African Studies Program

"We're not just a group of scholars who happen to be located in one place; we're a real community of people who share a vision for making Africa better known and better understood."
-- Rowland Abiodun, Amherst College

The Five College Certificate in African Studies offers students an opportunity to pursue an interest in African studies as a complement to any academic major.

Drawing on the expertise and courses offered by more than 50 faculty members across the five campuses, students pursuing the Five College African Studies certificate work closely with a faculty advisor to plan a uniquely tailored course of study.

On This Page

Faculty

Rowland Abiodun

Black Studies; Art and Art Studies
Office: 107 Cooper House
Telephone: (413) 542-5801
E-mail: roabiodun@amherst.edu

Rhonda Cobham-Sander

English; Black Studies
Office: 102 Cooper House
Telephone: (413) 542-5832
E-mail: ccobhamsande@amherst.edu

headshot of Agnes Kimokoti

Agnes Kimokoti

Five College Center for the Study of World Lanuages
79 South Pleasant Street, Suite 100
Amherst, MA
Telephone: (413) 559-5264
E-mail: akimokoti@fivecolleges.edu

headshot of Sean Redding

Sean Redding*

History; Black Studies
Office: 25 Chapin Hall
Telephone: (413) 542-2032
E-mail: sredding@amherst.edu
*Certificate Advisor

headshot of olufemi vaughan

Olufemi Vaughan

Black Studies
Office: 109 Cooper House
Telephone: (413) 542-5516
E-mail: ovaughan@amherst.edu

headshot of Nell Arnold

Nell Arnold*

Fiction Writing
Office: Writing Center
Email: naIA@hampshire.edu
*Certificate Advisor

headshot of frank homquist

Frank Holmquist

Professor Emeritus
E-mail: fholmquist@hampshire.edu

headshot of Lynda Pickbourn

Lynda Pickbourn*

Economics
Office: Franklin Patterson Hall
E-mail: ljpCSI@hampshire.edu
*Certificate Advisor

headshot of Sarah Adelman

Sarah Adelman

Economics
Office: Skinner Hall 123
Telephone: (431) 538-2495
E-mail: sadelman@mtholyoke.edu

headshot of Catherine Corson

Catherine Corson

Environmental Studies
Office: Clapp 325
Telephone: (413) 538-3458
E-mail: ccorson@myholyoke.edu

headshot of Samba Gadijo

Samba Gadjigo

French
Office: 22 Ciruti Center
Telephone: (413) 538-2255
E-mail: sgadjigo@mtholyoke.edu

headshot of Holly Hanson

Holly Hanson

Professor Emerita (History)
Office: 314 Skinner Hall
Telephone:(413) 538-2094
E-mail: hhanson@mtholyoke.edu

headshot of Girma Kebbede

Girma Kebbede

Geology and Geography
Office: Clapp Lab 328
Telephone: (413) 538-2004
E-mail: gkebbede@mtholyoke.edu

headshot of John Lemly

John Lemly

Professor Emeritus
E-mail: jlemly@mtholyoke.edu

headshot of Olabode Omojola

Olabode Omojola*

Music
Office: 209 Pratt Hall
Telephone: (413) 532-0595
E-mail: bomojola@mtholyoke.edu
*Certificate Advisor

headshot of Preston Smith

Preston Smith II

Politics
Office: Shattuck 214
Telephone: (413) 538-3528
E-mail: psmith@mtholyoke.edu

headshot of Jeffrey Ahlman

Jeffrey Ahlman*

History
Office: Nelson Library A/09
Telephone: (413) 585-3731
E-mail: jahlman@smith.edu
*Certificate Advisor

headshot of Elliot Fratkin

Elliot Fratkin

Professor Emeritus (Anthropology)
Office: 107 Wright Hall
Telephone: (413) 585-3338
E-mail: efratkin@smith.edu

headshot of Dawn Fulton

Dawn Fulton

French Studies
Office: 123 Wright Hall
Telephone: (413) 585-3376
E-mail: cdfulton@email.smith.edu

headshot of Colin Hoag

Colin Hoag

Anthropology
Office: Hillyer Hall 309
Telephone: (413) 585-3126
E-mail: choag@smith.edu

headshot of Caroline Melly

Caroline Melly

Anthropology
Telephone: (413) 585-3500
E-mail: cmelly@email.smith.edu

headshot of Albert Mosley

Albert Mosley

Professor Emeritus (Philosophy)
Office: Dewey Hall 5
Telephone: (413) 585-3652
E-mail: amosley@email.smith.edu

headshot of Katwiwa Mule

Katwiwa Mule

Comparative Literature
Office: Wright Hall 227
Telephone: (413) 585-3355
E-mail: kmule@email.smith.edu

headshot of Lucy Mule

Lucy Mule

Education & Child Study
Office: Morgan Hall
Telephone: (413) 585-3263
E-mail: lmule@email.smith.edu

