Harvard University Africa-focused 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 2017

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

African & African American Studies 106X. Contemporary African Music: Global and Local

Ingrid Monson

Tuesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm

Examines contemporary African music with emphasis on the relationship between traditional and popular genres. Of particular interest are themes of music and social commentary, music and public health, music and political conflict, and music and youth empowerment. Case studies from Mali, Nigeria, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Africa will be featured.

Credits: 4

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African & African American Studies 11. Introduction to African Studies

Jacob Olupona

Thursday, 4:00pm-6:00pm

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.

Credits: 4

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African & African American Studies 137. Literature, Oratory, Popular Music and the Politics of Liberation

Biodun Jeyifo

Wednesday, 1:00pm-3:00pm

Against the historic background of the civil rights struggles in the United States and the decolonizing liberation struggles in Africa and the Caribbean, this course explores how utopian or emancipatory aspirations in diverse genres and media like literature, oratory, and popular music impact people of different racial groups, gendered identities and social classes. Among the authors, public intellectuals and performers whose works we will explore are Ralph Ellison and James Brown, Wole Soyinka and Fela Kuti, Derek Walcott and...

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African & African American Studies 140X. Film, Fiction and Diaspora

Biodun Jeyifo

Thursday, 1:00pm-3:00pm

This course will explore important works of film and fiction on the African diasporas in the Americas and the Caribbean. Since diaspora unfolds in waves that include both very old and very recent immigrant populations, we will explore both classic and contemporary films and novels with regard to this separation and connection between old and new diasporas. Moreover, our explorations will extend to diverse national and cultural spaces of the African diaspora – Hispanic, French/Creole and English. A special feature of the course...

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African & African American Studies 187. African Religions

Jacob Olupona

Tuesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm

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. Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3690.

Credits: 4

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African & African American Studies 20. Introduction to African Languages and Cultures

 

John Mugane

Monday, 11:00am-1:00pm

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.

Credits: 4

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African & 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 (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...

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African & African American Studies 97. Sophomore Tutorial: The Black Atlantic

Giovanna Micconi

Thursday, 5:00pm-7:00pm

This course uses the concept of the “Black Atlantic” as a way to explore key theoretical issues in African, African American, and Caribbean Studies. Interdisciplinary readings will examine the making and the construction of race through different perspectives and experiences. The course is structured in three parts. Part I deals with Critical Race Theory and the “Black Atlantic,” seen as a conceptual space as well as a physical space of history formation. Part II looks at Colonial and Postcolonial discourses on race and identity formation in diasporic and colonial settings. Part III explores “Contemporary Diasporas,” focusing on contemporary immigration from Africa to the United States as well as examples of return narratives to Africa and to the Caribbean. Assignments will include written work and archival research.

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African and African American Studies 209A. Africa Rising? New African Economies/Cultures and Their Global Implications

Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff

Monday, 12-1:30pm; 6:00pm-8:00pm

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.

Credits: 4

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Folklore and Mythology 156. On the Road: Traffic, Migrations, and Other Sorts of (Im)Mobilities

Ruth Goldstein

Monday, 2:00pm-4:00pm

The current global moment carries the mark of border-crossings and transgressions where not only people are on the move, but also ideas and images about them. The refugee, the migrant, and the terrorist - while itinerant figures of different orders - they all inspire particular narratives about what constitutes "human nature" and inhumane practices. This course explores the multiple meanings of mobility and stasis by examining the (dis)placement and circulation of people and things along with the (folk)tales that accompany "being...

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Freshman Seminar 37Y. Muslim Voices in Contemporary World Literatures

Ali S. Asani

Tuesday, 7:00pm-9:00pm

What do Muslims think of acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam, the mixing of religion with politics, the rights of women, the ``West''? This seminar investigates the viewpoints of prominent Muslim writers on these and other ``hot button'' issues as reflected in novels, short stories and poetry from different parts of the world. Explores a range of issues facing Muslim communities in various parts of the world by examining the impact of colonialism, nationalism, globalization and politicization of Islam on the search...

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Government 20. Foundations of Comparative Politics

Steven Levitsky

Tuesday and Thursday,  10:00am-11:00am

Provides an introduction to key concepts and theoretical approaches in comparative politics. Major themes include the causes of democratization, economic development, ethnic conflict, and social revolutions; as well as the role of the state, political institutions, and civil society. Examines and critically evaluates different theoretical approaches to politics including modernization, Marxist, cultural, institutionalist, and leadership-centered approaches. Compares cases from Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East and Latin America to provide students with grounding in the basic tools of comparative analysis.

