Sunday, November 25, 2018

If Africa is a country, then Fidel Castro is one of our national heroes

By Sean Jacobs  

On 25 November 2016

Fidel Castro passed away. To many Africans Fidel was a hero, playing a central role in their liberation from colonialism.

If Africa is a country, then Fidel Castro is one of our national heroes.  This may come as a surprise to many oblivious of Africa’s postcolonial history and Castro’s role in it – especially the fate of white regimes and former Portuguese colonies in southern Africa.  In the west, Castro’s legacy is usually dismissed as an authoritarian, and Cuba as a one-party state with few freedoms. Despite the many achievements of Cuba under Castro (high quality public healthcare, as well as life expectancy, child immunisation and literacy systems parallel to those of first-world nations, and even surpassing the US), at various times the country became renowned for economic crisis, media repression, exiling and imprisoning dissidents, and discriminating against gays and people with AIDS.  Those things were a betrayal of the revolution, and it is important to acknowledge that. But history has absolved Castro when it comes to Cuba’s foreign policy, especially its Africa policy.


Monday, November 19, 2018

A History of Africa by Hosea Jaffe

A History of Africa

Hosea Jaffe and preface by Samir Amin

A masterful study spanning over two thousand years of African history, and which stresses the unique character of the continent's historical development.

Spanning more than two thousand years of African history, from the African Iron Age to the collapse of colonialism and the beginnings of independence, Hosea Jaffe's magisterial work remains one of the few to do full justice to the continent's complex and diverse past.  The great strength of Jaffe's work lies in its unique theoretical perspective, which stresses the distinctive character of Africa's social structures and historical development. Crucially, Jaffe rejects all efforts to impose Eurocentric models of history onto Africa, whether it be liberal notions of 'progress' or Marxist theories of class struggle, arguing instead that the key dynamics underpinning African history are unique to the continent itself, and rooted in conflicts between different modes of production.  The work also includes a foreword by the distinguished economist and political theorist Samir Amin, in which he outlines the contribution of Jaffe’s work to our understanding of African history and its ongoing post-colonial struggles.

Preface by Samir Amin    
Part One: African Communism and Despotism    
Part Two: European Colonialism – Resistance and Collaboration    
Part Three: Africa in the Inter-National Class Struggle    
Part Four: Imperialism – African Emancipation

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Where is the ‘African’ in African Studies?

By Robtel Neajai Pailey 

We need to put the ‘African’ in African Studies, not as a token gesture, but as an affirmation that Africans have always produced knowledge about their continent.
Last week, I was invited by Eritrean-Ethiopian masters student Miriam Siun of Leiden University’s African Studies Centre to give one of two keynote lectures on the topic, “Where Is the African in ‘African’ Studies?” I took a long-range view, declaring that Africans have always produced knowledge about Africa, even though their contributions have been “preferably unheard” in some cases and “deliberately silenced” in others.
For those who question what constitutes an ‘African’ in the heyday of multiple citizenships and transnational flows of goods, ideas, and people, an ‘African’ has birthplace or bloodline ties to Africa, in the first instance. More importantly, however, an ‘African’ has a psychological attachment to the continent and is politically committed to its transformation.
For those who might wonder about the purpose of African Studies as a field of scholarly inquiry, it is to constantly interrogate epistemological, methodological, and theoretical approaches to the study of Africa, inserting Africa and its people at the centre of that interrogation as subjects, rather than objects.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Stop Trying To 'Save' Africa

By Uzodinma Iweala

The Washington Post - Sunday, July 15, 2007 

Last fall, shortly after I returned from Nigeria, I was accosted by a perky blond college student whose blue eyes seemed to match the "African" beads around her wrists.  "Save Darfur!" she shouted from behind a table covered with pamphlets urging students to TAKE ACTION NOW! STOP GENOCIDE IN DARFUR!  My aversion to college kids jumping onto fashionable social causes nearly caused me to walk on, but her next shout stopped me.  "Don't you want to help us save Africa?" she yelled.  It seems that these days, wracked by guilt at the humanitarian crisis it has created in the Middle East, the West has turned to Africa for redemption. Idealistic college students, celebrities such as Bob Geldof and politicians such as Tony Blair have all made bringing light to the dark continent their mission. They fly in for internships and fact-finding missions or to pick out children to adopt in much the same way my friends and I in New York take the subway to the pound to adopt stray dogs.


