Spring 2023

Music, Religion, and Ritual in Africa

Listed in: Black Studies, as BLST-122  |  Religion, as RELI-122


Monika Brodnicka (Section 01)


(Offered as BLST-122 and RELI-122) There is an aura of mystery that surrounds the meaning and practice of African religions. This is due to several factors: limited material on particular religions, the secrecy of most initiations, and the gradual disappearance of their rich heritage as a result of colonization. This course explores current scholarly understandings of the intricate dances, music, myths of creation, and various rituals associated with African religion, while going further to probe the inner meaning of these external manifestations.  We will look in particular at African authors who have elucidated the stories, practices, and symbols of specific religions and revealed their esoteric meaning. Often these practitioners have undergone rigorous initiations and are able to engage the complex relationship between spirituality and practice in their writings. This course will address both the spiritual/mystical aspects of African religions as expressed by these authors, as well as the limitations of studying such a topic.   

Spring semester. Visiting Professor Brodnicka.

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 close reading, class discussion, group work, small written assignments, oral presentations, and creative projects.

BLST 122 - LEC

Section 01
M 8:30 AM - 9:50 AM CHAP 103
W 8:30 AM - 9:50 AM CHAP 103


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2023