HIST 480
Media and Society in Africa Fall 2021
Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed HIST 480 / GBST 480 / AFR 381

Class Details

The Media have long played important roles in African societies. As early as the second half of the 19th century, African intellectuals were using print technology to address the people. As radio technology was in its infancy during the first half of the twentieth century, Africans were gathering around re-diffusion stations and later around single receivers to listen to news and entertainment programing. In this tutorial, we will examine these histories of media and media technologies on the continent. Ultimately, we will explore the roles that media played in serving particular community needs and how communities also adapted new media technologies to fit local conditions. Media content has historically been determined based on standards beyond viewers’, readers’ and listeners’ control. We will examine the influences that editors and political leaders on the continent have exerted on content as well as what forces they responded to. We will also further explore the media’s role in major events on the continent, from governmental changes to the ending of apartheid in South Africa and the role that media have played in areas of conflict.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1677
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Students will be evaluated based on a series of 5-7-page tutorial response papers and 2-page critiques, as well as preparedness for and performance in weekly tutorial discussions.
Prerequisites: This course open to all students
Enrollment Preferences: Preference will be given to history majors and students with prior experience with African history. If the course is over-enrolled, students may be asked to complete a questionnaire to determine enrollment
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 480 Division II GBST 480 Division II AFR 381 Division II
WS Notes: Students will alternate weekly between writing 5-7-page tutorial papers and 2-page critiques of their peers' writing. Formal writing assignments throughout the semester will total at least 40 pages. Students will receive regular feedback and critiques- both oral and written - from the professor, as well as oral critiques from tutorial partners.
DPE Notes: Modern media developed in Africa as means of control and cultivating dutiful colonial subjects. However, media then emerged as sites of contestation and even tools with which colonial subjects challenged colonial rule. They have continued to be revealing sites for issues of gender, race, class, and ethnicity. As such, this course immensely explores diversity, power and equity and how these all-important societal concerns are expressed through the media in Africa.

Class Grid

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