Notes on the History of Modern Africa

1960: Robert Mangalso Sobukwe, with 21 other leaders of the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC), was put on trial in Johannesburg for organising the Positive Action Campaign against Pass Laws that resulted in the ruthless Sharpeville-Langa massacres

[Walter Rodney] was assassinated in Guyana in 1980, at the age of 38 and remarkably, he accomplished so much in so little time. It is a very central feat that Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Bob Marley, Frantz Fanon, none of whom reached the age of forty." — Horace Campbell

Biko's Quest Theatre Production

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Patrice Lumumba: the most important assassination of the 20th century

The US-sponsored plot to kill Patrice Lumumba, the hero of Congolese independence, took place 50 years ago today

Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja

The Guardian – Mon 17 Jan 2011
Patrice Lumumba, the first legally elected prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was assassinated 50 years ago today, on 17 January, 1961. This heinous crime was a culmination of two inter-related assassination plots by American and Belgian governments, which used Congolese accomplices and a Belgian execution squad to carry out the deed.
Ludo De Witte, the Belgian author of the best book on this crime, qualifies it as "the most important assassination of the 20th century". The assassination's historical importance lies in a multitude of factors, the most pertinent being the global context in which it took place, its impact on Congolese politics since then and Lumumba's overall legacy as a nationalist leader.
For 126 years, the US and Belgium have played key roles in shaping Congo's destiny. In April 1884, seven months before the Berlin Congress, the US became the first country in the world to recognise the claims of King Leopold II of the Belgians to the territories of the Congo Basin.


Monday, February 26, 2018

Garvey's Ghost By Geoffrey Philp

Garvey's Ghost

By Geoffrey Philp

When Kathryn Bailey's teenaged daughter disappears from their home in Miami, the single Jamaican woman pursues every possible angle to find her. Kathryn's search leads her to a meeting with Jasmine's college professor, Jacob Virgo, a devout Garveyite and Rastafarian. Although their initial encounter is unpleasant, they must join forces to find Jasmine before it is too late. Through the teachings of Marcus Garvey, they learn to break down subtle barriers and find an unexpected bridge to new understandings and love.

Sunday, January 28, 2018


 Life, Above All Official (2010)

Goodbye Bafana - Trailer (2007)

LUCKY - Trailer (2011)

Mother of George - Trailer (2013) 

LITTLE ONE - Trailer (2012)

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Return of Muammar Gaddafi

by Haythem Guesmi

AFRICA IS A COUNTRY - December 17, 2017  

One of the unintended consequences of the angry reactions to the slave auctions in Libya, is a renewed romanticization of the supposed pan-African legacy of the late Libyan dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. At its heart, it reflects a depressing understanding of African politics which rules that a fair dictator is better than a chaotic political void.  Gaddafi ruled Libya for more than forty years since the military coup in 1969. His regime maintained a bureaucratic-authoritarian rule that criminalized political participation and dissent, legitimized a continual stability mainly through a corrupt redistribution of oil revenues in the forms of free healthcare and free education, and a pervasive cult of personality. Post-Gaddafi, Libya now has two rival parliaments and three governments. The dissolution of his autocratic rule after the 2011 uprisings has led to a state of social, financial, and political lawlessness.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Remember Frantz Fanon on the anniversary of his death by watching these 2 films

Frantz Omar Fanon, the Martiniquais-French psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary and writer whose works are influential in the fields of post-colonial studies, critical theory and Marxism, passed away on this day, December 6, 1961, at just 35 years old. Leukemia was the cause of death.  Fanon's writings include the author’s two critically significant works – Black Skin, White Masks (1952) and Wretched of the Earth (1961) – essentially manifestos presenting a utopian vision of a world in which the colonized frees himself/herself and becomes independent of the colonizer, both physically and mentally. Fanon’s theories were influential during those years, especially on the Third Cinema movement, right from its launch in the 1960s - a time of anti-colonial revolutionary struggles in the so-called "Third World," and rising political movements against the dominance of Western countries. Third Cinema was formed to address the need for a new kind of cinema that critiqued neocolonialism, Western imperialism and capitalism; an anti-oppression stance that challenged the status quo of political and social power around the world that left the "Third World" at a disadvantage.

