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Undergraduate Minor

Minor Program in African Area Studies (016)

The field of African area studies emphasizes continental Africa and embraces all of the major regions of the continent. The interdisciplinary minor in African area studies requires a minimum of six courses, including two African language courses (8 credits), two core courses (6 credits), and two elective courses chosen from among the core courses and the approved course list (6 credits; 20 credits total). Credits earned through relevant honors or topics courses, independent study, internships and study abroad in Africa can be applied towards the electives requirements and may in some cases, with the approval of the Director of the Program in African Languages, be applied towards the language requirement.

Students must earn a grade of C or better in all courses counted toward the minor. At least three courses must be at the 300 level or above, and at least three courses must be taken outside the student's major. (Rutgers College students must ensure that no more than one of the courses they use for the minor is also being applied to their major.) Students are strongly advised to consult with the Curriculum Director regularly about their programs of study.

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Applied Learning Opportunities

  • 016:301, 302 - Independent study in African Area Studies
    (1-3, 1-3) Independent work on an issue in African area studies under the supervision and guidance of African Studies faculty.
  • 016:303, 304 - Directed Internship in African Studies (1-3, 1-3)
    Learning about Africa in applied settings through internships. Prerequisites: Permission of Center for African Studies curriculum coordinator, learning contract, and approval of internship site supervisor.

African Area Studies Core Courses

Minors must take at least two of the following undergraduate courses; students do not have to register under the CAS number; they may register under the cross-listed departmental numbers.

  • 016:220 - Ancient Africa (3); cross-listed 508:220
    Precolonial African societies and kingdoms: family life, cities, Islam, growth and decline of states, impact of the slave trade, African culture in the Americas.
  • 016:222 - Modern Africa (3); cross-listed 508:222
    Nineteenth- and twentieth-century Africa: resistance and accommodation to colonialism, impact of Christianity, African workers and new elites, changing roles of women, nationalism, revolution.
  • 016:224 - Women and Gender in African History (3); cross-listed 508:224
    Issues in the history of gender in Africa: female slavery, women and power formations, women in production and trade, family and community, gender and protest.
  • 016:243 - Anthropology of Africa (3); cross-listed 070:243
    Precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial African cultures and societies. Gender, ethnicity, and class. Representations and realities of Africa in a global context, including issues of development, conservation, tourism. Popular culture, contemporary rural and urban experiences.
  • 016:250 - Comparative Approaches to African Literatures (3); cross-listed 195:250
    This course examines readings and cultural texts from different geographic and cultural areas of Africa, and is composed in a variety of genres (oral narratives, poetry, novel, epic, poetry), ranging in date from pre-colonial to the colonial period to the modern national era. Readings from languages other than English will be in translation. Through a comparative and intercultural approach, the students will read, analyze, and write about these texts from the viewpoint of race, gender, class and social identities, culture, religion, philosophy, and ethnicity. This course will also assist students to develop an understanding of the influence of oral storytelling traditions, classical literary traditions as well as modern cultures on recent literary productions of Africa.
  • 016:312 - African Feminism (3); cross-listed 988:312
    What feminism means to Africa; how gender affects female socialization; women as state subjects; how diverse African feminist strategies differ from and/or parallel other feminisms.
  • 016:314 - Sub-Saharan African Politics (3); cross-listed 790:314
    Patterns of political change and political development in Africa south of the Sahara.
  • 016:321 - African Cultural History (3); cross-listed 508:321
    History of African music, art, religion, and other cultural practices in social and political context.
  • 016:350 - Literature and Cultures of Lusophone Africa (3); cross-listed 810:350
    Study of the literatures from African countries whose official language is Portuguese. Emphasis on 20th-century colonial and postindependence literature and theory. Prerequisite: 01:810:315 or 01:810:316 or permission of Portuguese department.
  • 016:363 - African Women Writers (3); cross-listed 195:363
    Reading and discussion of recent writings by women from a variety of cultural, linguistic, and regional areas of Africa.
  • 016:410 - Sub-Saharan African Literature (3); cross-listed 420:410
    Study of literature in French by writers in or from Sub-Saharan Africa. Course conducted in French.
  • 016:411 - North African Literature (3); cross-listed 420:411
    Study of literature in French by writers in or from North Africa. Course conducted in French.

