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Courses

African Language Program

Harvard University, through the Department of African and African American Studies (AAAS), boasts the world’s foremost African Language Program, with over 30 languages offered.  Established in 2003, the African Language Program offers instruction in more than ten languages every semester.  African languages can be taken to fulfill the foreign language requirement for Harvard College. These languages are a core part of the African Studies Track in the Department of African and African American Studies (AAAS) and relate well to a variety of courses within Harvard College, and other constituents of Harvard University.

For more information on the African Language Program, please visit the AAAS website.

Fall 2014

Faculty of Arts & Sciences

African and African American Studies 11. Introduction to African Studies
Jacob Olupona

Wednesday, 10:00am – 12:00pm

This course introduces students to the general outlines of African archeology, history and geography, as well as key concepts in the study of African health, social life , economic situation, arts, and politics. Our aim is to give students a fundamental vocabulary and interdisciplinary methodology for the study of Africa. Throughout, we assume that Africa is not a unique isolate but a continent bubbling with internal diversity, historical change, and cultural connections beyond its shores. The course is open to all students who are interested in exploring various dimensions of African life and cultures in ancient and modern periods.
Note: Required of concentrators in African Studies track. This course, when taken for a letter grade, meets the General Education requirement for Societies of the World.

Half course

African and African American Studies 20. Introduction to African Languages and Cultures
John Mugane

Monday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm

This introduction to African languages and cultures explores how sub-Saharan Africans use language to understand, organize, and transmit (culture, history, etc.) indigenous knowledge to successive generations. Language serves as a road map to comprehending how social, political, and economic institutions and processes develop: from kinship structures and the evolution of political offices to trade relations and the transfer of environmental knowledge. As a Social Engagement course, AAAS 20 will wed scholarly inquiry and academic study to practical experience and personal involvement in the community. Students will be given the opportunity to study Africans, their languages, and their cultures from the ground up, not only through textbooks and data sets but through personal relationships, cultural participation, and inquisitive explorations of local African heritage communities. Throughout the semester you will be asked to employ video production, ethnographic research, creative writing, “social-portraiture,” GIS mapping, and linguistic study as you engage with Africans, their languages, and their cultures. By examining linguistic debates and cultural traditions and interrogating their import in the daily lives of Boston-area Africans, we hope to bridge the divide between grand theories and everyday practices, between intellectual debates and the lived experiences of individuals, between the American academy and the African world. Ultimately, this course aims to place Africans themselves in the center of the academic study of Africa.
Note: This course, when taken for a letter grade, meets the General Education requirement for Societies of the World.

Half course

African and African American Studies 98a. Junior Tutorial - African Studies
Ingrid Monson and other members of the Department

Hours to be arranged

Students wishing to enroll must petition the Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval, stating the proposed project, and must have the permission of the proposed instructor. Ordinarily, students are required to have taken some coursework as background for their project.
Prerequisite: Completion of African and African American Studies 11, or a substitute course approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Half course

African and African American Studies 106x. Topics in African Music and the Diaspora: Music and Conflict in Contemporary Africa
Ingrid Monson

Tuesday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Through case studies of Mali, Kenya, South Africa, and Zimbabwe this course examines the relationships among war, state collapse, and cultural production in contemporary Africa.

Half course

African and African American Studies 111. Spectral Fictions, Savage Phantasms: Race and Gender in Anti-Racist South African and African American Drama, Fiction and Film
Biodun Jeyifo

Wednesday, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Why have social orders like Apartheid South Africa and White Supremacy in segregated America that are based on extreme racial, gender and national oppression always generated often violent, hallucinatory fictions of the racial and gender identities of the oppressed? And why have the oppressed in turn often internalized these sorts of fictions and also produced counter-fictions that more or less conform to the same violent, phantasmic logic? In this course, we will explore how these fictions and counter-fictions are reproduced and challenged in some of the most powerful, canonical works of drama, fiction and cinema by South African and African American authors and filmmakers. As the Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe once famously remarked: “where one thing stands, another thing will stand beside it.” To this end, we will pay special attention in the course to how, both in form and in content, race and gender always seem, constitutively, to intersect in these fictions and counter-fictions. The course is thus a study in the dark, violent but generative cultural unconscious of modern racialized and gendered identities.

Half course

African and African American Studies 187. African Religions
Jacob Olupona

Thursday, 4:00pm – 6:00pm

This course is a basic introduction to the history and phenomenology of traditional religions of the African peoples. Using diverse methodological and theoretical approaches, the course will explore various forms of experiences and practices that provide a deep understanding and appreciation of the sacred meaning of African existence: myth, ritual arts, and symbols selected from West, East, Central, and Southern Africa.
Note: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3690.