Credits: 4

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Government 94LE. Liberalism and Empire

Cheryl Brown Welch

Thursday, 2:00pm-4:00pm

Can theories grounded in moral universalism and democratic principles legitimate imperial domination and intervention? Modern liberal political thought emerged in tandem with European expansion into the "new world" and then into Asia and Africa, generating both critics and supporters of imperialism. Focusing on the imperial impulse in Britain, France, and the United States, this seminar examines the conceptual connections between liberal democracy and empire in political thinkers from John Locke to Niall Ferguson.

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Government 94PI. Politics of Development in Africa

 

Pia Raffler

Wednesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm

This seminar is an introduction to the politics and political economy of development in modern Africa. Topics include the legacies of colonial rule, state formation, state failure and conflict, democratization and democratic erosion, corruption and political accountability, and the role of foreign aid. Readings draw from comparative politics, political economy, history, geography, and development economics. The course puts an emphasis on research design and evaluating causal claims.

Credits: 4

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History 1701. West Africa from 1800 to the Present

Emmanuel Akyeampong

Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00am-12:00pm

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.

Credits: 4

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History 97L. "What is Atlantic History?"

Mary Lewis

Wednesday, 1:00pm-4:00pm

We live in a world of intense exchange across borders and seas, yet most history is still taught from a national or regional perspective.  By studying inter-regional developments of societies around the Atlantic Ocean, we will examine how the histories of Europe, North America, Latin America and Africa are intertwined.  What methods have historians used to study the trade, migration, inter-imperial competition and revolutionary upheaval that together have helped create an “Atlantic World”?  Topics include trade in commodities and slaves, the Atlantic and Haitian Revolutions, and the ecological impact of exchange, among other themes.

Credits: 4

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History and Literature 90CU. Fashion and Slavery

Jonathan Square

Tuesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm

This course examines the politics of fashion among people of African descent during slavery and the period immediately followed emancipation. Fashion is generative, yet underutilized analytic to explore the experience of the enslaved and their descendants. Geographical breadth is crucial to examining the African Diaspora in its full complexity; therefore, course material will cover the United States, Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa. We will examine in particular the relationship between slave consumerism and the development of modern capitalism in the Atlantic World. Other topics of the course will include: sumptuary law, wealth accumulation among the enslaved and formally enslaved, honor and respectability politics, commodification of the enslaved, gendered sartorial expression, etc.

Credits: 4

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History and Literature 90CW. Great Migrations: Black Atlantic Travel Narratives

 

Marina Magloire

Monday, 3:00pm-5:00pm

The story of the African diaspora begins with, and continues to be shaped by, travel. If, as Angela Davis posits, the ability to travel was one of the most significant ways that “emancipation radically transformed personal lives” of formerly enslaved people, this seminar seeks to consider all of the ways that black people in the Americas exercised this newfound freedom in the twentieth century. This course begins with the narratives of enslaved Africans detailing their forced migration to the New World, and ends with the speculative black narratives of space travel and future utopias in which “walking while black” is no longer a crime. From the world travels of Harlem Renaissance intellectuals like Langston Hughes and Claude McKay, to the waves of decolonization that pushed black migrants to leave their homes in Africa and the Caribbean, this course explores the tensions between a fraught history of coerced migration and a tempting possibility of leisured wandering. Through autobiographies, novels, and poetry, we will map the global tides that pushed black people to travel the world as sailors, soldiers, nurses, dancers, students, and exiles.

Credits: 4

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Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations 179. Critical Perspectives on the Dynamics and Development of Islam in Africa

Ousmane Oumar Kane

Thursday, 12:00pm-2:00pm

An estimated 450 to 500 million Muslims live in Africa—close to a third of the global Muslim population. The overwhelming majority of them live in the northern half of the continent, above the equator. The spread of Islam increased the contact between the peoples of North Africa, the Sahara, and parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The course is designed to provide an understanding of the spread of Islam and the formation and transformation of Muslim societies in Africa. It is organized in two parts. The first part of the course...

