The Africana Studies department strongly encourages students to take off-campus courses located all around Africa.
January Term study abroad courses include:
Professor Lori Stanley
Like other peoples of East Africa, the Maasai pastoralists of Tanzania and Kenya are experiencing rapid culture change in response to global, national, and local forces. In this course we will study "traditional" Maasai culture and examine the ways in which the Maasai of Northern Tanzania are adapting to changing social, political, economic, and environmental conditions.
Topics include the tension between traditional and formal education; the adoption of Christianity in place of or alongside traditional religion; cultural dimensions of health, healing, and the spread of HIV/AIDS; and the impacts of ecotourism, cultural tourism and wildlife conservation programs on the pastoral way of life. Students will interact with Maasai people in urban and rural marketplaces; in schools, medical facilities, and places of worship; and at Maasai bomas (family compounds in the bush).
Professors Novian Whitsitt and Guy Nave
This course explores the complex connections between Christianity and the North Atlantic slave trade by: (1) examining slave routes and the geography of enslavement in Ghana; (2) studying and visiting the Cape Coast and El Mina slave castles; and (3) examining and interpreting historical, literary and religious texts related to slavery. We consider the way European and European-American Christians justified slavery—consciously or unconsciously—through interpretive and institutional practices. We also examine the perspective of African scholars and creative writers on the effects of Christianity upon indigenous cultures and social institutions. We will speak with local Ghanaians throughout our travels, specifically about their understanding, memory, and relationship to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Professor Martin Klammer
In this course you will experience the joys, challenges, and realities of service in the wider world by helping lead an after school camp for disadvantaged youth ages 5-16 in Cape Town, South Africa. Organized by New Hope Ithisi iAfrika (New Hope Feeds Africa) the camp will offer music, sports, art, drama, personal health, and other activities as well as life skills. In the first week we will have a service learning opportunity with youth at Othandweni orphanage in Soweto. During the month we will also visit historical sites and speak with South Africans about the challenges of transforming a post-apartheid, democratic society. At heart this course will invite each of us to ask: how do I live out my vocation of service in a wondrous but complicated world?
These courses provide students with the rich experience of learning about peoples and their cultures through visits to important historical sites; conversations with national and community leaders, scholars, and artists; and home-stays with local families.