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This list relates to the 2017-18 which ended on 18/08/2018
  1. Readings 1 item
    1. The reading list is long in order to give students some choice in finding material that interests them and to avoid the problem of too many people chasing the same few items. Students should try to read at least two articles for each lecture and at least two ethnographies for the course over all.

       

      A reading pack will be on sale in the first lecture containing key readings that are intended to give a broad insight into the topic. These short articles cannot cover all the issues, however, and students are strongly encouraged to explore the further readings below. Every effort has been made to ensure that sufficient copies are available in the Library or that they are available as e-journals.

       

      A handful of readings are not available in the Library, but they can be ordered via inter-library loans. If students are particularly interested in the topic then they can also borrow my copies.

  2. Lecture 1: Why study youth? Why youth in Africa? 27 items
    The aim of this lecture is to introduce students to the growing interest on youth in Africa. I will assess the reasons for this interest and briefly underline the main theoretical points of the debate. There will also be some reflections on the presence of history and the emergence of new and old dependencies.
    1. Tutorial 2 items
      Familiarise yourself with some of the concepts discussed by looking into the commentary to the special issue on youth in Cultural Anthropology.
      1. Introduction: The presence of history - Colin Bundy

        Chapter  See also Colin Bundy's recent work on the presence of history in South Africa. It is a short introduction that would help us for some of the themes we will discuss in the course of the module.

    2. Readings 25 items
      1. Illegible will: coercive spectacles of labor in South Africa and the diaspora - Hershini Bhana Young 2017

        Book  Available in Library and as an e-book.

      2. Give a man a fish: reflections on the new politics of distribution - James Ferguson, Thomas Gibson 2015

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      3. Cool places: geographies of youth cultures - Tracey Skelton, Gill Valentine 1998

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      4. Introduction: Ideologies of Youth - Rijk van Dijk (et al.) 2011

        Article 

  3. Lecture 2: Youth, Age and Generation in Africa 42 items
    African youth has long been portrayed exclusively in a supportive role to their elders. In societies for long time represented as static and based on gerontocratic systems of power, a trope that served well colonial interests, younger generation were conceptualised as passively inheriting the values, ideals and expectations of the senior generations. Starting with a review of some of the classic ethnographies on generations, this lecture will focus on a more recent literature that sheds light on how, from the early colonial era, youth have been actively engaged in shaping and reshaping the social and cultural worlds in which they were living. The lecture will focus on the moments of contestations and resistance as well as the moments of cooperation and negotiation between and within generations.
    1. Tutorial 3 items
    2. Readings 39 items
      1. Lifetimes Intertwined: African Grandparents and Grandchildren - Susan R. Whyte, Erdmute Alber and P. Wenzel Geissler 2004

        Article 

      2. Generations in Africa: connections and conflicts - Erdmute Alber, Sjaak van der Geest, Susan Reynolds Whyte 2008

        Book 

      3. Age class systems - Bernardo Bernardi 1985

        Book 

      4. Generational consciousness, narrative, and politics - June Edmunds, Bryan S. Turner 2002

        Book 

      5. The problems of generation - Karl Mannheim

        Chapter 

  4.  

    Part I: Youth, the State and the Public Sphere in Africa

     

    How do African youth imagine/ed their place in the public sphere? How do they imagine society, culture and the moral world? What expectations do they have about their lives and that of their fellow citizens? How do they contribute to political life? And how do they respond to the challenges posed by the state, violence and war in colonial and postcolonial time? In this section we will look at the relationship between youth and colonial and postcolonial institutions in Africa. Key themes here will be youth, education and generational consciousness; youth, NGOs and associational life; and youth, war, marginality and resistance.

  5. Lecture 3: Education! Education! Education! Youthful Aspirations and Exclusion in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa 35 items
    Education in Africa has always had a strong emotional significance because of its enormous potential for emancipation, liberation and social mobility. In this lecture, we will discuss the role of students in four areas: the making of colonial and postcolonial public life; the shaping of the African political landscape; the liberation struggles against colonialism; and the introduction of changes and reforms in many postcolonial African states. Also, we will look at how competing ideas of knowledge have led to new generational cleavages in postcolonial societies
    1. Tutorial 3 items
      1. Narratives of transactional sex on a university campus - Tamara Shefer, Lindsay Clowes, Tania Vergnani 2012

        Article 

    2. Readings 32 items
      1. Narratives of transactional sex on a university campus - Tamara Shefer, Lindsay Clowes, Tania Vergnani 2012

