Digital Storytelling: African Cities

This course explores the relationship between digital technology and histories of urbanism in pre-colonial Africa. We will also consider two related questions: How can we write histories of precolonial African cities? How can we leverage digital humanities tools to tell new stories about precolonial history? Urban questions have taken on a new urgency in Africa, as the continent urbanizes rapidly.

New Approaches to Urban Histories

UC Riverside, Graduate Seminar, Fall 2017. This seminar is designed to introduce graduate students to the newest approaches to urban history. The emphasis will be on interpreting the lived experience in the city through the lens of race, class, space, and cartography, with readings between the seventeenth and twentieth century. We will read classics takes on urban theory, and as well as new and innovative monographs. One preoccupation will be in discerning what distinguishes the city as a form of settlement, and as a site of key intellectual, cultural and economic activity.

Introduction to Spatial Humanities

With Shannon D. Iverson. In this class, we will study what maps, as cultural objects, can tell us about space, power, and the past. It will be an interdisciplinary investigation of historical, archaeological, and modern cartographic practices. Maps are always representations; they must necessarily encode certain types of information and eliminate others. By tracing the history of cartography from its beginnings through the modern era, we will examine why maps are created and their use in different societies of the past and present.

Africa: In Fiction, Film and Science Fiction

What evidence do we have of the past, and what shapes the questions that we ask? What are the right sources for understanding the past? Representations of Africa and Africans in moving and still images have varied in scope, distribution, content and intent. In this course, we will use a multidisciplinary range of new and perhaps unexpected sources to explore the relationship between creativity and history.