Skip over navigation

Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Fall 2018-2019
* HIS 492 / AFS 492 / AAS 492 (HA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Utopias of Yesteryear: Socialist Experiments in Africa

Benedito L. Machava

This seminar explores the contours of Africa's embrace and engagement with the most influential ideology of the twentieth-century. Why, and through which channels, were Africans attracted to socialism? Did particular forms of colonialism and decolonization push African political actors in that direction? Is it legitimate, as some scholars have suggested, to speak of genuinely African socialisms? We will discuss the contexts in which specific countries adopted and implemented socialism. Our goal is to place Africa in the mainstream of conversations about socialism.

Sample reading list:
Anne Pitcher and Kelly Askew, African Socialisms and Postsocialisms
Edmond Keller and Donald Rothchild, Afro-Marxist Regimes
Marina Ottaway and David Ottaway, Afrocommunism
John Markakis and Michael Waller, Military Marxist Regimes in Africa
Ondjaki, Good Morning Comrades. A Novel
Priya Lal, African Socialism in Postcolonial Tanzania

Reading/Writing assignments:
Average reading is 100-150 pp/week. There will be weekly reading responses of 2-3 pages presented during class along with a written midterm exam. Students will be expected to write a final research paper of 8-10 pages utilizing both primary and secondary sources to develop an argument about a topic raised in the seminar.

Requirements/Grading:
Mid Term Exam - 20%
Paper in lieu of Final - 20%
Papers - 25%
Oral Presentation(s) - 15%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Other Requirements:
Not Open to First Year Undergraduates.

Other information:
P/D/F option is not available for History concentrators. Instructor Benedito Machava is a new fellow in the Society of Fellows and a Lecturer in History. Dr. Machava is a scholar of colonial and postcolonial Southern Africa and Lusophone Studies, with a focus on Mozambique. In his work, he combines archival research and oral histories to study 20th century's political imaginations, decolonization, socialism and socialist experiments, nation-building and citizenship.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
23347 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm Th   McCosh Hall   34   Enrolled:6 Limit:12