headshot of Marilyn Sylla

Marilyn Sylla

Five College Dance Department (Emerita)
Office: Berenson Studio 1
Email: msylla@email.smith.edu

headshot of Gregory White

Gregory White

Government, African Studies
Office: 10 Prospect Street
Telephone: (413) 585-3542
E-mail: gwhite@smith.edu

headshot of Louis Wilson

Louis Wilson

Professor Emeritus (Afro-American Studies)
Office: Wright Hall 213
Telephone: (413) 585-3573
E-mail: lwilson@smith.edu

headshot of Judyie Al-Bilali

Judyie Al-Bilali

Theater
Office: Fine Arts Center 112
E-mail: jalbilali@theater.umass.edu

headshot of Joye Bowman

Joye Bowman*

History
Office: Herter 618
Telephone: (413) 545-1330
E-mail: jbowman@history.umass.edu
*Certificate Advisor

headshot of john bracey

John Bracey

Afro-American Studies
Office: 327 New Africa House
Telephone: (413) 545-1330
E-mail: jhbracey@afroam.umass.edu

headshot of Stephen Clingman

Stephen Clingman

English
Office: 264 Bartlett Hall
Telephone: (413) 545-3474
E-mail: clingman@english.umass.edu

headshot of Carlene Edie

Carlene Edie*

Political Science
Office: Thompson 206
Telephone: (413) 545-6172
E-mail: cjedie@polsci.umass.edu
*Certificate Advisor

headshot of David Evans

David Evans

Professor Emeritus
E-mail: dre@educ.umass.edu

headshot of John Higginson

John Higginson

Professor Emeritus (History)
Office: 705 Herter Hall
Telephone: (413) 545-1920
E-mail: jeh@history.umass.edu

headshot of Kathryn Lachman

Kathryn Lachman

Languages, Literatures, & Cultures
Office: 319 Herter Hall
Telephone: (413) 545-6703
E-mail: klachman@llc.umass.edu

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Mzamo P. Mangaliso

Isenberg School of Management
Office: Isenberg 219C
Telephone: (413) 545-5698
E-mail: mangaliso@isenberg.umass.edu

headshot of Patrick Mensah

Patrick Mensah

French, Italian Studies
Office: 323 Herter Hall
Telephone: (413) 545-6716
E-mail: pmensah@frital.umass.edu

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Jacqueline Mosselson

The Center for International Education
Office: Hills South
Telephone: (413) 545-4696
E-mail: jmosselson@educ.umass.edu

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Léonce Ndikumana

Economics, Political Economy Research Institute
Office: Thompson Hall
Telephone: (413) 545-6359
E-mail: ndiku@econs.umass.edu

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Frederic Schaffer

Political Science
Office: Thompson 324
Telephone: (413) 545-0725
Email: schaffer@polsci.umass.edu

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Amilcar Shabazz

Afro-American Studies
Office: 324 Africa House
Telephone: (413) 545-2751
E-mail: shabazz@chancellor.umass.edu

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Demetria Shabazz

Communication
Office: 408 Machmer Hall
Telephone: (413) 545-4276
E-mail: dshabazz@comm.umass.edu

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Lindiwe Sibeko

Nutrition
Office: 204 Chenoweth Laboratory
Telephone: (413) 545-1693
E-mail: lsibeko@nutrition.umass.edu

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William Strickland

Professor Emeritus
E-mail: bstrick@afroam.umass.edu

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Mwangi wa Gĩthĩnji

Economics
Office: Thompson 902
Telephone: (413) 545 1373
E-mail: mwangi@econs.umass.edu

Certificate

Students interested in the Five College African Studies Certificate should contact one of the African Studies faculty members on their campus and submit a Student Interest Form as soon as possible to begin planning course work. With your African Studies advisor, you select courses to meet the certificate program requirements.

In the senior year, students complete the Certificate Completion Form (below) in consultation with a program advisor on their campus, attaching an unofficial transcript acquired from the registrar. On the recommendation of the campus advisor, certificate requirements are reviewed and approved by a committee composed of program advisors from each of the five campuses.

Certificate Requirements

A. Six courses, chosen from at least four different departments, programs, or disciplines. The six courses should carry a total of at least 18 credits. Of the six courses, not more than two may carry less than two credits. The content of each course should be at least 50% devoted to Africa per se.
  1. Historical Overview. Minimum of one course providing historical perspective on Africa. Not limited to courses offered in History. (Normally the course should offer at least a regional perspective.)
  2. Social Science. Minimum of one course on Africa in the social sciences (i.e., Anthropology, Archeology, Economics, Geography, Political Science, Sociology).
  3. Arts and Humanities. Minimum of one course on Africa in the fine arts and humanities (i.e., Art, Folklore, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religion).

B. Language Requirement: Proficiency through the level of the second year in college in an indigenous or colonial language of Africa other than English. This requirement may be met by examination or course work; such language courses may not count toward the six courses required in Section A.

For more information about language study opportunities, see Languages in the Five Colleges.

