African Studies

The African Studies Program offers interdisciplinary courses leading to a Minor or Major Concentration for students seeking to acquire a deeper understanding of the African continent and its diverse peoples. Established in 1969, it was the first of its kind in Canada. Students will acquire an appreciation of the contributions of Africa to world culture and civilization, and an awareness of the continent's current struggle to achieve development.

Program options

Major

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) - Major Concentration African Studies (36 Credits)

Minor

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) - Minor Concentration African Studies (18 Credits)

Joint Honours

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) - Joint Honours African Studies Component (36 Credits)

Courses

AFRI 200
Introduction to African Studies

AFRI 200 is a required course for the AFRI Major Concentration and Minor Concentration programs.

The African experience and current approaches to African studies, through adopting multidisciplinary perspectives on topics that include political conflict, governance and democratization, environment and conservation, economic development, rural life and urbanism, health and illness, gender, social change, popular culture, literature, film, and the arts.

Fall 2012 Syllabus

AFRI 401
Swahili Language and Culture

AFRI 401 is an optional Complimentary course for the AFRI Major Concentration and Minor Concentration programs.

Basic knowledge of the Swahili language and culture with emphasis on handling circumstances that might be encountered in field research: everyday conversation, developing aural and oral skills and mastering basic grammar rules, understanding cultural norms and practices, issues of culture sensitivity and appropriateness.

Note: Priority to students in the African Studies program and/or participants of the Canadian Field Studies in Africa program and to students with a demonstrable need related to internship or research. Approval by African Studies Program Adviser required.

AFRI 480
Honours Thesis

AFRI 480 is an optional Complimentary course for the AFRI Major Concentration and Minor Concentration programs.

Supervised reading, research and preparation of an undergraduate thesis under the direction of a staff member.

Prerequisite: the completion of all available courses relevant to the topic, and permission of the instructor and Program Adviser prior to registration.

AFRI 480/481 Approval Form

Grades

Grades are due one week after end of classes and will be submitted on Minerva by the thesis supervisor. If there are any issues with submitting the grade please contact the ISID Student Affairs office at (514) 398-4804.

AFRI 481
Special Topics 1

AFRI 481 is an optional Complimentary course for the AFRI Major Concentration and Minor Concentration programs.

Supervised reading in advanced special topics in African Studies under the direction of a member of staff.

Prerequisite: the completion of all available courses relevant to the topic, and permission of the instructor and Program Adviser prior to registration.

AFRI 480/481 Approval Form

Grades

Grades are due one week after end of classes and will be submitted on Minerva by the thesis supervisor. If there are any issues with submitting the grade please contact the ISID Student Affairs office at (514) 398-4804.

AFRI 499
Arts Internship: African Studies

The AFRI 499 African Studies Intership is an optional complimentary course within the African Studies Major Concentration and Minor Concentration programs.

Students who have attained an Internship through the Internships Office are eligible to take the AFRI 499 Internship course.

The following form must be submitted to the ISID office for approval:

AFRI 499/INTD 499 Application Form

Eligibility Requirements

The Arts Internship is only open to U2 and U3 students in good standing, normally after completing 30 credits of a 90 credit program or 45 credits of a 96 to 120 credit program. A minimum CGPA of 2.7 and permission from the departmental Internship Adviser are required. This course will normally not fulfill program requirements for seminar or 400-level courses.

Purpose

The Arts Internship course will provide a vehicle for allowing students who pursue approved internships to gain up to 3 credits towards their degrees. With a university grant, the Faculty of Arts has helped develop departmental data bases listing internship opportunities to be made available on departmental websites, has encouraged the forging of specific internship agreements, and is pursuing fund raising to help finance student internships. Students from each department will be directed to approved internships or will bring other internship opportunities to departmental advisers for approval.

Arts Internships allow students in the Faculty of Arts to gain experience in areas relevant to their fields of study. Arts internships involve a minimum of 150 hours of work in a host institution approved by the student's home department or program.

