An Introduction to African and Asian Studies

african and asian studies

Over centuries, sea links between Africa and Asia have allowed for an exchange of cultural ideas, evident in built spaces, languages, literary works, performances and spiritual cultures among others. Today many African and Asian countries are capitalizing on this history to form lasting partnerships through economic, educational, environmental, digital and infrastructural projects utilizing its historical legacy – this 12-credit certificate will give you a deep and grounded knowledge of past, present and potential future relations between Africa and Asia.

As part of their effort to add cultural dominance to military, economic and political dominance, colonizers sought to strip Africans of their indigenous languages. Recognizing the close ties between language, worldview and personal identity, Africans fought back by maintaining their native tongues as vehicles of culture, values, self-affirmation and history – which varied across Africa and its diaspora communities. Interesting variations can be observed across these regions with regard to retained indigenous forms.

Although many Africans are bilingual, some independent African states have replaced indigenous languages with colonial ones as official national languages – showing resilience against external influences by maintaining diversity of language use despite them. Still, Africa stands alone without significant representation at global power centers for economy, politics or military might.