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Religion 1802. Introduction to Islamic Mystical Traditions

Ali S. Asani

Tuesday, 1:00pm-3:00pm

This course offers an introductory survey of mystical traditions of Islam, popularly labelled as “Sufism.” It explores the fundamental concepts, practices, and institutions associated with these traditions, their historical development and their influence on the devotional, cultural and social lives of Muslim communities through the centuries. Through case studies drawn from the Middle East, South Asia, West Africa and North America, the course examines ways in which these traditions have developed and promoted alternative perspectives on what it means to be Muslim, challenging in recent times sectarian, legalistic and politicized understandings of Islam such as Wahhabi, Islamism and jihadism. The course assumes no prior knowledge of Islam. Offered jointly with the Divinity School as 3620.

Credits: 4

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Sociology 186. Refugees in Global Perspective

Danilo Mandic

Monday and Wednesday, 2:00pm-3:00pm

The recent influx of Middle Eastern refugees into Europe has caught citizens and policy-makers off guard. Yet such waves will continue to rock our globalized world in coming decades: massive movements of forced migrants will be “the new normal.” Why is the world producing so many refugees? How are they displaced? Where do they travel, and why? This course will inquire into the nature, causes and consequences of contemporary refugee waves in our globalized world. Students will survey regional dynamics in the Middle...

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Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality 1200FH. "Who Run the World?" Feminism in the Age of Empire

Durba Mitra

Monday, 3:00pm-5:00pm

This course explores the intimate relationship between colonialism, racism, and feminism from the eighteenth century until today. We will study the emergence of feminism across British imperial spaces, including America and Britain, India, and Sub-saharan Africa. The central problematic of the course is the concept of liberation. We will critically engage how the idea of “liberation” organizes global feminist thought: liberation from what, by whom, and to what end? Readings and assignments focus on primary historical sources...

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Harvard Divinity School

Harvard Divinity School 3354. Political Violence in the Name of God: Comparing Islam and Christianity

Jocelyne Cesari

Monday 12:00pm-2:00pm

Everywhere we witness greater tensions and confrontations between religions and the  secular principles of the international system. This course will address the following questions: Has secular nationalism failed? Why is religion seen as a legitimate alternative form of politics nationally and internationally? Is there a proclivity to violence from religious extremists? This course will assess the influence of religion on political violence at both the domestic and international level by looking at the theories of war in...

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Harvard Divinity School 3357. Critical Perspectives on the Dynamics and Development of Islam in Africa

Ousmane Oumar Kane

Thursday, 12:00pm-2:00pm

An estimated 450 to 500 million Muslims live in Africa—close to a third of the global Muslim population. The overwhelming majority of them lives in the northern half of the continent, above the equator. The spread of Islam increased the contact between the peoples of North Africa, the Sahara, and parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The course is designed to provide an understanding of the spread of Islam and the formation and transformation of Muslim societies in Africa. It is organized in two parts. The first part of the course...

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Harvard Divinity School 3620. Introduction to Islamic Mystical Traditions

Ali S. Asani

Tuesday, 1:00pm-3:00pm

This course offers an introductory survey of mystical traditions of Islam, popularly labelled as “Sufism.” It explores the fundamental concepts, practices, and institutions associated with these traditions, their historical development and their influence on the devotional, cultural and social lives of Muslim communities through the centuries. Through case studies drawn from the Middle East, South Asia, West Africa and North America, the course examines ways in which these traditions have developed and promoted alternative...

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Harvard Divinity School 3690. African Religions

Jacob Olupona

Tuesday, 2:00pm-4:00pm

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. Jointly offered as African and African American Studies 187.

Credits: 4

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Harvard Graduate School of Design

History and Theory 4369. Architecture, Urbanism and National Identity in Muslim Geographies

Sibel Bozdogan

Tuesday, 3:00-6:00

 

Commonly (and carelessly) used terms like “Islamic architecture” or “Islamic city” remain highly contentious because they designate monolithic, faith-based conceptualizations that fall short of reflecting the actual historical, cultural and geographic diversity of Muslim societies and built environments across the globe. Almost two centuries after the unleashing of initial reforms by local dynastic rulers and/or by European colonial powers (France and Britain in particular) to modernize local institutions, architectures and cities along European models, the states and peoples of this vast region (extending from Morocco to Indonesia) are still struggling to come to terms with a complex and contentious history of modernization and everything from borders to identities still seem to be in flux. After many experiments with modern architecture and urbanism in the 20th century, as well as various “national styles” and regionalist discourses proposed along the way, today the architectural and urban scene reflects the trans-national forces of global markets and neo-liberal urbanism on the one hand, and the rise of political Islam and the reassertion of Muslim identity on the other. At the same time, landscapes of war and destruction, zones of conflict, displacement of large populations and the increasing permanence of refugee camps have now emerged as new topics that seem poised to preoccupy design disciplines for many decades to come. 

