POLS-Y338: African Politics - Black Lives Matter

POLS-Y338 — Spring 2022

Lauren M. MacLean
WH 004 Woodburn Hall
Days and Times
M 1:15 - 2:30 p.m.
Course Description

This class is called African Politics: Black Lives Matter and traces the transnational politics of race and inequality over time in Africa and in the U.S. We focus on political history; economic development; and the prospects for democracy in Africa. For example, we examine archival engravings to compare the political consequences of the slave trade for the Ashanti Kingdom in Ghana as well as for the plantations in South Carolina. We compare the politics of segregation with Jim Crow laws in the U.S. to apartheid in South Africa. Later, we analyze the lyrics of contemporary African and American musicians who protested the authoritarian oppression of Museveni’s Uganda and the brutality of the L.A. police. While not glossing over the depth and recurrence of crises in Africa, this course seeks to uncover our commonly-held assumptions and go beyond simple stereotypes. During the course, we will try to understand the complexity, variety and fluidity of African politics and examine some of the similarities and differences with American politics. This course is intended as an introduction to the politics of Sub-Saharan Africa.  The course has no prerequisites so I welcome students with any or no previous knowledge of both political science and Africa.  Not only will we learn more about Africa, but Africa can teach us about other parts of the developing world and ourselves.