Approved Courses in Other Units:

African, Middle Eastern, South Asian Lang. and Lit.

Minors must take two semesters of an African language.

Languages:

  • 013:105 106, 235 236, 335 336 - Swahili (Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced) (4,4)
  • 013:127 128, 227 228, 327 328 - Arabic (Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced) (4,4)
  • 013:133 134, 237 238, 337 338 - Yoruba (Elementary, Intermediate, Advanced) (4,4)
  • 013:301:01 - Twi (Elementary) (3)
  • 013:400 - African Language Tutorial (By Arrangement: Alidou)

Literatures:

  • 013:211 - Introduction to the Literatures of Africa (3)
    Literatures of Africa from their origins to the present.
  • 013:312 - African Folklore and Myth (3)
    Study of forms and problems of folklore in continental Africa and relationships to forms of folklore elsewhere in the African diaspora.
  • 013:314 - Islam and African Literature (3)
    Impact of Islam on African literature, and Islam as a theme of literary expression.

Africana Studies

  • 014:212 - Politics and Power in Modern Africa (3)
    Social and political changes in 20th-century Africa, with an emphasis on South Africa since 1950.
  • 014:330 - Contemporary Issues in Southern Africa (3)
    Examines contemporary events in Southern Africa with particular focus on the transition in South Africa from apartheid to democracy.
  • 014:360 - Writers of Africa and the New World (3)
    Comparison of black writers of Africa, the United States, and the Caribbean, with focus on areas of commonality and divergence.
  • 014:371 - African Development (3)
    Analysis of the historical, political, demographic, economic, and sociocultural problems of African underdevelopment within world spatial structure and the contemporary scene. Prerequisite: 01:014:212
  • 014:376 - Pan African Movement (3)
    Pan-Africanism and its development among the black elite on both sides of the Atlantic from the early 19th century to the present.

Anthropology

  • 070:243 - Anthropology of Africa (3); cross-listed 016:243
    Precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial African cultures and societies. Gender, ethnicity, and class. Representations and realities of Africa in a global context, including issues of development, conservation, tourism. Popular culture, contemporary rural and urban experiences.
  • 070:326 - Pleistocene Hominid Adaptations (3)
    Cultural and biological aspects of hominid evolution during the Pleistocene. Prerequisites: 01:070:102, 105 or permission of instructor.
  • 070:336 - Primatology, Wildlife Ecology, and Conservation in Kenya (3)
  • 070:337 - Field Methods and Analysis in Primatology Kenya (3)
  • 070:338 - Culture, Wealth, and Power in Africa (3)
    Cultural dimensions of wealth and power in historical and contemporary Africa. Popular culture, media, ethnicity, genocide, urban and rural life, globalization, social change, development, gender relations, political ecology, conservation, tourism, and Africa as discursive and imaginative object.
    Prerequisite: 01:070:101 or Permission of Instructor.
  • 070:379 - Gender and Power in Africa (3)
    Experiences and expressions of gender in historical and contemporary Africa emphasizing issues of diversity and commonality, modalities of power, and articulation with other forms of difference, such as ethnicity, class, and nationality.
  • 070:397 - Paleoanthropology (4)
  • 070:398 - Field Research and Methods in Paleoanthropology (4)
  • 070:412 - African Prehistory/Paleoanthropology (3)
    Focused consideration of current research and explanatory theory, on topics ranging from hominid origins to Holocene adaptations in Africa. Prerequisite: 01:070:326 or 327 or permission of instructor.
  • 070:426 - South African Archaeology (3)
    Archaeology, ecology, and historical archaeology of South Africa. Covers two million years, early hominids to colonial contact. Prerequisites: 01:070:102 and 105 or permission of instructor.

