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History and Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa - programma
History and Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa - programma

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CRISTIANA FIAMINGO , responsabile dell'insegnamento

Corso di laurea in RELAZIONI INTERNAZIONALI (REL) Immatricolati fino all'a.a. 2017/18 - Laurea Magistrale - INTERNATIONAL POLITICS AND REGIONAL DYNAMICS - 2018/2019

Insegnamento obbligatorioNo
Anno di corso
Periodo di svolgimentoterzo trimestre
Settori scientifico disciplinari
  • SPS/13 - Storia e istituzioni dell'africa
Crediti (CFU) obbligatori6
Crediti (CFU) facoltativi-

Informazioni generali

Obiettivi: Obiettivi: in the Boaventura de Sousa Santos terms there is a persistent unspeakable, “abyssal line” projected by theoretical thinking in the global North that reproduces a persistent distinction between metropolitan and colonial societies. This line is an invisible, hegemonic concept outlined along the last five centuries dividing the World into the two sides of the line. The “Northern universalisms” have been based on the realities on this side of the line, leaving the other side of the line invisible. Such an exclusion – says Santos - is such that “what happens there does not compromise the universality of our ideas, (…) because the people that live there do not count as humans in the modern understanding of humanity”. So the persistent Western-centric conception of humanity is consistent with its counter-concept of sub-humanity (a set of human groups that are not fully human, be they slaves, women, indigenous peoples, migrant workers, Muslims).
Such a line is recalled in Sub-Saharan Africa, with particular emphasis in South Africa, in the extremely interesting debate on the decolonisation of knowledge underway: this is a topic involving students, teachers and intellectuals, rooted in the protest “Rhodes must fall”, and connected to the old discourse “Decolonising the mind” (1967) engaged by Ngugi Wa Thiongo. This line is evident both in “developmentalist” attitudes of Sub-Saharan African (SSA) leaders, and the shocking reactions towards the integration of African immigrants in the European societies. So, such a discourse, only apparently can be limited to one Country in the extreme South of Africa. It should be framed in a wider discourse about “post-coloniality”, its meaning and its transmission in the education programs on the both sides of the line, instead: deeply affected, as it is, by the permanent equation modernity=colonialism.
Challenging concepts – such as modernity, development and their sustainability - will be deepened via African sources/scholars, in historical key, to understand better the policies pursued by the postcolonial African states, in the framework of international relations and "development aid".

Lingua dell'insegnamento: English

Metodi didattici: Taught class; discussion after readings about some specific case studies to be compared; movie projection and debates

Programma di studio

Pagina web di riferimento:

http://cfiamingohpssa.ariel.ctu.unimi.it

Programma: 1st Didactic Unit:
The first didactic unit aims at reaching a common level of basic knowledge of the African History (5 lessons).
In the second stage with the help of some essays shared with the class, it will be discussed the colonial impact on the concept of modernity and development (5 lessons).
2nd Didactic Unit:
The unaccomplished emancipation: from the decolonization process to the “decolonising-the-knowledge” debate
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BA Erasmus students have a different programme (see bibliography)

Programma per non frequentanti: 1st Didactic Unit:
The first didactic unit aims at reaching a common level of basic knowledge of the African History in order to better understand the impact of the colonisation on the African continent.
2nd Didactic Unit:
The unaccomplished emancipation: from the decolonization process to the "developmentalist", neo-liberal African States.

Short course description english flag

This course examines the sub-Saharan Africa course, starting from the exploitative colonial experience ending with the context of international trends and regional dynamics apparently pushing for an emergence of Africa as an economic protagonist, while globally acting towards an involution of the poverty by sapping job offer, with extreme consequences in Africa.
With a monographic unit addressed by the South African debate on the decolonisation of knowledge, via literature, documentaries and the presentations prepared by the students, discussion points will be provided to give the right depth to the denounced unaccomplished emancipation of SSAfrica.
Lessons can be shared in collaboration with experts, if available in Milan in the period of the course; forum following the projection of films and documentaries will require the participation of the attending students.