Half course

African and African American Studies 188x (formerly *History of Art and Architecture 196). Contemporary Art in Africa : Proseminar
Suzanne Blier

Monday, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Major art movements in 20th-century Africa as well as critical issues which have framed related discussions will be treated. Painting, sculpture, photography, graphic arts, architecture, and performance traditions will be explored with an eye toward both their unique African contexts and the relationship of these traditions to contemporary art movements in a more global perspective.

Half course

African and African American Studies 209a. Africa Rising? New African Economies/Cultures and Their Global Implications
Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff

Monday, 12:00pm – 1:30pm, 6:00pm – 7:30pm

In a story titled Africa Rising (2011), The Economist argued that the continent epitomizes both the “transformative promise of [capitalist ] growth and its bleakest dimensions. This workshop will explore Africa’s changing place in the world – and the new economies, legalities, socialities, and cultural forms that have arisen there. It will also interrogate the claim that the African present is a foreshadowing of processes beginning to occur elsewhere; that, therefore, it is a productive source of theory about current conditions world-wide. The workshop, open to faculty and students, will meet Mondays from 6:00-7:30. 15 students will be permitted to take it as a course; they will also meet on Mondays, 12:00-1:30. Grades will be based on participation and a term essay.

Half course

African and African American Studies 220. Seminar: New Themes in the Study of the African Diaspora: Editorial Internship with Transition
Alejandro de la Fuente

Thursday, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Students in this seminar will work with the editor of Transition to design, edit, and produce the journal. Housed at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research (http://hutchinscenter.fas.harvard.edu/transition), Transition is the longest running Pan African cultural magazine in history. Founded in Uganda in 1961, the journal quickly became Africa’s leading intellectual forum. It was later edited by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka in Ghana before arriving at Harvard in 1991, with publishers Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Kwame Anthony Appiah. Some of the best scholars and minds of the Diaspora have contributed to this journal, including Martin Luther King Jr., Chinua Achebe, James Baldwin, Julius Nyerere and many others. Students in this class will familiarize themselves with the history of Transition; chart new directions for the journal; identify topics of Pan African significance and potential contributors on those topics; and serve as critical readers of materials submitted for publication to the journal. Students will be listed in the issues of the journal they help produce as “student associate editors”.

Half course

Anthropology 1250. The Pyramids of Giza: Technology, Archaeology, History: Seminar
Peter Der Manuelian

Monday, Wednesday, 11:00am, with occasional sections and field trips to be arranged.

Focuses on the Pyramids, Sphinx, and tombs at Giza (ca. 2500 BC), in the context of ancient Egyptian history, art, and archaeology. The HU-MFA Expedition excavated Giza, resulting in today’s Giza Project at Harvard. Seminar takes place in Harvard’s Visualization Center with 3D viewing of the Giza Necropolis on a 23-foot screen, and consists of introductory lectures, student presentations, and field trips. Topics range from challenges of archaeological information processing to Old Kingdom mortuary art and architecture, to issues of ownership and repatriation. Students will also contribute to the (real world) Giza Project at Harvard.

Half course

BPH 322. Study of Epidemiologic and Biological Characteristics of HIV Viruses in Africa
Phyllis Kanki

TBD

This course seeks to examine the transmission, control, and evolution of the HIV Virus in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using an interdisciplinary focus as a framework, students will examine how biological and epidemiologic characteristics of the disease are developing and evolving within the African context.

Half course

Economics 1389. Economics of Global Health
Guenther Fink and Margaret McConnell

Monday and Wednesday, 8:30am – 10:00am

This course examines health issues in developing countries from the standpoint of applied microeconomic research. Specific topics include: identifying the effect of health on growth and development and identifying the causal relationships between income, poverty, and health. We will also discuss health care delivery and human resource issues, the challenges of healthcare financing and health insurance, and the tension between equity and efficiency in the allocation of health resources.
Note: Offered jointly with the Kennedy School as SUP-518.
Prerequisite: Economics 1010a1, 1010a2, (or 1011a) and 1123 (or 1126).

Half course

Egyptian 300. Reading and Research in Egyptology
Peter Der Manuelian

TBD

Old Egyptian or Middle Egyptian Texts
Note: This course must be taken for letter grade.

Half course

History of Art and Architecture 191w. Image of the Black in Western Art
Suzanne Blier and David Bindman

Monday, 3:00pm – 5:00pm

This seminar will critically examine the depiction and contextualization of individuals of African descent in European and American art. Among the various issues raised are historic changes in the idea of and construction of race, the impact of early internationalism, notions of difference in the age of exploration, slavery and notions of selfhood, and representation as part of the larger colonial project.

