Course: MARY AFST 572: Introduction to East African Art: its Secular and Religious Themes

Course Overview:
The course explores the various forms and types of East African art, the people that produce it, the ideas that promote it, and their functions within social, cultural and spiritual contexts. The aim is that the students understand East African art as it is understood by the people who produce it. The expectation is that, afterwards, the students should be able to teach the material to others.

Course Description:
The course is designed to make students explore, understand and appreciate the complex dimensions of East African art. Relationships of various art forms such as sculpture, painting, architecture, graphics, weaving and pottery. Their development in different cultures from ancient to modern times. Critical analysis of cross-cultural influences.

Part One: Deals with the general problems of systematic studies of East African art, the different types of art forms, the people that produce it, the sociocultural factors promoting it and the characteristics of the works.

Part Two: Deals with specific concepts such as:  rites of passage, lineal ideology, fertility, ancestorship.

Part Three: Deals with contemporary works of art of East Africa and their secular and religious implications.

Each lecture will specify field research projects relating to the issues under discussion. Each student will focus on one ethnic group.