C. Further Stipulations:

  1. No more than three courses in any one department or program may count toward the six required in Section A.
  2. A certificate candidate may present courses taken in Africa, but normally at least three of the required courses must be taken in the Five Colleges.
  3. A candidate must earn a grade of B or better in every course for the certificate; none may be taken on a pass/fail basis.
  4. Unusual circumstances may warrant substituting certificate requirements; therefore a candidate through her/his African Studies Faculty Advisor may petition the Faculty Liaison Committee (the Five College committee of certificate program advisors) at least one full semester before graduation for adjustments in these requirements. A successful petition will satisfy the interdisciplinary character of the certificate program.

D. Recommended Actions:

  1. Students are encouraged to spend one semester or more in Africa. Information about study abroad and other opportunities is available through the international program office at each campus.
  2. Students are encouraged to complete their certificate program with an independent study project that integrates and focuses their course work in African studies.

    Courses

    Spring 2022 African Studies Courses

    01
    4.00

    Sean Redding

    TTH 10:00 AM-11:20 AM

    Amherst College
    BLST-121-01-2122S
    sredding@amherst.edu
    HIST-181-01, BLST-121-01

    (Offered as HIST 181 [AF/TE/TR] and BLST 121 [A]) Africa is a continent of fifty-four countries, but in many people's minds, the continent's name conjures up a host of stereotypes—some positive and some negative—that misrepresent the continent as an undifferentiated whole. This course's primary goal is to introduce students to the historical evidence and scholarly conversations about Africa’s pasts from the 1870s to the present. The main themes will be the social, political, and economic impacts of imperial policies on African societies, and the long afterlife of these impacts. We will discuss the construction and alterations of “tribal” identities and nationalist politics, the problems caused by colonial labor policies and the denial of civil rights to Africans, the reconstruction of gender identities and roles, and the emergence of various forms of protest politics in both the colonial and post-colonial periods. Requirements include active participation in class and multiple graded and ungraded written assignments. Two class meetings per week.

    Spring semester. Professor Redding.

    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Olufemi O. Vaughan

    TTH 11:30 AM-12:50 PM

    Amherst College
    BLST-208-01-2122S
    ovaughan@amherst.edu
    BLST-208-01, HIST-211-01

    (Offered as BLST 208 [A/D] and HIST 211 [AF]) As the crisis of the postcolonial nation-state deepens in the context of globalization and statism in African countries especially in the last three decades, African societies have experienced significant migration of skilled and unskilled workers.  These migration flows are raising new questions about the nature of politics, economics, and culture in various African national and transnational contexts.  To explore the political, social, and economic consequences of these waves of migration in African states and among countries receiving African migrants, this course will examine the following topics at the core of the transformation of African states in the global age:  colonialism and the construction of modern African states; globalization and political legitimacy in postcolonial African states; globalization and African labor migration; globalization and African popular culture; globalization and Africa's new religious movements; globalization and Africa's refugee crisis; Africa and globalization of the media; Africa and the global discourse on gender and sexuality; Africa and the global discourse on AIDS/HIV; Africa and the globalization of football (soccer).  Course readings will focus not only on the impact of globalization and state crisis on African societies, but also on how emerging national and transnational African populations are shaping the processes of globalization.

    Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Vaughan.

    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Olufemi O. Vaughan

    T 01:30 PM-04:30 PM

    Amherst College
    BLST-210-01-2122S
    ovaughan@amherst.edu
    BLST-210-01, HIST-210-01, RELI-220-01

    (Offered as BLST 210 [A] HIST 210 [AF] and RELI 220) The course will examine the central role of Christianity and Islam in pre-colonial, colonial, and postcolonial African societies. Focusing on case studies from West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa, course lectures will explore the following issues in African religious, social, and political history: Christianity, Islam, and African indigenous belief systems; Muslim reformist movements in West African societies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; mission Christianity and African societies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; Christianity, Islam, and colonialism in Africa; Christianity, Islam, and politics in postcolonial African states.

    Spring semester. Professor Vaughan.

    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Sean Redding

    TTH 03:00 PM-04:20 PM

    Amherst College
    BLST-321-01-2122S
    sredding@amherst.edu
    HIST-488-01, BLST-321-01

    (Offered as HIST 488 [AF/TE/TR] and BLST 321 [A]) There were numerous rebellions against the state during the period of European colonial rule. Violent resistance to state authority has continued to characterize political life in many post-colonial African countries. This seminar will examine the development of several outbreaks of violence in Africa in the colonial and post-colonial periods to explore critical historical questions in a comparative context. We will look at the economic, social, religious, and political roots of these disturbances. Rebel groups and the states challenged roiled societies and reconstituted social identities, while legends and rumors swirled around rebellions and their leaders. We will focus on insurgencies and their origins, including spiritual and religious beliefs, disputes over land and labor, and fights against colonial and post-colonial authoritarian states. We will discuss the problems historians face in researching revolts whose strength often stemmed from their protean character. The seminar will study specific revolts, including the Herero Revolt and subsequent genocide in German-controlled South-West Africa in 1904-1907; the first (1896-1897) Chimurenga (revolts) in Southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe; the Mau Mau revolt in colonial Kenya, the Black Consciousness Movement and the student revolt in Soweto, South Africa in 1976; and the Holy Spirit Movement and the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda in the 1990s. The seminar's goal is to engage students in a scholarly conversation about resistance to colonial and authoritarian rule in Africa and the resort to violence as a means of forcing political change. Students will also learn how to frame a research question and engage in researching a historical topic based on primary sources. Requirements include active participation in class, the completion of several short graded and ungraded written assignments, and the final 20 to 25-page research paper on an individually chosen topic. The successful completion of the research paper will satisfy the Research requirement for the History major. Two class meetings per week. 