        Article 

  6. Lecture 4: The Making of Public Life: Youth, Leisure and Political Participation in Africa 42 items
    Associational life has long been a common feature of colonial and postcolonial societies in Africa, especially for the youth living in urban areas. These associations have promoted a wide range of interests, including ethnic identity, cultural and traditional values, leisure, sports, religion and politics. Very often these associations are set up to respond to the needs of the population and are motivated by moral discourses centring on good governance and the public good. They are civic associations helping to provide basic services but they also have a strong political dimension, which often responds to the widespread discontent towards the failures of the state. These associations are maintained by youthful enthusiasm and expectations as they provide new spaces for sociality and conviviality. In this lecture we will look at how the associations have contributed to the construction of youthful identities and subjectivities, and to the making of public life in Africa, during the colonial and postcolonial period. Finally we will look into the ways in which in associationalism on the continent has transcended the limits of locality linking Africa and the rest of the world in interesting ways. In particular we will focus at NGOs and the rhetoric of aid, development and humanitarian interventions and at the role of football in Africa and beyond.
    1. Tutorial 3 items
    2. Readings 39 items
      1. Football in Africa

        Webpage  See this very interesting page for an extensive literature review and resources on African football.

      2. Heroes or villains? - Jeremy Seekings 1993

        Book  Not available in Library holdings, see Dr Fumanti.

      3. Development beyond politics: aid, activism and NGOs in Ghana - Thomas Yarrow 2011

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      4. See also Special Issue on 'African Sport in the Global Arena' Journal of Critical African Studies:

  7. Lecture 5: War, Street and Marginality: Children's Agency Revisited 45 items
    Many of you are very familiar with the images of child soldiers fighting across Africa, most notably in Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These conflicts have captured the western imagination with their extreme violence and have led some commentators to define them as a form of new barbarism resulting from a supposedly innate ‘African Savagery’. The actors in these conflicts, such as the child soldiers, are represented as passive perpetrators of unimaginable violence, as willing executioners of their masters. This lecture aims to problematise such an image of African conflicts by reassessing the complex social, political and economic reasons behind their emergence and the agency of those – especially the children – who are or were actively involved in them.
    1. Tutorial 3 items
      1. uGogo - Emily Margaretten 2011

        Article 

    2. Readings 42 items
      1. African guerrillas: raging against the machine - Morten Bøås, Kevin C. Dunn 2007

        Book 

      2. Child soldiers in Africa - Alcinda Honwana 2006

        Book 

      3. uGogo - Emily Margaretten 2011

        Article 

  8.  

    Part II : Intimacy, Gendered Subjectivities and HIV-AIDS in Africa 

     

    Throughout the colonial and postcolonial period, ideas of intimacy and the making of gendered subjectivities in Africa have been contested and constantly reshaped by the dramatic social and cultural shifts brought forward by the impact of the slave trade, by global capitalism, by war and more recently by the devastating effects of the HIV-Aids pandemic. This section will look at how young men and women in Africa have responded to these transformations and in the process redefined and challenged traditional ideas of femininity, masculinity, care and intimacy.

  9. Lecture 6: Women on the Move: Rethinking Intimacy and Female Subjectivities in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa 62 items
    In this lecture we will focus on women’s emergence in the public sphere and their attempt to redefine their role beyond ‘traditional’ ideas of gender. We will also look at the ways in which different agents throughout African history, i.e. the state, religious institutions, traditional authorities and more recently foreign and local NGOs in many parts of Africa have attempted to define women’s role in society, and to control their access to the public sphere, the job market and education, by targeting directly their bodies, regulating their sexualities and women’s strategies to resist these regimes of power.
    1. Tutorial 3 items
      1. ‘They’re my Contacts, not my Friends’: Reconfiguring Affect and Aspirations Through Mobile Communication in Nigeria - Juliet Gilbert 2018

        Article  Ethnos, Special Issue Media on the Move: Communication and Connectivity in Sub Saharan Africa.

    2. Readings 59 items
      1. Illegible will: coercive spectacles of labor in South Africa and the diaspora - Hershini Bhana Young 2017

        Book  Available in Library and as an e-book.

      2. Love in Africa - Jennifer Cole, Lynn M. Thomas 2009

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      3. Songs of the women migrants: performance and identity in South Africa - James, Deborah, International African Institute 1999

        Book 

      4. Kampala women getting by: wellbeing in the time of AIDS - Wallman, Sandra, Bantebya-Kyomuhendo, Grace 1996

        Book 

      5. The comforts of home: prostitution in colonial Nairobi - White, Luise 1990

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      6. Potent brews: a social history of alcohol in East Africa, 1850-1999 - Justin Willis 2002

        Book  (See Chapter 2 Wild Women and Violent Youths)

  10. Lecture 7: Real Men? Vulnerable Men? Youth and Masculinity in Africa 50 items
    The study of masculinities in the social sciences has undergone a wide-ranging debate over the past decades. This has undermined generalised assumptions about male identities as universally powerful and dominant, and highlighted the multiplicity of male identities and their various roles in society, with men often occupying marginal and subaltern positions. In much of Africa men still dominate the domestic and public realm, but not all of them share this power equally. Furthermore, male identities, like female ones, are constantly re-shaped by the social and economic changes brought about by encroaching capitalism, globalisation and the HIV-Aids pandemic. Male youth have also been particular vulnerable to these changes. In this lecture I will focus on some of these multiple masculinities from violent and predatory ones to others that have been less studied in the African context.
    1. Tutorial 3 items
    2. Readings 47 items
      1. The politics of homosexuality in Africa - Mattia Fumanti 2017

        Article  Introduction, Special Issue the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa.

