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    Otterbein University
  Jan 19, 2018
2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

INST 3523 - Power and Culture: West Africa and Colonialism

Hours: 4
The purpose of this course is to gain an understanding of West African culture and its interaction with Western culture in the context of colonization and missions. We will do so by focusing on three West African ethnic groups: The Igbo, the Mende and the Temne. We will focus especially upon religion, and consider the relationship of religion to politics, art, and literature. We will study both the impact of colonization upon West Africa, and also the distorted and racist perception of African culture held almost universally in the Western world at the time of colonization. We will focus in particular upon the perspective of Western missionaries in the early twentieth century. This will include work with the diaries of Lloyd Mignerey, an Otterbein graduate of 1917, who worked as a missionary in Sierra Leone, 1922-24. We will also closely attend to the response of Africans to colonization and missions, especially as portrayed in Achebe’s classic Things Fall Apart. We will conclude with a consideration of the postcolonial situation in Sierra Leone.