    Limited to 18 students. Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. Professor Redding. 

    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Sean Redding

    TTH 10:00 AM-11:20 AM

    Amherst College
    HIST-181-01-2122S
    sredding@amherst.edu
    HIST-181-01, BLST-121-01

    (Offered as HIST 181 [AF/TE/TR] and BLST 121 [A]) Africa is a continent of fifty-four countries, but in many people's minds, the continent's name conjures up a host of stereotypes—some positive and some negative—that misrepresent the continent as an undifferentiated whole. This course's primary goal is to introduce students to the historical evidence and scholarly conversations about Africa’s pasts from the 1870s to the present. The main themes will be the social, political, and economic impacts of imperial policies on African societies, and the long afterlife of these impacts. We will discuss the construction and alterations of “tribal” identities and nationalist politics, the problems caused by colonial labor policies and the denial of civil rights to Africans, the reconstruction of gender identities and roles, and the emergence of various forms of protest politics in both the colonial and post-colonial periods. Requirements include active participation in class and multiple graded and ungraded written assignments. Two class meetings per week.

    Spring semester. Professor Redding.

    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Olufemi O. Vaughan

    T 01:30 PM-04:30 PM

    Amherst College
    HIST-210-01-2122S
    ovaughan@amherst.edu
    BLST-210-01, HIST-210-01, RELI-220-01

    (Offered as BLST 210 [A] HIST 210 [AF] and RELI 220) The course will examine the central role of Christianity and Islam in pre-colonial, colonial, and postcolonial African societies. Focusing on case studies from West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa, course lectures will explore the following issues in African religious, social, and political history: Christianity, Islam, and African indigenous belief systems; Muslim reformist movements in West African societies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; mission Christianity and African societies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; Christianity, Islam, and colonialism in Africa; Christianity, Islam, and politics in postcolonial African states.

    Spring semester. Professor Vaughan.

    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Olufemi O. Vaughan

    TTH 11:30 AM-12:50 PM

    Amherst College
    HIST-211-01-2122S
    ovaughan@amherst.edu
    BLST-208-01, HIST-211-01

    (Offered as BLST 208 [A/D] and HIST 211 [AF]) As the crisis of the postcolonial nation-state deepens in the context of globalization and statism in African countries especially in the last three decades, African societies have experienced significant migration of skilled and unskilled workers.  These migration flows are raising new questions about the nature of politics, economics, and culture in various African national and transnational contexts.  To explore the political, social, and economic consequences of these waves of migration in African states and among countries receiving African migrants, this course will examine the following topics at the core of the transformation of African states in the global age:  colonialism and the construction of modern African states; globalization and political legitimacy in postcolonial African states; globalization and African labor migration; globalization and African popular culture; globalization and Africa's new religious movements; globalization and Africa's refugee crisis; Africa and globalization of the media; Africa and the global discourse on gender and sexuality; Africa and the global discourse on AIDS/HIV; Africa and the globalization of football (soccer).  Course readings will focus not only on the impact of globalization and state crisis on African societies, but also on how emerging national and transnational African populations are shaping the processes of globalization.

    Limited to 25 students. Spring semester. Professor Vaughan.

    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Sean Redding

    TTH 03:00 PM-04:20 PM

    Amherst College
    HIST-488-01-2122S
    sredding@amherst.edu
    HIST-488-01, BLST-321-01

    (Offered as HIST 488 [AF/TE/TR] and BLST 321 [A]) There were numerous rebellions against the state during the period of European colonial rule. Violent resistance to state authority has continued to characterize political life in many post-colonial African countries. This seminar will examine the development of several outbreaks of violence in Africa in the colonial and post-colonial periods to explore critical historical questions in a comparative context. We will look at the economic, social, religious, and political roots of these disturbances. Rebel groups and the states challenged roiled societies and reconstituted social identities, while legends and rumors swirled around rebellions and their leaders. We will focus on insurgencies and their origins, including spiritual and religious beliefs, disputes over land and labor, and fights against colonial and post-colonial authoritarian states. We will discuss the problems historians face in researching revolts whose strength often stemmed from their protean character. The seminar will study specific revolts, including the Herero Revolt and subsequent genocide in German-controlled South-West Africa in 1904-1907; the first (1896-1897) Chimurenga (revolts) in Southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe; the Mau Mau revolt in colonial Kenya, the Black Consciousness Movement and the student revolt in Soweto, South Africa in 1976; and the Holy Spirit Movement and the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda in the 1990s. The seminar's goal is to engage students in a scholarly conversation about resistance to colonial and authoritarian rule in Africa and the resort to violence as a means of forcing political change. Students will also learn how to frame a research question and engage in researching a historical topic based on primary sources. Requirements include active participation in class, the completion of several short graded and ungraded written assignments, and the final 20 to 25-page research paper on an individually chosen topic. The successful completion of the research paper will satisfy the Research requirement for the History major. Two class meetings per week. 

