Essay by senzoUniversity, Bachelor'sA, August 2014

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Culture, Identity and Globalisation in Africa

What would it mean to think Africa differently? Where would we find the forms of language and the conceptual and methodological strategies which would allow us to do this? How do we think about Africa differently in a world that is increasingly perceived to be converging towards a 'global village'? Is Africa losing its culture and identity in this 'global village'? In the context of the current level of gobalisation, this course explores Africa's position in and relations with other parts of the globalising world. With concrete examples, we explore some of the key political, economic, social, cultural and other effects of globalization in Africa. In looking at these issues, the course highlights on Africa's experience of globalization, focusing on the challenges and opportunities which arise from the apparent growing inter-connections.

We have all grown used to a particular way of thinking and writing about Africa: a set of images, tropes and ideas; a particular language; a particular version of Africa's place (or lack of place) in history; a particular version of Africa's participation (or lack of participation) in the major movements and phenomena of our time, modernity, development, globalisation.

It is probably fair to describe these views as the "dominant discourses" in the sense that they shape many of the ideas and images of Africa that circulate in everyday life. These views have also been instrumental in shaping the construction and production of a range of knowledges about Africa, its people, landscapes, and fauna and flora.

We ask the question - which is also a challenge - how do we come up with new ways of thinking about Africa in the global arena? This is a question with both theoretical and methodological implications. On the one hand, we need a set of...