African Popular Culture

Centre of West African Studies, School of History and Cultures

College of Arts and Law


Code 20437

Level of study Third/Final year

Credit value 20

Semester 1 and/ or 2 depending on staff availability. Available in alternate years

Module description

The module looks at West African genres ranging from "traditional" oral performance arts to "modern" innovations of the colonial period such as concert party, travelling theatre, popular fiction and popular music, in the context of 20th century cultural and political change. Topics covered in the second semester include theatre for development, protest genres and township culture in Eastern and Southern Africa, in the context of colonisation, apartheid and the liberation struggle Texts and video recordings are studied in order to gain a sense of the aesthetics of these forms and the way their messages are constructed.

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and classes