Study Abroad in Ghana and Burkina Faso
MPAGE students are all enrolled in a section of the core course, “Pan-Africanism as Cross-Cultural Dialogue,” and also in one elective course of their choice. Courses provide (4) hours of Morehouse College credit. There are research, directed studies and service learning opportunities available during the Extended Stay period of one month after the end of classes (see at the end of the course listing below). Any student in good standing at a college or university can apply to attend MPAGE.
The African Renaissance Studies courses are six weeks long and organized in modules. The first and last modules are on-line: before departure and after return the class work is conducted virtually so that you can participate from wherever you are. We depart together and spend 4 weeks in Africa. Courses are composed of 8 – 12 students, including Ghanaian students.
Ghana and Burkina Faso
May 22-June 18, 2014
June 26-July 23, 2014
Pan-Africanism as Cross-Cultural Dialogue
This course promotes an understanding of the challenges of cross-cultural dialogue when conceiving solutions for social problems, carrying out research, and engaging in collaborative efforts. It provides training in African Humanities – the knowledge of ethics, the physical world, and social structures based in African world views. The struggle for balance in gender relations, with their triple heritage of Traditional, Islamic and Christian ethical systems, is also explored. Course work includes lectures by eminent scholars at Ghana’s universities; working with journalists and researchers in the field interviewing to gain firsthand understanding of how these world views are reflected in people’s thinking; personal experience in rural settings of relationships with nature and each other of African traditional societies; and writing and editing video presentations of this material. Topics will include an introduction to local languages, ethical systems, history, economic sustainability, culture and etiquette, foods, music, art and dance.
Art in Africa & the Diaspora: An Innovative Experience
This studio course focuses on creatively using the culture and belief system of Ghanaians from prehistory to the present day as basic source of artistic inspiration. Students will experience first hand the practical production of art works through
experimentation with local Ghanaian African art techniques, materials, tools, motifs and subjects in hands-on studio art workshops. African art will also be looked at comparatively as some of the most distinctive Western traditions are presented to
provide an overall understanding of African art's impact on art history.
Malaria: Biology, Pathogenesis and Social Impact
This courser will take one important chronic and pervasive global health issue of the Southern Hemisphere, malaria, as its focus and present the multi-faceted array of efforts to prevent, contain and treat this disease. In particular, you will learn about traditional plant medicine through ethnobotany, the new approaches to vaccination and the morphology of the disease from a cell biology perspective. We will also explore public health and treatment issues.
Empowerment and the Pen: African Statesmen and Nobel Laureates
This course will provide exposure to the writings of twentieth and twenty-first century heads of state and Nobel Laureates from the continent of Africa and the African Diaspora. The course will examine the texts of these world leaders to discover their intellectual thought, creativity, invention, civic leadership, and statesmanship through the prism of global recognition.
Multidisciplinary and global in perspective, the course will focus on a contextual analysis of a diasporic vision and the interrelatedness of their ideas and contributions to such issues affecting the African continent as social justice; sustainable development; policy and politics; cultural production and reclamation. Additionally, students will develop a process to understand the complexities of excellence in various disciplines as exemplified by the Nobel Laureates.
Narrative Psychology, Social-Cognition and 'the' Documentary: Understanding Self
and Context through Pop and Independent "Realities"
This course operates with the assumption that narratives from documentary movies, docu-serials, videos and musicalized selfstories, largely inform contemporary identities within the American context. The purpose of the course is to allow the student a space to think deeply on context, self and identity, and their life stories relative public super scripts. Those within the course will be expected to deconstruct narratives – fixed and faux – and to determine the extent to which these presented selves are authentic given psycho-social, cultural-historical and biopsychological realities. Psychological peer-reviewed articles will provide the academic rooting for a course that will also rely heavily on watershed readings in History and Sociology. Reality material including LeBron James's Samsung commercials; the television show Preachers of L.A.; the motion pictures The Kid Stays in the Picture, Trials of Muhammad Ali and The Interrupters; the LP Good Kid M.A.A.D. City; and Questlove's book Mo'Meta Blues among other life works will be
Sustainability and Development
Students will study the world system and political economy of Africa, and Ghana in particular, to assess new eco-economy paradigms of sustainable development. Both issues of self-sufficiency and domestic production, and global markets and
industries, such as the nutraceutical industry for organic and herbal products, will be explored. There is a focus on the culture of renewable energy use, particularly solar energy.
African and African Diaspora Families
Using case studies, this course will help students to understand the family as an institution in African and Diaspora societies, past and present. At the macro level, students will be able to identify the ongoing linkages between the family and religious, political, economic and educational institutions. Students will also analyze the emerging relationships between mass media/social media, and African families. At the micro level, students will interact with the indigenous Ghanaians and
participate in family role-play. Students will use these opportunities to identify and apply the family dynamic typically embedded within African and Diaspora social relationships.