Teaching Africa in the Age of Covid (Africa Network: Free Workshop)


Friday September 10th 11am-1pm (Eastern Standard Time) Register Here

In March of 2020, the world as many of us knew it changed. In countries across the globe, schools and businesses ceased in-person operations and moved online. Many enterprises were shuttered forever. Borders closed, and from Nicaragua to Namibia to Nepal, mask-wearing became routine.

For much of 2020, except for South Africa, the African continent seemed to have escaped the mass casualties seen in places such as Italy, Brazil and the United States. As of summer 2021, however, the tide appears to be turning and the numbers of dead, hospitalized, and sick in Africa are rapidly rising. By June 2021, experts indicated Africa was experiencing its third and worst phase of Covid infections, with all major known variants circulating on the continent.

One thing Covid-19 exposed is the degree to which we depend on global connections. For decades the concept of the global village has been celebrated, with a focus on the ways technology allowed communication across enormous expanses of time and space. The pandemic has revealed the dependency and fragility of these global connections.

In this 2-hour interactive (virtual) workshop we hope to foster open discussion to explore how the pandemic is affecting or is likely to affect the teaching of Africa studies within the undergraduate curriculum. An opening panel will frame larger pedagogical issues to be discussed in breakout rooms during the second part of the workshop. Panelists will highlight how the global pandemic has made them rethink the way they design and teach African studies with the following broad questions in mind.

  • In what ways is the pandemic (re)shaping Africa and the way the continent is represented
  • How can African responses to COVID be understood locally and globally?
  • Will Covid-19 and its aftermath shape the ways in which Africa is taught?
  • How can universities increase the presence of Africa throughout the undergraduate curriculum in the age of COVID inspired austerity?

Panelists

Wendy Wilson-Fall (Lafayette College):  Representations of Africa

Anene Ejikeme (Trinity University):  Anti-racism and the Africa curriculum

Matt Carotenuto and Abdelwahab Sinnary (St. Lawrence University): Study Abroad and U.S. African Engagement in the Age of Covid 

Dianna Shandy (Malacaster College): Centering Africa in Institutional Futures.

Register for this free workshop here


*Many thanks to our digital co-hosts the University of Idaho and Africa Network board member Barry Bilderback

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