Sect 002 for Environmental Studies majors.
This course explores the political ecologies of African development in historic perspective. Drawing mainly from anthropology, geography, history, and development studies, it offers an inter-disciplinary perspective on the politics of African environments. The first part of the course focuses on the history of human-environment relations, paying particular attention to the exploitation of the natural environment during colonialism and patterns of extraction and trade set up during that time. Building on this history, we will then concentrate on the postcolonial period in order to compare different forms of exploitation across Africa and their connections to key development debates and national development trajectories. Specific topics may include: the extractive industries; export agriculture; wildlife conservation and tourism; Asian investments and the ‘land grab’; resources and violence; and urban ecologies. Aiming to provide more complex, critical, and nuanced understandings of human-environment relations on the continent, we will draw from academic texts, novels, as well as documentary films. Readings may include: James Ferguson, Gregg Mitman, Michael Watts, and Adam Hochschild.
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)