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Postgraduate Courses

Academic Programme

POSTGRADUATED COURSES OFFERED IN AFRICAN STUDIES:

 

 

Honours and Masters requires that some courses are compulsory for the  relevant programme. Please consult the Postgraduate Handbook 2021 to check that you pick the right courses for your programme.

AXL4200W RESEARCH ESSAY/PROJECT
30 NQF credits at NQF level 8
Convener: Dr Z Msomi
Course entry requirements: Acceptance for an honours programme. Course outline:

An appropriate research paper, chosen in consultation with the supervisor, of approximately 15,000 words in length must be submitted by no later than 27 October.
DP requirements: Attendance at seminars is compulsory, failing which students’ papers may not be marked.

Assessment: Research/Essay Project.

AXL4201F DEBATES IN AFRICAN STUDIES
24 NQF credits at NQF level 8
Convener: Dr Z Msomi
Course entry requirements: Acceptance for an honours or postgraduate diploma programme. Course outline:

This course focuses on the writings of a range of Africa's liberation intellectuals, from nationalist leaders and social scientists to cultural activists, theorists and writers. The main objective of the course is, first: to highlight the main issues that have preoccupied these intellectuals and to examine their ideas in relation to the contexts in which they were produced; and second, to conduct a close reading of their key texts in the light of contemporary theoretical approaches to questions of colonialism, post colonialism, cultural identity and modernity.

The course will cover topics such as Pan-Africanism, negritude and race, the politics and truth value of autobiographies, nationalism and national consciousness. Key authors such as Leopold Sedar Senghor, Chinua Achebe, Ngugi Wa Thiongo, Steve Biko, Walter Rodney, Samir Amin will be studied alongside Frantz Fanon, Amical Cabral, Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela, Mamphela Ramphele and Zubeida Jaffer.

DP requirements: Attendance at seminars is compulsory, failing which students’ papers may not be marked.
Assessment: TBC

AXL4203F PUBLIC CULTURE IN AFRICA
24 NQF credits at NQF level 8
Convener: Professor S Vawda
Course entry requirements: Acceptance for an honours programme.

Course outline:

This course explores issues in public culture affecting Africa in a global context. Detailed examples illustrate how public culture is shaped, and how public expressions of identity and difference manifest in spaces and buildings, heritage, music and literature. An interdisciplinary course, it introduces various theoretical perspectives on culture and uses evidence from archaeology, history, architecture, literature and cultural studies. Its empirical focus ranges from the archaeology of pre- colonial Africa to the public culture of the Internet.

DP requirements: Attendance at seminars is compulsory, failing which students’ papers may not be marked.
Assessment: Two essays (25% each) 50%; major project 50%.

AXL4204FS PUBLIC CULTURE INTERNSHIP
24 NQF credits at NQF level 8
Convener: Dr J Bam-Hutchison
Course entry requirements: Acceptance for an honours programme.

Course outline:

This internship is offered as an elective option to students doing the African Studies specialisation in Heritage and Public Culture and counts as the equivalent of a single Honours-level course. A student intern is attached to a library, archive, gallery, museum or other institution of public culture, actively researching an aspect of public culture practice. Students work under the close supervision of a member of staff in the institution and a member of the academic staff in the African Studies Unit attached to the Heritage and Public Culture programme.

DP requirements: Attendance at seminars is compulsory, failing which students’ papers may not be marked.
Assessment: Major project: 50%, Research proposal: 10%, Additional material: 40%

 

AXL4205S THE AFRICAN STUDIES ARCHIVE (May not be offered in 2021)
24 NQF credits at NQF level 8
Convener: Dr J Bam-Hutchison
Course entry requirements: Acceptance for an honours programme.

Course Outline:


In this course we take a look at some of the key collections in the Manuscripts and Archives division of the University of Cape Town Library, and at some of the bodies of scholarly work to which they have given rise. As one of the oldest university archives in Southern African the collections speak – in image and text – of the formation of a range of discipline-based knowledges dealing with Africa. On the one hand, this takes the form of the emergence, formalisation and institutionalisation of a range of collecting and recording practices, fieldwork methodologies and the like. On the other hand, it takes the form of the emergence of various disciplinary discourses and their associated “objects” and “fields”. The key source of insight in the course lies in exploring how these different objects and fields are not natural or given but have been formed and constructed in relation to specific social contexts and intellectual histories. Significant collections examined in this course include the Bleek/Lloyd collection, the Goodwin Collection and the Hahn Collection. Particular emphasis is placed on the many hundreds of photographic images that form part of these collections as a point of entry into larger disciplinary debates and concerns.
 

DP requirements: Attendance at seminars is compulsory, failing which students’ papers may not be marked.
Assessment: Two essays (25% each) 50%; major project 50%.