The Battle of Algiers (English Subtitles) 

 Concerning Violence Official Trailer 1 (2014) - Documentary HD


Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Colonial Nature of African Dictatorships

HUFFINGTON POST - 11/06/2017

In writing about Forbes Burnham’s dictatorial regime in Guyana, Walter Rodney explained: “Hitler had a mad wish to rule the world. For this reason, he is generally described as a megalomaniac. Hitler’s megalomania was backed by the powerful German economy and the might of the German army. Burnham’s megalomania is closer to comedy and farce. It takes the form of wearing a General’s uniform and hoping that the army will conquer his own people.” Walter Rodney was describing the dictatorship of Burnham in Guyana and his description could just as easily be applied to African dictators as well. These are dictators who rule over small and impoverished countries, and often resort to using military force to subdue their own people. These are dictators like Faure Gnassingbé of Togo.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It’s been 50 years since Britain left. Why are so many African judges still wearing wigs?

By Kevin Sieff

THE WASHINGTON POST - September 17, 2017

NAIROBI — The British gave up their last colonies in Africa half a century ago. But they left their wigs behind.  Not just any wigs. They are the long, white, horsehair locks worn by high court judges (and King George III). They are so old-fashioned and so uncomfortable, that even British barristers have stopped wearing them.  But in former British colonies — Kenya, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Malawi and others — they live on, worn by judges and lawyers. Now, a new generation of African jurists is asking: Why are the continent’s most prominent legal minds still wearing the trappings of the colonizers?  It’s not just a question of aesthetics. The wigs and robes are perhaps the most glaring symbol of colonial inheritance at a time when that history is being dredged up in all sorts of ways. This year, Tanzanian President John Magufuli described a proposed free-trade agreement with Europe as a “form of colonialism.” In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe still refers to the British as “thieving colonialists.”


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Chinese migrants have changed the face of South Africa. Now they’re leaving.

Lily Kuo


Zhu Jianying, the owner of a home goods shop in southwest Johannesburg, plans to leave South Africa as soon as she can. Her store is making less than half of what it was two years ago when it first opened. She worries about security—Chinese traders like herself are often targeted. She and her family hardly ever leave the mall that houses her store and their apartment on an upper floor.  “It’s like we’re prisoners in our home,” Zhu says, standing by the cash register in her shop, “Forever Helen,” after the English name she adopted when she moved to South Africa in 2000. Stuffed animals hang from the wall. A digital sign by the entrance says: “We stock furniture, toys, beds.” On a Sunday afternoon Forever Helen is empty, as are many of the neighboring shops selling electronics, fake flowers, curtains, and furniture brought over from China.


Cameroon's Anglophone crisis demands urgent attention

Africa Portal - September 11, 2017

Since October 2016, protests around sectoral demands have degenerated into a political crisis in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions, sparking concern about violence and instability ahead of next year's elections. Analysts from the International Crisis Group suggest the way forward. T T  he Anglophones of Cameroon, 20 percent of the population, feel marginalised. Their frustrations surfaced dramatically at the end of 2016 when a series of sectoral grievances morphed into political demands, leading to strikes and riots. The movement grew to the point where the government’s repressive approach was no longer sufficient to calm the situation, forcing it to negotiate with Anglophone trade unions and make some concessions. Popular mobilisation is now weakening, but the majority of Anglophones are far from happy. Having lived through three months with no internet, six months of general strikes and one school year lost, many are now demanding federalism or secession.   Ahead of presidential elections next year, the resurgence of the Anglophone problem could bring instability. The government, with the support of the international community, should quickly take measures to calm the situation, with the aim of rebuilding trust and getting back to dialogue.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017



