UCL African Studies Research Centre


CMII0002 - Debating Africa’s Future

Value: 15 credits
Tutor: Professor Kevin MacDonald, Dr Hélène Neveu Kringelbach, and various guest lecturers
Assessment: 1 x 2,000 word essay; 1 x 2 hour written examination


This second element of the African Studies core course engages students with the challenges of Africa’s present and the opportunities which exist for both major economic growth and effective social cohesion in the continent’s future. The course will embrace multi-vocal perspectives and encourage debate across a range of topical themes. Case studies will range across the continent and be examined via inter-disciplinary approaches featuring history, archaeology, anthropology, geography, global health and development studies.

Lectures will be delivered in pairs, with two lecturers presenting contrasting disciplinary and temporal perspectives. A seminar guided by the same presenters will follow each lecture allowing open discussion of the issues raised. Together with the first core course, Africa: Dialogues of Past and Present, this module will frame key debates and develop a broad knowledge-base from which to explore UCLs three African Studies pathways.

Course outline:

  1. Globalisation and development
  2. Economic futures
  3. Governance
  4. Population growth and demography
  5. Disease and health infrastructure
  6. The body, gender and sexuality
  7. Migration and diaspora
  8. Conflict
  9. Heritage and tourism
  10. Aspiration and African futures

Key texts:

