Anthropology 229 - Africa and the Environment

Africa and the Environment

Colin B. Hoag

W 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM; M 3:05 PM - 4:20 PM

Smith College
Seelye 308
In Western discourses, African environments are defined by violence, famine and degradation. These characteristics are depicted as symptoms of an African resistance to 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. Discussions covered include gender, race, land grabbing, indigenous knowledge, the commons, the cattle complex, desertification, oil, dams and nationalism.
Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.