Instructor:           Tugrul Keskin                
Office:               333 East Hall                  International Studies
Google Phone: (202) 630-1025     

The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves.
― Frantz Fanon

For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.
― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Course Description and Objective  
This course will explore the ongoing social, political and economic dynamics in 20th century Africa. In this course, we will try to understand the transformations in African societies and communities. However, we will also briefly examine historical colonialism. Colonialism has led to a set of serious and long-lasting unintended consequences on the continent. Ethnic tensions in Kenya, Apartheid racism in South Africa, the Darfur conflict in Sudan, Christian and Muslim religious misunderstanding in Nigeria, increased political conflicts in Mali, democratic transformations in Northern Africa and the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda are each related with the earlier exploitation of African peoples and lands, and as such are a product of colonization. This history has set in motion a dynamic that has created artificial social, political and economic boundaries among African communities and societies. Whatever conflicts we see today on the continent are not because Africans are not capable of enhancing and developing their own civilization, but are a by-product of the colonial political social and economic structures left behind by the colonizers, internalized within Africa. 

There have been many changes in Africa following the colonization period, 1885-1950s. Most of the African countries received independence in the 1960s; however, today we witness social, political and economic problems, which are direct consequences of historical colonialism and the impacts of global capitalism. In this course, we will explore the relationship of the past to modern Africa. Today in Africa, we observe massive urbanization, economic revivalism, Chinese investment, democratization, greater women’s participation in education and the work force, and more openness in each aspect of African societies. As a result of this dynamism, we see the increasing trend of popular culture and consumerism, which reflects Africa’s is evolution toward globalization. One of the best examples of this trend is the Nigerian Movie industry – Nollywood.   
In order to understand what the Sociology of Africa is, you should clearly follow the chronology of this course. There are five stages of this course. We will start re-visiting the colonial past of the continent, from the 1885 Berlin conference to WWI. In the second part of this course, the effects of the Great Depression will be examined. In the third stage of the course, the implications of WWII and independence and anti-colonialist movements are explored. The fourth stage of the course will critically analyze the chaotic nature of the nation state in Africa. In the last stage, we will review the current social, political and economic conditions, which are embedded in globalization. However, we also attempt to explore the Chinese economic exploitation of the African continent.
In this course, we will incorporate perspectives derived from the positions of African leaders from an internal as opposed to an Orientalist perspective; leaders such as the anti-colonialist Julius Nyerere (Tanzania), Pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), conservative African Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya), Idi Amin Dada (Uganda), the pro-African Nationalist Nnamdi Azikiwe (Nigeria), Thomas Sankara (Burkina Faso) and South African leader, Nelson Mandela.

Pan-African Leadership: 

Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832–1912) - Liberia
Omar Mukhtar (1862-1931) – Libya
Marcus Garvey (1887-1940) - Jamaica
W. E. B." Du Bois (1868 –1963) US and Ghana
Jomo Kenyatta (1889 - 1978) - Kenya
Haile Selassie I (1892–1975) - Ethiopia
Moses Kotane (1905-1978) – South Africa
Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972) - Ghana
Leopold Sedar Senghor (1906–2001) Senegal
Mojola Agbebi (1860–1917) - Nigeria
Govan Mbeki (1910-2001) – South Africa
Ahmed Ben Bella (1918-2012) - Algeria
Baruch Hirson (1921-1999) – South African Jewish
Julius Nyerere (1922-1999) - Tanzania
Amilcar Cabral (1924-1973) - Guinea-Bissau
Idi Amin Dada (1925–2003) - Uganda
Robert Gabriel Mugabe (1924-) Zimbabwe
Frantz (Ibrahim) Fanon (1925-1961) – Martinique and Algeria
Patrice Lumumba (1925-1961) - Congo
Joe Slovo (1926-1995) - South Africa
Walter Rodney (1942-1980) – Guyana
Alhaji Alieu Ebrima Cham Joof (1924-2011) - Gambia
Agostinho Neto (1922-1979) - Angola
Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe (1924-1978) – South Africa
George Padmore (1902-1959) – Trinidad and Ghana
C L R James (1901-1988) – Trinidad
Benjamin Nnamdi Azikiwe (1904–1996) - Nigeria
Ahmed Sekou Toure (1922-1984) – Guinea
Kwame Ture (1941-1998) Trinidad
Maulana Karenga (1941-) US
Molefi Kete Asante (1942-) US
Thomas Sankara (1949-1987) – Burkina Faso