Addressing the above from a trans-national and comparative perspective and following a loosely chronological structure spanning 19th and 20th centuries, this lecture/ discussion course looks at the role of architectural, urban and spatial practices in the making (and continuous re-negotiation) of modern national identities across predominantly Muslim lands extending from North Africa to the Asian Subcontinent. Avoiding the western/non-western binary, which privileges the “west” as the exclusive source of modern transformations in other parts of the world, it explores how imported discourses of modern architecture and urbanism are contested, selectively appropriated and transformed in the periphery, reflecting the complex internal dynamics and the specific national projects of these countries in their post-imperial and/or post-colonial encounters with modernity.  Thematic lectures will explore such topics as: legacies of colonial urbanism, the making of national capitals, grand projects of infrastructural modernization, politics of heritage, regionalist practices, urban informality, spaces of globalization, mosque construction and the architectures of conflict and displacement among others. Lectures will be complemented by more focused, in depth discussion of selected texts and projects to provoke a comparative understanding of the experiences of different countries, regions and experiments. A final research paper required.

Credits: 4

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Harvard Graduate School of Education

EDU A826. The Politics of Education in the Developing World

Emmerich Davies

Monday and Wednesday, 4:00pm-5:30pm

Have globalization and market-oriented reforms constrained or empowered domestic government efforts to provide broad-based education? How should developing country governments engage the private sector in the provision of education? What is the effect of political and administrative decentralization on parental participation and educational outcomes? This course will explore these and other questions as we try to understand the role that political institutions, elected leaders, civil society, and bureaucrats play in the provision of education across the developing world. We will ask who the key actors, interests, and incentives are in education politics through individual case studies across various countries in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and South and East Asia. By the end of the course we will have learned to identify the incentives of actors, their options, and how to best engage them in education policy making. The class will use a series of case studies, policy evaluations, and theoretical readings to explore these questions in the context of the politics of the developing world. The emphasis will be on real world examples and policies, and we will leave with a broader understanding of the incentives and constraints political actors face in the developing world.

Credits: 4

 

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Harvard Law School

Harvard Law School 2028. Comparative Constitutional Law

Lawrence Lessig (Fall '17) / Mark Tushnet (Spring '18)

Monday and Tuesday, 8:40am-10:10am (Fall '17) / Monday and Tuesday, 1:30pm-3:00pm (Spring '18)

This course will cover a series of topics arising in the comparative study of constitutional structure and law, with a focus on a comparison between mature and emerging regimes. The first category includes France, Germany, and the United States; the second includes Georgia, Hungary, South Africa, and Russia. It will take up questions of constitutional purpose, function, design, and doctrine, as well as the...

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Harvard Law School 2066. Law and Development in Africa

Ruth Okediji

Monday, 5:00pm-7:00pm

This seminar will explore the relationship between law and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with a particular emphasis on the role of trade, technology and governance institutions. It begins with a review of the discipline of law and development, focusing on its evolution and key contributions to the framing of African development discourse and to contemporary views of Africa's role in the world economy. Considerable time will be spent examining development policies and practice as managed through and by international governmental organizations (IGO's) and multilateral organizations. Finally, we will study the role of African regional organizations in emerging efforts to address development concerns in light of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. Key topics to be covered include corruption, gender, race and ethnicity, new technologies, agriculture and environment, trade and public health. Students will be expected to write a paper and/or work on a development related policy in a specific SSA country or region. A final presentation to the class is required.

Credits: 2

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Harvard Law School 2326. Making Rights Real: The Ghana Project

Lucie White

Wednesday, 7:00pm-9:00pm

This course is an academic workshop that wraps around and is concurrent with an on-going field-based clinical project in which students work with Ghanaian partners on economic and social rights realization on the ground. The course -- both the theoretical and practical dimensions -- are situated at the intersection of economic and social rights, development, and, human rights advocacy. Consult the clinical description for a more elaborate account of the partnership, the project's evolution, and the specific health rights which the 2018 partnership is likely to target.