    Limited to 18 students. Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. Professor Redding. 

    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Olufemi O. Vaughan

    T 01:30 PM-04:30 PM

    Amherst College
    RELI-220-01-2122S
    ovaughan@amherst.edu
    BLST-210-01, HIST-210-01, RELI-220-01

    (Offered as BLST 210 [A] HIST 210 [AF] and RELI 220) The course will examine the central role of Christianity and Islam in pre-colonial, colonial, and postcolonial African societies. Focusing on case studies from West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa, course lectures will explore the following issues in African religious, social, and political history: Christianity, Islam, and African indigenous belief systems; Muslim reformist movements in West African societies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; mission Christianity and African societies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; Christianity, Islam, and colonialism in Africa; Christianity, Islam, and politics in postcolonial African states.

    Spring semester. Professor Vaughan.

    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Colin B. Hoag

    M W 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

    Smith College
    ANT-229-01-202203
    choag@smith.edu
    In Western discourses, African environments are defined by violence, famine, and degradation symptoms of African cultures that resist Western values such as private property, democracy, and environmentalism. This course encourages students to think critically about such portrayals by learning about specific environments in Africa and how humans have interacted with them across time. The syllabus is anchored in cultural anthropology, but includes units on human evolution, the origins and spread of pastoralism, the history of colonial conservation science, and more. Topics covered include gender, race, land grabbing, indigenous knowledge, the commons, the cattle complex, desertification, oil, dams, and nationalism.
    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Jeffrey S. Ahlman

    M W 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM

    Smith College
    HST-235-01-202203
    jahlman@smith.edu
    This course provides a general, introductory survey of African social and cultural history from approximately the end of World War II to the present. In doing so, the course will look beyond the formal political maneuvering of elite figures, focusing instead on the many and competing ways in which a broad array of African actors engaged the changing political and social contexts in which they lived. As such, key themes of the course such as anticolonialism, decolonization, development, and HIV/AIDS will serve as lenses into a range of perspectives on life in an independent Africa. Enrollment limited to 40.
    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Jeffrey S. Ahlman

    M W 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM

    Smith College
    HST-259sp-01-202203
    jahlman@smith.edu
    This course explores the social and cultural history of sport in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Africa. Key subjects covered will be how a focus on sport helps us rethink African colonial encounters, the popular politics of the postcolonial state, and pan-Africanism. We will also reflect on how African sports history challenges us to think more deeply about African ideas of work, gender, and social mobility.
    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    3.00

    Seyram Avle

    M 4:00PM 6:45PM

    UMass Amherst
    37604

    Integ. Learning Center N345

    savle@umass.edu
    This course combines close examinations of primary sources from film, literature, art, etc. with theoretical readings on temporality, globalization, (post/de) colonialism, social construction of technology, among others to interrogate how ideas and ideologies about technological artifacts are integral to dreaming up futures, particularly in moments of uncertainty and turmoil. Primary focus is on people and places outside the United States and Western Europe, particularly postcolonial Africa and Asia.
    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    3.00

