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HUM 370 African Film

This course examines the work of contemporary African films with particular emphasis on the continuities and disruptions of Black cultures across transnational lines. The course studies a wide range of expressive possibilities, from analyses of African nations¿ legacies of colonization to art house visionaries, from fun comedies celebrating romance to slice-of-life realism. We pay significant attention to African films as political, aesthetic, and anti-racist practice. All works are in English, English translation, and/or with English subtitles.


4 Undergraduate credits

Effective May 3, 2023 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Students will discuss the complexity, variety, and sheer number of cultures and artworks subsumed under the monolithic heading of "African culture."
  • Students will analyze how various filmakers and directors characterize racism through examinations of European colonization, Westernization, and the social construction of racialized identities - as well as the related concepts of prejudice, stereotyping, intolerance, bigotry, discrimination, privilege, and intersectionality - in various forms of visual media.
  • Students will compare the legacies and impacts of European colonization of the African continent, various forms of transnational anti-Black racism in Africa, and how these affect the larger diasporic issues of race, such as in the United States, in works of film and literature.
  • Students analyze films and literature portraying African cinematic traditions, schools, genres, techniques, and conventions create powerful and aesthetic works of art.
  • Students will evaluate artists' calls for anti-racist action in African film, such as depictions of resistance to systems of racial oppression; various anti-racist and decolonizing theories; and instances of agency, self-determination, and resiliency in the face of colonialism and racism.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

Goal 8: Global Perspective

  • Describe and analyze political, economic, and cultural elements which influence relations of states and societies in their historical and contemporary dimensions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of cultural, social, religious and linguistic differences.
  • Analyze specific international problems, illustrating the cultural, economic, and political differences that affect their solution.
  • Understand the role of a world citizen and the responsibility world citizens share for their common global future.