My teaching philosophy’s central focus is cultivating students' natural interest in learning by connecting the classroom experience to local and global issues. The outcomes of my teaching are to increase students’ knowledge of international politics, foster students’ interest in Africa, and; have students master the academic triad of reading critically, thinking analytically, and writing argumentatively.
Introduction to Contemporary Africa
AFST 101 provides a comprehensive and systematic survey of Africa’s geography, history, culture, religion, language, politics, economic development, and international relations.
African Development and Underdevelopment
This course examines how economic growth trends across the continent of Africa have impacted ordinary people, local elites, and multinational corporations. The primary questions that we address are: What’s the difference between economic development and economic growth? And what does inclusive and sustainable economic growth look like in Africa? What’s the appropriate role, if any, of international actors in Africa’s development?
This course unpacks the contested concepts of development with the intent to explain the development gap between rich and poor nations as indicated by income, life expectancy, health, and education. The gap between rich and poor countries is evolving, sometimes widening and in others shrinking. This course explores the trends in uneven development and strategies to overcome them.
China and Africa
This course explores the historical and contemporary components of African countries’ diplomatic, economic and cultural relations with China. The class began with contact between East Africa and China dating back to the 9th century, followed by China’s role in the African independence movements of the 1950s and 1960s up to Africa and China’s present-day relations. Students critically examined present-day African and Chinese governmental policies, development projects, business ventures, political exchanges, migration, and the promotion of Chinese language programs across the continent. Through independent research and group discussion, students explored the nature of this relationship by addressing concerns about China’s ‘intentions’ in Africa—‘Is this a new scramble for Africa?’ and ‘Is China a neocolonial power?’ This class was the first at Howard University to work on a research project in the State Department’s Diplomacy Lab program.
The Rising Powers? Brazil, Russia, India, and China in Africa
I developed a graduate course titled “The Rising Powers? BRICS & Africa.” This seminar course addressed the shifting powers in the international system. It is situated within wider debates and processes around the changing nature of the international system, the politics of development, and the political relations of ‘South-South’ globalization. The BRICS have changed the nature of international political economy in the world system and developing countries where their investment continues to shape local markets. This interdisciplinary course stood at the intersection of international relations, development studies, and African political economy.