Half course

Islamic Civilizations 171. Religion and Political Violence in North Africa and the Sahel
Ousmane Oumar Kane

Wednesday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Unknown in Africa before the jihad against the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan, suicide bombing has become common place in the 21st century. From Algeria to Somalia through Libya, Mali and Nigeria, so- called Salafi jihadis have recruited and trained tens of thousands of combatants. Through cigarette and narcotic trafficking, hostage taking for ransom, and bank hold ups, they have procured huge financial resources, sophisticated weapons, and now constitute a serious security challenge not only to many countries of North Africa and the Sahel but also to their Western allies. This conference course will address the spread of jihadi groups in Muslim Africa (North Africa and the Sahel) after the cold war. The first part of the course will address the divergent theoretical interpretations of terrorism and address in particular the following questions: Is it greed that sustains civil wars or grievance? Does the root of terror lie in culture or politics? Is there any evidence that civilizations clashed after the cold war? The second part of the course will focus on select transnational Islamist movements, situated both in their local context of nation building and their larger regional contexts. Case studies will include Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb in North Africa and the Sahel, the Harakat al-shabab al-mujahidin in the Horn of Africa, the Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region and the Gama’at islamiyya in Egypt and beyond.
Note: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3371.

Half course

History 1700. The History of Sub-Saharan Africa to 1860
Emmanuel K. Akyeampong

Tuesday, Thursday, 11:00am, and a weekly section to be arranged

The course explores the internal dynamics of West African states from 1800, and West Africa’s relations with the wider world. Innovations in science, technology and finance made the 19th century an era of social and economic opportunity and of political experimentation; a phase curtailed by European imperialism. The course examines African perspectives on colonialism, the two world wars, nationalism, and the transfer of political power. We will review post-colonial political economies and the search for workable political and economic models.

Half course

History 1877 (formerly *History 1977a). History of Middle East, 600-1055
Roy Mottahedeh

Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00pm – 2:30pm

A survey of the history of the Near East and North Africa from the rise of Islam in the 7th century to the Turkish ascendance in the mid-11th century. Includes Muhammad and his community, Arab conquests, Umayyads and Abbasids, sectarian movements, minority communities, government and religious institutions, and relations with Byzantium and the Latin West.
Note: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3594.

Half course

History 1997. The Political History of the Arab States Since Independence
E. Roger Owen

Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00pm – 2:30pm

The course will examine the troubled post-independence history of the Arab World divided into three parts: North Africa, the Arab East, and the Arab Gulf. Its main focus will be on state-formation under increasingly authoritarian regimes, the challenge to those regimes by global and regional forces and the political and social repercussions of the Arab Spring. Topics to be discussed in depth will include presidential rule, the role of the military and the establishment of crony-capitalist forms of government and political Islam.

Half course

Social Studies 980a. Human Rights in Africa
Gwyneth McClendon

Hours to be arranged

How and to what extent are human rights discussed, contested, and protected in Sub-Saharan Africa? This course considers answers to this question by taking seriously both variation and commonalities across Sub-Saharan African countries. Topics covered include slavery, apartheid, social and economic rights, LGBT rights, the International Criminal Court, and Kony 2012. The study of human rights in any context also requires some understanding of the configurations of power, state institutions and civil society in that context. We therefore also devote some time to considering colonial institutions, contemporary state-society relations, democratization, and social identity groups across SSA countries.
Note: This course will be lotteried.

Half course

Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality 1249. Gender in African History
Meghan Healy-Clancy

Tuesday, 3:00pm – 5:00pm

This seminar surveys the changing politics of gender across African history, in conversation with global histories of gender and sexuality. We investigate three questions: How can we understand the history of gender in Africa before colonialism? What role did gender play in the making and unmaking of colonialism? How have nationalist and postcolonial politics been defined by gendered categories? Readings include case studies from west, east, and southern Africa, treating themes from the history of sexuality to the history of political culture. Each student will present an original research project related to course themes.

Half course

 

Harvard Law School

Harvard Africa Workshop: New Forms of Law, Economy, Politics, and Culture
Lauren Coyle