The workshop, which awards 3 academic credits -- 1F/ 1W / 1S -- is designed to offer the theoretical frame for the 2017-18 theory/practice experience. Thus, the workshop will focus on Ghana in the context of its history, geography, religion and culture, socioeconomic profile, and development trajectory. It will also enable students to prepare for the interpersonal and cultural challenges of North/South lawyering partnerships. The fall and spring term workshop will include readings, group presentations, academic writing, and jointly produced background and follow-up documents anchored in the practical work . While in Ghana during the winter Term, the workshop will be centered on seminars, group discussions, consultations with public officials, and site visits that address the theoretical, doctrinal, policy, and sociocultural dimensions of their field-based engagements. There will also be time to visit Ghana's cultural sites and nature reserves.

Admission to the academic and clinical components is determined together, by permission of the instructor. Students should apply by submitting a two-page double spaced statement of interest and a one-page CV to the clinical office (clinical@law.harvard.edu) with a cc to Ellen Keng (ekeng@law.harvard.edu) by 5:00pm on August 25, 2017. Accepted candidates will be enrolled in the clinic and clinical course by the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs.

Credits: 3

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Harvard Law School 2947. Birthing a Constitution

Lawrence Lessig

Monday, 5:00pm-7:00pm

This seminar will explore the process of constitutional formation. We will consider the experience in a number of nations -- including the United States, Russia, Georgia, South Africa and Iceland -- and draw from those examples a sense of the constituent power, and its limits. Students will write short "idea papers" (no more than 2 pages) each week, and one final paper for the course.

Credits: 2

 

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Harvard Law School 8021. International Human Rights Clinic

Susan Farbstein and Tyler Giannini

Through the International Human Rights Clinic, students link theory with practice and learn core skills necessary to become effective and thoughtful human rights advocates. Students work on pressing and timely human rights problems around the world, in collaboration with leading international and local human rights organizations. Those in the Clinic have the opportunity to explore a range of approaches to advance the interests of clients and affected communities. For example, students interview survivors and document abuse; undertake legal,...

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Harvard Law School 8040. International Human Rights Clinic - Advanced

Susan Farbstein and Tyler Giannini

Through the International Human Rights Clinic - Advanced, students continue to explore theory and practice and to refine core skills necessary to become effective and thoughtful human rights advocates. Students again work on pressing and timely human rights problems around the world, in collaboration with leading international and local human rights organizations. Those in the Clinic have the opportunity to explore a range of approaches to advance the interests of clients and affected communities. For example, students interview survivors and...

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Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

GHP 212. Political Economy of Health Sector Reform

Thomas Bossert

Wednesday, 5:30pm-8:00pm

This seminar examines how the political economy context of health systems influences the outcomes or performance of those systems. The course begins with a review of several key theories/concepts in political economy and the strategic interactions of politics and economics in health systems. We examine concepts such as “path dependency” to help understand why some policies are difficult to change; how “political institutions” like the type of democracy or authoritarian government might influence the type of reforms...

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Global Health and Population 214. Health, Human Rights, and the International System

Stephen Marks

Tuesday, 3:45pm-7:00pm

This course is designed to provide an overview of the way international institutions deal with health and human rights issues. Focus will be on the responses of the United Nations system, including the World Health Organization (WHO), regional organizations, and non-state actors to some of the pressing issues of health from a human rights perspective. Issues to be explored include: mother-to-child transmission of HIV and ARV drug pricing in Africa; traditional practices, such as female genital cutting (FGC); forced...

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SPRING 2018

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

History 97L. "What is Atlantic History?"

Mary Lewis

Tuesday 1:00pm-4:00pm

We live in a world of intense exchange across borders and seas, yet most history is still taught from a national or regional perspective. By studying inter-regional developments of societies around the Atlantic Ocean, we will examine how the histories of Europe, North America, Latin America and Africa are intertwined. What methods have historians used to study the trade, migration, inter-imperial competition and revolutionary upheaval that together have helped create an “Atlantic World”? Topics include trade in commodities and slaves...

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Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding 43. Visual Culture of the Ottoman Empire Between East and West (15th-17th Centuries)

Gulru Necipoglu-Kafadar

Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00am-12:00pm

Examines the visual culture of the Ottoman Empire straddling three continents (Asia, Europe, Africa), together with cross-cultural artistic interactions with Western and Asian Islamic courts (Safavid Iran, Mughal India). Ottoman urbanism, architecture, miniature painting and decorative arts studied in their socio-political contexts that informed their production and reception. The selective fusion of Ottoman-Islamic, Byzantine and Italian Renaissance elements in the codification of a distinctive visual...

