lyrical livity coverBig props to Professor Neil Roberts for putting the final projects from PSCI 234(S) Rastafari: Dread, Politics, Agency on-line here. The more public that you make your students’ work, the better that work will be.

The course catalog notes:

The emergence of Rastafari in the twentieth-century marked a distinct phase in the theory and practice of political agency. From its heretical roots in Jamaica, Garveyism, Ethiopianism, and Pan-Africanism, Rastafari has evolved from a Caribbean theological movement to an international political actor. This course investigates the political theory of Rastafari in order to develop intellectual resources for theorizing the concept of agency in contemporary Africana thought and political theory. We will analyze texts and audio-visual works on the political economy of late colonial Jamaica, core Rastafari thinking, political theology, the role of reggae music, the notion of agency, and the influence of Rastafari on global politics.
Format: lecture. Evaluation will be based upon one 5- to 7-page midterm essay, a group lyrics and politics project, and one 10- to 12-page final exam.

The course seems to have been extremely popular, with 37 students enrolled. Alas, I am not as knowledgeable about Rastafarian thought as I ought to be, so I can’t tell which of the student projects were especially well-done. But here is the one for Emily Deans’ ’09 (daughter of Stuart Deans ’78) group. (There cover photo is the image at the top of this post.)

Do we have any readers who took the class? Details, please.

One might expect an old curmudgeon like me to mock a class project that involved putting together a magazine and/or webpage. Untrue! Creating a magazine or webpage or video is just as valuable a skill as writing an essay. I would like to see more classes at Williams with final projects like this. See Tim Burke’s thoughts on the 21st century college for more.

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