      2. Allah made us: sexual outlaws in an Islamic African city - Gaudio, Rudolf Pell 2009

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      3. Namibia's Rainbow Project: gay rights in an African nation - Robert Lorway 2015

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      4. Going for gold: men, mines, and migration - Moodie, T. Dunbar, Ndatshe, Vivienne 1994

        Book 

  11.  

    Part III: Youth, Popular Culture and Self-fashioning: Freedom, Pleasure, Punishment and Danger 

     

    Youth in Africa, like everywhere else, are avid consumers of popular culture, be it music, cinema or fashion. In an increasingly globalised world the icons and images of popular culture come from a wide range of places, both outside and inside Africa. From European and African footballers to US, British and African rap and R&B musicians, from Indian Bollywood movies to Nigerian Nollywood, from Caribbean rhythms to Quassa-Quassa musicians in Congo and Kwaito singers in South Africa, these icons are taking centre stage in the imagination of African youth. But nowhere are the youth just passive consumers of these images. They engage with them, deconstruct them and adapt them to their local and cultural context to create complex hybridised forms. Often, these new images become very powerful social and political commentaries, through which the youth can address issues central to their lives. They also delineate new spaces for socialization and sociability. Bars, pubs, clubs and increasingly so churches become new spaces where the African youth consume, often conspicuously, global and local popular culture. Yet, these 'fun' spaces are equally dangerous on a moral and personal level. In these spaces pleasure, freedom, punishment and danger are intimately intertwined, preachers, hustlers and gangsters rubbing shoulders, and sharing drinks, with preachers, workers, university and school students, teachers, civil servants and the professional elites. In this section we will explore the way in which African youthful subjectivities are constructed through a process of self-creation and active cultural engagement as they seek freedom and pleasure and sometimes meet punishment and danger.

  12. Lecture 8: Images, Sounds and Aesthetics in African Popular Culture 41 items
    This lecture will explore the place of images and sounds in the making of African popular culture. In particular we will look at how through these audio-scapes and video-scapes African youth have re-imagined and reconstructed the world the live in. Brought in from outside the continent, or originating in Africa, these different scapes have been instrumental to African youth’s reaffirmation of their place in the world through the making of powerful visual and auditory hybrids. This lecture will explore the emergence of these genres while exploring the emergence of distinctive aesthetics in African popular culture.
    1. Tutorial 3 items
    2. Readings 38 items
      1. Tropical cowboys: Westerns, violence, and masculinity in Kinshasa - Ch. Didier Gondola 2016

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      2. Living the hiplife: celebrity and entrepreneurship in Ghanaian popular music - Jesse Weaver Shipley 2013

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      3. Kwaito's promise: music and the aesthetics of freedom in South Africa - Gavin Steingo 2016

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      4. Nationalists, cosmopolitans, and popular music in Zimbabwe - Turino, Thomas 2000 (electronic book)

        Book  See chapters 2, 4 and 9.

  13. Lecture 9: ‘Holy’ and ‘Unholy’ youth: Hustlers, Migrants, Traders, Entrepreneurs, Gangsters and Preachers 47 items
    In this lecture we will look at some of the youthful characters that inhabit, often side by side, often being one and the same, the lived and imagined world of many African youth. They are hustlers, long distance traders, fashionistas, but also gangsters and preachers. They all embody in different and surprisingly similar ways, the aspirations and desires of many youth in Africa. They are all modern subjects, global iconic figures that capture a world of dreams and dramas, of sartorial elegance and flamboyance, and of defiance and resistance in spite of the often harsh conditions of life in colonial and postcolonial Africa. But of course this is often an illusion and an imaginary voyage both of these youths and of the anthropologists representing them and which carries with it more exclusion and destitution within wider regimes of neoliberal economic transformations.
    1. Tutorial 3 items
    2. Readings 44 items
      1. The Political Economy of Elegance - Jonathan Friedman

        Chapter  Also published in Culture and History, 1990, volume 7, pp. 101-125.

