Postcolonial Perspectives in/of Africa

Module code: GY3155
Module co-ordinator: Dr Clare Madge

In this module we will view Africa from a postcolonial theoretical framework, challenging the way that you think about the continent of Africa. We will contrast postcolonial criticisms of how we speak and write about the world, with the material realities of global inequalities, exploring these ideas through a series of case studies.

Topics covered

  • Postcolonial responsibility through the global reparations movement
  • Language and representation through metaphors of ‘The Dark Continent’
  • Representing Africa in contemporary times through the media, tourist and developing industries
  • Links between knowledge, creation and power
  • Indigenous technical knowledge of rice farming in The Gambia
  • Recent ‘land grabs’ by foreign-owned companies
  • The role of ICTs in rural development in Tanzania
  • Development discourse and its material effects
  • Shifting terrain of China in Africa
  • The ordinary lives of waste-pickers in Lagos
  • The contemporary roles of African Hometown Associations in Cameroon 


  • 20 hours of lectures
  • 6 hours of seminars
  • 4 hours of tutorials
  • 120 hours of guided independent study


  • Exam, 2 hours (50%)
  • Essay, 2,500 words (50%)