Develop an Afro-centric perspective on knowledge production and apply it to Africa’s development.
The anthropology of Africa provides a lens through which students can begin to redefine what the discipline means for Africa. It is designed to challenge the colonial gaze of Africa and Africans as the conceptual ‘other’ and is instead focused on providing students with skills and resources to augment social and cultural development in Africa and its diaspora.
Although anthropology has a reputation for being backwards looking, with a strong focus on traditional societies, this course challenges conventional perspectives and imagines how African futures can materialise positively out of (neo)colonial conquest and slavery. It covers a range of African countries, tackling diverse themes from migration and identity to violence, resistance, music, and art. It provides students with the skills they need to curate their own research reports – in understanding how to conduct research aimed at providing ethnographic insight into and understanding where to target interventions to some of societies’ most complex social and cultural problems. The methods and theories of anthropological research are used to provide insights and suggestions to non-anthropological parties such as governments, companies, NGOs, or others. The course will enable students to form meaningful partnerships with local, national, and transnational organisations working on African- development.