Learning outcomes:
1.     Students should become familiar with significant aspects of the history, culture and politics of Africa, and be able to appreciate the range of historical and contemporary experiences on the continent.
2.     Acquaint students with traditional literature of post-colonial studies and contemporary research on African Society
3.     Identify crucial events, actors, and trends in 20th century African politics and society and their ramifications beyond the African continent.
4.     Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship of the geographical, political, socio-economic, and cultural forces that have changed the map of Africa and the lives of the people living there.
5.     Understand how Europe dominated and exploited Africa and African society in the 20th century following the Berlin conference. 
6.     Introduce students to the historical transformation of African society following the 1885 Berlin Conference
7.     Recognize and respectfully defend or challenge the underlying assumptions in class readings and discussions; critically analyze various sources and maps.
Required Readings:

·  Basil Davidson. 1995. Modern Africa: A Social and Politic. History. Longman.
·  Richard Dowden. 2010. Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles. Preseus Book/Public Affairs.
·  Padraig Carmody. 2011. The New Scramble for Africa. Polity Press.

Other readings will be posted on D2L and you will find them under the ‘news’ section.      

Recommended Readings:  

1.     Franz Fanon. A Dying Colonialism. New York, NY: Monthly Review Press, 1967. ISBN 0802150276, or 9780802150271
2.     Adekeye Adebajo. The Curse of Berlin: Africa After the Cold War. Columbia University Press, 2010.
3.     Ifi Amadiume. Reinventing Africa: Matriarchy, Religion and Culture. New York, NY: Zed Book, 2001.  1-85649-534-5
4.     Phyllis M. Martin and Patrick O’Meara. Africa. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1995. ISBN: 0-253-20984-6
5.     Jacob U. Gordon. African Leadership in the Twentieth Century: An Enduring Experiment in Democracy. University Press of America, 2002.
6.     Basil Davidson. The African Slave Trade. Boston, MA: 1980. ISBN: 0-316-17438-6
7.     Basil Davidson.   Africa: A Social and Political History. London: Pearson, 1994.
8.     Albert Memmi. The Colonizer and Colonized. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1991. ISBN: 978-0-8070-0301-5
9.     Kinuthia Macharia and Muigai Kanyua. The Social Context of the Mau Mau Movement in Kenya (1952-1960). Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2006. ISBN: 0-7618-3389-7
10.  Peter Edgerly Firchow, Envisioning Africa: Racism and Imperialism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 2000.  
11.  David Anderson, Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire
12.  W. E. Burghardt Du Bois, World and Africa: The World and Africa: An inquiry into the part which Africa has played in world history
13.  Yuri Smertin, Kwame Nkrumah: An original study of the life and work of renowned African Marxist Kwame Nkrumah that draws on key passages in Nkrumah's own writings and those of his contemporaries.
14.  Michael Conniff & Thomas Davis, Africans in the Americas: A History of the Black Diaspora   (St. Martin’s Press, NY)   ISBN 0-312-04254-x
15.  Manning Marable, Race, Reform, and Rebellion  (University of Mississippi Press, Jackson)
16.  Robin Kelley, Race Rebels, Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class (The Free Press, Macmillan)
17.  African Politics and Society: A Mosaic in Transformation (Hardcover) by Peter J. Schraeder
18.  The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence (Paperback) by Martin Meredith
19.  Africa: A Biography of the Continent (Paperback) by John Reader 
20.  Africa and the New World Order (Society and Politics in Africa, Vol 7) by Julius Omozuanvbo Ihonvbere (Paperback - Feb 2000)
21.  Issues and Trends in Contemporary African Politics: Stability, Development, and Democratization (Society and Politics in Africa, Vol 1) (Paperback) by George Akeya Agbango
22.  Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon and Constance Farrington (Paperback - Jan 7, 1994)
23.  How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney 1973 
24.  Patterns of Islamization and Varieties of Religious Experience among Muslims of Africa by Nehemia Levtzion and Randall L. Powels
25.  Germany's Black Holocaust, 1890-1945: The Untold Truth. Firpo W. Carr
26.  Franz Fanon. The Wretched of The Earth. New York: NY: Grove Press, 2004. 
27.  R. Grinker and C. Steiner [eds] (1997) Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation. Oxford and Cambridge, Mass: Blackwell.
28.  John Iliffe. Africans: The History of A Continent. Cambridge University Press, 2007.
29.  Global Studies: Africa Thomas Krabacher, Ezekiel Kalipeni, Azzedine Layachi
30.  African Politics and Society: A Mosaic in Transformation (Hardcover) by Peter J. Schraeder. Cengage Learning, 2004. 