Bibliografia e altri materiali didattici: Slides of the presentation given during the lessons shared through the website: http://cfiamingohpssa.ariel.ctu.unimi.it,
- Reid R. J. (2012), A HISTORY OF MODERN AFRICA: 1800 TO THE PRESENT, Wiley-Blackwell 2nd Edition
- Cooper, F. 2002, AFRICA SINCE 1940: THE PAST OF THE PRESENT, Cambridge U.P.
Use of maps is highly recommended.
Chapters / Case-studies from:
- M. Mamdani, 1996 CITIZEN AND SUBJECT. CONTEMPORARY AFRICA AND THE LEGACY OF LATE COLONIALISM, Princeton University Press
- E. Hunter (eds.) (2016) CITIZENSHIP, BELONGING, AND POLITICAL COMMUNITY IN AFRICA: DIALOGUES BETWEEN PAST AND PRESENT, Ohio University Press.
- Comaroff, Jean and John L. Comaroff (2012). THEORY FROM THE SOUTH: OR, HOW EUROAMERICA IS EVOLVING TOWARD AFRICA, Boulder and London: Paradigm Publishers.
Essays provided during the lessons (uploaded on the website of the course , to be discussed the second week following).
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BA Erasmus students bibliography:
- Reid R. J. (2012), A HISTORY OF MODERN AFRICA: 1800 TO THE PRESENT, Wiley-Blackwell 2nd Edition
- Comaroff, Jean and John L. Comaroff (2012).THEORY FROM THE SOUTH: OR, HOW EUROAMERICA IS EVOLVING TOWARD AFRICA, Boulder and London: Paradigm Publishers.

Bibliografia e altri materiali didattici per non frequentanti: Bibliography for non attending students:
- Reid R. J. (2012), A HISTORY OF MODERN AFRICA: 1800 TO THE PRESENT, Wiley-Blackwell 2nd Edition
- Cooper, F. 2002, AFRICA SINCE 1940: THE PAST OF THE PRESENT, Cambridge U.P.
Use of maps is highly recommended.
- Cheeseman, N. 2015, DEMOCRACY IN AFRICA: SUCCESSES, FAILURES, AND THE STRUGGLE FOR POLITICAL REFORM (New Approaches to African History). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Modalità di esame, prerequisiti, esami propedeutici

Esame in un'unica volta o suddiviso in partiunico
Modalità di accertamento conoscenzeEsame
Giudiziovoto verbalizzato in trentesimi

Prerequisiti e modalità di esame Both attending and non-attending students are required to study Reid R., A HISTORY OF MODERN AFRICA, 1800 TO THE PRESENT, 2nd Ed., Wiley Blackwell, 2012
The final assessment consists of an oral examination on the Cooper’s syllabus and, on the readings indicated in class and uploaded in the website section dedicated to the course, plus three cases chosen in the Hunter’s book.
Limited to the atending students it is offered the possibility to substitute the three cases with a presentation on whatever argument tied to the post-colonial theme, on a bibliography previously agreed with the lecturer.
The aim of the interview is to assess the methodological and critical skills acquired by the student. In particular, it will assess the students' ability to use literature and to reason on the debates in course and, for attending students, those developed during the classes.

Prerequisiti e modalità di esame per non frequentanti Both attending and non-attending students who didn’t face the history of this continent before, are warmly recommended to read: Reid R., A HISTORY OF MODERN AFRICA, 1800 TO THE PRESENT, 2nd Ed., Wiley Blackwell, 2012
The focus is the democratisation of the SSA.
The final assessment consists of an oral examination – usually in 3 questions - on the two assigned books. The aim of the interview is to assess the ability of the students to discuss properly and with critical skills about the meaning of democractisation in Africa. The coherent presentation of a specific case will be appreciated.

Attività propedeutiche consigliate Contemporary history; History of International relations.

Organizzazione della didattica

Settori e relativi crediti

  • Settore: SPS/13 - Storia e istituzioni dell'africa - Crediti: 6
Attività didattiche previste

Lezioni: 40 ore

Ricevimento Docenti

Orario di ricevimento Docenti
DocenteOrario di ricevimentoLuogo di ricevimento
CRISTIANA FIAMINGO , responsabile dell'insegnamentov. Bacheca sul sito dei corsiSt. 10 - Piano Ammezzato Alto

Avvertenze e altre informazioni

For attending students
Ist D.U.:
The first didactic unit aims at reaching a common level of basic knowledge of the African History (5 lessons). In the second stage with the help of some essays shared with the class, it will be discussed the colonial impact on the concept of modernity and development with peculiar attention to the use of the land/natural resources during and post colonial times (5 lessons).
IInd D.U.:
The first stage of the second DU consists in the analysis of the debate of the decolonisation of the mind/knowledge (5 lessons) the second stage consists of the discussion of theses proposed by the students based upon the theme of postcoloniality applied to policies, politics and economics (5 lessons)