Queen Mothers, Unruly Women: Histories of Gender and Sexuality in Africa|
Fall 2018 not offered
|Certificates: International Relations|
|Course Cluster: African Studies, African Studies Minor|
The 1929 Women's War is a touchstone for women's history in Africa. By 'sitting on a man' women in Nigeria shocked colonial authorities and demanded economic rights and a public voice. These unruly women danced in protest and rioted (sometimes nude), but their actions were not uncommon sights for their African audience. African women across the continent had long wielded power as queen mothers, prophets, and traders. Others challenged the constraints of ordinary domestic life through their labor, dress, or spirit possession.
Gender and contested authority are central to everyday life and politics in Africa. In this course, we will study the history of political and domestic authority on the continent with special consideration for the ways in which gender, sexuality, and power intersect. These histories are diverse both in time and place. For this reason, this course will not present a single narrative of gender in African history. However, students who satisfactorily complete the course will be able to write knowledgeably about the major debates surrounding gender and sexuality in Africa. Major themes include: spiritual authority; domestic and sexual life; the division of labor; and the impact of colonial rule and post-colonial politics. We will examine how women (and also men) have grappled with these intricate social and political relations from the pre-colonial period into the post-colonial era.
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|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AFST-MN)(CGST-MN)(FGSS)(HIST-MN)(HIST)