    Stephen Clingman

    M W 2:30PM 3:45PM

    UMass Amherst
    29227

    South College Room W211

    clingman@english.umass.edu

    01
    4.00

    Patrick Mensah

    TU TH 10:00AM 11:15AM

    UMass Amherst
    29488

    Integ. Learning Center S240

    pmensah@frital.umass.edu
    29973
    This course will explore themes of the Southern Gothic in works of Cinema and popular Televisual narratives. We will study the development of the lurid motifs of the Gothic that works affiliated with this genre often deploy to invoke a sense of horror and dread, moral corruption, and psychological abjection, all seemingly meant to assimilate the South and its citizens to the category of a degenerate and menacing otherness. The imagery of dismal landscapes, dark swamps, decaying architecture, fanatical and occult religious practices, and the often grotesque or monstrous figures and cultural tropes that aspire to associate the South with an imaginary medieval past, will be examined mostly as marks of an ambivalent ideological struggle surrounding the self-identity of America. Thanks to this regime of gothic tropes and insignia, America, on the one hand, heralds its own self-identity as culturally rich and historically continuous, and yet, it is, at least partly thanks to this same regimen of gothic tropes (understood as figures of otherness), on the other hand, that America also typically (or stereotypically) deals with anxieties arising from its attempts to define its own modern identity, and its identity as modern and exceptional. Such anxieties give rise to instances of negative stereotyping, and practices of cultural exclusion that the course critically interrogates. We also study several important ways in which the Gothic serves as an important voice for the marginalized, while enabling critical reflections on the social and cultural practices of exclusion we have alluded to. The history of slavery, the civil war, and its aftermath, as well as literature produced by certain Southern writers (such as William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Katherine Anne Porter, and others) since the late 19th century, will be identified as important defining contexts of emergence for the Southern gothic, and as the indispensable conditions that have made its deployment into 20th century film and television possible. Due attention will also be paid to the influence of French colonial adventures and interventions in shaping cultures and "gothic" mythologies of the American South, and the Caribbean, as well as the role played by America's own efforts to secure and maintain hegemonic influences on the region. The course is conducted in English, and requires no prior knowledge of the field. All films are streamed to your computer from the UMass library on demand. Required readings are provided online, and no book purchases are necessary. (Gen. Ed. AT, DU)
    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Patrick Mensah

    TU 4:00PM 6:45PM

    UMass Amherst
    29489

    Integ. Learning Center S231

    pmensah@frital.umass.edu
    29963
    This course offers an introduction to African film as an aesthetic and cultural practice. Students should expect to be familiarized with the key ideas and objectives that have inspired and driven that practice since the early 1960s, and be furnished with the technical tools and methodological skills that would permit them to understand, analyze, and think critically about the artistic and thematic aspects of the films that are screened. They should also expect the course to provide them with a critical peek into several cardinal issues of social and cultural relevance in contemporary Africa and its history. Issues of interest typically include, the nationstate and its declining status, imperatives of decolonization, economic dependency and structural adjustment programs, orality and changing traditional cultures, diasporic migrations, urbanization and its problems, gender relations, civil wars, child soldiers, gangs, and related themes. Filmmakers studied include, but are not limited to, Abderrahmane Sissako, Gillo Pontecorvo, Ousmane Sembene, Raoul Peck, Jean-Marie Teno, Dani Kouyate, Mweze Ngangura, Gavin Hood, Neill Blomkamp, Moufida Tlatli, Djibril Diop Mambety (please note that this list is subject to change, and shall be updated as future changes are made). The course is conducted in English, and requires no prior knowledge of the field. All films are streamed to your computer from the UMass library on demand. Required readings are provided online, and no book purchases are necessary. (Gen.Ed. AT, DG)
    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01AA

    TH 2:30PM 3:45PM

    UMass Amherst
    29498

    Herter Hall room 209

    29964
    This course offers an introduction to African film as an aesthetic and cultural practice. Students should expect to be familiarized with the key ideas and objectives that have inspired and driven that practice since the early 1960s, and be furnished with the technical tools and methodological skills that would permit them to understand, analyze, and think critically about the artistic and thematic aspects of the films that are screened. They should also expect the course to provide them with a critical peek into several cardinal issues of social and cultural relevance in contemporary Africa and its history. Issues of interest typically include, the nationstate and its declining status, imperatives of decolonization, economic dependency and structural adjustment programs, orality and changing traditional cultures, diasporic migrations, urbanization and its problems, gender relations, civil wars, child soldiers, gangs, and related themes. Filmmakers studied include, but are not limited to, Abderrahmane Sissako, Gillo Pontecorvo, Ousmane Sembene, Raoul Peck, Jean-Marie Teno, Dani Kouyate, Mweze Ngangura, Gavin Hood, Neill Blomkamp, Moufida Tlatli, Djibril Diop Mambety (please note that this list is subject to change, and shall be updated as future changes are made). The course is conducted in English, and requires no prior knowledge of the field. All films are streamed to your computer from the UMass library on demand. Required readings are provided online, and no book purchases are necessary. (Gen.Ed. AT, DG)
    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01AB

    TH 4:00PM 5:15PM

    UMass Amherst
    29499

    Herter Hall room 209

    29965
    This course offers an introduction to African film as an aesthetic and cultural practice. Students should expect to be familiarized with the key ideas and objectives that have inspired and driven that practice since the early 1960s, and be furnished with the technical tools and methodological skills that would permit them to understand, analyze, and think critically about the artistic and thematic aspects of the films that are screened. They should also expect the course to provide them with a critical peek into several cardinal issues of social and cultural relevance in contemporary Africa and its history. Issues of interest typically include, the nationstate and its declining status, imperatives of decolonization, economic dependency and structural adjustment programs, orality and changing traditional cultures, diasporic migrations, urbanization and its problems, gender relations, civil wars, child soldiers, gangs, and related themes. Filmmakers studied include, but are not limited to, Abderrahmane Sissako, Gillo Pontecorvo, Ousmane Sembene, Raoul Peck, Jean-Marie Teno, Dani Kouyate, Mweze Ngangura, Gavin Hood, Neill Blomkamp, Moufida Tlatli, Djibril Diop Mambety (please note that this list is subject to change, and shall be updated as future changes are made). The course is conducted in English, and requires no prior knowledge of the field. All films are streamed to your computer from the UMass library on demand. Required readings are provided online, and no book purchases are necessary. (Gen.Ed. AT, DG)
    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Patrick Mensah