Work to be Completed

Students must submit the following documentation:

  1. Summary of internship activities with a description of the host institution (maximum 5 pages).
  2. A letter from the supervisor at the institution attesting to successful completion of the student's tenure.
  3. A major topical paper that discusses an aspect of the internship from an academic perspective (maximum 20 pages).

Approval Procedure

The Arts Internship requires approval by the AFRI Program Director. The completed Internship Form must be submitted before the beginning of the internship to the ISID office. The ISID Office will keep a record of approved projects but will leave the responsibility for follow-up and completion with the student and the supervisor. Any changes to topic and/or supervisor must be communicated to a AFRI Program Adviser. Please note that students usually register for AFRI 499, , the term following completion of the internship.

Human Subject Research

Course-based research projects that require students to conduct human subject research must receive ethics review and approval. These projects differ from research in that the intent is for the student to become more knowledgeable about the research process, rather than to contribute to generalizable knowledge. The results of the data are not intended for publication or presentation outside the classroom. The review of these applications may be delegated to the Research Ethics Board (REB) departmental representative and do not normally have to go to the regular REB. This review may not be used for projects carried out as part of a faculty member’s own research. Course projects that involve more than minimal risk, or involve minors or other vulnerable populations, must be reviewed by the REB.

To view the "Policy on the Ethical Conduct of Research Involving Human Subjects" and to complete the necessary paperwork please visit the Research Ethics Board Website.

Please note, no research project, including student research may begin before approval has been obtained from the REB. No research project will be granted retroactive approval.

Submission Deadline and Grades

The deadline for submission of term work (i.e., the final paper is submitted to your supervisor for evaluation) is the last day of classes of the term in which you are registered for the course. This is a Faculty of Arts regulation.

Fall 2014: Due date for final paper is December 4, 2014

Winter 2015: Due date for final paper is April 14, 2015

Grades are due one week after end of classes and will be submitted by the project supervisor on Minerva. If there are any problems regarding the grade submission, please contact the ISID office at (514) 398-4804.

AFRI 598
Research Seminar in African Studies

AFRI 598 is a required course for the AFRI Major Concentration and Minor Concentration programs.

An interdisciplinary research seminar on topics of common interest to staff and students of the African Studies Program. As part of their contribution, students will prepare a research paper under the supervision of one or more members of staff.

Course outlines:

People

Program committee

Program Chair

Professor Khalid Medani
Associate Professor (Department of Political Science and Institute of Islamic Studies)
PhD (University of California, Berkeley)

Program Committee

Professor Gwyn Campbell
Professor (Department of History and Classical Studies)
PhD (Wales)

Professor Colin Chapman
Professor (Department of Anthropology and McGill School of Environment)
PhD (University of Alberta)

Professor Elizabeth Elbourne
Associate Professor (History and Classical Studies)
D Phil (Oxford)

Professor Jan Jorgensen
Associate Professor (Desautels Faculty of Management)
PhD (McGill)

Professor Monica Popescu
Associate Professor (Department of English)
PhD (University of Pennsylvania)

Professor Jon Soske
Assistant Professor (Department of History and Classical Studies)
PhD (Toronto)

Professor Jon Unruh
Associate Professor (Department of Geography)
PhD (University of Arizona)

Liaison librarian

Sharon Rankin

Liaison Librarian for African Studies
Humanities and Social Sciences Library
McLennan-Redpath Library Complex
Tel: (514) 398-6657
Email: sharon.rankin [at] mcgill.ca

Student association

The African Studies Student's Association (ASSA) of McGill represents the students of the African Studies Program. ASSA has three primary goals:

  1. To support and represent the students to the African Studies Program by voicing concerns with the program and posing suggestions for improvement.
  2. To provide social networking on campus for African Studies students and any others interested in African affairs.
  3. To engage the campus in insightful and interactive discussions on African affairs by organizing events in the form of: panel discussions, conferences, movie screenings and more!

Please assa.mcgill [at] gmail.com (email us) and visit our Facebook Page for more information.