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Undergraduate Courses

Africa: Culture, Identity and Globalisation (AXL1200S)

Africa: Culture, Identity and Globalisation

AXL1200S is a service course designed specifically for non-Humanities students preparing themselves for life of professional practice. Broad-based and introductory, it is intended to satisfy the Complimentary Studies requirements of professional institutes (like the Engineering Council of South Africa). It does this by focusing on contexts and ideas which will be of direct benefit in professional practices, as well as on more abstract ideas which will be generally enriching.

Course code: AXL1200S
Type of degree: Undergraduate
Course convenor: A/Prof Horman Chitonge
Last updated: Monday, July 18, 2016

Course outline:
AXL1200S is a service course designed specifically for non-Humanities students preparing themselves for life of professional practice. Broad-based and introductory, it is intended to satisfy the Complimentary Studies requirements of professional institutes (like the Engineering Council of South Africa). It does this by focusing on contexts and ideas which will be of direct benefit in professional practices, as well as on more abstract ideas which will be generally enriching. In the time available, this course sets out to introduce and develop more complex understandings of culture, identity and the challenges of globalisation that face societies in contemporary Africa. We envisage the ideas explored and debates encouraged as contributing towards a more thoughtful professional practice and critical awareness of social and historical context, particularly in the context of post-apartheid South Africa, a society which is defined, in part, by that particular conjunction. That is, the need to negotiate the thorny legacies and complex material realities of colonialism and apartheid whilst dealing with the intensified effects of globalisation.

From Cape Town to Algiers and Puntland, we will take a case-study approach, examining a range of different contemporary issues, historical moments and diverse localities across the continent. This will enable us to examine dominant concepts and vocabularies that operate in relation to complex processes of globalisation but which impact everyday life in distinctly different ways. This approach will also enable us to introduce and explore a range of concepts, ideas and critical terms in Humanities-type study – “tools to think with” that cut to the heart of contemporary contexts.

LECTURE PROGRAMME

Week 1 (July 22): Introduction to the course
A/Prof Horman Chitonge

Required Readings:

  • Guttal, Shamali (2007). “Globalisation Origin and Definition.” Development in Practice, Vol.17, Nos. 4 &5. 523-33

Week 2 (July 29): What is Globalisation?
A/Prof Horman Chitonge

Required Readings:

  • The Global Transformation Reader (any edition) by David Held & Anthony McGrew (editors), Cambridge: Blackwell. Introduction pg 1-16.

Additional Reading:

  • Huntington, S (1993). “The Clash of Civilisations.” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 72, No. 3. 21-49

Week 3 (August 5): Africa in the Globalising World
A/Prof Horman Chitonge

Required Readings:

  • Zeleza, Paul (2003). Re-thinking Africa’s Globalisation (Vol.1). Trenton: Africa World Press. Chapter 1. pg.1-16

Additional Readings:

  • Adekunle, Julius (2012). “Globalisation in the Pre-Colonial Period” in E. Mbah & S. Salm(eds) Globalisation and the African Experience. Durham: Carolina Academic Press. Chapter 1. pg.23-36

Week 4 (August 12): Challenges of Globalisation in Africa
A/Prof Horman Chitonge

Required Readings:

  • Mkandawire, Thandika (2005). “Mal-adjusting African Economies and Globalisation.” African Development, Vol. XXX, Nos. 1 & 2. 9-29

  • Ouattara, Alassane (1997). “The challenges of Globalisation for Africa.” A paper presented at the Southern Africa Economic Summit, Harare, Zimbabwe, May 12.

Additional Readings:

  • De Beer, CS (2005). “Africa in the Globalising World: Digital Divide or Human Divide?”

  • Bush, Ray(2008). “Africa and Globalisation” Soundings, Issue 39. pg.20-31

  • Stiglitz, Joseph (2002). Globalization and its Discontents. New York: Norton & Company. Chapter 2

Week 5 (August 19): Globalisation and Political Transformation in Africa
A/Prof Horman Chitonge

Required Readings:

  • United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA, 2007). The Relevancy of African Traditional Institutions of Governance. ECA: Addis Ababa. Pages 1-15.

Additional Reading:

Week 6 (August 26): Globalisation and Cultural Transformation in Africa
Ms Zuziwe Msomi

Required Readings:

  • Gilbert, Jane (2006). “Two Worlds: Integration, Synthesis or Conflict? Psychological Perspectives on Cultural Identity in Africa” in T. Lyons and G. Pye (eds.). Africa on the Global Stage. Trenton: Africa World Press. Chapter 4.