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African & African American Studies 189X. Medicine, Culture, and Society

Jean Comaroff

Time TBA

This course examines the changing place of medicine in the long history of modernity. Focusing on key moments - the birth of the clinic, the colonial frontier (where biomedicine met its therapeutic "others"), the consolidation of medicine as self-governing profession, the age of genomics and biocapital - it explores the distinctive role of medical knowledge in the making of modernist persons, identities, and social worlds. Readings are drawn from across the social sciences, with material from Africa, Europe, and North America. Part lecture,...

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African & African American Studies 190X. The Anthropology of Law: Perspectives from Africa and Elsewhere

John Comaroff

Time TBA

The course will cover (i) classical readings in the field, (ii) conceptual questions focusing on the often counter-intuitive theoretical insights to be gained from the non-Western legal systems, (iii) law and colonialism, (iv) liberalism, difference, and the law in the postcolonial world, and (v) the judicialization of politics around the globe. Throughout, attention will be given to the lessons to be learned from legal anthropology for interrogating the present moment in the global north. Grades will be based on class participation, course...

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African and African American Studies 209B. Africa Rising? New African Economies/Cultures and Their Global Implications

Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff

Monday, 12:00pm-1:30pm; 6:00pm-8:00pm

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, 6:00-8:00. 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.

Credits: 4

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African and African American Studies 212. Entrepreneurship in Africa

Jacob Olupona

Time TBA

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.

Credits: 4

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African and African American Studies 97. Sophomore Tutorial: The Black Atlantic

Giovanna Micconi

Wednesday, 5:00pm-7:00pm

This course uses the concept of the “Black Atlantic” as a way to explore key theoretical issues in African, African American, and Caribbean Studies. Interdisciplinary readings will examine the making and the construction of race through different perspectives and experiences. The course is structured in three parts. Part I deals with Critical Race Theory and the “Black Atlantic,” seen as a conceptual space as well as a physical space of history formation. Part II looks at Colonial and Postcolonial discourses on race and identity formation in diasporic and colonial settings. Part III explores “Contemporary Diasporas,” focusing on contemporary immigration from Africa to the United States as well as examples of return narratives to Africa and to the Caribbean. Assignments will include written work and archival research.

Credits: 4

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French 174. Mediterranean Crossings: Exiles, Migrants and Refugees

Verena Conley

Time TBA

The Mediterranean has long been the locus of a turbulent history and of vast population movements. This course will focus specifically on the period since the middle of the twentieth century, that is, since decolonization in North Africa and the Middle East. Civil wars, political strife and economic hardship push many into voluntary, forced or even metaphoric exile, lead to massive migrations and produce refugees in record numbers. This course will study some of these movements with a triple focus on exiles, migrants and refugees, as seen...

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Freshman Seminar 61O. Global Crime Fiction: Tackling Crime, Corruption, and Social Disintegration

Karen Thornber

Time TBA

Crime fiction is one of literature’s most popular genres, with hundreds of millions of fans across the globe. Both local and foreign crime fiction, the latter often in translation, flies off bookshelves from Boston to Barcelona to Beijing and beyond, regardless of whether the novel takes place in a small Swedish village or in multiple cosmopolitan megacities. Why is this? Part of it is in the storytelling. Who can resist a gripping whodunit with unexpected twists and turns and often with an appealing investigator or detective (professional or...

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Harvard Divinity School 2337. Christianity, Identity, and Civil Society in Africa

Jacob Olupona

Thursday, 4:00pm-6:00pm

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...

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Harvard Divinity School 3627. For the Love of God and His Prophet: Religion, Literature and the Arts in Muslim Cultures

Ali S. Asani

Tuesday and Thursday, 11:30am-1:00pm

The course surveys the literary and artistic dimensions of the devotional life of the world’s Muslim communities, focusing on the role of literature and the arts (poetry, music, architecture, calligraphy, etc.) as expressions of piety and socio-political critique. An important aim of the course is to explore the relationships between religion, literature, and the arts in a variety of historical and cultural contexts in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Europe, and America. Note: No prior knowledge of...

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History & Literature 90DC. Colonialism as Madness

Anouska Bhattacharyya

Time TBA

Why do we take the history of Euro-American psychiatry as the barometer against which we understand all other histories of madness? Is there a larger narrative of insanity that doesn’t use the Greenwich Meridian as the centre of the world? To give students the tools to answer these questions, this course uses underutilized literature from South Africa, the Pacific Islands, and South Asia as the roots of a new kind of canon. Students will grapple with the history of madness in three registers -- individual, community, and transnational...

