2023-2024 African Studies Timetable – Coming Soon

African Studies Courses

AFR150Y1: Introduction to African Studies [48L/24T] 
A multi-disciplinary study of Africa, emphasizing inquiry and critical analysis. Pre-colonial, colonial and contemporary African history, anthropology, politics, African humanism and society, religion, art, music, race, resistance, gender and Pan-Africanism. Exclusion: NEW150Y1, AFSA01H3 DR=HUM; BR=3

AFR250Y1: Africa in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities [48L]
 A critical examination of Africa as a living space rather than merely a site of intellectual speculation and study.  Uses scholarly and popular literature to explore the issues that engage the attention of ordinary Africans, ranging from the dramatic to the seemingly trivial, as they struggle to fashion meaningful lives in fast-changing societies.  Topics include urban transition and city life; economic, political and cultural impacts of globalization; new religious movements and changing conceptions of selfhood; new African diasporas in the West; dynamics of gender relations, kinships and identities; and the politics of liberalization.  Materials studied will include print and electronic news media and other mass media resources from Africa and across the world. Exclusion: NEW250Y1 DR=HUM/SOC SCI; BR=1+3

AFR251H1F: Language, Freedom and Linguistic Human Rights in Africa [24L] Examines the language situation in Africa and the extent to which freedom and linguistic human rights are enabled, granted, nurtured, achieved or protected by post-colonial African states. Using linguistic diversity in Africa as a backdrop, presents, discusses and assesses language policies that were adopted by post-colonial African states, particularly in education, and the implications that these policies have for the rights, freedom and empowerment of citizens of African states. Changes and evolving trends in language use and language planning are also discussed. Recommend Preparation: AFR150Y1AFR250Y1, AFR290H1 DR=HUM; BR=1

AFR270H1F: African Literature and the Politics of Storytelling [24L] Focuses on the art and politics of storytelling across the continent.  Students will engage with various kinds of narrative genres from great African novels to short stories, folktales, popular African films from Nollywood and other industries, as well as more recent forms of storytelling from social media.  Topics of discussion will include globalization, colonialism, post-coloniality, neo-imperialism, environmental justice, ecocriticism, artistic expression and African identities.  This novel course offers a combination of a wide range of literary and non-literary narrative genres as well as a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to textual analysis from decolonial theories to ecocriticism, postcolonial environmentalisms, narrative theory, as well as more traditional methods of literary criticism and analysis. Recommended Preparation: AFR150Y1 DR=HUM; BR=1

AFR280Y1: Introductory Swahili [24L, 72T] 
Introduction to grammar and basic vocabulary of Swahili. Emphasis on comprehension and oral practice. Reading of selected texts. Relation of the language to its East African cultural context. (Offered in alternate years) Exclusion: AFR280Y1 DR=HUM; BR=1

AFR290H1F: The Idea of Africa [24L/12T] 
An historical examination of Africa as a conceptual category, exploring discourses and representations – both African and non-African – that have produced our understandings of the meanings of Africa and Africanness. Recommended Preparation: AFR150Y1 DR=HUM; BR=3

AFR298H1S: Popular Uprising in Africa [24L] In recent years, popular uprisings have mobilized thousands in over 40 African countries, to demand a radical overhauling of existing economic and political systems. This course asks: What are the catalysts, underlying causes and demands of these protest movements? What can we learn from the grassroots organizing that allowed these movements to gain momentum? How might scholars and activists analyzing the popular uprisings in their countries, allow us to develop new vocabularies and frameworks for understanding popular protests and theories of revolution? Case Studies will include popular uprisings in Sudan, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Djibouti, DRC, Eswatini and Nigeria and reflect on similar movements around the world. Recommended Preparation: AFR150Y1 DR=SOC SCI; BR=3

AFR322H1S: The Contemporary African Novel (formerly NEW322Y1) [24S] 
Novels written in the last forty years by English, French and Portuguese-speaking Africans. Ideological views concerning colonialism and neo-colonialism. Tradition, religious and secular; the use of African symbolism. A small number of historical and sociological texts are recommended as essential background reading. Works not written in English are read in translation. (Offered in alternate years) Exclusion: NEW322H1NEW322Y1 DR=HUM; BR=1

