Course Number

CORE 189/ALST 201

Course Title

Introduction to African Studies

Course Date

Fall 2013

Course Level


Professor or Professors' Departmental/Program Affiliation

Mary Moran, Sociology & Anthropology, Africana & Latin American Studies

Document Type



Africana and Latin American Studies, Core Curriculum


This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of Africa and to the African Studies major and minor at Colgate. The goal is to introduce students to a major world area with which many, even highly educated, Westerners are unfamiliar. Africa is the original home of the human species, and the intellectual contributions of the continent and its people to the concept of a common humanity are tremendous, including agricultural and industrial technologies, artistic and aesthetic principles, and religious and philosophical ideas. However, due to early patterns of globalization and European colonization in the western hemisphere, the Atlantic slave trade, and ultimately colonialism on the continent itself, Africa was configured as “the Dark Continent” in European discourses of the 19th century. Today, most Americans picture Africa as a place of poverty, famine, war, disease, and political instability. This course strives for a more balanced and nuanced view of the continent as a whole.


The syllabus may not be applicable to the current semester. Be sure to verify content with the professor(s) listed in the document.