Course syllabus


Nigeria: Ezekiel with his generators. This photo is part of the photo exhibition Suprastructure

At the same time as African cities are increasingly being shaped by new technology – cellular phones, mobile internet access, solar energy, satellites, etc. – many are also characterised by an infrastructure marked by decay and uncertainty. Inhabitants live with constant movement between presence and absence in the flows of electricity, water, telecommunications, fuel, traffic, etc. As a result, an alternative infrastructure has emerged from below that many times surpasses the common infrastructural grids. It has been estimated that there are around 60 million household-sized generators in Nigeria. This makes Nigeria the most generator-dependent country in the world. When cheap generators from China were introduced a few years ago, they received the nickname ‘I pass my neighbour’, but now they cost less than US$60, and the majority of households have access to one.


Welcome to the course

Africa in the 2000s 7,5hp!

The course 'Africa in the 2000s' is run as part of the second module of the full semester course in African studies and as a freestanding course. During this course you will have a unique opportunity to get knowledge of and deeper insights into contemporary theoretical perspectives on the African continent as well as African political, economic and cultural contexts. The course, in particular, focuses on question of neocolonialism, globalization, modernity, democracy and development. Read course plan here.



The course engages with four contemporary theoretical and thematic areas of research within African Studies. The purpose is to give the students an opportunity to focus on and gain an understanding of four important research areas within the vast field of African Studies. One week is devoted to each theme.


Theme 1: ‘Urban Futures’ by  Ulrika Trovalla & Anna Baral

Theme 2 ‘Democracy and Security’ by Sten Hagberg

Theme 3‘Contemporary Debates on Migration and Policy’ by Marie Deridder

Theme 4:‘Contemporary Debates on Gender in Africa: Sexuality and the Body’ by Anna Baral


  • A detailed and always the most updated Course Schedule for the course 'Africa in the 2000s' 7,5hp can be found here under Course Schedule.


  • The administration at the department also creates a schedule when they book rooms for the course - the Schedule in Time Edit can be found here.



The teachers are researchers and other professionals with long first-hand experience of researching and working in African countries and/or with African issues. This course is being offered by researchers of the Forum for Africa Studies, an inter-disciplinary center whose purpose is to support research on Africa at Uppsala University. We lead research projects, organize lectures and round-tables, and host the seminar series Friday Seminar in Africa Studies. You may follow Forum for Africa Studies' Facebook page to get updated information.


Following four teachers teach at this course: 

Dr. Anna Baral

Dr. Marie Deridder

Prof. Sten Hagberg

Dr. Ulrika Trovalla


The teachers with overall course responsibility is: 

Dr. Ulrika Trovalla

Prof. Sten Hagberg



The teaching is composed of lectures, seminars, group discussions, and public events. We expect you to be actively engaged and always present at all our course events. Active participation is key for the learning process.


The course is assessed through participation in seminars, completion of seminar assignments and a home exam, that is, you should write essay answers to a number of questions by drawing on the literature, the lectures and the seminars.


Physical and Online Teaching in Zoom

The course Africa in the 2000s that starts on the 21 February will take place physically at Engelska Parken. The exception is the seminar 'This month in Africa' and two Lecture/Seminars that will be online in Zoom (see schedule). If Public Health recommendations in relation to COVID-19 change, this situation might change.


During teaching online, make sure that you are signed in with your full name in Zoom (your name appears below your video in Zoom), so that the teacher can identity you. When you enter Zoom, also make sure that your video is on so that the teacher can see you.


Course Start

The course starts on Monday 21 February at 13:15-15:00 with an introduction to the course. But prior to that, please take some time, from now onwards, to explore this virtual class-room here at Studium and also to make sure that you have access to all the course literature.


Welcome and Good Luck!


Ulrika Trovalla

Sten Hagberg

Marie Deridder

Anna Baral


Course summary:

Date Details Due