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Researching Africa in the 21st Century is a compulsory course in the MA African Studies at Leiden University, presenting to the students new tools and methodologies for conducting Africanist research that emerge with the advancement of the digital. This page is a platform where students from the course can experiment making their own projects, share their achievements, share blogs on the course and impressions from the field.

Current course feeds

Narrative Analysis

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21st Century (2019/20)Narrative Analysis+1

Representations of China-Africa Relationships in Public Social Media

Introduction The scale of the rapidly growing engagement between China and Africa has generated debate around one issue: what motivates this engagement and what are its benefits from Africa's development? ...
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Narrative Analysis

Gahugu Gatoyi, Petit Pays: Remembering the past

            Before coming to the Netherlands, and to Leiden University, I complained to my brother that I did not have enough space in my luggage to bring books with me ...
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21st Century (2019/20)Narrative Analysis

Manitoumani: The bridge between two worlds

Last Monday in class, professor Annachiara Raia spoke about the idea of encounter between us and an art creation. She spoke about how a novel, a poem or any sort ...
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21st Century (2019/20)Narrative Analysis

The Spectacle at Mfuwe

The art of political satire in many African countries is not made for them who are not up for the challenge: journalists and satirists are often harassed and intimidated. One ...

Writing Ethnography

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Writing Ethnography

Wandering around in the biggest Dutch Market

Ethnography forces you to adopt an unusual posture. While the world's liveliness is happening, you must make an effort to slow down and notice what is surrounding you. This task ...
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Writing Ethnography

The Art of Researching

The beach has always been my space of reflexivity. Back in Spain, the noise and smell of the coast was something I looked for when in a doubtful situation. As ...
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Writing Ethnography

White-red Serendipity

Ethnographic writing. How intimidating these words together can be. I guess that a way of making it more meaningful is to make it my own.  That’s why I will first ...

Course Reflections

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Course reflections

Introducing the digital mind

The MA African Studies started! Classes began the 9th of the September with our course, the Researching Africa in the 21stCentury at 11:15 am. After a few classrooms changes, after ...

Archived posts - previous classes

Project updates

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21st Century (2018/19) Project updates

An internship at one of Uganda’s biggest newspapers

January 14th was my very first day as an intern at the New Vision, one of Uganda’s two main newspapers. Every day I go to the field with reporters from ...
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21st Century (2018/19) Project updates

WordPress as my virtual archive

When I started using Wordpress at the beginning of my internship, my intent was just to showcase some of the items I had been working on at NewsDay. But I soon came to ...
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21st Century (2018/19) Project updates

Bibliography (non-alphabetical, to be added to)

Mutsvairo, B., & Sirks, L. (2015). Examining the contribution of social media in reinforcing political participation in Zimbabwe. Journal of African Media Studies,7(3), 329-344. Ademola Kazeem Fayemi, Towards an African Theory of ...
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21st Century (2018/19) Project updates

What You Should Know about Development and Aid Transparency

By now everybody knows what must happen to transform our world into The World We Want. The 17 interrelated 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) states it crystal clear. But ...
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21st Century (2018/19) Project updates

A reflection on doing my first-ever academic interviews

In the 5th week of my internship in Zimbabwe I started conducting the interviews I had planned for my data-collection. I deliberately waited some time to start doing them, as I ...
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21st Century (2018/19) Project updates

Violent beatings in Zimbabwe: the aftermath of the protests

Protests erupted on the 14th of January 2019 in Harare and Bulawayo after a massive increase in the prices of basic commodities. The violence mainly took place in townships surrounding ...

Logo making

Course reflections

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21st Century (2018/19)Course reflections

‘’The body and the grave’’

Image 1: class session 26 Do not be scared! This introductory sentence is nothing but the title of the slam that opened today’s session. Indeed, we have started the lecture ...