JNH350H1F: AIDS : Challenges and Successes (formerly NEW350H1) [24L] 
Explores the pandemic of AIDS in Africa through a social science lens. (Given by Human Biology and New College) Recommended Preparation: AFR150Y1 Exclusion: NEW350H1 DR=HUM/SOC SCI/SCI; BR=3

AFR351Y1: African Systems of Thought (formerly NEW252Y1) [48L] 
The exploration of a range of African cosmologies, epistemologies, and theologies, as well as specific case studies on justice, the moral order, and gender relations. The influence of these richly diverse traditions is traced as well in the writings of African thinkers in the Diaspora. Recommended preparation: AFR150Y1 Exclusion: NEW351Y1NEW252Y1JAP256H1JAP356H1 DR=HUM; BR=5

AFR352H1: International Organizations, NGOs, Development and Change in Africa [24L] 
Critically explores the role of international organizations such as the World Bank Group, the UN and NGOs in the economic development of Africa. Prerequisite: AFR150Y1AFR250Y1 or permission of the instructor. Exclusion: NEW352H1 DR=HUM/SOC SCI; BR=3

AFR353H1F: International Relations of Africa [24L] 
Explores inter-state relations in Africa, African states’ relations with the West, China, India, Brazil, and international political, economic and financial institutions. Prerequisite: AFR150Y1, AFR250Y1 Exclusion: NEW353H1POLC80H3 DR=HUM/SOC SCI; BR=3

AFR354H1F:  African Cultures and Development [24L] 
Critically examines scholarly debates on the relationships between African cultures and development in various regions of the continent. Draws on interdisciplinary scholarship and development discourses to enhance students’ understanding of African conditions and cultures in the context of development thinking. Prerequisite: AFR150Y1, AFR250Y1 Exclusion: NEW354H1, NEW358H1 (Special Topics in African Studies: Culture and Development in Postcolonial Africa), offered in Winter 2015, Winter 2016, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019. DR=SOC SCI; BR=3 

AFR355H1S:  African Youth Languages and Cultures [24L]  
Examines the nature of youth languages and cultures in contemporary Africa with a focus on their characteristics and the conditions under which they develop. Also considers similarities and/or differences between youth languages and cultures in different regions of Africa and the general youth condition. Includes urban youth languages such as Sheng, Engsh, Tsotsital, etc. and music genres associated with youth such as hip hop, Bongo flava, etc. Discusses challenges and opportunities associated with African youth languages as they relate to questions of identity, national integration, regional integration, and development. Prerequisite: AFR150Y1, AFR250Y1, AFR280Y1
Exclusion: NEW355H1, NEW358H1 (Special Topics in African Studies: African Youth Languages and Cultures), offered in Winter 2018, Winter 2020.  DR=HUM; BR=2

AFR357H1: Special Topics in African Studies [24L] An upper level course. Topics of study vary from year to year. Prerequisite: AFR150Y1, AFR250Y1

AFR358H1: Special Topics in African Studies [24L] An upper level course. Topics of study vary from year to year. Prerequisite: AFR150Y1, AFR250Y1 DR:HUM/SOC SCI

AFR359H1: The Horn of Africa: Critical Perspectives [24L] 
Examines the Horn of Africa, its diversity, geopolitics, cultural politics, present conditions and current debates through a critical and comparative lens. Considers social forces in contemporary politics within the region including competing claims, explanations of the underpinnings of the Horn’s conflict, and the promise of peace. Draws upon interdisciplinary scholarship, public discourse, texts and media to reflect on the future of the Horn of Africa at this historical moment. Prerequisite: Completion of at least 4.0 credits. Recommended Preparation: AFR150Y1/, AFR250Y1 Exclusion: NEW359H1NEW357H1 (Special Topics in African Studies: The Horn of Africa: Critical Perspectives) offered in Fall 2018, Fall 2019 DR=SOC SCI; BR=3

