Spring 2023

Myth, Ritual and Iconography in West Africa

Listed in: Art and the History of Art, as ARHA-353  |  Black Studies, as BLST-315


Rowland O. Abiodun (Section 01)


(Offered as BLST 315 [A] and ARHA 353) Through a contrastive analysis of the religious and artistic modes of expression in three West African societies—the Asanti of the Guinea Coast, and the Yoruba and Igbo peoples of Nigeria—the course will explore the nature and logic of symbols in an African cultural context. We shall address the problem of cultural symbols in terms of African conceptions of performance and the creative play of the imagination in ritual acts, masked festivals, music, dance, oral histories, and the visual arts as they provide the means through which cultural heritage and identity are transmitted and preserved, while, at the same time, being the means for innovative responses to changing social circumstances.

Spring semester. Professor Abiodun.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: emphasis on written work, readings, independent research, oral presentations, visual analysis, museum visits

ARHA 353 - LEC

Section 01
M 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM COOP 101
W 12:30 PM - 1:50 PM COOP 101

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
Amherst Books TBD
City of 201 gods Univ. of California Press, 2011 Olupona, Jacob K. Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2022, Spring 2023