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This class is an introduction to popular culture in Africa and will include discussions on popular culture from the entire continent (Cairo to Cape), but much of the emphasis is on “Sub-Saharan” Africa. The African continent produces some to the most active popular cultural centers in the world that influence popular culture in Europe, North America, and other parts of the world. Cuban-Dominican “Latin” dances often have African origins such as the Mambo, Conga, and Salsa have African roots. The Senegalese singer Baaba Maal believes that Jamaican Reggae is African and the Malian guitarist Ali Farke Toure believed that the original home of the Blues is the Niger Bend in Mali, his home area. Africans have often been linked to other cultures and have often influenced them without proper recognition. Africa remains one of the most active areas for cultural production in the arts (music, dance, visual arts, theater and film) in addition to its contribution to literatures in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Afrikaans as well as to indigenous languages such as Wolof, Mande, and Pulaar.
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