JQR360H1S: The Canadian Census: Populations, Migrations and Demographics [24L, 12T] 
Examines the Canadian population census through the experience of diasporic groups in Canada. Approaches the census as a statistical tool, an historical source and an ideological project of citizenship and nationalism. Uses census data to explore mathematical and statistical concepts and to integrate numerical ways of thinking with qualitative analysis. (Jointly sponsored by African Studies, Diaspora and Transnational Studies, Caribbean Studies, Equity Studies and Latin American Studies). Prerequisite: AFR150Y1, CAR220H1, CAR221H1, CAR225H1, CAR226H1, CSE240H1, DTS200Y1/​HIS230H1, HIS231H1, LAS200H1, LAS201H1 DR=SOC SCI; BR=3

AFR365H1: Art, Media and Politics in Africa and the African Diaspora [24L] 
Explores the critical intersections between art, media and politics by analyzing the making and circulation of various indigenous and modern art forms and their use as creative and radical strategies for creative expression, dissent, citizenship, and alternative forms of representation, reimaginings, transcendence and agency in African post-colonial contexts, and interconnected with the African Diaspora. Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits. Recommended Preparation: AFR150Y1 Exclusion: NEW357H1 (Special Topics in African Studies: Art, Media and Politics in Africa and the African Diaspora), offered in Winter 2019 and Fall 2019. DR=HUM; BR=1

AFR370H1S: Anticolonialism, Radicalism and Revolutions in Africa [24L] 
An interdisciplinary exploration of the histories of nationalist and revolutionary movements, ideologies, and regimes in twentieth and twenty-first century Africa, examining the various ways that Africans imagined, actively shaped, and continue to demand freedom and political modernity. Emphasis will be placed on African history methodology (including oral history) and historiography to encourage students to apply a historical lens to approaching key themes and concepts in African Studies such as nationalism, decolonization, the state, politics, citizenship, labour movements, and pro-democracy movements. Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits. Recommended Preparation: AFR150Y1, HIS295Y1, HIS297Y1 DR=HUM; BR=3

AFR380Y1: Intermediate Swahili [24L, 72T] 
Grammar and syntax. Conversation and written composition. Reading of texts: literary, journalistic. Relation of the language to its East African context. (Offered in alternate years) Prerequisite: AFR280Y1 Exclusion: NEW380Y1 DR=HUM; BR=1

AFR389H1F: The Geopolitics and Debates on Africa-China Economic Relations [24L] 
Explores the geopolitics of Africa-Asia relations, in particular, the unabated and polarized debates and narratives on China’s engagement across sectors in Africa, ‘Africa-China’ multifaceted trade relations, strategies and interests, and economic diplomacy. Critically examines the changing landscape of economic cooperation and development financing in contemporary Africa, their underlying impulses and their broader implications. Prerequisite: Completion of 4.0 credits. Recommended Preparation: AFR150Y1AFR250Y1, AFR353H1 Exclusion:NEW357H1, AFR357H1 (Special Topics in African Studies: The Geopolitics and Debates on Africa-China Economic Relations), offered in Fall 2020 and Fall 2021. DR=SOC SCI; BR=3

AFR450Y1: African Studies Honours Research Seminar [24S] 
This honours research seminar required of all specialists and majors in African Studies offers critical explorations of the genealogy of African Studies, the transnational study of Africa, Africa’s place in a globalized world, the historical, intellectual and institutional contexts of Africanist knowledge production, its dissemination and consumption in Africa, Europe, the Americas and emerging academic sites in Asia. It engages with the paradigm shifts and vibrant scholarly and epistemic debates across disciplines and geographies as well as unfolding events, public discourses, geopolitics, African popular cultures and the reimagining of African futures through canonical, emergent scholarship and creative media and emphasizes students’ original and creative research explorations, engaged praxis and search for alternative theorizing and decolonial epistemologies. Prerequisite: AFR150Y1, AFR250Y1 ​400-level Group A Course. Exclusion: NEW450Y1 DR=SOC SCI; BR=3

AFR451H1: Special Topics in African Studies [24L]
An upper level course. Topics of study vary from year to year. Prerequisite: AFR150Y1, AFR250Y1 DR=HUM/SOC SCI