Additonal Reading:

  • Lieber, J. Robert & Weisberg, E. Ruth (2002). “Globalisation, Culture and Identity Crisis.” International Journal of Politics, Vol.16, No.2. pg 273-296

Mid-semester Break: 28 August 2016 - 3 September 2016

Week 7 (September 9): Identity Dynamics: Past, Present and Future
Ms Zuziwe Msomi

Required Reading:

  • Sharp John & Emile Boonzaier, 1994, ‘Ethnic Identity as Performance: Lessons from Namaqualand’. Journal of Southern African Studies 20(3). 405-415.

Documentary: Africa Meets Africa (TBC)

Additional Reading:

  • Jenkins, Richard. 2008. ‘Identity Matters,’ pp. 1-15 in Social Identity. Routledge: London

Week 8 (September 16): Popular Culture in Urban Africa
Ms Zuziwe Msomi

Required Readings:

  • Simone, AbdouMaliq (2008). “Some Reflections on Making Popular Culture in Urban Africa”, African Studies Review, Volume 51, Number 3, December 2008. 75-89.

Additional Reading:

  • Barber, Karin (ed.), 1997, ‘Introduction: Views of the Field’, In Readings in African Popular Culture. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana Univ. Press. pp.1-9

Week 9 (September 23): Negotiating Multiple Identities in Africa
Ms Zuziwe Msomi

Required Readings:

  • Comaroff, Jean and Comaroff, John. 2009. Chapter 2, ‘Three or Four things about ethnofutures’ pp 6-21 in Ethnicity, Inc. University of Kwazulu-Natal Press, Scottsville, South Africa

Additional Reading:

  • Thiel, M. & Coate, Roger(2010). “Identity Politics and Political Identities: Local Expressions in a Globalising World” in M. Thiel & R. Coate (eds.) Identity Politics in the Age of Globalisation. London: First Forum Press. pg1-28.

Week 10 (September 30): Decolonizing the University
A/Prof Nick Shepherd

Required Readings:

Week 11 (October 7): Finding UCT
A/Prof Nick Shepherd
In this lecture we focus on UCT as a site of struggle, as a way of opening up questions of institutional power, institutional culture, and transformation.

Required Readings:

Week 12 (October 14): Africa in the Shadow of Globalisation
A/Prof Horman Chitonge

Required Readings:

  • Chitonge, H. (2015). Economic Growth and Development in Africa: Understanding Trends and Prospects. London/New York: Routledge. Chapter 7.

Additional Reading:

  • Hendrickson, Roshan (2012). “Global Economies: Africa and the West” in E. Mbah & S. Salm(eds) Globalisation and the African Experience. Durham: Carolina Academic Press. Chapter 2

NB: Last day of lectures is 17 October 2016. Exams begin on 24 October 2015.

Convenor:

  • A/Prof Horman Chitonge

Course Lecturers:

  • A/Prof Nick Shepherd
  • Ms Zuziwe Msomi

Administrator:

Lecture times:

Friday, 5th period (12:00 – 13:00)
Lunch hour may be used from time to time for screening of films or guest lectures.

Lecture Venue: Menzies 9

Tutorials:

There are ten tutorials for the course as a whole. Attendance at all lectures and tutorials is compulsory. Weekly readings must be done in advance of lectures and tutorials. The tutorial programme runs parallel with the lecture programme and they reinforce one another. You are expected to prepare notes which comprise your thoughts on the weekly readings, comments and questions before the tutorial. These will form the basis of class discussion each week.

Readings:

Available on Vula (see lecture programme below) and hand-outs.

Required reading:

  • Globalisation and the African Experience (2012). Mbah, Emmanual & Salm, Steven (editors). Durham: Carolina Academic Press.

  • The Global Transformation Reader (any edition) by David Held & Anthony McGrew (editors)

Assessment Requirements:

  • Three short assignments – 10% each

  • A group research project and presentation – 20%

  • A final exam – 50%

You must submit each of the two assignments directly to the course administrator by the end of day on the due dates.

Assignment due dates:

Assignment 1: Thursday, 11 August 2016
Assignment 2: Wednesday, 14 September 2016
Assignment 3: Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Research project (final report): Monday, 17 October 2016

A cover page and plagiarism form needs to be filled out and attached to the front of your assignment (downloadable from the VULA site under ‘Resources’).

Please note: It is the policy of Centre for African Studies not to grant extensions on due dates other than in the case of medical emergencies or on compassionate grounds. A doctor’s note is required in the case of medical emergencies. Late work will be penalised by 10% per day.

Be sure to consult the examination timetable on for the date and the venue of the final examination. You must be prepared to make yourself available for re-examination, which affects all borderline candidates. This normally takes place the week following the examination period. Students doing the course will be expected to keep a watch on the media, to attend public meetings, performances, CAS seminar series, workshops and exhibitions which are part of the CAS Gallery programme.