Documentaries and Movies: 
·  Documentary: General Idi Amin Dada (A self Portrait) by Barbet Schroeder
·      Lumumba (2000)
·      Masai: The Rain Warriors (2004)
·      Congo: White King, Red Rubber, Black Death (2006)
·      Catch a Fire (2007)
Youtube Videos:
·  Colonialism in Africa
·  Decolonization in Africa
·  Part 1 of 4: Journey to Nationhood | The Colonial Legacy
·  Dr. Kwame Nkrumah visits Nigeria
·  Thomas Sankara
·  The Imam and Pastor in Nigeria
·  Knaan talks w/ Davey D about the truth behind the Somali Pirates
·  Hakim Adi on Slavery in Africa
·  Germany's Black Holocaust 1890-1945
·  Niall Ferguson - Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World
·  The House Negro and The Field Negro
·  How can Africa prevent the plunder of its lands by Western powers?-Africa Today
·  Israel: No Place to Go
·  The Death of Samora Machel - South Africa
·  The Assassination of Patrice Lumuba
·  Idi Amin Dada Autobiography - Uganda Discovery
·  Conflict Minerals, Rebels and Child Soldiers in Congo

Recommended News on Africa

Course Requirements
To prevent confusion later, please read the following information carefully:

Final Paper: You will choose an African country and review the country’s social, political economic transformation after its independence. I must approve your topic and plan ahead of time. The final paper proposals are due by Friday, February 15 and must be approved by this date. The final paper is a short empirical or theoretical paper of at least 4000 words (Font should be Times New Roman, 12 point), double-spaced. The final paper is due on Sunday March 17th. Send it to me by email attachment. 
Criteria: If your final paper proposal is late you will loose 2 points, if your final paper is late you will loose 5 points. Therefore, you should be careful about timing. You will also present your final paper in the last week of class, Wednesday March 14th. The presentation is worth 4 out of 20 points.   

Format: ASA citation and bibliography format will be followed. All work should adhere to the guidelines published by the American Sociological Association (ASA) at  
This is not a definitive source, but is a Quick Guide provided by ASA.

You will use the following format in your final paper:
1.     Introduction (200 words) – What is your thesis? (This will be your final paper proposal.
2.     A Brief History of the country: Before independence and a brief History of Colonialism in the country: Who colonized the country and how long did they stay…. (At least 800 words)
3.     Political Structure and transformations: Independence, monarchy, dictatorship, parliamentary democracy, and military rule (At least 600 words)
4.     Social and Cultural Structure and transformations: Ethnicity, race, gender, population, education level, urbanization (At least 800 words)
5.     Economic Structure and transformations: Foreign debt, World Bank influence, privatization, the social welfare and health system …… (At least 1000 Words)
6.     Ethnic or Religious Conflicts (At least 400 words)
7.     Future Trajectories and Conclusion (At least 200 words)

Reflection papers: The reflection papers will include an open book essay that will determine what you have learned in class each week. I will ask you two or four questions regarding the same week’s class subject and discussion. The reflection papers should be at least 1200 words. Font size should be Times New Roman, 12 point. The due date for each exam is Monday by 12:00 midnight. Criteria: If your paper is less than 1200 words, or late, you will loose 2 points.   

