You are on page 1of 4

Revised12/19/05kzs

FC 86, West African Cultures


Prof. J. Lorand Matory

Final Examination Study Questions


13 December 2005
(Tentative exam date and venue: Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 9:15 a.m., in
Emerson 315)

The final will consist of 8 vocabulary items, of which each student must define 5,
giving examples, dates, and the names of relevant authors and ethnic groups
wherever possible (30% of grade), as well as 3 essay questions, of which each
student must answer 2 (35% each). Students are encouraged to study together and
share information in preparation for the exam.

I. Vocabulary

Adinkra
Adobe
Africanisms
Afro-Asiatic languages
Afro-Atlantic dialogue
Afro-French
Ancient Ghana
Asantehene
Ashanti/Asante
Badenya vs. fadenya
Balafon
Benedict Anderson
(The Kingdom of)Benin
Bénin Republic
Berlin Conference and Otto von Bismarck
Booker T. Washington and Togo
Brain drain
British Commonwealth
Bundu, Poro, Sande
Call and response
Coeval
Creolization
Cross-rhythms
Cultural diacritica (Fredrik Barth)
Culture as conflict
Cut-neck
Democratic Republic of Congo
Diffusionism
Djeli/jeli
Djenné-Djeno

1
Revised12/19/05kzs

Emic vs. etic


Equatorial Guinea
Ewe
Faure Gnassingbé and Gnassingbé Eyadema
FGM
Fulfulde
Gao
Gender diarchy
German Africa
Gorée
Guinea-Bissau
Guinea-Conakry
Gullah
Habitus
Hauka
Hausa
Herero
Historicity
Igbo
Ikpanture
Islamic Contact Period
Kabre
Kente
Koi Korobo
Kora
Kpanguima
Krio
La Francophonie
Luso-Africans
Maghrib
Mali Empire
Mande
Mansarico
Marcel Mauss
Masquerade
Mende
Methodological holism
Metronome sense
Ngoni
Niger-Congo languages
Nyamankala
Orature
Oyo
Participant observation
Peul, Pulaar, Fula, Fulani, Fulbe, Tukulor
Pierre Bourdieu

2
Revised12/19/05kzs

Polyrhythms
Proxemics
Qadiriyya, Tijaniyya, Ahmadiyya, Muridiyya (Mourides)
Reflexivity
Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)
Republic of Mali
Robert Farris Thompson
Roots vs. rhizomes
Rumba
Sankouya/sanankunya
Senegambia
Serial monogamy
Sese Seko Mobutu
Settler colonialism
Signares
Social constructionism
Soninke
Son-Jara/Sundiata
Soukous
Sowo-wui
St. Louis
Structure and agency
Sufism
Teknonyms
Temne
The Hamitic hypothesis
The Herskovits-Frazier debate
The politics of representation
The Republic of Ghana
The South Atlantic complex
Umuofia
Usman dan Fodio (1754-1817)—1794 jihads begin
Viri-avunculocal post-marital residence
Wassoulou
Wolof
Yoruba

II. Essay Questions. Each answer should advance a thoughtful argument


that is summarized in the first paragraph and is substantiated by a
structured argument and as many detailed references to the reading and
lectures as possible. An outline will help you to organize your thoughts
and will be reviewed to your advantage if you choose to write it in the
blue book, but is not required. Cite specific authors, dates, ethnic groups,
and places whenever possible.

3
Revised12/19/05kzs

A) How does West African architecture reveal and produce West African
social order?
B) With respect to their inferences about the relationship between African and
African American cultures, discuss the similarities and differences among
Melville J. Herskovits, Sidney Mintz and Richard Price, and J. Lorand
Matory.
C) Is “generosity” the correct term for the African forms of gift-giving about
which you have read and/or heard in this class? How do they differ in
form and motive from what you have encountered in your own native
society? Do African forms of gift-giving and other exchange relationships
undermine the analytic assumption that we are all “maximizing,
strategizing individuals”?
D) What are the advantages and disadvantages of an anthropological
approach to the study of Africa? Contrast this approach to the likely
approach of your concentration. How does the anthropological approach
differ from that of news and feature journalism? If you are an
anthropology concentrator, contrast the anthropological approach to
another course you have taken.
E) Discuss what is called “corruption” in western Africa and its social
context. How does it differ from similarly named phenomena in the U.S.?
F) How do architecture and other forms of proxemics encode history and
shape social order in western Africa? What lessons do we learn from the
similarities and differences between western African proxemics and the
proxemics of Harvard?
G) What are the shared features of most African music, and what are the
historical and formal relationships between African music and the musical
genres of the African diaspora?
H) How do western African aesthetics reflect and shape western African
ethical, social and political norms? Do aesthetic changes coincide with
ethical, social and political changes in western Africa? Are there
comparable phenomena in the U.S.?
I) How and under what circumstances has the “Afro-Atlantic dialogue”
influenced western African lifeways? How and under what circumstances
has it influenced the lifeways of the Americas and Europe?
J) Discuss the differences between the African and the non-African
representations of African life that you have read for the class, including
the newspaper articles.
K) How did pre-colonial West Africans govern themselves? What are the
main points of variation? What diverse class, ethnic, gender and
professional interests were at stake?

[study guide 2005]

Related Interests