Monday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm

This workshop course engages central debates in African studies and interrogates recent transformations in prevailing forms of law, politics, economy, and culture across Africa. In particular, it examines the shifting place of “Africa in the world,” alongside the rise of African economies as significant sites of growth on the global stage. According to the International Monetary Fund’s 2012 World Economic Outlook, 10 of the 20 countries projected to have the fastest economic growth for the period 2013-2017 are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Increasingly, Africa has been the site of new geopolitical struggles, contests over emerging markets, concerted efforts for constitutional reforms, and renewed “rushes” for land, minerals, oil, and other natural resources. Perhaps more than ever, Africa provides a particularly revelatory place for examination of contemporary challenges in law, policy, global governance, and social theory.
The course involves regular attendance and participation in Harvard’s African Studies Workshop, which meets weekly on Monday evenings throughout the semester under the general theme, “Africa and the World at Large: Or, What the New Global Order Has to Learn from the Contemporary African Experience.” The Workshop is an open, interdisciplinary exchange, attended by faculty and students from across Harvard and the broader Boston community. Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff, leading anthropologists and social theorists based in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, convene these evening sessions. Invited guest speakers briefly introduce their workshop papers, which they have pre-circulated a week in advance. A formal discussant then provides commentary. After this, the floor is open for attendees to raise questions and offer reflections in an open dialogue with the presenter. Further information about this workshop is available here: http://africa.harvard.edu/african-studies-workshop/ .
In addition to participating in the weekly public workshops, HLS students will meet three times throughout the semester in closed sessions with the lecturer. In these sessions, we will discuss crosscutting themes in law and other disciplines featured in the various workshop papers. We also will read several short selections of canonical works in African studies in order to place the Workshop discussions in the context of central interdisciplinary debates. The range of Workshop papers and selected readings will allow for discussion of key features of colonialism, early postcolonial developmental states, and more recent neoliberal and post-Cold War transformations.
Students will have a choice of submitting either three shorter reflection papers throughout the semester or one long paper at the end of the term. Students also will be expected to read the pre-circulated papers each week and to submit two critical questions in advance of the Workshop meetings. Grades will be based on written work and class participation.
Note: The workshop will meet at FAS in Robinson Lower Library, in Harvard’s History Department.
Subject Areas: International, Comparative & Foreign Law , Legal & Political Theory .

2 classroom credits

 

Harvard School of Public Health

GHP 255 - HIV Interventions: Rationale, Design, and Evaluation
Till Winfried Baernighausen, Kenneth Mayer

Thursday, 5:30pm – 7:00pm

This course introduces students to the underlying theories, mechanisms and rationales for the major biological, behavioral and structural HIV prevention interventions, such as male medical circumcision, vaccination, female microbicides, treatment as prevention, counseling, and combined approaches. In addition to HIV prevention, the course covers HIV treatment, care and impact mitigation. The focus of the course will be both on developing countries and on high-risk, vulnerable and underserved populations in developed countries. Students will learn to critically analyze studies evaluating HIV interventions and to assess global and national HIV strategies.

2.5 Credits

 

Extension School

AAAS E-185. Law, Culture, and State Power in Africa
Lauren Coyle

Thursday, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

This course draws upon classic and contemporary texts in anthropology, history, law, and social theory to examine the diverse forms and interrelations of law, culture, and state power in Africa. Topics of special emphasis include colonialism and postcolonialism, race and ethnicity, nationhood and citizenship, formal and informal authority, courts and constitutionalism, the sacred and the secular, political and cultural identity, development and emerging economies, environmental politics, and recent transitions to democracy. Discussions center on considerations of what prominent global approaches to law, sovereignty, and political power obscure or reveal about key trends and patterns in governance, culture, and political life across Africa.

4 Credits

 

Spring 2015

Faculty of Arts & Sciences

African and African American Studies 98a. Junior Tutorial - African Studies
Ingrid Monson and other members of the Department

Hours to be arranged

Students wishing to enroll must petition the Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval, stating the proposed project, and must have the permission of the proposed instructor. Ordinarily, students are required to have taken some coursework as background for their project.
Prerequisite: Completion of African and African American Studies 11, or a substitute course approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Half course

African and African American Studies 119x. Chocolate, Culture, and the Politics of Food
Carla Denny Martin

Monday and Wednesday, 2:00pm, and a weekly section to be arranged

This course will examine the sociohistorical legacy of chocolate, with a delicious emphasis on the eating and appreciation of the so-called “food of the gods.” Interdisciplinary course readings will introduce the history of cacao cultivation, the present day state of the global chocolate industry, the diverse cultural constructions surrounding chocolate, and the implications for chocolate’s future of scientific study, international politics, alternative trade models, and the food movement. Assignments will address pressing real world questions related to chocolate consumption, social justice, responsible development, honesty and the politics of representation in production and marketing, hierarchies of quality, and myths of purity.

Half course

African and African American Studies 140x. Film, Fiction and Diaspora
Biodun Jeyifo

Thursday, 1:00pm – 3:30pm

An exploration of recent fiction and films on the African and Caribbean immigrant communities of Europe and North America.

Half course

African and African American Studies 160. Christianity, Identity, and Civil Society in Africa
Jacob Olupona

Thursday, 10:00am – 12:00pm

This course is a historical survey of the centuries-old Christian traditions in Africa. It begins with an outline of the trajectory of Christianity’s origins and presence in Africa from its beginning in ancient Mediterranean lands through the early period of European missionaries to the contemporary period. The course provides the ethnography of the old mission churches, indigenous independent African churches, and contemporary evangelical and Pentecostal Charismatic movements. The course explores the role of Christianity in relation to historical, cultural, social, and material realities of the African continent. It examines a broad range of topical issues related to conversion, missionization, and the development and growth of Christian agencies in Africa in relation to the construction of social, theological, and religious identities, as well as Christianity’s response to cultural pluralism, nationhood, citizenship, and civil society.
Note: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 2337.