AXL4206S DECOLONIAL THEORY
24 NQF credits at NQF level 8
Convener: Dr Z Msomi
Course entry requirements: Acceptance for an honours programme. Course outline:

This course considers the growing body of thought from Latin America under the heading ‘decolonial theory’, and exemplified in the works of Walter Mignolo, Arturo Escobar, Enrique Dussel, Santiago Castro-Gomez, Nelson Maldonado-Torres and Anibal Quijano. This work has been significant in framing an approach to questions of knowledge, coloniality and globalisation that attempts to re-write the script of modernity (as colonial modernity) and that provides rich conceptual resources through which to re-think familiar issues. The course takes a key-word approach. Each two-week block considers a distinct set of key words or concepts and texts that introduce and discuss them. They include Coloniality (of power/knowledge/being); Geopolitics of knowledge; Colonial globality and global designs; Border theory and colonial difference; Modernity (colonial modernity, peripheral modernity, transmodernity); Global designs and the local; The Indigenous

Movement and postcolonial ethnicities. Approaching decolonial theory from the perspective of the Cape, the course asks: How might a critique based on South/Latin American historical experiences translate to African contexts? How does it speak to the particularity of knowledge production and colonial engagement in the Cape? How does it connect with contemporary African Studies debates addressing questions of knowledge and epistemology?

DP requirements: Submission of all written work and attendance at all seminars. Assessment: TBC

AXL4207F RETHINKING AFRICA'S DEVELOPMENT 24 NQF credits at NQF level 8
Convener: Professor H Chitonge
Course entry requirements: Acceptance for an honours programme.

Course outline:

This course looks at the various development approaches and theories adopted by African states at different times. The course examines some of the most influential theories of development which emerged in the context of the post-Second World War situation focusing on how these theories have been used in Africa. In examining the different development theories, the course also investigates how Africans have responded to these theories. The course examines the question of whether African countries need to rethink these approaches and theories. Emerging views about Africa's development trajectory are also discussed. Critical questions about whether Africa can achieve sustainable economic growth and development by deploying conventional development and economic growth theory are discussed.

DP requirements: Attendance at seminars is compulsory, failing which students’ papers may not be marked.
Assessment: Class participation & presentation (10%); 3000-word research paper (35%); 5000- word essay (55%).

AXL4209FS LAND & AGRARIAN QUESTION
24 NQF credits at NQF level 8
Convener: Professor H Chitonge
Course entry requirements: Acceptance for an honours programme.

Course outline:

The prevalence of large-scale land acquisition in the context of rising food prices since the 2008/09 financial and economic crisis has brought the issues of land and land use in Africa in the spotlight. As a result, land and agrarian matters in Africa are increasingly having a direct bearing on broader issues including food security, environmental sustainability, economic growth, social and political stability, social justice and rural livelihoods. By introducing the land and agrarian questions in Africa this course critically examines the different dimensions of land, including patterns of land ownership, types of land tenure, land reform types, issues of tenure security, means of accessing land, land administration structures and institutions forms of land use, and the challenges (and opportunities?) posed by the current large-scale land acquisitions in different African communities. The course will draw examples from selected countries on the African continent. This course examines these dimensions of the land and agrarian questions in Africa in both their historical and contemporary contexts.

Assessment: Participation: 15%; Short Essay: 35%; Main paper: 50%.

AXL4210FS PAN-AFRICANISM & REGIONAL INTEGRATION IN AFRICA 24 NQF credits at NQF level 8
Convener: Professor H Chitonge
Course entry requirements: Acceptance for an honours programme.

Course outline:

The course examines the political and economic theory and rationale for Pan-Africanism and regional integration, with particular focus on how this has played out on the African continent over time. Emphasis in the course is on understanding the origins of Pan-Africanism, the current initiatives and arrangements towards regional integration, and the link between the two. The course provides an overview of past and contemporary strategies, initiatives and programmes aimed at unifying the continent. Students are introduced to the key challenges and opportunities of integration and development in Africa. While the philosophy of Pan-Africanism is still cited in some quarters as the basis for regional integration today, economic, and to a lesser extent political rationale, has dominated the motive behind regional integration. There is more emphasis now on the economic gains that can come from integrating the African continent than on any other motives. Given this context the course examines whether Pan-Africanism plays any role in the current drive towards regional integration. In the course, students are encouraged to critically reflect on whether the current motives for regional integration are strong enough to overcome the tendency toward national sovereignty and individualism in the continent.

Assessment: Participation: 15%; Short Essay: 35%; Main Essay: 50%.

 

AXL5202F PROBLEMATISING THE  STUDY OF AFRICA 24 NQF credits at NQF level 8

Convenor: Dr Thuto Thipe

Course entry requirements: Acceptance for an honours programme.

 

Course Outline:

This course focuses on the paradigms and practices that guide and govern the production of disciplinary knowledge. It seeks to do this by demonstrating the complex relationship between power and knowledge, within the context of the history of Africa since colonialism and the development of the disciplines that study this continent. It draws attention to the links between colonialism and the formation of disciplines, between imperialism and language studies: links, that not only cut across disciplines, but were in fact responsible for formulating those disciplinary boundaries in the first place. 

 

Assessment: TBC