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African Studies

African Studies Director: Damascus Kafumbe (Associate Professor of Music)
Office: Mahaney Center for the Arts 305 

Phone: 802-443-5578


Africa has been understudied, misunderstood, and mythologized.Yet beyond the stereotypes lie dynamic, complex worlds. Middlebury's African Studies program opens doors to this vast, fascinating, and intriguing continent.

Today, the continent is home to modern nation states, diverse economic systems, and hundreds of languages and cultures. Through trade, religion, migration, arts, and the exploitation of its natural resources, Africa has felt the impact of transnational and global changes. In turn it has affected other regions of the world.

The IGST African Studies Program faculty come from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds, including anthropology, history, languages, music, and political science.

Through interdisciplinary coursework, language competency in French or Swahili, and study abroad, African Studies majors are encouraged to move beyond preconceived notions of Africa to reflect critically and creatively on the position of Africa in our globalized world.

Students can study abroad in the Middlebury program in Yaoundé, Cameroon or in approved programs in other African countries. Prior to going abroad they must become proficient in French or competent in Swahili. If French is the language of emphasis, students must also study a local African language while abroad. Upon return students must take at least one advanced course in French, or complete an independent study in Swahili. At Middlebury a Swahili introductory course is offered during winter term each year. 

Any exception to these rules must have the explicit approval of the IGS African Studies Director.

Sample Courses:

  • ANTH 0232 Africa and Anthropology
  • DANC 0163 From Africa to the Americas
  • FREN 0396  (Re)Constructing Identities: Colonial and Postcolonial Francophone Fiction
  • FREN 0398 Children and Civil War in Francophone African Literature
  • HIST 0113  History of Africa to 1800

  • HIST 0114 History of Modern Africa
  • INTD 1152 Introduction to Swahilli
  • MUSC 0236  African Soundscapes
  • MUSC 0244  African Music and Dance Performance
  • PSCI 0202  African Politics
  • PSCI 0321 Anglophone vs. Francophone Africa
  • PSCI 0431  African Government

Program in International and Global Studies

Robert A. Jones '59 House
148 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753