Half course

African and African American Studies 162. Indigenous Religious Traditions and Modernity: Seminar
Jacob Olupona

Thursday, 4:00pm – 6:00pm

This seminar explores historical, theoretical, methodological, and conceptual issues central to the study of indigenous religions of the world. It examines the critique of indigeneity and explores emerging topics about the role that religion plays in indigenous peoples’ lives, communities, and societies. Special topics will explore issues related to land, environment, conversion, health, the state, gender, aggression, violence, justice, and human rights. The seminar examines the interface of indigenous religions and modernity, colonial and postcolonial conditions, and local and global forces that shape the practices of indigenous traditions in various regions of the world.
Note: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3703.

Half course

African and African American Studies 196x. Contemporary Africa and Sustainable Development
Patrick Vinck

Thursday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm

How do we understand development in Africa? This introductory course explores the question of sustainable development through a number of methods and perspectives, such as education, health, governance, (post-)conflict, and human rights. The course will examine the challenges of development, understood as the interaction between economic, environmental, political, and social processes. Students will gain the tools needed to examine African contexts today, including policy choices and the use of indicators and comparative analysis.

Half course

African and African American Studies 209b. Africa Rising? New African Economies/Cultures and Their Global Implications
George Paul Meiu

Monday, 12:00pm – 1:30pm, 6:00pm – 7:30pm

In a story titled Africa Rising (2011), The Economist argued that the continent epitomizes both the “transformative promise of [capitalist ] growth and its bleakest dimensions. This workshop will explore Africa’s changing place in the world – and the new economies, legalities, socialities, and cultural forms that have arisen there. It will also interrogate the claim that the African present is a foreshadowing of processes beginning to occur elsewhere; that, therefore, it is a productive source of theory about current conditions world-wide. The workshop, open to faculty and students, will meet Mondays from 6:00-7:30. 15 students will be permitted to take it as a course; they will also meet on Mondays, 12:00-1:30. Grades will be based on participation and a term essay.

Half course

African and African American Studies 212. Entrepreneurship in Africa
Jacob Olupona

Tuesday, 10:00am – 12:00pm

This course is designed to help students develop an understanding of the socio-economic revolution in the emerging African market. The goal will be to inspire and equip budding social entrepreneurs with knowledge and skills specific to context, challenges and innovation in enterprises that advance the continent with strong social impact. Designed as a seminar course, and team taught by faculty from across the Harvard schools, each session will focus on a theme – Agriculture & Food, Energy, Healthcare and Education – that affect development across the African Continent. The course will explore the unique challenges and opportunities of launching and growing an enterprise in the African context. Students will examine conditions in North, West, East, Central and Southern Africa and study how the current environments – political, social, technological and economic – can impact entrepreneurs’ approach to growth, scalability and partnerships as they launch new businesses or social ventures. The course will explore questions such as how social entrepreneurship theory manifests in practice, how Africa’s challenges are identified and solutions developed, the evolving role of leadership, ethics, governments, and social sector development in Africa and how entrepreneurs can leverage their ideas to create systems and policy level social change in Africa. The course will meet weekly including a 1-hour weekly group section focused on a final project. Students will work in teams to produce a final project business plan for a social enterprise or a strategy paper that addresses a business and development need specific to a region in Africa. The course will be open for cross-registration to all Harvard graduate students, limited by capacity to undergraduate students.

Half course

BPH 322. Study of Epidemiologic and Biological Characteristics of HIV Viruses in Africa
Phyllis Kanki

TBD

This course seeks to examine the transmission, control, and evolution of the HIV Virus in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using an interdisciplinary focus as a framework, students will examine how biological and epidemiologic characteristics of the disease are developing and evolving within the African context.

Half course

Classical Studies 149. The Idea of Egypt in Greek Literature
Yvona K. Trnka-Amrhein

Tuesday and Thursday, 10am

To the Greek imagination, Egypt was a land of wealth, antiquity, and arcane knowledge. It was also a foreign and exotic world where everything was reversed. The contradictions and complexities of the Greek view of Egypt provide rich material for exploring the Hellenic response to foreign culture. This class will consider this material with particular attention to questions of how different ideas of Egypt developed and functioned in the Greek imagination, why this was so, and what this reveals about Greek culture and literature. It will explore texts from different genres and periods of Greek literature which present different views of Egypt. When possible, the historical and social situation, Greek material culture, and Egyptian evidence will be drawn in as important context. In studying these texts, we will especially consider how much their treatments of Egypt were conditioned by literary needs and/or how much they reflect real knowledge of Egyptian culture and history. By engaging with the theoretical literature on Greeks and the foreign, we will reevaluate the position of Egypt as an “other,” a mirror, or an object of fascination.

