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Consumption and material culture in Africa since c. 1850


Admission requirements

Course Description

In this course, we will be investigating how the major shifts in the material culture of Africa over the last 150 years have come about. The main interests will be on the ways in which European forms clothing, housing, furniture, and domestic utensils have been adopted in African households, often as the result of migrant labout.
Further the course will investigate elite conspicuous consumption in relation to the major changes of material culture which have characterised Africa in the 20th century.

Course objectives

Further understanding of Africa, globalisation and the material world.


See time table TCA

Mode of instruction

Research Seminar

Assessment method




Reading list

Robert Ross, Clothing: a global history


Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply

Contact information

Prof. dr. R.J. Ross


This research seminar is also offered as part of the MA curriculum in African studies.