Art History

  • 082:107 - Oceanic, African, Pre-Columbian Art (3)
  • 082:371 - Arts of West Africa (3)
    In-depth history of the traditional arts of West Africa (Guinea, Mali, Togo, Ghana, and Nigeria). Pre- or corequisite: 01:082:250.
  • 082:376 - Arts of Central Africa (3)
    In-depth survey of the traditional arts of Cameroon, Gabon, the Central African Republic, Zaire, and Angola. Pre- or corequisite: 01:082:250 or 371.
  • 082:420 - African Architecture (3)
    In-depth study of various concepts and traditional forms of shelter in Africa south of the Sahara. Prerequisites: Introductory courses in art history or African studies or permission of instructor.

Biology

  • 146:328 - Human Parasitology (3)
    Discussion of the cell biology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and clinical manifestations of human parasitic diseases.

Comparative Literature

  • 195:250 - Comparative Approaches to African Literatures (3); cross-listed 016:250
    Reading and discussion of literature in translation from different geographic, linguistic, and cultural areas of Africa.
  • 195:363 - African Women Writers (3); cross-listed 016:363
    Reading and discussion of recent writings by women from a variety of cultural, linguistic, and regional areas of Africa.

Criminal Justice

  • 202:312 - Crimes Against Humanity (3)
    Applies the concept of "crimes against humanity," as developed at the Nuremberg trials, to an analysis of similar events. Prerequisite: 01:202:201.

Economics

  • 220:350 - Economics of Africa (3)

English

  • 355:201 - Challenges on the African Continent (3)
    Further development of competence in reading, thinking, and writing, with emphasis on the intellectual and practical skills required for the research paper. May not be used for major or minor credit.

Environmental and Business Economics

  • 373:381 - Political Economy of Agricultural Development (3)

French

  • 420:409 - Cultures of the Francophone World (3)
    Analysis of the cultural production (including film, music, visual and performing arts, and literature) of regions in which the French language plays a major role.
  • 420:410 - Sub-Saharan African Literature (3); cross-listed 01:016:410
    Study of literature in French by writers in or from sub-Saharan Africa.
  • 420:411 - North African Literature (3); cross-listed 01:016:411
    Study of literature in French by writers in or from the Maghreb.
  • 420:413 - African/Caribbean Literature in French (3)
    Study of literature in French by writers in or from the Caribbean (Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana).

Geography

  • 450:338 - Africa (3)
    Regional associations of peoples and national states; analysis of resource endowment, economic development, and Africa's changing position in the world.

History

  • 508:220 - Ancient Africa (3); cross-listed 016:220
    Precolonial African societies and kingdoms: family life, cities, Islam, growth and decline of states, impact of the slave trade, African culture in the Americas.
  • 508:222 - Modern Africa (3); cross-listed 016:222
    Nineteenth- and 20th-century Africa: resistance and accommodation to colonialism, impact of Christianity, African workers and new elites, changing roles of women, nationalism, revolution.
  • 508:224 - Women and Gender in African History (3); cross-listed 016:224
    Issues in the history of gender in Africa: female slavery, women and power formations, women in production and trade, family and community, gender and protest.
  • 508:318 - Nationalism in Modern Africa (3)
  • 508:320 - History of Southern Africa (3)
    Precolonial African societies and kingdoms, family life, religion, European colonialism, and African nationalist and revolutionary movements. Emphasis on South Africa, apartheid, and the freedom struggle.
  • 508:321 - African Cultural History (3); cross-listed 016:321
    History of African music, art, religion, and other cultural practices in social and political context.
  • 508:322 - History of West Africa (3)
    Politics in past and present states, rise of new social and economic groups, various reactions to the West during precolonial and colonial eras.
  • 508:323 - History of East Africa (3)
  • 508:325 - Africa 15th-19th Century (3)
    Explores the history of Africa between the 15th and the 19th centuries. Focuses on themes such as state formation, economic development, and the imperial conquest.
  • 508:326 - Islam in African History (3)
    Relation of Islam to the history of long distance trade, the rise of urban centers, shifting identity formations, gender dynamics, and religious conflict.
  • 508:327 - World War II and Africa (3)
    Focuses on the history of Africa's involvement in World War II and the impact of this involvement on African political and economic history, with special emphasis on the war's role in nationalist movements.
  • 508:328 - History of Health and Healing in Africa (3)
    Impact of colonial and postcolonial history on patterns of health and health care in sub-Saharan Africa. Focus on African responses to changing new medical technologies and cultures, and emerging patterns of disease.
  • 508:420 - African Labor History (3)
    African labor history: precolonial labor mobilization, control and resistance; working-class formation; the labor process and worker consciousness.
  • 508:422 - African Cultural History (3)
  • 508:424 - African Cities Past and Present (3)
    Social, cultural, economic, and political history of African cities with focus on student-led comparative research. Not open to first-year students. Prerequisite recommended: one course on Africa.
  • 508:429 - Research in African Historical Studies (3)
    Construction of the African past through extended study of sources for one region or theme. Requires research paper based on primary sources.

