Development and Africa

Development and Africa – Spring 2019

Course Number: AAAS 307, CULANTH 307, PUBPOL 207, ICS 308

Course Attribute: CCI, CZ, SS

Course Description:

This course addresses the vexed issue of economic development in Africa with its many failures and occasional successes from the early colonial period to the present. Course materials focus especially on the transition from the 1960s “modernizing” moment to the millennium projects and humanitarian aid of the present. Students will read the works of development experts, World Bank executives, anthropologists, and historians, asking why this massively financed project has experienced such failure and exploring what can be done.

Charles PiotFaculty Biography:

Charlie Piot, Ph.D. University of Virginia 1986, Chair and Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies, does research on the political economy and history of rural West Africa. His first book, Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa (1999), attempted to retheorize a classic out-of-the-way place as within the modern and the global. His recent book, Nostalgia for the Future: West Africa after the Cold War (2010), explores shifts in Togolese political culture during the 1990s, a time when the NGOs and charismatic churches take over the biopolitical, reorganizing social and political life in the absence of the state.  His current project is on Togolese who apply for and attempt to game the US Diversity Visa Lottery. 


Development and Africa