Half course

Culture and Belief 41. Gender, Islam, and Nation in the Middle East and North Africa
Afsaneh Najmabadi

Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 12pm

This course will focus on how concepts of woman and gender have defined meanings of religious and national communities in the Islamic Middle East and North Africa. It will survey changes in these concepts historically through reading a variety of sources—religious texts and commentaries, literary and political writings, books of advice, women’s writings, and films—and will look at how contemporary thinkers and activists ground themselves differently in this historical heritage to constitute contesting positions regarding gender and national politics today.
Note: This course fulfills the requirement that one of the eight General Education courses also engage substantially with Study of the Past.

Half course

Economics 1393. Poverty and Development
Nathan J. Nunn

Monday and Wednesday, 10:00am – 11: 30am

We will consider a number of important questions in the field of development economics: Why are some countries so rich and others so poor? What factors have determined which countries prosper? Which are the root causes and which are the proximate causes of economic underdevelopment? Can these factors be changed with specific economic policies? If so, what are they and how are they best implemented? Are there country-specific characteristics that determine economic fate? Or, is prosperity just the result of luck? Does the enjoyment of the rich somehow depend on the continuing suffering of the poor? We will consider these questions and more. The course is intended to not only provide a general overview of the dominant views about economic development and policy, but to also provide students a sense of the most recent research in the field. For this reason, the course will go beyond the usual textbook summary of the field. Students will also examine recent journal articles that have made important contributions to the field of development economics. In the course, a particular effort is made to link the theories and empirical evidence to the real world.
Note: Writing requirement: A research paper is required. This course meets the concentration writing requirement.
Prerequisite: Economics 1010a1, 1010a2, (or 1011a) and 1010b (or 1011b). It is recommended that students have taken Economics 1123 or equivalent.

Half course

Egyptian 300. Reading and Research in Egyptology
Peter Der Manuelian

TBD

Old Egyptian or Middle Egyptian Texts
Note: This course must be taken for letter grade.

Credits: Half course

Egyptian 150. Voices from the Nile: Ancient Egyptian Literature in Translation
Peter Der Manuelian

Monday and Wednesday, 11:00am

For Undergraduates and Graduates. Examines several literary genres, from the Pyramid Age through at least the New Kingdom (ca. 2500-1000 BCE), including royal decrees, autobiographies, the Pyramid Texts, legal documents, letters to the living (and dead), love stories and poetry, military texts, religious rituals, and tomb robber court trial transcripts. Special emphasis on classical tales of the Middle Kingdom (“The Shipwrecked Sailor,” “The Story of Sinuhe,” etc.). Lectures, class discussion; no prerequisites. Note: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 2131.

Half course

Freshman Seminar 25t. AIDS in Africa
Myron Essex

Monday, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

HIV/AIDS has infected or killed more than sixty million people, and no vaccine is expected within five to ten years. About two-thirds of current infections are in ten percent of the world’s population in sub-Saharan Africa, where few patients receive life-saving treatment. Explores dimensions of AIDS in Africa including the evolution and epidemiology of HIV, the pathobiology of AIDS, prevention of infection, and treatment of disease. Encourages multidisciplinary approaches, using country-specific illustrations of successful interventions.
Note: Open to Freshmen only.

Half course

Government 1197. The Political Economy of Africa
James Robinson and Robert H. Bates

Monday, Wednesday, 10:00am

The basic social science literature on Africa’s development. Particular emphasis on political economy.

Half course

Islamic Civilizations 172. Knowledge and Authority in Muslim Societies
Ousmane Oumar Kane

Friday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm

This seminar will investigate the ways in which the production of knowledge affects the construction of authority in the Islamic world. It will look at how various forms of religious knowledge are acquired, legitimated, transmitted and/or contested within Muslim communities. Several types of knowledge will be: exoteric knowledge based on the Koran and other Islamic sciences, mystical knowledge as developed by the Sufis, and talismanic knowledge. Ulama trained in the exoteric sciences derived their authority from the conventional knowledge of the Koran, and religious sciences. Sufi masters derived theirs from their purported ability to explain the hidden meanings of the Koran, to provide spiritual training and guide the disciple in the path toward spiritual fulfillment. Finally, the credibility of talisman makers rested largely on their ability to use religious texts for purposes such as healing and bringing luck. Of course, the boundaries between these figures of authority are not rigid and some of them may engage in the activities of the other. The first part of the seminar will focus on pre-colonial Muslim societies and the second part on the impact of Western hegemony on the transmission of knowledge and construction of authority in the postcolonial Islamic world. Seminar participants will compare and contrast historical and contemporary experiences of transmission of knowledge and production of authority in various parts of the World of Islam and investigate the historical linkages between these regions.
Note: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3370.

