African 605: African Diaspora Theories and Tropes

Instructor: Dr. Damon Sajnani
Meeting Time: Mondays, 5:30-7:30 PM
3 credits


What is the African Diaspora? What are its boundaries? Does it include continental Africa? What are its historical and conceptual origins? Does it have a “politics”? This course examines the genealogical, political, and conceptual meanings and origins of “African diaspora.” Necessarily, this entails contrasting it with the previous paradigm of pan-Africanism, reckoning with the concept of diaspora as borrowed most directly from Jewish studies, and dealing with the dialectical co-construction of race, and African and European subjectivities, by and through colonialism and modernity. The area of study is comparative and interdisciplinary, drawing from the social sciences, history, the arts and humanities. Accordingly, this course provides the background to the subject area from diverse perspectives and introduces students to a range of key debates, questions, and concepts in the field, with particular attention to questions of history, globalization, cultural production and the creative imagination.