Print Version

Effective: Summer 2011

Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
4 hours lecture. (48 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Students will practice and apply understandings of historical and contemporary cultural diversity of Africa emphasizing its social, political and economic organizational structures.
  • Students will critically analyze and interpret ethnographic data on the African Diaspora.
  • Students will apply anthropological principles for solving human problems on the local, regional and world scales.
Description -
Historical and contemporary cultural diversity of Africa emphasizing its social, political and economic organizational structures. Focus on the three religious influences by which African peoples and their resources have been exploited. Problems of acculturation and urbanization as they relate to modernization and expansion of international trade and development.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate an understanding of the cultural diversity, range of successes and failures in both general and specific African cultures.
  2. discuss Africa's past and present as a base of understanding its future, illustrating themes from both individual and societal points of view.
  3. interpret those misconceptions and stereotypic characterizations which tend to perpetuate patterns of prejudice/discrimination against Africa and Third World cultures.
  4. analyze the contemporary world as it exists in unity, diversity and interdependence and that restrictions on freedom and justice in any part of the world adversely affect international peace and order globally.
  5. compare and contrast the basic African social organizational structures and institutions with the West and the United States specifically in terms of:
    1. Marriage and family.
    2. Political and economic arrangements.
    3. Educational institutions.
    4. Religious institutions, magic, witchcraft, rituals and practices.
    5. Cultural dynamics influence.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous Internet and Email access.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Impact of geography on African history identifying Africa as birthplace of mankind.
  2. General ethnographical background factors of African Tribal organizations: linguistic factors, political and economic mode of production, as exemplified by contemporary Africa.
  3. Historical and cultural factors leading to African exploration.
  4. Problems and trends of emerging nations generally classified as Third World in world context.
  5. The triple heritage of African lifestyles and cultural conflicts.
  6. "A Garden of Eden in Decay," Africa, producing what it does not consume and consuming what it does not produce.
  7. African "Diaspora," and the continuing influence of the superpowers on affairs of the continent.
  8. Africa in the context of the modern world.
  9. Africans and African-Americans in the context of the American Experience.
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Two midterm written examinations.
  2. One course project of paper.
  3. Comprehensive final.
Representative Text(s) -
Martin, Phyllis M. and Patrick O'Meara, eds. Africa. 3rd ed., Indiana University Press, 1995.
Gordon, April A. and Donald L., eds. Understanding Contemporary Africa. 3rd ed. New York: Lynne Rienner Publisher, 2001.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture presentations and classroom discussion.
  2. In-class reading.
  3. Group presentations of major projects followed by in-class discussion and evaluation.
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
A final paper addressing a major topic from the class.