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143169 KU Gender in African Political History (2020W)

Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 06.10. 09:00 - 11:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 3 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-12
Tuesday 13.10. 09:00 - 11:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 3 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-12
Tuesday 20.10. 09:00 - 11:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 3 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-12
Tuesday 27.10. 09:00 - 11:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 3 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-12
Tuesday 03.11. 09:00 - 11:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 3 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-12
Tuesday 10.11. 09:00 - 11:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 3 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-12
Tuesday 17.11. 09:00 - 11:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 3 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-12
Tuesday 24.11. 09:00 - 11:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 3 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-12
Tuesday 01.12. 09:00 - 11:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 3 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-12
Tuesday 15.12. 09:00 - 11:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 3 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-12
Tuesday 12.01. 09:00 - 11:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 3 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-12
Tuesday 19.01. 09:00 - 11:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 3 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-12
Tuesday 26.01. 09:00 - 11:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 3 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-12

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

Is “gender” a universal concept? Or is it western, colonial invention? These questions lay at the core of an important field of study: postcolonial, African gender studies. Thinking about “gender in African political history” calls for a reflection not only on the way African history has been written (from an essentially male perspective that made women invisible) but also on the ways political authority has been constructed (as a masculine privilege). As such, postcolonial and African gender studies have exposed the complex relationship between gender and power (in precolonial, colonial and postcolonial times).

This course will accompany students in the discovery of gender issues in African perspectives. The first part (I. Defining) will provide general introduction to the key concepts, authors and historical issues.The second part will give students the possibility to explore in more details concrete issues in African gender studies, focusing on the diverse forms the politics of gender can take, from the most personal spheres (sexual identity; household; intersection race/gender) to highest spheres of power (the state) or touching on global issues (environment and climate change; LGBTQ struggles).

Discussion will be based on reading assignments (academic texts; newspapers articles) as well as various forms of knowledge transmission (video, podcast, gaphic novel, online exhibition...).

This course will include a guided tour of the African art collection of the Welt Museum Wien (weltmuseumwien.at): an introduction on African art will enable us to reflect on the many faces of the historical encounter between European and African cultures, to critically reflect on the history of these collections and the way they were gathered, the ethical issues that arose with such exhibition today. The tour will directly echo themes covered in the course: conception of gender roles, femininity and masculinity, motherhood; the female figures of authority such as queens in precolonial Benin art; or women’s roles in the makings of artifacts. The visit will be funded by an “Innovative Teaching Grant” allocated by the University of Vienna.

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

• Describe and explain the main debates around the definition of gender in African contexts, and name key African authors in the field of African gender theories.
• Analyze the use of gender in African history (and contrast it with historical narratives that are not “engendered”).
• Apply the concept of gender to analyze concrete social, political, economic, global issues in African history and politics.
• Develop and formulate a critical opinion of/through the literature of African gender studies.

Key concepts discussed in this course: gender; African gender studies; feminism(s), patriarchy; women/femininity; men/masculinity; LGBTQ; precolonial/colonial/postcolonial; decolonization; “Africa”; authority; violence.

Overview of the sessions:
1) General introduction

Part I: Conceptual and historical issues
2) Is "Gender" a universal concept?
3) Colonization and the body: Focus on Oyeronke Oyewumi/Chimamanda Adichie.
4) Colonization & Decolonization: creations of new figures of authority. Focus on Amina Mama.
5) Guided-tour of Welt Museum: Gender in African art
6) Engendering historical narratives: the role of visual arts

Part II: Case studies: the complex relation between gender and politics
7) Gendered politics: revisiting inclusion and exclusion in politics
8) Gendered economics: women and land rights
9) Masculinity and power. Focus on South Africa
10) Gender, ethnicity and religion in politics
11) Gender and environment. Focus on Wangari Maathai (Kenya)
12) The politics of homosexuality: LGBTQ struggles
13) From gender to decoloniality in African studies?

Assessment and permitted materials

60%: regular, short written assignments throughout the course (8 compulsory assignments to be submitted online via Moodle)
30%: short final essay
10%: regular attendance and participation
A clear assessment grid for the written assignments will be provided in class.

E-Learning option
Should it be necessary because of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis (i.e. if the university has to close), this class can be taught via e-learning tools. The following resources will be used:
• Online forum to discuss the readings (list of themes and questions posted at least one week before the session; collective discussions; question/answers/feedback; via Moodle);
• Podcasts (Audio Power-point presentations uploaded online on Moodle) introducing the readings and theme for each session;
• Online, video-recorded sessions (Moodle / BBB): collective discussions of the readings; providing general feedback;
• Personalized feedback on written assignments (via Moodle)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

This course is for master students. It has been designed as a general introduction to African gender studies and so are students from African studies as well as from other disciplines welcome.

Examination topics

Reading list

A complete list of reading assignments will be provided in class.

Association in the course directory

SAG.KU.1, SAG.KU.2, SAG.KU.3

Last modified: Fr 02.10.2020 17:08