The New Scramble for Africa (Cross-listed with PLIR 3500-103)

Discipline: African-American and African Studies
Instructor: Johnson
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1550
End: 1705
Field Work: Day 1 - Wednesday, 25 March | South Africa Download Syllabus

The 19th century ‘scramble’ for Africa yielded raw materials essential to Europe’s industrialization and economic development but it plunged that continent into a period of colonial domination and general decline. Today’s, post independence, ‘new scramble’ for Africa stems from the continuing global thirst for its substantial natural resources. Will the 21st century see Africa better able to utilize its innate wealth to advance its own lagging development?

This course reviews prospects for ‘development’ on the African continent in light of big power competition, self-serving international economic interests and internal barriers. Major topics to be examined include: UN Millennium development goals; the global economic order; strategies for development; foreign aid and African debt; the emergence of China, India, Russia and Brazil as major actors; the continent’s oil and mineral wealth; ‘free trade’; ‘fair trade’; improving education and alleviating poverty; gender and human rights, domestic political obstacles and regional organizations. Special analytical attention will be given to Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana and Morocco.

Field Work

Country: South Africa
Day: 1 - Wednesday, 25 March

Segregated African townships and exploited migrant labor were two of the pillars of apartheid. This field lab takes students to one such township and uses their migrant labour museum to look back at the lives of workers under apartheid. However, this is 2015. South Africa is now a democracy. We will meet with youth who live in the township today. In the dialog/exchanges, we will gain insight into the lives of African workers under democracy. Academic Objectives: 1. Gain insight into labor exploitation under apartheid 2. Learn about township life today 3. Interact with local youth who never lived under apartheid