CSP 2: “Revolutions: Africa and Beyond”
“Revolutions: Africa and Beyond”
Instructors: Prof. Michael Gasper (History) and Prof. Movindri Reddy (DWA)
All first-year students are expected to take fall and spring Cultural Studies Program (CSP) seminars. Each semester, in addition to regular CSP seminars, we offer some special team-taught interdisciplinary courses that satisfy the CSP requirement and count for eight or 16 units of credit. “Revolutions,” offered in fall 2012, meets not only the fall CSP requirement but provides eight units of credit—half of a regular semester's course load—while meeting the core Global Connections distribution requirement. This course is particularly recommended for students interested in history and/or diplomacy and world affairs, or for those going on in the social sciences and humanities generally.
Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in 2011, South Africa in 1993, Algeria in 1962. These are some of the revolutions that captured international attention and dramatically changed the social and political landscape of Africa. They and their legacies in and implications for contemporary Los Angeles culture are the subject of CSP 2.
This course has two broad aims:
1) To create a rigorous classroom experience that introduces both the philosophy and the praxis of modern revolutionary philosophies in Africa and beyond; and
2) To introduce students to Los Angeles-based African and African diaspora cultures through activities and excursions that will encompass the visual and dramatic arts, music, culinary experiences, lectures and tours in the metro area.
The classroom portion of the course will focus on revolutionary thought and praxis in Africa and beyond. We will look at the works of such thinkers as Marx, Lenin, Gandhi, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Frantz Fanon, Steve Biko, and others, and their legacies in opposition movements and uprisings across Africa, from Algeria to Zimbabwe. In addition, we will examine the ways African political thought and praxis inspired many in the U.S. civil rights movement and anti-colonial movements in the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East.
Our “out-of-classroom” experiential portion of the class will involve guest speakers on campus as well as trips to attend lectures at local institutions such as UCLA and USC with whom we will partner. We will also attend films, concerts, musical demonstrations, and other cultural events in Los Angeles and in the emerging African ex-pat community in Orange County.
“Revolutions: Africa and Beyond” is an interdisciplinary course for 36 students designed and taught by two scholars of modern world history and politics.
Professor Michael Gasper of the history department teaches classes on the cultural, social, political and economic history of the modern Middle East. He was named a Carnegie scholar in 2008 for his research project “Rethinking Secularism and Sectarianism in the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990).” He is a co-editor of Is There a Middle East: The Evolution of a Geopolitical Concept (Stanford University Press, 2011) and the author of The Power of Representation: Publics, Peasants and Islam in Egypt (Stanford University Press, 2009).
Professor Movindri Reddy of the department of diplomacy and world affairs teaches courses on international political processes, international organizations, international theory, South African politics, African politics, and comparative South Asian politics. Her research interests are ethnic, religious, and sectarian politics that lead to intense and sustained conflicts. Her present interests are South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Punjab.
Students wishing to take CSP 2 in during Fall 2013 should see the new student packet for further instructions and information. You may contact the Core Office at Occidental (firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-259-2783) for help or more information.
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