Winter interim trip gives students an immersive cultural experience in West Africa Twitter
Twenty students representing a broad range of academic disciplines had intensive learning experience in the French-speaking West African nation.
Led by Wendy Wilson-Fall, associate professor and chair of Africana studies, and Rachel Goshgarian, associate professor of history, the students explored Dakar, the capital city, where they also had classes at West African Research City. The group traveled to other towns as well, experiencing firsthand a region rich in cultural diversity, religious tolerance, and intellectual curiosity. Located at what was once the nexus of the Saharan and Atlantic trade routes, Senegal prides itself on its political stability and its strong civic life since its independence from France in 1960.
Students also engaged in some of the pressing issues facing Senegal, including lack of public funds for universities, rapid urbanization, and child beggars. Course objectives included learning about linkages of rural and urban economies in West Africa, Islam, and Christianity in Senegalese culture, the participation of women in public discourse in Senegal, and how pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial experiences shape contemporary life in West Africa.