HIST 1590 History and Popular Culture in Africa

HIST 1590 History and Popular Culture in Africa (also ASRC 1590) (GB) (HST-AS) (HGS)

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 11:15-12:05

Professor Judith Byfield

This course uses a multidisciplinary approach to explore the complex relationship between history and popular culture in Africa. The course considers two main questions - How can you write history using popular culture? And how do artists use history to create popular culture? It uses examples from around the continent to explore old and new forms of popular culture; forms of cultural expression used by historians; as well as the ways in which artists use moments of great historical significance or key historical actors in their works. We consider, for example, the work of Leroy Vail who used songs by Mozambican peasants to write a social history of colonialism as well as films about colonialism by African film-makers such as the late Ousman Sembene.

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Cultural event in Africa
Photo by J. Byfield