Weekly Presentations: Each week, two or three students will be assigned a weekly topic from the readings. These students will summarize the readings and prepare an outline and 4-6 questions for class, in order to come prepared to lead the class discussion. Each student must always read the course materials before they attend class, and I expect you to participate actively in the class discussion. I strongly recommend that you present in earlier weeks rather than later in the semester, because you may not find the right time available to present, and will loose presentation points. Presentation dates are available on a first-come first-served basis. The timeline for weekly presentations will be provided in the first week of the class. After we have filled in student names and finalized the weekly presentation schedule, it   will be posted to D2L. 

Newspaper Articles: During the semester, you can bring 5 newspaper articles related with our class subjects. You cannot bring more than one article in the same week. You will have to summarize these articles verbally in class and will find the recommended newspapers listed on blackboard, under the external links section. Newspaper articles sent by email will not be accepted. Please bring the first page of the printed/hard copy of the article to class. You can only bring an article from the selected newspapers, posted on blackboard, which you will find under the links section. Some of the recommended newspapers include The Guardian, Al-Jazeera,, Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Economist. You can only bring an article on Mondays.
Attendance: Regular class attendance is one of the important parameters to successful completion of the course requirements.

Participation: Each student must read course material before they attend class and I expect them to participate in class discussion.

Coming late to class: Late comers will not be accepted to class, so be on time. If you are late for a class, please do not disturb your classmates and me and do not come at all. Please also do not send an email or call me regarding your class attendance. If there is a medical need, bring a letter from a doctor. Whatever the reason is, if you cannot come to class, this is your responsibility. If you miss more than 4 classes, you will not receive an attendance grade.
Laptop and cell phone policy: If you need your laptop in class to take notes, please let me know. Otherwise I will assume that you are surfing the Internet during my lectures. Please turn your cell phone off before you come to class. If you use the Internet or your cell phone during class, you will be asked to leave. 

Grades: Your grade for this course will be based on your performance on the following components, shown with their dates and respective weights.

Item                                                    Date                                        Weight (%)

6 Reflection Papers                           Sunday                                  60.0
Final Paper                                        March 17th                              20.0
Attendance/ Class Participation                                                      5.0
Newspaper Articles                                                                           5.0     
Weekly Presentation                                                                         10.0    

The grading system in this class is as follows:
A                95-100     
A-              90-94    
B+              86-89    
B                85     
B-               80-84    
C+              76-79    
C                75    
C-               70-74    
D+             66-69    
D                65    
D-              60-64
F                (Failure)     

-You are expected to follow PSU’s student code of conduct, particularly 577-031-0135 and 577-031-0136, which can be found at
Violations of the code will be reported to the Office of the Dean of Student Life.
-You are encouraged to take advantage of instructor and TA office hours or email communication for help with coursework or anything else connected with the course and your progress.
-If you are a student with a documented disability and are registered with Disability Resource Center (503.725.4150 or TDD 725.6504), please contact the instructor immediately to arrange academic accommodations.
-Make sure you have an ODIN account; this email will be used for D2L and important emails from the instructor and TA.  DO NOT USE THE INTERNAL D2L mail function to contact us. If you do not typically use your PSU ODIN account, figure out how to get your mail from this account forwarded to the account you usually use.


Additional Remarks: If you have difficulty with the course, please schedule a time to discuss your concerns with me, to help you get back on track.          

If you have any questions regarding class related subjects, please do not hesitate to ask me.