Half course

Islam in African History
Ousmane Oumar Kane

Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00pm

As of 2009 according to the Pew Charitable Trust Survey of the Global Muslim population, 241 million Muslims lived south of the Sahara. This is about 15 percent of the Muslim global population. The course is designed to provide an understanding of the spread of Islam and the formation and transformation of Muslim societies in Sub-Saharan Africa. The course is organized in two parts. The first part of the course will focus on the history of Islamization of Africa, and topics will include the ways in which Islam came to Africa, the relationships of Islam to trade, the growth of literacy in Arabic and Ajami, the rise of clerical classes and their contribution to State formation in the pre-colonial period. The second part of the course will address Muslim responses to European colonial domination, and the varieties of Islamic expressions in the post-independence period (rise of Islamist, Shiite and Salafi jihadi movements) and Muslim globalization. In addition to the lectures, the course will include film showing, and two discussion sections: one in English and one in Arabic.
Note: Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3365.

Half course

History 76c. Major Themes in World History: Colonialism, Imperialism, and Post-Colonialism
Hue-Tam Ho Tai

Wednesday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm

A general introduction to theories of imperialism, nationalism, and post-colonialism. Case studies to include Asia and Africa. Will combine the study of theory with examination of particular anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movements.

Half course

History 1701. West Africa from 1800 to the Present
Emmanuel K. Akyeampong

Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00am, and a weekly section to be arranged

The course explores the internal dynamics of West African states from 1800, and West Africa’s relations with the wider world. Innovations in science, technology and finance made the 19th century an era of social and economic opportunity and of political experimentation; a phase curtailed by European imperialism. The course examines African perspectives on colonialism, the two world wars, nationalism, and the transfer of political power. We will review post-colonial political economies and the search for workable political and economic models.

Half course

History 2708. Sources, Methodology, and Themes in African History: Seminar
Emmanuel K. Akyeampong

Wednesday, 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Seminar to equip graduate students with the necessary tools for archival research and fieldwork, as well as to introduce them to recent approaches in the historiography.
Prerequisite: A graduate field on Africa.

Half course

History 60l. The European Scramble for Africa: Origins and Debates
Steven Michael Press

Monday, 3:00pm – 5:00pm

This course examines why and how Europeans claimed control of roughly 70% of the African continent in the late nineteenth century. Students will engage with historiographical debates ranging from the national (e.g. British) to the topical (e.g. the role of international law). Equally important, students will interrogate some of the primary sources on which debaters have rested their arguments. Key discussions include: the British occupation of Egypt; the autonomy of French colonial policy; the mystery of Germany’s colonial entry; and, not least, the notorious Berlin Conference of 1884-1885.

Half course

The Modern Middle East 175r. Understanding Modern North Africa
William E. Granara

Monday, Wednesday, 12:00pm

An introduction to the history, politics, cultures, societies and economics of the modern Maghrib (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya). Emphasis on the formation of evolving post-colonial identities within Islamic, Arabo-Berber, African, and Mediterranean contexts. Note: Qualifies as a gateway course for secondary field in Modern Middle Eastern Studies.

Half course

Societies of the World 38. Pyramid Schemes: The Archaeological History of Ancient Egypt
Peter Der Manuelian

Monday, Wednesday, 11:00am, and a weekly section to be arranged

Surveys ancient Egyptian pharaonic civilization. Emphasizes Egyptian material culture: pyramids, temples, tombs, settlements, and artifacts. Explores major developmental themes that defined the Egyptian state: the geographical landscape, kingship, social stratification, and religion. Follows a chronological path with excursions into Egyptian art, history, politics, religion, literature, and language (hieroglyphs). Also touches on contemporary issues of object repatriation, archaeology and cultural nationalism, and the evolution of modern Egyptology. Includes field trips to the Egyptian collections of the Peabody Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, along with immersive 3D computer models in Harvard’s Visualization Center. No prior experience in Egyptology expected.
Note: This course fulfills the requirement that one of the eight General Education courses also engage substantially with Study of the Past.

Half course

 

Harvard Medical School

ME715.J: Clinical Topics in Global Health
Ranvir Singh Dhillon, Brett Dee Nelson

Tuesday and Thursday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm

There is a clear and pressing need for clinicians trained in the prevention and management of diseases found in developing countries. “Clinical Topics in Global Health” introduces students to the evidence-based knowledge and skills they will need to be effective clinicians in resource-limited settings. Ten evening sessions, led by Harvard faculty who practice clinically in developing countries in Africa, will orient students to the most important global health problems, explore each of these conditions with particular focus on clinical practice, and provide practical guidance for students interested in pursuing further training or careers in global health. Topics covered will include the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in developing countries, including malnutrition, malaria, diarrheal illness, perinatal disease, HIV/AIDS, TB, and chronic non-communicable diseases. The elective will explore key concepts relevant to the delivery of clinical services in resource-limited settings. The elective will also include discussion of clinical issues particularly relevant to populations affected by humanitarian crisis, including refugees, internally displaced persons, and orphans. Teaching methods will be tailored to each clinical topic and will include lectures, practical skills sessions, case discussions, and ongoing reinforcement of core material. Selected guest speakers will address current innovations in global health practice. Course Notes: Motivated students will have the option to complete a mentored scholarly project. To ensure course effectiveness, the submission of a course evaluation and completion of an online pre- and post-course knowledge assessment (not graded) are a requirement for this course. Enrollment is limited, and course director signature will be required. Interested students should submit a brief statement of interest (several paragraphs, not to exceed 500 words) to the course directors. Given the clinical nature of the course, enrollment preference will be given to students in their clinical years of training.

