Instructor: Sarah S. Milburn
Instructor’s e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Days. Time, Location: TTh 7:15-8:35 RAB-104 DC
Office Hours: after each class and by appointment;
Synopsis: This class will provide a historically-informed exploration of colonial and post-colonial African politics. We will explore the internal conflicts and external pressures caused by differences in culture, social class, language, religion, gender, traditional and modern values, and types of government. We will discuss overarching themes common to many sub-Saharan countries, including ideological struggles, regime legitimacy, contested sovereignty, social movements, democratization processes, military governments, civil wars, human rights accountability, and the political economics of patronage and natural resource exploitation. The course has a historical framework: pre-colonial political societies and relevant geographical resources are presented first, followed by political history of the colonial period, the struggles for decolonization, nationalism and independence, and salient issues of the present post-colonial era. We cannot cover all of the continent’ in a single semester, so an in-depth approach will be taken with countries from each region, including Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Chad/Darfur, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Breaking news items will also be provided and discussed. You need not have studied sub-Saharan Africa previously to succeed in this course. However, participation and attendance count, and you will need to do the readings for each class in order to follow the discussions and succeed on the quizzes and exams. Requirements: midterm and final exams (closed book), a short analytical paper, pop quizzes, attendance and participation.