Course Timeline

First Week
January 7 - 11

·   Introduction to Course and overview syllabus                                                
·   Stop Trying To 'Save' Africa By Uzodinma Iweala
·   Rudyard Kipling, The White Man's Burden (1899)
·   Africa on My Mind by Mervat Hatem
·   The Black Man's Burden by Edward Morel (1903)
·   Chapter-1 The Early Years of the Twentieth Century (Modern Africa)
·   Africa is a night flight away: Images and realities (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
·   Chapter 1: The New Scramble, Geography and Development. (The New Scramble for Africa)
·   Sociology of Africa: A non-Orientalist Approach to African, Africana and Black Studies by Tugrul Keskin (Critical Sociology, 2012)

Second Week
January 14 - 18

  • Chapter-2 Colonial Africa: to 1930 (Modern Africa)
  • Chapter-3 African Responses: to 1930 (Modern Africa)
  • Africa is different: Uganda I (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
  • How it all went wring: Uganda II (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
  • Chapter 2: Old Economic Power Resource Interests and Strategies in Africa. (The New Scramble for Africa)

Third Week
January 21 - 25

  • Chapter-4 Key Ideas for Progress (Modern Africa)
  • Chapter-5 Colonial System and the Great Depression (Modern Africa)
  • Chapter-6 The Second World War, 1939-1945 (Modern Africa)
  • The end of colonialism: New states, old states (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
  • Chapter 3: Chinese Interests and Strategies in Africa (The New Scramble for Africa)   

January 27

Reflection Paper-1

Fourth Week
January 28 – February 1

  • Chapter-7 Towards African Politics (Modern Africa)
  • Chapter-8 Colonialism in Crises (Modern Africa)
  • Chapter-9 The Conditions of Decolonization (Modern Africa)
  • Amazing, but it is Africa? Somalia (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
  • Chapter 4: Other New Economic Power Resource Interests and Strategies in Africa. (The New Scramble for Africa)

February 3

Reflection Paper-2

Fifth Week
February 4 - 7

  • Chapter-10 Raising National Flags: North-East Africa (Modern Africa)
  • Chapter-11 Libya and Maghrib (Modern Africa)
  • Chapter-12 South of the Sahara: French Colonies (Modern Africa)
  • Forward to the past: Zimbabwe (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
  • Breaking apart: Sudan (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
  • Chapter 5: Driving the Global Economy: West African and Sahelian Oil. (The New Scramble for Africa)

February 10

Reflection Paper-3

Sixth Week
February 11 - 15

  • Chapter-13 British West Africa: (Modern Africa)
  • Chapter-14 East and Central Africa: British Settler Colonies (Modern Africa)
  • Chapter-15 In Other Empires: Belgian, Portuguese, Spanish (Modern Africa)
  • A tick bigger than the dog: Angola (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
  • Missing the story and the sequel: Burundi and Rwanda (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)

February 15

Final paper Proposal Deadline
Final Paper must be approved by this date:
February 17

Reflection Paper-4

Seventh Week
February 18 - 22

  • Chapter-16 The 1980s: Unfinished Business (Modern Africa)
  • Chapter-17 History Begins A New (Modern Africa)
  • Chapter-18 Questions About National Stability (Modern Africa)
  • God, Trust and Trade: Senegal (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
  • Dancers and the Leopold men: Sierra Leone (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
  • Chapter 6: Minerals: Powering, Connecting and Wiring the Globe: From Uranium to Coltan. (The New Scramble for Africa)

February 24

Reflection Paper-5

Eighth Week
February 25 – March 1

  • Chapter-19 Questions About Development (Modern Africa)
  • Chapter-20 Questions About Unity
  • Chapter-21 Towards Africa’s Reconstruction: Summary and Overview (Modern Africa)
  • The positive positive women: AIDS in Africa (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
  • Copying King Leopold: Congo (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
  • Chapter 7: Furnishing and Feeding the World? Timber, Biofuels, Food and Fisheries. (The New Scramble for Africa)

March 10
Reflection Paper-6

Ninth Week
March 4 – 8

·       Not just another country: South Africa (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
·       Meat and money: Eating in Kenya (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
·       Look at word: Nigeria (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
·       Chapter 8: Markets and The Embedding of Asian Investment: Evidence from Zambia. (The New Scramble for Africa)
Tenth Week
March 11 - 15

·       New colonists or old friends? Asia in Africa (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
·       Phones, Asians and the professionals: The new Africa (Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles)
·       Chapter 9: Can African Unscramble the Continent? (The New Scramble for Africa)
Final Paper Presentation is on Wednesday, March 13

March 17
The last day to submit your final paper is Sunday, March 17th