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Overview of UGRC

UGRC-Introduction to African Studies

This course introduces students to the field of African Studies including Africa's histories, peoples and cultures. It begins with a general introduction to the discipline, its history and values; continues with an introduction to Gender Studies in Africa; and thereafter students select from an extensive and diverse menu of 'electives'. While all students take the general introduction and the introduction to gender, students are registered into the electives that they will take in the second half of the semester.

The general introduction serves as the springboard from which to launch the entire course.

Objectives of the course:

  • To help students appreciate the contemporary value of African Studies as an area of enquiry.
  • To help students engage with discourses on African realities.
  • To encourage students to appreciate the African Identity.
  • To help students develop a sense of Self Determination in the global world.
  • To make students aware of the negative stereotypes about Africa and to encourage them to challenge these stereotypes.
  • To help students develop appropriate methodologies and frameworks for examining Africa and its past through multi-disciplinary approaches.
  • To highlight some of Africa's contributions to world civilizations and knowledge generation.
  • To enhance students' knowledge in specific areas of African Humanities and Social Sciences

The overall introduction covers three weeks, including two hours of lectures, and one hour of tutorials per week.

Introduction to Gender

The main objective of this two week introduction (four hour), is to help students appreciate the gendered nature of African societies, how this impacts development, and state as well ascivil society responses to gender inequalities. Thiscomponent explains key concepts in African gender studies and explains why and how we address gender issues in African studies. This component of the course also makes a case for transforming gender relations on the basis of three justifications: (1) citizenship rights and the constitution, (2) development imperatives, and (3) the promotion of gender equitable cultures. The role of individual and group agency and leadership in changing gender relations will be highlighted.

The introduction to gender covers three weeks, including two hours of lectures, and one hour of tutorialsper week. Also included is a practical activity, typically a film show.

At the end of the first 6 weeks students take part in a continuous assessment exercise.

Elective Component:

In the second half of the semester students join one of 19 pre-selected "elective" classes, each of which is described below. An examination for each of these is carried out at the end of the semester.