The course is characterized by a variety of themes related to African History and African Studies through an interdisciplinary approach, which means through different perspectives: e.g., historical, political, geographical.
The aim of the course is to show the complex scenario of events and thoughts about Africa through both synchronic and diachronic methods, thereby providing the students with the tools to analyze in a critical way problems concerning the African continent.
Critical-thinking is developed in particular through the readings of classics such as Walter Rodney, Frantz Fanon and John Iliffe, a number of MA theses in African Studies from earlier years, and other relevant material; through the contributions of a number of international guest lecturers, specialists on their respective subjects; and through discussions during seminars.
Nicolas Aubery (Yoruba religion in Nigeria and Brazil), Jean-Charles Hilaire (Hausa culture and language) and Jean-Luc Martineau (Modern history, Nigeria) of INALCO, Paris lecture regularly in the Dynamics of African Societies course (AS3002 and AS2002). Photo: L. Berge
The common approach to an author is to contextualize him or her, both historically and ideologically, so as to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of his or her thoughts. In such a way, the point of view of any author is objectionable and everyone should be made to develop personal and independent thoughts on the various matters.
The collection of notes and works for the seminars should be organized in an analogous way - i.e., through an independent and personal vision. Important, of course, is being able to provide valid arguments to justify the choices made and to limit, to a certain extent, its arbitrariness. For the organization of the portfolio there can be a great variety of criteria for the purpose of making evident the plurality of approaches that characterize this Dynamics of African Societies course.
In November 2016 Mgr. Jan Prouza, Department of Politics, University of Hradec Králové, will lecture on political conflicts in West Africa, a modern history of Ghana's politics and West African politics in context.
Photo: L. Berge