This course focuses on citizenship and social movements in sub-Saharan Africa to examine how people form political and social movements and deploy citizenship strategies within social, historical, and economic structures that are both local and global. It draws on readings and lectures from scholars in history, political science, anthropology, sociology, and African studies to explore the following topics and themes: histories and theories of citizenship and social movements; formal and informal citizenship claims; urbanism; religious movements; infrastructures, claim-making, and coalition building; opposition, leadership and democracy; social movements of African youth and women. It considers how people make individual and collective claims and social change under various circumstances including political upheaval, poverty, and discrimination.
We explore citizenship and social movements as creative enterprises that emphasize individual and collective claims making and improvisation. We consider how different historical, political, and social circumstances influence acts of citizenship and group formation, claims making, and protest. Students are exposed to a range of case studies primarily drawn from Sub-Saharan Africa. By the end of term, students will be familiar with conceptual and theoretical understandings of citizenship (formal and informal) and social movements, and will have working knowledge of several case study examples from a diverse body of scholarship. This course features guest lectures and discussions with French and American scholars from Sciences-Po, Universite Paris 1, NYU, and Columbia.