      2. Debt or savings? Of migrants, mines and money - Deborah James, Dinah Rajak

        Chapter 

      3. Mayihlome: towards an Understanding of Amalaita Gangs in Durban, c 1900-1930 - P. La Hausse

        Chapter  Not available in Library holdings, see Dr Fumanti.

      4. Congo-Paris: transnational traders on the margins of the law - MacGaffey, Janet, Bazenguissa-Ganga, Rémy 2000

        Book 

      5. The brotherhoods: street gangs and state control in Cape Town - Don Pinnock 1984

        Book  Not available in Library holdings, see Dr Fumanti.

  14. Lecture 10: In and Out of Africa 44 items
    In this final lecture we will recapitulate the main argument presented throughout the course. By looking at the prominent role of youth in the making of colonial and postcolonial societies we will assess the fundamental importance of studying youth in Africa in order to understand wider postcolonial transformations. In particular, the aim of this lecture is to underline the importance of youth studies for contemporary debates on agency, identity, subjectivity, gender, globalisation, HIV-Aids, politics and morality in postcolonial Africa and beyond. Furthermore how can we understand the role of African youth on the continent in relation to the new African diaspora?
    1. Tutorial 2 items
    2. Readings 42 items
      1. Africa works: disorder as political instrument - Chabal, Patrick, Daloz, Jean-Pascal 1999

        Book 

      2. Declarations of dependence: labour, personhood, and welfare in southern Africa - James Ferguson 2013

        Article  Read also the responses to Ferguson's article.

      3. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies: Vol 34, No 2 - R. Grillo, V. Mazzucato 2008

        Journal  Special Issue, Africa<>Europe: Transnational Linkages, Multi-Sited Lives

      4. Africa  Europe: A Double Engagement - Ralph Grillo, Valentina Mazzucato 2008

        Article 

      5. Yoruba in diaspora: an African church in London - Harris, Hermione 2006

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book.

      6. New African diasporas - Khalid Koser 2003

        Book  See particularly the introduction.

      7. On the Power of the False - A. Mbembe 2002

        Article  Read also responses to Mbembe.

  15. Week 11: Fish Bowl Conversation 1 item
    1. For this class there is no set of readings. We would have instead a Fish bowl conversation on some of the major themes we raised in the course of the semester. The students would decide the title of the day, the themes for discussion and the suggested readings. I would encourage you to be creative and to draw from different sources. We will discuss this in details in the course of the semester.

  16. Film Screenings 10 items
    1. Week 1 1 item
      1. No screening this week.

    2. Week 2 1 item
      1. Amandla!: a revolution in four part harmony - Lee Hirsch 2004 (dvd)

        Audio-visual document  Through a chronological history of the South African liberation struggle, this documentary cites examples of the way that music was used in the fight for freedom. Songs united those who were being oppressed and gave those fighting a way to express their plight.

    3. Week 3 1 item
      1. No screening this week.

    4. Week 4 1 item
      1. No screening this week.

    5. Week 5 1 item
      This week we will be looking at this classic film by Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene.
      1. Moolaadé - Ousmane Sembène (dir) 2005 (dvd)

        Audio-visual document 

    6. Week 6 1 item
      1. Cemetery State, Filip de Boeck, 2010, Belgium

         

        In Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, children and youngsters have taken over the management of death. The dead have become their 'toy', and the coffin has become like a football that one tosses up and plays around with. 'Cemetery State' observes how these young gravediggers, singers and drummers use the body of the dead as an alternative platform to attack and challenge their elders and to create their own (dis)order.

         

        The film follows one group of grave-diggers, where mourning rituals and funerals have become moments of upheaval and contestation of social and political orders!

         

    7. Week 7 1 item
      1. No screening this week.

    8. Week 8 1 item
      1. No screening this week.

    9. Week 9. 1 item
      1. Crusade Ghana Style (2016), Mattia Fumanti

         

        In March 2008 the Kumasi dioceses of the Ghanaian Methodist Church organised a Christian Crusade in Kwame Danso, a small town, in Ghana's Brong Ahafo region. Crusades are common in Ghana. They are events organised to gather believers and non in a public space to hear the word of God, bring people to Christ, and witness the power of the Holy Spirit through the working of miracles. Young preachers, known as evangelists, lead the Christian Crusade. They are said to possess the "gifts" of the Holy Spirit: the "Gift "of healing, healing by casting off demons and spirits; and the "Gift" of preaching, preaching the word of God through the Power of the Holy Spirit. This film follows a group of evangelists as they travel from Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti region, to attend a Methodist Christian Crusade Kwame Danso. The film captures this youth at work as they preach, heal and counsel the local population in their effort to bring the Christian gospel to the town and attract new converts into the Methodist church

    10. Week 10 1 item
      1. No screening this week.

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