Harvard Africa Workshop: Changing Economies, Changing Polities, Changing Faces of Capitalism

Return to Course Catalog

Spring 2013 Course
Meets: M 6:00pm - 8:00pm
2 classroom credits

4 credits F/S; 2 credits F; or 2 credits S

1 or 2 optional writing credits

In this Workshop Course, law students will be included as active participants in the inaugural year of the annual Harvard Africa Workshop (HAW), a University-wide interdisciplinary seminar which will be convened by Faculty of Arts and Sciences Professors John and Jean Comaroff, internationally renowned South African anthropologists and critical social theorists.

The HAW’s intellectual theme for the first three years, 2012-2015, is to be Africa and the World at Large: Or, What the New Global Order Has to Learn from the Contemporary Africa. Within this broad theme, the specific focus for 2012-13 will be Changing Economies, Changing Polities, Changing Faces of Capitalism. The subsequent years’ foci are to be (ii) State Transformations, Social Order, and the Problem of Crime, and (iii) Health and Crises of Reproduction.

To explore the 2012-13 theme, leading scholars of international repute will present weekly papers that address the rapidly changing position of Africa in the global political economy and the impact of that change on global distributions of wealth, well-being, and power. Participating scholars tentatively include Professors Duncan Kennedy and Christine Desan from the Law School; Professors Emmanuel Akyeampong and Caroline Elkins from the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences (History); Professor Robert Bates from Harvard FAS (Government); and Professors Achille Mbembe (University of the Witwatersrand), James Ferguson (Stanford), and Hlonipa Mokoena (Columbia).

The HAW is an interdisciplinary initiative which will be comprised of this Law School Workshop, a seminar in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, a professional apprenticeship for doctoral Africanists-in-training across the disciplines, and a laboratory for international scholarly exchange. The Law School Workshop will meet simultaneously with the HAW throughout the academic year, i.e., for weekly two-hour paper presentations, preceded by one-hour preparation meetings for the law and graduate students. The HAW initiative is designed to cultivate a spirit of engaged, constructive critique and inter-generational mentorship.

Students may register for the Law School Workshop for either the Fall (2 credits), Spring (2 credits) or Fall and Spring (4 credits). Requirements for each semester include reading each paper and participating actively in each week’s discussion; attending the weekly one-hour student preparation meetings preceding each paper session; writing two to three page response papers on two HAW seminar papers; and writing a final twenty page paper on a course theme. Students may register for additional writing credit(s) in conjunction with the course.

Subject Areas: International, Comparative & Foreign Law .

© 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.