Culture: Africa

Course description Culture: Africa
Year: 2016-2017
Catalog number: 5182KC41
Teacher(s):
  • Dr. K. Robbe
  • Dr. V.A.S. Nyst
Language: English
Blackboard: Yes
EC: 5
Level: 200
Period: Semester 1, Block I, II
  • No Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • Yes Exchange
  • Yes Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • No Honours Class

Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.
Limited places are also open for exchange students. Please note: this course takes place in The Hague.

Description

When studying a particular region of the world, knowledge of its cultural universe is crucial; the study of culture allows the understanding of the deeper structures behind history, politics and economy. Culture is the symbolic repertoire that gives form and content to national and collective identities, the subjectivity of individuals, and the environment. Culture is expressed in both material and immaterial resources, through which relations of legitimacy and domination are built in specific temporal and geographical contexts. Culture is a domain in which strategies for winning consent and cohesion are reflected, but it also includes mechanisms of in- and exclusion or conflicts on the basis of e.g. nationality, language, religion, ethnicity or gender. This course looks at these processes in specific cultural contexts of the world, and revises the regional scholarly traditions in the study and circulation of culture.
The course is designed to introduce students to the complex field of cultural communication in Africa by focusing on the role of linguistic and non-linguistic communicative practices and of artistic communication as expression of cultural identities.
After an introduction to the culture of communication and to literary and visual cultures, we address five themes in this course: the city, religion, gender, memory and the body. Each of these themes will be discussed in various aspect and with different disciplinary approaches.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, students will:
• be able to explain main concepts in African studies regarding communication in a variety of forms (oral, written) and contexts (rural and urban, locally based and diasporic);
• develop familiarity with debates around the conceptions of elite and popular cultures in Africa, and the ways in which media are involved in transforming ‘local’ and ‘global’ practices;
• acquire insights into the politics of identity (involving gender, religion, body politics and memory) in African countries going through the processes of socio-political transformation;
• be able to apply these insights in analyzing examples of contemporary African culture, including language, oral and written literature, visual art, styles, monuments and urban culture.

Timetable

The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website

Mode of instruction

One two hour lecture per week; tri-weekly tutorials.

Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform the tutor of the course in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence. Being absent without notification and valid reason or not being present at half or more of the tutorial sessions will mean your assignments will not be assessed, and result in a 1.0 for the tutorial (30% of the final grade).

Course Load

Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 140 hours, broken down by:
• Atending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks: 24 hrs
• Atending attending tutorials 2 hours per three weeks: 8 hrs
• Assessment hours (midterms and final exam): 4 hrs
• Time for studying the compulsory literature: 68 hrs
• Time for completing assignments, preparation classes and exams: 36 hrs

Assessment method

Assessment

Midterm Exam:

  • Written examination with essay questions

Final exam:

  • Written examination with essay questions

Weighing

Tutorials 30%
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40 %

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following: the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.

Resit

If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis

Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Specified and provided via Blackboard.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact

For tutorials

Dr. K. Robbe
Dr. V.A.S. Nyst

Languages