Reading Groups

On the Move: Migration in Africa (Winter 2011)
Stories of Africans drowning as they try to migrant to Europe from Africa in feeble boats and of refugees fleeing violent conflict and political persecution appear regularly in the American media. This reading group aims to explore the movement of Africans in historical and contemporary contexts through readings from the fields of Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Comparative Literature.

The City in Africa (Spring 2010)
As the city increasingly becomes the scene of political, social, and economic life across Africa, this reading group seeks to survey some of the literature from a variety of disciplines on themes such as architecture, aesthetics, informal economies, livelihoods, youth, sex, style, violence, security, migrations, and movement.

African State Formations (Winter 2010)
Since independence, the state has had a a complex and controversial status in the literature on African politics.  Described as failed, weak, ‘of the belly’, extroverted, multiple, (neo)colonial, criminal – and sometimes all of these at once – defining the state has become a polemical and fraught terrain in African studies.  The aim of this reading group is to survey some of the classic treatments of the African state, asking how they theorize the history and formation of the state, the relation between the state and the market, the place of violence in state formations, the boundaries and borders of states, the politics of informality, and the potential of the state in Africa.


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