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History 14E. The Cold War in the Global South

Mateo Jarquin

Monday, 2:00pm-4:00pm

In most of the world, the Cold War burned hot. This seminar explores how Soviet and American interventions, as well as their competing models of modernity and “development,” overlapped with local concerns to determine the fate of societies in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Simultaneously, we will analyze how the emergence of the so-called Third World – through decolonization and post-colonial revolutionary movements – challenged Western dominance in international politics. Eschewing the narrow, Moscow vs. Washington lens of Cold...

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History of Art & Architecture 171X. Architecture and Authoritarianism in the 20th Century

Patricio del Real

Wednesday, 1:00pm-3:00pm

In this proseminar, we will explore the topic of authority in architecture by analyzing authoritarian regimes and their architectural production in Europe, Africa and the Americas, as well as the material and intellectual connections between these geographies. By examining the techniques, sources and strategies through which architecture has established its authority, we will uncover the ways these have intersected the sphere of politics, government and national sovereignty in the 20th Century. A particular focus will be...

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History of Science 280. Science and New Technologies in South Asia, Latin America, and Africa

Gabriela Soto Laveaga

Tuesday, 6:00pm-8:00pm

This seminar uses examples from Latin America, South Asia, and Africa to explore key ideas in STS and history of science. Students will understand how concepts such as citizenship, race, class and poverty influence and reshape the practice of science on the ground. Co-taught with Professors Clapperton Mavhunga and Dwai Banerjee (MIT Program in Science, Technology, and Society); the class will meet at Harvard.

Credits: 4

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Human Evolutionary Biology 1540. Human Migration

Instructor TBA

Time TBA

The course will explore human migration at several scales, time depths and data sources, including the movement of humans out of Africa and the complex movements of the first farmers across Europe and the peopling of the Americas. We will investigate the impacts of climates and disease burden on human migrations, and discuss recent movements of people and the reasons for migratory behavior in humans. In addition, a personal migration story will be developed by the class.

Credits: 4

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Women, Gender & Sexuality 1441. The Sexual Life of Colonialism

Durba Mitra

Monday, 3:00pm-5:00pm

Sexuality has long shaped racial and civilizational assessments of what it means to be modern. We will investigate the role of colonialism in racial imaginations of gender and sexuality and how these histories shape contemporary understandings of queer politics, rights, and resistance around the world. We will explore histories of sexual control, colonial and racial difference, and marginal sexualities in colonial and postcolonial spaces, including West Asia, South Asia, and Sub-saharan Africa. The course will cover many forms of...

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Harvard Divinity School

Harvard Divinity School 2027. Women and Christian Missions in World History

Laura Prieto

12:00pm-2:00pm

This course will study the place of women and gender in Christian missionary efforts from the 17th century to the 20th century. It will focus especially on how the gendered discourse of “civilization” and “savagery” accompanied Christian evangelism in the Americas, Africa, the Near East, and Asia, and how multiple ideologies shaped and were shaped by interactions between Euro-American women missionaries and potential converts. It will consider how Christian missions related to nationalism, imperialism, and anti-colonialism, and to...

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Harvard Divinity School 2337. Christianity, Identity, and Civil Society in Africa

Jacob Olupona

Thursday, 4:00pm-6:00pm

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...

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Harvard Divinity School 3627. For the Love of God and His Prophet: Religion, Literature and the Arts in Muslim Cultures

Ali S. Asani

Tuesday and Thursday, 11:30am-1:00pm

The course surveys the literary and artistic dimensions of the devotional life of the world’s Muslim communities, focusing on the role of literature and the arts (poetry, music, architecture, calligraphy, etc.) as expressions of piety and socio-political critique. An important aim of the course is to explore the relationships between religion, literature, and the arts in a variety of historical and cultural contexts in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Europe, and America. Note: No prior knowledge of...

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Harvard Law School

African & African American Studies 190X. The Anthropology of Law: Perspectives from Africa and Elsewhere

John Comaroff

Time TBA

The course will cover (i) classical readings in the field, (ii) conceptual questions focusing on the often counter-intuitive theoretical insights to be gained from the non-Western legal systems, (iii) law and colonialism, (iv) liberalism, difference, and the law in the postcolonial world, and (v) the judicialization of politics around the globe. Throughout, attention will be given to the lessons to be learned from legal anthropology for interrogating the present moment in the global north. Grades will be based on class participation, course...

