The course consists of three sections.
Section I: From ‘tribes’ to the ‘production of locality’: Representations of sub-Saharan Africa. Introduction. 2. ‘Tribes’ in space and time. A. ‘Tribe’: crisis of a concept. B. ‘Tribes’, colonialism and British social anthropology. C. ‘Tribe’ and the Atlantic slave-trade. 3. Beyond ‘tribes’: the ‘production of locality’ in pre-colonial Grassfields (west Cameroon). A. The ‘African frontier’ and the ‘production of locality’: two converging paradigms. B. Pre-colonial Grassfields (17th c.-early 20th c.). C. The ‘production of locality’ in precolonial Cameroon Grassfields. 4. Conclusions.
Section II: Europe in Africa. 1. Defining colonial studies. 2. The colonial legacy in Africa. A. Invented traditions. B. ‘Decentralized despotism’. 3. Aspects of modernity in post-colonial Cameroon. A. Identity and belonging. B. Kinds of inventions. C. Figures of modernity. D. Social memories of the slave-trade and forced labour.
Section III: Cannibals, zombies, and the making of an African modernity in the Cameroon Grassfields. 1. From culinary metaphors to political economy. A. From cooking to the political economy of persons. B. The political economy of witchcraft. 2. The modernity of witchcraft: cannibals, zombies and the allegories of capitalism. A. Memories and discourses of the Atlantic slave-trade and forced labour. B. The Atlantic slave-trade and cannibals in the Cameroon Grassfields. C. Colonialism, forced labour and famla witchcraft. D. Allegories of capitalism. 4. Concluding remarks: witchcraft and selfhood in sub-Saharan Africa, past and present.
Section IV: Discourse of power, knowledge of otherness. 1. First contacts. A. Great discoveries and seafaring travelers (15th c.). B. African perceptions of the Europeans (15th c. – ). C. Europeans in African visual arts (15th – 17th c.). D. Africans and Africa in European printed media. 2. Europe and the invention of ‘Africa’. A. Religion, science and the invention of ‘Africa’ in visual arts. B. Discourse, gender, and representation. C. Africa in the anthropological literature. 3. Africans on Africans and Africa. A. Panafricanism, Afrocentrism and Négritude. B. Anti Pan-Africanism.
Learning outcomes: The course inscribes the communities of sub-Saharan Africa in their historical context, extending and deepening the knowledge acquired by the students who attended Issues in African Ethnography I. The characteristics (institutions, practices and ideas) of African societies are perceived as historical products (products, that is, of the Atlantic slave-trade, colonialism and the market economy).
The main objective of the course is to underline the dynamic aspects of African communities, their fluidity and their continuous transformations in the longue durée – in other words: their historicity. Students will realize that Africans are not passive recipients of external forces but agents actively contributing in the shaping of their worlds. Last, they come to realize the power relations often implicit in the process of othering.
Respect for difference and multiculturalism
Criticism and self-criticism
Search for, analysis and synthesis of data and information
Production of free, creative and inductive thinking
|Use Of Information And Communications Technology :||Extensive use of the open e-class platform (course webpage)|
|Teaching Methods:||Activity||Semester workload|
|Autonomous study and exams preparation||70|
|Student Performance Evaluation:||– Final exam
– Εssay. Students submit an essay of approx. 3000-5000 words by the end of the semester.
Students will be evaluated according to their ability in:
– integrating the anthropological concepts examined in the course
– comprehending the historicity of sub-Saharan African communities and its manifestations (oral tradition, performative, embodied nature of social memory, etc.)
– understanding both the continuities and discontinuities of the historical experiences of African communities and individuals and how these shaped (and still shape) their everyday lives
– understanding the substantial (direct and indirect) part played by the European powers in the making of the contemporary post-colonial African politics from the late 19th century to the mid-1960’s (“tribalism”, civil wars, corruption, patronage, authoritarian regimes, etc.)
– acquiring a deep understanding of how Africa relates to Europe and the rest of the world
– ability in developing an anthropological approach to social/cultural phenomena and write a coherent text
– understanding the process of othering implied in anthropological discourse
Related academic journals:
Journal of African History
Canadian Journal of African Studies/Revue Canadienne des Etudes Africaines
Cahiers d’Etudes Africaines
Journal des Africanistes
African Studies Review
Level of studies:
Independent teaching activities
Weekly teaching hours
Language of instruction and examinations:
Is the course offered to erasmus students:
Course website (URL):
Χρήση Τεχνολογιών, Πληροφορίας & Επικοινωνιών:
|Δραστηριότητα||Φόρτος Εργασίας Εξαμήνου|
|Ασκήσεις στην τάξη||15|
|Αυτόνομη μελέτη στην διάρκεια του εξαμήνου||45|
|Μελέτη προετοιμασίας για τις εξετάσεις||30|
Η αξιολόγηση των φοιτητών/ριών γίνεται μέσω εξετάσεων με ερωτήσεις ανάπτυξης και αποκλειστικά στην ελληνική γλώσσα. Τα κριτήρια είναι προσβάσιμα για τους φοιτητές/ριες στην ηλεκτρονική πλατφόρμα του μαθήματος (e-class).