Political Science

  • 790:314 - Sub-Saharan African Politics (3); cross-listed 016:314
    Patterns of political change and political development in Africa south of the Sahara.
  • 790:389 - African Women Speak (3)
  • 790:495 - Independent Study (with CAS faculty for Model African Union)
    Independent readings on a specialized topic of interest; completion of research paper and an oral defense. Open only to senior majors with 15 credits in political science and a 3.4 grade-point average or better in political science and a 3.0 or better cumulative grade-point average. Both 01:790:495 and 496 must be completed to receive credit.

Religion

  • 840:332 - African Religions (3)
    Historical examination of the multifaceted worlds of African religions in their beliefs and practices, contributions to contemporary African popular culture, and the role religion played in political life.

Social Justice

  • 904:202 - Practicing Social Justice (3)

Spanish and Portuguese

  • 810:309- Africa and Portugal: An Introduction (3)
    Discussion of significant historical, social, and cultural trends in Portugal and Lusophone Africa. Prerequisite: 01:810:201 or 203, or placement exam, or permission of department.
  • 810:350 - Literature and Cultures of Lusophone Africa (3); cross-listed 01:016:350
    Study of the literatures from African countries where the official language is Portuguese. Emphasis on 20th-century colonial and postindependence literature and theory. Prerequisite: 01:810:201 or 203, or placement exam, or permission of department.
  • 810:440 - Portuguese World: Multiple Perspectives (3)
    Main traits of the civilization of the Portuguese-speaking world. Evolution of its social institutions and customs. Representative literary, philosophical, and artistic works. Prerequisite: One semester of 300-level literature in Portuguese or permission of department.
  • 810:241-242 - Portuguese-Speaking World: A Literary Introduction for English-Speakers (3,3)
    Introduction to literary texts from the Portuguese-speaking world (Portugal, Brazil, and Lusophone Africa). Taught in English. Not for major or minor credit.
  • 940:465 - Spain in Africa/Africa in Spain (3)
    Examination of the historical and cultural representation between Spain and Africa in a wide range of literary, artistic, and cinematographic texts. Prerequisite: One semester of 300-level literature in Spanish or permission of department.

Study Abroad (see also Anthropology)

  • 959:398 - Study Abroad University of Natal, South Africa (variable credit)
    Students may apply toward the minor up to 9 credits earned in courses offered as part of a recognized Rutgers African study abroad program. Rutgers currently has programs in Kenya, South Africa, and Namibia. Students are encouraged to contact the Rutgers Study Abroad office for these and other study abroad opportunities.
  • 959:311/312 - Study Abroad University of Ghana (Accra, Ghana) (12/12)
    Optional one year or single-semester study. Students may choose from a wide range of courses from six faculties including: arts, law, science, social studies, business and engineering. Courses and programs are taught in English.

Women's and Gender Studies

  • 988:224 - Women and Gender in African History (3); cross-listed 016:224
  • 988:312 - African Feminism (3); cross-listed 016:312
    What feminism means to Africa; how gender affects female socialization, women as state subjects; how diverse African feminist strategies differ from and/or parallel other feminisms.
    Prerequisite: 01:988:101 or 235.

 

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contact us Center for African Studies
Lucy Stone Hall
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
54 Joyce Kilmer Avenue
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8045
Phone: 848.445.6638
Program Coordinator
Email: chika.okoye@rutgers.edu