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Harvard Law School 2028. Comparative Constitutional Law

Lawrence Lessig (Fall '17) / Mark Tushnet (Spring '18)

Monday and Tuesday, 8:40am-10:10am (Fall '17) / Monday and Tuesday, 1:30pm-3:00pm (Spring '18)

This course will cover a series of topics arising in the comparative study of constitutional structure and law, with a focus on a comparison between mature and emerging regimes. The first category includes France, Germany, and the United States; the second includes Georgia, Hungary, South Africa, and Russia. It will take up questions of constitutional purpose, function, design, and doctrine, as well as the...

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Harvard Law School 2326. Making Rights Real: The Ghana Project

Lucie White

Wednesday, 7:00pm-9:00pm

This course is an academic workshop that wraps around and is concurrent with an on-going field-based clinical project in which students work with Ghanaian partners on economic and social rights realization on the ground. The course -- both the theoretical and practical dimensions -- are situated at the intersection of economic and social rights, development, and, human rights advocacy. Consult the clinical description for a more elaborate account of the partnership, the project's evolution, and the specific health rights which the 2018 partnership is likely to target.

The workshop, which awards 3 academic credits -- 1F/ 1W / 1S -- is designed to offer the theoretical frame for the 2017-18 theory/practice experience. Thus, the workshop will focus on Ghana in the context of its history, geography, religion and culture, socioeconomic profile, and development trajectory. It will also enable students to prepare for the interpersonal and cultural challenges of North/South lawyering partnerships. The fall and spring term workshop will include readings, group presentations, academic writing, and jointly produced background and follow-up documents anchored in the practical work . While in Ghana during the winter Term, the workshop will be centered on seminars, group discussions, consultations with public officials, and site visits that address the theoretical, doctrinal, policy, and sociocultural dimensions of their field-based engagements. There will also be time to visit Ghana's cultural sites and nature reserves.

Admission to the academic and clinical components is determined together, by permission of the instructor. Students should apply by submitting a two-page double spaced statement of interest and a one-page CV to the clinical office (clinical@law.harvard.edu) with a cc to Ellen Keng (ekeng@law.harvard.edu) by 5:00pm on August 25, 2017. Accepted candidates will be enrolled in the clinic and clinical course by the Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs.

Credits: 3

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Harvard Law School 2421. International Counter-Terrorism Law

Ben Saul

Thursday and Friday, 10:00am-11:30am

This course explores the development of international counter-terrorism laws before and after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, from the definition and criminalization of terrorism to military responses in the ‘war on terror’. The course provides a critical overview of the key frameworks, including in international criminal law, the law of war, human rights, refugee law, and the law on the use of military force and self-defence. It explores often heated interpretive debates, claims about the inadequacy of...

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Harvard Law School 2650. Engaging China

Alonzo Emery

Monday, 7:00pm-9:00pm

This course focuses on the role of lawyers in shaping relations between China and the United States. Students will consider theoretical approaches to international negotiation, while also participating in more experiential, interactive exercises that include case studies and simulations.  The intention is to hold several joint sessions through video conference with students and faculty at Renmin University of China Law School in Beijing who will join us periodically to discuss the reading and participate in negotiation...

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Harvard Law School 8021. International Human Rights Clinic

Susan Farbstein and Tyler Giannini

Through the International Human Rights Clinic, students link theory with practice and learn core skills necessary to become effective and thoughtful human rights advocates. Students work on pressing and timely human rights problems around the world, in collaboration with leading international and local human rights organizations. Those in the Clinic have the opportunity to explore a range of approaches to advance the interests of clients and affected communities. For example, students interview survivors and document abuse; undertake legal,...

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Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Global Health & Population 214. Health, Human Rights, and the International System

Stephen Marks

Tuesday, 3:45pm-7:00pm

This course is designed to provide an overview of the way international institutions deal with health and human rights issues. Focus will be on the responses of the United Nations system, including the World Health Organization (WHO), regional organizations, and non-state actors to some of the pressing issues of health from a human rights perspective. Issues to be explored include: mother-to-child transmission of HIV and ARV drug pricing in Africa; traditional practices, such as female genital cutting (FGC); forced sterilization...

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