1 Credit

HT934.0 Introduction to Global Medicine: Bioscience, Technologies, Disparities, Strategies
Michael M. J. Fischer, Byron Joseph Good, Mary-Jo Delvecchio Good, David Shumway Jones

Thursday, 1:00pm – 3:00pm

This course is an exploration of basic themes in social medicine via a specific examination of issues in global medicine. The course takes as its challenge to understand new paradigms for global health that focus on providing complex medical services to treat complex health conditions (e.g. multi-drug resistant TB, HIV/AIDS, and mental health problems) in low resource settings. Special attention will be given to the development of new technologies or adapting existing technologies in ways that enable new solutions to global health problems, as well as overcoming barriers to translation of medical technologies for use in settings of great need. The course will address classic themes of social inequalities and health disparities, as well as such issues as patenting and the development and delivery of pharmaceuticals or other biotechnologies in international context. The course will include presentations by Harvard faculty involved in global health, basic or clinical research with a global reach, or medical humanitarian activities, as well as class discussion.
Cross listed w/HST.930 at MIT.

2 Credits

 

Harvard School of Public Health

GHP 552. Section 4: Leadership Development in Global Health: Health System Strengthening Towards Universal Health Coverage
Frank Nyonator

Wednesday, 3:30pm – 5:20pm

This course outlines the challenges for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa through the lens of Ghana. While households are often seen as the primary producers of health, governments are making efforts to move available health services closer to households within communities. Strengthening health systems is essential for ensuring progress toward universal health coverage (UHC). The course will highlight the experience of Ghana in ensuring equitable access to essential health services through community-based health planning and services (CHPS) and other initiatives, and in providing financial protection for the poor through the National Health Insurance Scheme. The sessions will focus on country-specific political, economic, social and historical context, which interacted to make these policy initiatives possible. The course will enhance the importance of securing financial sources and improving health systems management. Finally, challenges encountered and implications for other African countries will be shared.

1.25 Credits

 

Extension School

AAAS E-119 Chocolate, Culture, and the Politics of Food
Carla Martin

Wednesday, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

This course examines the socio-historical legacy of chocolate, with a delicious emphasis on the eating and appreciation of the so-called food of the gods. Interdisciplinary course readings introduce the history of cacao cultivation, the present day state of the global chocolate industry, the diverse cultural constructions surrounding chocolate, and the implications for chocolate’s future of scientific study, international politics, alternative trade models, and the food movement. Assignments address pressing real-world questions related to chocolate consumption, social justice, responsible development, honesty and the politics of representation in production and marketing, hierarchies of quality, and myths of purity.

4 Credits

HIST E-1915 Africa and Africans: The Making of a Continent in the Modern World
Caroline Elkins

Online only; required sections to be arranged

Understanding Africa as it exists today requires an understanding of the broader historical trends that have dominated the continent’s past. This course provides a historical context for understanding issues and problems as they exist in contemporary Africa. It offers an integrated interpretation of sub-Saharan African history from the middle of the nineteenth century and the dawn of formal colonial rule through the period of independence until the present time. Particular emphasis is given to the continent’s major historical themes during this period. Selected case studies are offered from throughout the continent to provide illustrative examples of the historical trends. The recorded lectures are from the 2012 Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences course Societies of the World 26.

4 Credits

ANTH E-1000 Pyramid Schemes: The Archaeological History of Ancient Egypt
Peter Der Manuelian

Online only; required sections to be arranged

This course is a survey of ancient Egyptian pharaonic civilization. It emphasizes Egyptian material culture: pyramids, temples, tombs, settlements and cities, art masterpieces, and objects of daily life. The course explores major development themes that defined the Egyptian state: the geographical landscape, kingship, social stratification, craftsmanship, and religion, including mortuary beliefs. Our chronological path includes excursions into Egyptian art, history, politics, religion, literature (hieroglyphs), and the evolution of modern Egyptology. The course also touches on contemporary issues of object repatriation, and archaeology and cultural nationalism. Local students may participate in field trips to the Egyptian collections of Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, along with immersive 3-D computer model viewing of the Giza Pyramids in Harvard’s Visualization Center. The recorded lectures are from the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences course Societies of the World 38.

4 Credits