  • Aggleton, P., Boyce, P., Moore, H.L.M. and Parker, R. (eds). 2012. Understanding global sexualities: new frontiers. Abingdon, Routledge.
  • Alden, C., Large, D., and De Oliveira, R. S. 2008. China returns to Africa: A rising power and a continent embrace. New York, Columbia University Press.
  • Amoah, L.G.A. (ed) 2014. Impacts of the knowledge society on economic and social growth in Africa. Hershey, IGI Global.
  • Anderson, D. and Cheesman, N. 2012. Routledge Handbook of African Politics. London, Routledge.
  • Barnett, T. and Whiteside, A. 2006. AIDS in the Twenty-First Century: Disease and Globalization. Basingstoke, Palgrave.
  • Bayart, J-F. 2010. The State in Africa: The Politics of the Belly. 2nd edition. Cambridge, Polity.
  • Becker, F. and Geissler, P.W. (eds). 2009. Aids and religious practice in Africa. Leiden, Brill.
  • Beckwith, C. and Fisher, A. 2012. Painted Bodies: African Body Painting, Tatoos and Scarification. Rizzoli International.
  • Berman, B., Dickson, E. and Will Kymlicka, W. (eds.), 2004. Ethnicity and Democracy in Africa. Oxford, James Currey.
  • Brautigam, D. 2009. The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Carmody,P. 2013. The Rise of the BRICS in Africa: The Geo-politics of South-South Relations. Zed Books.
  • Chabal, P. & J.-P. Daloz. 1999. Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument. Oxford: James Currey/ Bloomington, Indiana University Press.
  • Charton-Bigot, H. and Rodriguez-Torres, D. (eds). 2006. Nairobi Today: The Paradox of a fragmented city. Nairobi, IFRA.
  • Clapham, C. 1998. African Guerrillas. Oxford, James Currey.
  • Clarke, D, 2010. Africa, Crude Continent: the struggle for Africa’s oil prize. London, Profile books.
  • Coombes, A. E., Hughes, L. and Karega-Munene (eds) 2014. Managing Heritage, Making Peace: History, Identity and Memory in Contemporary Kenya. London, IB Tauris
  • De Jong, F. and Rowlands, M. 2008. Reclaiming Heritage: Alternative Imaginaries of Memory in West Africa. Walnut Creek, Left Coast Press.
  • Digby, A. 2006. Diversity and Division in Medicine: Health Care in South Africa from the 1800s. Bern, Peter Lang.
  • Diouf, S.A. and H. Dodson 2001. In Motion: The African American Migration Experience. New York, National Geographic.
  • Doyle, S. 2006. Crisis and Decline in Bunyoro: Population & Environment in Western Uganda 1860-1955. Oxford, James Currey.
  • Ellis, S. 1999. The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and the Religious Dimension of an African Civil War. London, Hurst.
  • Ferguson, J. 2006. Global Shadows: Africa in the neoliberal World Order. Durham and London, Duke University Press.
  • Finneran, N. 2005. Safeguarding Africa’s Archaeological Past, International Series 1454, Oxford, BAR.
  • Fontein, J. 2006. The silence of Great Zimbabwe: Contested landscapes and the power of heritage. Walnut Creek, Left Coast.
  • Foster, V. and Briceño-Garmendia, C. 2010. Africa’s Infrastructure: A time for transformation. Washington, World Bank.
  • Gberie, L. 2006. A Dirty War in West Africa; The RUF and the Destruction of Sierra Leone. London, Hurst.
  • Giles-Vernick, T and Webb J.L.A. 2013. Global Health in Africa: Historical Perspectives on Disease Control. Ohio University Press.
  • Gomez, Michael A. 1998 Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South. Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina Press.
  • Hall, G.M. 2005. Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press.
  • Harrison, G. 2004. The World Bank and Africa: the Construction of Governance States. London & New York, Routledge.
  • Harrison, G. 2010. Neoliberal Africa: The Impact of Global Social Engineering. London & New York, Zed Books.
  • Heald, S. 1999. Manhood and Morality: Sex, Violence and Ritual in Gisu Society. London, Routledge.
  • Herbst, J. 2000. States and Power in Africa: Comparative Lessons in Authority and Control. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • Hernlund, Y. and Shell-Duncan, B. 2007. Transcultural Bodies: Female Genital Cutting in Global Context. Rutgers.
  • Hodgson, D.L. 2001. Once Intrepid Warriors: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Cultural Politics of Maasai development. Bloomington, Indiana University Press.
  • Jamison, D.T. et al. (eds). 2006 [2nd edition]. Disease and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Washington, World Bank.
  • Jamison, D.T. et al. (eds). 2006 [2nd edition]. Disease and Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. Washington, World Bank.
  • Jennings, M. 2007. Surrogates of the State: NGOs, Development and Ujamaa in Tanzania. Bloomfield, CT, Kumarian Press.
  • Kalipeni, Ezekiel et al. (eds.). 2004. HIV & AIDS in Africa: Beyond Epidemiology. OUP, Oxford.
  • Kane, A. and T.H. Leedy (eds.) 2013. African Migrations: Patterns and Perspectives. Bloomington, Indiana University Press.
  • Mabweazara, H.M., Mudhai, O.F. and Whittaker, J. (eds). 2014. Online Journalism in Africa: Trends, Practices and Emerging Cultures. London, Routledge.
  • Mann, G. 2015. From Empires to NGOs in the West African Sahel: The Road to Nongovernmentality. Cambridge, Cambridge UP.
  • McGovern, M. 2006. Making War in Cote d’Ivoire. London, Hurst.
  • Meskell, L. 2011. The nature of heritage: the new South Africa. London, John Wiley & Sons.
  • Moore, H. L. 2013. Still life: hopes, desires and satisfactions. London, John Wiley & Sons.
  • Moore, H.L.M. 1986. Space, text and gender: an anthropological study of the Marakwet of Kenya. Guilford Press.
  • Morrissey, O ad Zgovu, E. 2011. The Impact of China and India on sub-Saharan Africa. London, Commonwealth Secretariat.
  • Ncube, M. and Lufumpa, C.L. (ed) 2015. The Emerging Middle Class in Africa. Abingdon, Routledge.
  • Newell, S. 2002. Readings in African Popular Fiction. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Noman, A., Botchwey, K., Stein, H., & Stiglitz, J. (eds). 2012. Good Growth & Governance in Africa. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Odimegwu, C.O. and Kekovole, J. (eds). 2014. Continuity and Change in Sub-Saharan African Demography. Abingdon, Routledge.
  • Okonta, I. & O. Douglas. 2002. Where Vultures Feast: Shell, Human Rights and Oil in the Niger Delta: San Francisco, Sierra Club.
  • Padayachee, V. (ed) 2010. The Political economy of Africa. London, Routledge.
  • Peterson, D., Gavua, K. and Rassool, C. 2015. The Politics of Heritage in Africa: Economies, histories and infrastructures. New York, Cambridge University Press.
  • Prince, R.J. and Marsland, R. (eds). 2014. Making and Unmaking Public Health in Africa: Ethnographic and Historical Perspectives. Cambridge Centre of African Studies, Ohio University Press.
  • Prunier, G. 2011. Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a continental catastrophe. Oxford, OUP.
  • Reno, W. 1998. Warlord Politics and African States. Boulder, Co, Lynne Rienner.
  • Reno, W. 2011. Warfare in Independent Africa, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • Richards, A. 2004 [1956]. Chisungu: A Girl's Initiation Ceremony Among the Bemba of Zambia. New York, Routledge.
  • Richards, P. 1996. Fighting for the rain forest: war, youth & resources in Sierra Leone. Oxford, James Currey.
  • Rodney, W. 2012. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Cape Town, Pambazuka Press.
  • Schmidt , P.R. and R.J. McIntosh (eds.) 1996. Plundering Africa’s Past. Bloomington, Indiana University Press.
  • Schramm, K. 2010. African Homecoming: Pan-African Ideology and the Politics of Heritage. Walnut Creek, Left Coast Press.
  • Sillitoe, P. (ed) 2007. Local science versus global science: approaches to indigenous knowledge in international development. Oxford, Berghahn.
  • Smith, M. 2015. Boko Haram: Inside Nigeria’s Holy War. London, I.B. Tauris.
  • Stevenson, R.F. 1968. Population and Political Systems in Africa: comparative Lessons in Authority and Control. New York, Columbia.
  • Teller, C. and Hailemariam, A. (eds) 2011. The demographic transition and development in Africa: the unique case of Ethiopia. London, Springer.
  • Thomas, D. 2013. Africa and France: Post-Colonial Culture, Migration and Racism. Bloomington, Indiana University Press.
  • Thornton, J. 1998. Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 (Second Edition). Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • Van de Walle, E. 2006. African Households: Censuses and Surveys. New York, Sharpe.
  • Werle, G., Fernandez, and Vormbau, L.M. (eds) 2014. Africa and the International Criminal Court. The Hague, Asser Press.
  • Whitfield, L. (ed.) 2009. The politics of aid: African strategies for dealing with donors. Oxford, OUP.
  • Williams, M.D.J., Mayer, R. and Minges, M. 2011. Africa’s ICT Infrastructure: Building on the Mobile Revolution. Washington, World Bank.
  • Wilson, R. 2001. The politics of truth and reconciliation in South Africa: Legitimizing the post-apartheid state. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • Zeleza, T. ‎and Veney, C.R. 2003. Leisure in Urban Africa. Trenton, Africa World Press.