Teaching Africa with complexities and nuance

Brandon B. Lundy's book takes a nuanced look at a complex continent.
Brandon B. Lundy’s book takes a nuanced look at a complex continent.

When Brandon D. Lundy arrived at Kennesaw State University a few years ago, he quickly convened a faculty panel to investigate ways of incorporating the study of Africa into existing curricula.

“We started looking for materials, and we discovered that there just weren’t many good resources out there, especially when it came to teaching,” says Lundy.

Soon, Lundy and fellow KSU professor Solomon Negash set out to create a unique textbook, one that included a plethora of strategies for bringing Africa into the classroom. At the same time, they wanted to dispel entrenched myths and stereotypes among faculty and students alike. The result — “Teaching Africa: A Guide for the 21st-Century Classroom” — will be released in May by Indiana University Press.

“Often what we find in the classroom is that people have a very superficial understanding of certain things on the continent of Africa — more so than in other regions of the world,” says Lundy. “I think a good place to start is understanding that there’s no such thing as a single Africa. My perspective is based on my experience in [Portuguese speaking] West Africa, but we were intent on including multiple perspectives from many different regions – including from researchers who come from Africa.”

“Teaching Africa” includes nearly 30 authors from a wide swath of American academia — from Harvard to Sonoma University and many points in between.

“We have chapters on technology, dance, STEM and all different themes throughout the book,” says Lundy. “So we’re hoping this can be incorporated into a number of different classrooms, not just the straightforward African studies class.”

Considering how the U.S. thinks about Africa

“Teaching Africa” was, at least in part, inspired by Curtis Kiem’s seminal anthropological book, “Mistaking Africa: Curiosities and Inventions of the American Mind.” In it, Kiem examined the way in which Africa is presented in popular U.S. media and its effects on perceptions.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

The Word

The Word: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally…

Well, everybody, it finally happened. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie went and got themselves hitched — according to noted scandal sheet the Associated Press —…

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

NFL

Giants vs. Patriots: 3 things to watch

The Giants wrap up their extended preseason campaign Thursday night by playing host to the Patriots.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…