    TU TH 10:00AM 11:15AM

    UMass Amherst
    29973

    Integ. Learning Center S240

    pmensah@frital.umass.edu
    29488
    This course will explore themes of the Southern Gothic in works of Cinema and popular Televisual narratives. We will study the development of the lurid motifs of the Gothic that works affiliated with this genre often deploy to invoke a sense of horror and dread, moral corruption, and psychological abjection, all seemingly meant to assimilate the South and its citizens to the category of a degenerate and menacing otherness. The imagery of dismal landscapes, dark swamps, decaying architecture, fanatical and occult religious practices, and the often grotesque or monstrous figures and cultural tropes that aspire to associate the South with an imaginary medieval past, will be examined mostly as marks of an ambivalent ideological struggle surrounding the self-identity of America. Thanks to this regime of gothic tropes and insignia, America, on the one hand, heralds its own self-identity as culturally rich and historically continuous, and yet, it is, at least partly thanks to this same regimen of gothic tropes (understood as figures of otherness), on the other hand, that America also typically (or stereotypically) deals with anxieties arising from its attempts to define its own modern identity, and its identity as modern and exceptional. Such anxieties give rise to instances of negative stereotyping, and practices of cultural exclusion that the course critically interrogates. We also study several important ways in which the Gothic serves as an important voice for the marginalized, while enabling critical reflections on the social and cultural practices of exclusion we have alluded to. The history of slavery, the civil war, and its aftermath, as well as literature produced by certain Southern writers (such as William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, Eudora Welty, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Katherine Anne Porter, and others) since the late 19th century, will be identified as important defining contexts of emergence for the Southern gothic, and as the indispensable conditions that have made its deployment into 20th century film and television possible. Due attention will also be paid to the influence of French colonial adventures and interventions in shaping cultures and "gothic" mythologies of the American South, and the Caribbean, as well as the role played by America's own efforts to secure and maintain hegemonic influences on the region. The course is conducted in English, and requires no prior knowledge of the field. All films are streamed to your computer from the UMass library on demand. Required readings are provided online, and no book purchases are necessary. (Gen. Ed. AT, DU)
    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01
    4.00

    Patrick Mensah

    TU 4:00PM 6:45PM

    UMass Amherst
    29963

    Integ. Learning Center S231

    pmensah@frital.umass.edu
    29489
    This course offers an introduction to African film as an aesthetic and cultural practice. Students should expect to be familiarized with the key ideas and objectives that have inspired and driven that practice since the early 1960s, and be furnished with the technical tools and methodological skills that would permit them to understand, analyze, and think critically about the artistic and thematic aspects of the films that are screened. They should also expect the course to provide them with a critical peek into several cardinal issues of social and cultural relevance in contemporary Africa and its history. Issues of interest typically include, the nationstate and its declining status, imperatives of decolonization, economic dependency and structural adjustment programs, orality and changing traditional cultures, diasporic migrations, urbanization and its problems, gender relations, civil wars, child soldiers, gangs, and related themes. Filmmakers studied include, but are not limited to, Abderrahmane Sissako, Gillo Pontecorvo, Ousmane Sembene, Raoul Peck, Jean-Marie Teno, Dani Kouyate, Mweze Ngangura, Gavin Hood, Neill Blomkamp, Moufida Tlatli, Djibril Diop Mambety (please note that this list is subject to change, and shall be updated as future changes are made). The course is conducted in English, and requires no prior knowledge of the field. All films are streamed to your computer from the UMass library on demand. Required readings are provided online, and no book purchases are necessary. (Gen.Ed. AT, DG)
    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01AA

    TH 2:30PM 3:45PM

    UMass Amherst
    29964

    Herter Hall room 209

    29498
    This course offers an introduction to African film as an aesthetic and cultural practice. Students should expect to be familiarized with the key ideas and objectives that have inspired and driven that practice since the early 1960s, and be furnished with the technical tools and methodological skills that would permit them to understand, analyze, and think critically about the artistic and thematic aspects of the films that are screened. They should also expect the course to provide them with a critical peek into several cardinal issues of social and cultural relevance in contemporary Africa and its history. Issues of interest typically include, the nationstate and its declining status, imperatives of decolonization, economic dependency and structural adjustment programs, orality and changing traditional cultures, diasporic migrations, urbanization and its problems, gender relations, civil wars, child soldiers, gangs, and related themes. Filmmakers studied include, but are not limited to, Abderrahmane Sissako, Gillo Pontecorvo, Ousmane Sembene, Raoul Peck, Jean-Marie Teno, Dani Kouyate, Mweze Ngangura, Gavin Hood, Neill Blomkamp, Moufida Tlatli, Djibril Diop Mambety (please note that this list is subject to change, and shall be updated as future changes are made). The course is conducted in English, and requires no prior knowledge of the field. All films are streamed to your computer from the UMass library on demand. Required readings are provided online, and no book purchases are necessary. (Gen.Ed. AT, DG)
    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    01AB