AFR454H1S:  Migration, Mobility, and Displacement in Africa [24S]  
Why do people move voluntarily or involuntarily?  What are the causes and consequences of migration and displacement in Africa?  This course critically examines the multifaceted dimensions of migration, mobility, and displacement, with a specific focus on communities and populations displaced by war, environmental destruction and disaster, economic failings, and the quest for economic opportunities, love, education, or individual freedom.  Prerequisite: AFR150Y1, AFR250Y1 or permission of instructor.  Exclusion: NEW454H1NEW451H1 (Special Topics in African Studies: Migration, Mobility, and Displacement in Contemporary Africa), offered in Fall 2016.  Recommended Preparation: JQR360H1, AFR351Y1 DR=HUM; BR=3

AFR455H1S:  Conflicts, Negotiations and Peacebuilding in Africa [24S]  
Examines conflicts and peace negotiations in African contexts such as Somalia, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and North Africa through public discourse, citizen actions, policy debates and mobilizations. Explores formal, informal, indigenous and institutional mediation and peace negotiation platforms, strategies, and impulses. Analyzes various conflict zones, case studies and intervention strategies for negotiating and sustaining peace in Africa in the broader context of the war on terror, increasing militarism, and securitization in peacebuilding. Prerequisite: AFR150Y1, AFR250Y1 Recommended Preparation: AFR353H1Exclusion: NEW455H1, NEW451H1 (Special Topics in African Studies: Conflicts, Negotiations and Peacebuilding in Africa), offered in Winter 2019, Winter 2020; NEW452H1 DR=SOC SCI; BR=3

AFR459H1: Advanced Special Topics in African Studies: Climate Change, Food Security, and Sustainability in Africa [24L]

Food security is a major challenge and urgency in various African regions, countries and fragile agro-ecological zones. What is the nexus between food security, climate change and sustainability in Africa today? This course critically examines the complex dynamics between food insecurity, livelihood security, the uncertainties, risks and vulnerabilities from changing climate, pandemics, conflicts and natural disasters. It explores indigenous adaptive strategies and the challenges and opportunities for sustainable futures in Africa. Case studies methods, guest speakers, modeling and scenario-building exercises will enrich students’ experience and complement the canonical and emergent interdisciplinary scholarship on the topic.

AFR499H1: Advanced Topics in African Studies [24S] 
A joint graduate/undergraduate upper-level seminar. Topics vary from year to year, depending on the instructor.  Consult the Program Office for course enrolment procedures. Prerequisite: AFR150Y1, AFR250Y1, at least 1.0 credit from African Studies Group A at the 300+ level. Students who do not meet the prerequisites are encouraged to contact the Program Office. DR=SOC SCI, HUM

2022-2023 African Studies Special Topics Courses

AFR358HIF: African Literature and Modes of Storytelling

This course explores three major modes of narrating and thus reading the continent (by African novelists and literary storytellers) in the late colonial and postcolonial era. The exploration begins with a mode which lent itself to ethnographic interpretations, and seemed to work as counternarratives to historically disenfranchising tales of Africa. A second mode features tales that often highlight a cause, or a social problem on the continent. Then, there is an emerging third mode of storytelling, in which writers tell stories just for the sake of it. Course materials will primarily include novels and some critical texts

Past and Future African Studies Special Topics Courses (not offered in 2022-2023)

Postcolonial African Cities and Urban Futures

From slums, bustling cultural scenes and cityscapes, to diaspora lanes, African cities show diverse trajectories, inequalities and uneven pace of urbanization. Challenging clichés of African cities as ‘dystopian’ and ‘off the map’, this course critically examines the processes and dynamics of urban transformation and rapid urbanization of African cities and their social, ecological, political, economic and cultural implications. It interrogates key drivers of urbanization in the postcolonial era, the challenges of sustainable urban development, urban policy and governance, the demand and need for inclusive and just urbanism, and the reimagining of African urban futures. In addition to the exposure to cutting edge scholarship on African urbanization, students will have the unique opportunity to engage with excellent speakers from various disciplines, leading international institutions and Africa-based city-builders and social entrepreneurs.

2023-2024 African Studies Timetable – Coming Soon