterized the phenomenon of empire have always been interwoven with desire and various forms of intimacy. Personal relationships have been vectors of colonial power as well as sites of resistance. In this course we consider various ways in which love, desire and intimacy have emerged as questions in the French colonial context. The course covers a broad historical and geographic span stretching from the age of plantation slavery to the era of decolonization and from the Caribbean and Louisiana to Vietnam and Africa. We consider both the transmission of categories and practices across colonial contexts and historical transitions and regional specificities. The course methodology is interdisciplinary, drawing on insights from history, sociology and law. The primary lens is, however, be that of literature, a medium in which the personal dimensions of empire have often found expression. We consider how recurrent themes and figures of colonial desire and intimacy have taken shape across different genres and registers of writing.


History Courses

Fall 2019: WEST AFRICA

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
36494
Points: 
4
Location: 
To be announced
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


Law

Fall 2019: AFRICAN LAW & DEVELOPMENT

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
13622
Points: 
3
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
T 4:20pm-7:10pm
Instructor: 
Francis Ssekandi

This is a Law School course. For more detailed course information, please go to the Law School Curriculum Guide at: http://www.law.columbia.edu/courses/search


Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies

Fall 2019: AFRICA BEFORE COLONIALISM

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
41063
Points: 
4
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
MW 11:40am-12:55pm
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 2019: Cannabis & Culture: Hashish,Law,Social H

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
13455
Points: 
3
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
T 12:10pm-2:00pm
Instructor: 
Ibrahim K El Houdaiby

The course examines the shifting popular and legal attitudes towards cannabis from Mamluk to contemporary Egypt. How were cannabis conceptualized and treated in pre-prohibition (and precolonial) Egypt? What were the dominant legal views on the consumption and trade of cannabis? What were the concerns of sharia jurists, and how are they different from legislators in contemporary Egypt? Why is the Egyptian regime insistent on criminalizing cannabis, despite the failure to curb the growth in consumption? Is the decriminalization movement simply restoring a pre-prohibition order? And why and in what contexts is the consumption of cannabis tolerated today despite being criminalized?

Fall 2019: Crisis and War in the Horn of Africa: What Crisis? Whose Story?

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
17923
Points: 
3
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
W 2:10pm-4:00pm
Instructor: 
Elleni Zeleke

The Horn of Africa is often described as a disaster story, a land of terror, crisis, and failure. But is it really a place in crisis? In what ways and for whom? For the people of the region, what constitutes meaningful social and political life? Is it possible to approach politics in the Horn of Africa through lenses other than those of violence and disaster? Are there other methods of understanding the experiences of crisis and recovery? In addition to examining emerging research trends in the region this course examines various approaches to the questions of war, humanitarian intervention, peace building, democratization, and economic reform. It considers how the study of popular culture, religious change, and social movements provide other ways to think about collective life. THe seminar is intended for those interested in the study of Africa and the Middle East, and other regions that may seem bleak but can provide new ways of understanding politics.

Fall 2019: Major Debates in the Study of Africa

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
10651
Points: 
4
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
R 10:10am-12:00pm
Instructor: 
Mahmood Mamdani

Open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students


Other Departments

Fall 2019: Fanon: Religion, Race, Philosophy in Afr

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
10355
Points: 
4
Location: 
201 80 Claremont Ave
Day/Time: 
M 10:10am-12:00pm
Instructor: 
Mohamed Ait Amer Meziane

This class will examine the work of Fanon through its sources, its context and its contemporary interpretations.


Political Science

Fall 2019: COLL:AID,POL,VIOLENCE IN AFRICA

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
09158
Points: 
4
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
Tu 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 2019: CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN POLITICS

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
99799
Points: 
3
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
MW 2:40pm-3:55pm
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 2019: CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN POLITICS

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
99799
Points: 
3
Location: 
To be announced
Day/Time: 
MW 2:40pm-3:55pm
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?


SIPA Courses

Fall 2019: Engaging Non-State Armed Groups: Lessons from the UN and Beyond

Section: 
001
Call Number: 
14197
Points: 
1.5
Location: 
501 International Affairs Building
Day/Time: 
W 6:10-8
Instructor: 
Adam Day

Over the past decade, the number of civil wars globally has increased dramatically, driven by a proliferation of non-state armed groups, often supported by illicit transnational networks. The rise of civil wars has meant conflicts are not only harder to resolve via traditional forms of diplomacy, but more likely to relapse; in fact, 60 per cent of the conflicts that started in the 2000s have relapsed within five years of their resolution. As an organization created to prevent wars between states, the UN has struggled to meet the challenges of today’s conflicts, particularly when it comes to engaging non-state armed groups. At the same time, the UN is often uniquely positioned to make contact with armed groups that may be blacklisted by key member states, and it is often UN peace operations that are best placed to implement strategies to address the various threats they pose. What are the origins of the growth of today’s form of non-state armed groups and why have they increased in relevance in recent years? How has the rise of rebel and so-called “terrorist” groups affected the character of war today, and what implications does this have for conflict prevention and management? What challenges (and opportunities) do non-state actors pose to traditional forms of conflict resolution, and what can be learned from the UN’s experiences in places like Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mali? Drawing on a mix of academic literature, case studies and first-hand accounts of those involved directly in UN-led operations in the field, students will explore these questions and grapple with the very real predicaments that face today’s mediators and peacekeepers around the world. By the end of this course, students will have a firm grasp of the core theories and concepts that drive UN engagement with non-state actors, how the UN and its partners have developed strategies in asymmetrical and complex environments, and an experience of the difficulties of applying principles to reality. This course will be of interest to those wishing to pursue academic research on the UN, scholars of critical studies of international relations, and also those hoping to build a career in conflict resolution and management.


Featured Courses