    TH 4:00PM 5:15PM

    UMass Amherst
    29965

    Herter Hall room 209

    29499
    This course offers an introduction to African film as an aesthetic and cultural practice. Students should expect to be familiarized with the key ideas and objectives that have inspired and driven that practice since the early 1960s, and be furnished with the technical tools and methodological skills that would permit them to understand, analyze, and think critically about the artistic and thematic aspects of the films that are screened. They should also expect the course to provide them with a critical peek into several cardinal issues of social and cultural relevance in contemporary Africa and its history. Issues of interest typically include, the nationstate and its declining status, imperatives of decolonization, economic dependency and structural adjustment programs, orality and changing traditional cultures, diasporic migrations, urbanization and its problems, gender relations, civil wars, child soldiers, gangs, and related themes. Filmmakers studied include, but are not limited to, Abderrahmane Sissako, Gillo Pontecorvo, Ousmane Sembene, Raoul Peck, Jean-Marie Teno, Dani Kouyate, Mweze Ngangura, Gavin Hood, Neill Blomkamp, Moufida Tlatli, Djibril Diop Mambety (please note that this list is subject to change, and shall be updated as future changes are made). The course is conducted in English, and requires no prior knowledge of the field. All films are streamed to your computer from the UMass library on demand. Required readings are provided online, and no book purchases are necessary. (Gen.Ed. AT, DG)
    Instructor Permission: Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.

    African Languages offered by the Five College Center for World Languages

    Swahili students in class

    Swahili

    Beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses are available every semester. Courses include individual tutorials and small group conversation sessions. Sessions meet on all five campuses and are individually scheduled. Instructor: Dr. Agnes Kimokoti (pictured).

    Swahili student in class

    Afrikaans, Amharic, Twi, Wolof, Yoruba

    Supervised independent study courses. Beginning and intermediate courses are available. Courses include small group conversation sessions led by native/fluent conversation partners. Sessions meet on the home campus of the conversation partner and are individually scheduled. The availability of languages may vary, and other languages may be added.

    Language Center conversation partner talking to student

    Egyptian Arabic, Moroccan Arabic

    Supervised independent study courses. Prerequisite: Two semesters of Modern Standard Arabic or the equivalent. Courses include small group conversation sessions led by native/fluent conversation partners. Sessions meet on the home campus of the conversation partner and are individually scheduled.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    On each of the campuses of the five college consortium (except Hampshire College), all students are required to develop a major in one particular field and then to complement that with courses drawn from other subjects. Often, the choice of those other courses is dictated by college requirements or by what is available at particular times. The African Studies Certificate Program is not another major, but it represents an important way for students to bring intellectual coherence to selecting courses outside their own majors. Further, by focusing intensely on the continent of Africa, students develop a keen appreciation of the rich connections between history, politics, economics, cultures, and the humanities.
     
    Those students in the past who have earned the certificate point with pride and satisfaction to having selected a group of courses whose focus is Africa, and they have found the possession of the certificate to be a distinct advantage for getting into graduate school or for employment.

    You will need to complete at least 18 credits in various courses which focus on Africa, and you need to demonstrate that you have a working knowledge of a language of Africa either indigenous or official (other than English).

    No campus of the Five Colleges has sufficient teaching resources on Africa to enable you to complete the certificate program, but taken together, the five campuses provide one of the richest resources of African Studies expertise and courses anywhere in America. You will likely need to take courses on at least one campus other than your own in order to complete the certificate program.
     
    Since the mid-1980s, faculty in the Five Colleges with Africa interests have been part of the Five College African Studies Council which coordinates offerings of Africa-related courses, supports the certificate program, and plans seminars, study-in-Africa opportunities, and visits to the area by African scholars and artists. One of the more significant achievements of the Council has been the development and management of the certificate program as a way to strengthen the intellectual accomplishments of students.
     
    When you graduate, having completed your baccalaureate degree, your official transcript will say, "Completed the requirements for the Five College African Studies Certificate."

    Each campus has African Studies Certificate Program faculty advisors who will help you set up your own personalized certificate program. There is no formal admissions process to the certificate program; all you need to do is to declare with a faculty African Studies advisor on your campus your intent to complete the certificate program and to submit the African Studies Certificate Student Interest Form. Characteristically, students take one or two courses on Africa and then decide to complete the program with course selection advice from an African Studies advisor.

    Contact Us

    Council Co-Chairs:

    Judyie Al-Bilali, Associate Professor of Theater, UMass Amherst

    Patrick Mensah, Associate Professor of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, UMass Amherst

    Five College Staff Liaison:

    Ray RennardDirector of Academic Programs

    Connect:

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