AN477 Half Unit
Topics in the Anthropology of sub-Saharan Africa
This information is for the 2020/21 session.
Prof Karin Barber and Dr Leo Hopkinson
This course is available on the MSc in Anthropology and Development, MSc in Anthropology and Development Management and MSc in Social Anthropology. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
It is preferred that students will normally have done preliminary courses in Anthropology or have a Social Science background, but there is some flexibility. Students should consult the course lecturer.
This course gives students a critical understanding of ethnographic and theoretical writing on sub-Saharan Africa. Grounded in some classic debates around tradition and modernity (kinship-based polities vs states; studies on occult knowledge vs rationally-oriented political economy approaches; relationality and communality vs developmentally-oriented progress; ‘objective’ class vs forms of identification such as tribe or race), it explores questions about how the sub-continent’s societies orient themselves, and respond to new precarities, in a postcolonial and neoliberal age. How are changing urban realities experienced and expressed in popular culture? How are the politics of land and belonging being reshaped? Do youth have a future of work in post-industrial Africa - and what new gender identities are they developing? Are there specifically African forms of knowledge? What is postcolonial about the ‘postcolony’? Is Europe ‘evolving towards Africa’, as has been maintained?
10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.
This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of virtual lectures, classes and online interactive activities. The contact hours listed above are the minimum expected. This course has a reading week in Week 6 of LT.
Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.
Students will be asked to write one formative review during termtime, to be discussed with and evaluated by the course lecturer. The formative review will allow for students’ individuality and expression and allow them to bring their own interest in current debates into interplay with course materials.
Adebanwi, Wale. 2017. The Political Economy of Everyday Life in Africa: Beyond the Margins. Oxford: James Currey.
Comaroff, J and JL. 2012. Theory from the South or, How Euro-America is Evolving Toward Africa Anthropological Forum 22 (2).
Englund, Harri. 2006. Prisoners of Freedom. Human Rights and the African Poor. Berkeley: UC Press.
Geschiere, Peter. 2013. Witchcraft, Intimacy and Trust: Africa in comparison. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Guyer, Jane. 2014. Marginal Gains: monetary transactions in Atlantic Africa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Mbembe, A. 2001. On the Postcolony. Berkeley, University of California Press.
Moore, H. L. 2013. Still life: hopes, desires and satisfactions. London, John Wiley & Sons.
Piot, Charles 1999. Remotely Global: village modernity in West Africa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
Take-home assessment (100%) in the LT.
The take home exam will be held the week following the end of the LT.
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.
Total students 2019/20: Unavailable
Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable
Controlled access 2019/20: No
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills