TAFANPS15U Compulsory course (1st. semester): Nature, Population and Society in Africa

Volume 2016/2017

MA programme in African Studies


This course has two inter-related objectives. On the one hand it aims to provide students with a basic grounding in the kinds of academic disciplines, theoretical perspectives, analytic themes and empirical topics that are the foundation of the contemporary field of African Studies. On the other hand, through the use of such rich resources, the course aims to illuminate and engage critically with the immense diversity of people and places, institutions and politics, histories and geographies, ideas and representations, that constitute what has come to be known as ‘Africa’. Taking such diversity and dynamism in the continent seriously requires a multi-disciplinary approach. In this regard, the course will combine the theoretical, methodological and empirical contributions of historians, anthropologists, geographers, sociologists, political scientists, political economists and environmentalists, as well as writers and artists.

Learning Outcome

The aim is for the student to acquire the following qualifications:

  • Knowledge of key themes and theories related to African Studies.
  • Knowledge of the disciplines that is central to the course’s focus on nature, population and society in Africa, especially geography, history, anthropology, sociology and political science.
  • Command of interdisciplinary working methods and research methodologies within African Studies.
The course is only open for CAS MA students and professional master students.
The course combines lectures and classroom discussions, requiring participation and active engagement, including student presentations. This will be supplemented by guest lectures. If available, ethnographic and documentary films giving a visual aspect to some of the themes in the course will be screened.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Course Preparation
  • 244
  • Exam
  • 120
  • Total
  • 420
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 7 days
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Exam period

January 2017

Criteria for exam assesment

The grade of 12 is given at the exam when the student demonstrates:

  • Confident knowledge of the disciplines, history and academic terminology of African Studies.
  • Confident ability to identify, define and consider an issue from an interdisciplinary and critical-analytical perspective.
  • Confident ability to choose, analyse and present the material relevant to the issue in question in an independent and critical manner.
  • Confident command of methodologies and concepts within the key disciplines of African Studies as well as contemporary research discussions.
  • Confident ability to communicate academic material in a clear, concise and well-argued manner.