Essay Topics for SurnamesM to Z (do only one of these topics)</o:p>
Due Date: April 5 Length: 8-10 pages</o:p>
Discuss the issues that have bedeviled African attempts at greater regional integration. What chance do you see of the 21st century’s African union being more of a practical reality than the “talking shop” of the 20thcentury’s OAU?</o:p>
Discuss the role of Structural Adjustment Programs, both as a solution to Africa’s problems and as an accumulator of more problems.</o:p>
Was the genocidal conflict in Rwanda primarily a product of history or the result of contemporary political manipulations? Could it have been avoided?</o:p>
Discuss the analysis of colonialism in the writings of Frantz Fanon. Compare his views with those of Hannah Arendt and/or Joseph Schumpeter.</o:p>
What degree was ethnicity a factor of conflict in post-colonial Africa?</o:p>
To what extent have post-independence conflicts in Sudan and the Horn of Africa been products of their colonial past?</o:p>
Is power-sharing agreement under international pressure, the best solution to post-electoral conflict? How do the Kenyan and Zimbabwe cases compare with that Ivory Coast?</o:p>
The “great” Victorian explores – David Livingstone, Richard Burton, John Speke, Samuel White Baker- were celebrated as heroes in nineteenth century Britain, but did these men chart a path through Africa that allowed for a massive expansion of the British Empire? What were the aims of these Victorian explorers? Can they be called imperialists? What were the short and long-term consequences of their expeditions in Africa?</o:p>
Assess the value to Africa of China’s recent expansion of trade and investment in the continent. Is it a new form of ’neo-colonialism’ and are Africans better –equipped to deal with it to their own advantage than they were the western neo-colonialism of the 20thcentury?</o:p>
What was the position of African women in twentieth century pre-independent Africa? Did the political, social and economic position of women change with independence?</o:p>
What was the initial type of political system adopted by African states after independence? Were these political structures successful? What were the major economic and social priorities of the first generation of post-colonial governments? Were they achieved? If not, why? Be specific with references to the histories of individual countries.</o:p>
Read James Nugugi’sThe River Betweenand analyze how Ngugi characterize the “white man” in the form of the emblematically named Livingstone. How does he describe the power relationship between blacks and whites?</o:p>
How does he characterize black consciousness?</o:p>
Read Tayeb Salih’sSeason of Migration in the Northand examine how the author turns traditional colonial relationships upside down. Can this work be seen as a reaction or response to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness?</o:p>
Read Laye’sDark Childand analyze how Laye constructs the relationship between “traditional” African cultures and “modernity”.</o:p>
Read Chinua Achebe’sMorning Yet on Creation Dayand analyze the author’s argument in favor of the adoption of the English language by African writers. Do you agree with Achebe’s assertion that African writers should Africanize European languages as a form of national self-determination and inter-ethnic communication.</o:p>
Read Walter Rodney’sHow Europe Underdeveloped Africaand write a review essay on the development of underdevelopment in Africa.</o:p>
Read A. Memmi’sThe Colonizer and the Colonizedand write a review essay on the culture of colonialism.</o:p>
Your analyses of these books can be strengthened by consulting other sources (biographies, autobiographies, historical studies, literary reviews, etc.) in order to gain a wider historical perspective to answer the proscribed questions.
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