History Department
History Department

Tshepo Masango Chery


Assistant ProfessorPh.D., 2012, History, University of Pennsylvania

Assistant Professor; Fellow, Lee and Joseph D. Jamail Chair in African American Studies
Tshepo Masango Chery

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Biography


 

Research Specialities:

African History; Social Movements; Religious Activism & Religious Fundamentalism; Education Policy in Africa; Global Health & International Aid

Biography

Tshepo Masango Chéry is an Assistant Professor in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies with an affiliation in the Department of History. She earned her BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs and Public Policy at Princeton University with certificates in African Studies, African American Studies, and Woman & Gender Studies. At the University of Pennsylvania, she obtained her PhD in African History with a certificate in Africana Studies. Her current book project is entitled Kingdom Come: Archbishop Alexander's Transnational Practices of Faith & Freedom in Segregationist South Africa. It examines the ways South Africans relied on the African Orthodox Church as a forum from to examines questions of freedom for themselves and other black people worldwide. This historical account which begins in the late 19th century and ends in the late 20th century, links together the political ambitions of South African Ethiopianism, American Garveyism, and East African radicalism.

Her work has been supported by the Fontaine Society, Annenberg Foundation, and the University of Virginia's Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies and she was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies. 

Courses


AFR 304 • Intro To The Study Of Africa

30015 • Fall 2016
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM GWB 1.130

This course is an introduction to African Studies, which reflects the social, cultural, political and economic diversity of the African continent. You will become familiar with a wide range of disciplinary perspectives and approaches to the study of historical and contemporary Africa. It will engage the disciplines of history, economies, cultural studies, gender studies, and religious studies. It strives to provide a foundation to the study of Africa whether it be global health or economic strategy.

HIS 364G • Histories African Liberatn

39475 • Fall 2016
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM GWB 1.130
(also listed as AFR 372G)

Is Africa free from all forms of colonialism? This course engages this question by examining the historical moment of African independence. It focuses on a variety of texts, both primary and secondary, from across the continent and beyond that embody the romantic visions, realistic compromises, and some of the tragic aftermaths of independence on the African continent. The course will explore themes that include an examination of the anti-colonial movement, the role of Pan-Africanism within nationalistic dialogues, the strengths and weakness of African nationalism after independence, as well as the challenges of nationalism in contemporary Africa.

 

AFR 372G • Jesus, Africa, And History

29485 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM PAR 310
(also listed as R S 360)

Explores the cultural, historical, linguistic, artistic, philosophical, and other intellectual traditions emerging from within Africa and as developed, reinterpreted, or reimagined in diasporic contexts. Exploration of the history of Christianity in Africa, from antiquity to the present, including the ways in which African interpretations and religious expressions of Christianity are presented in this history.

HIS 382L • Conversion/Colonization Afr

38917 • Spring 2016
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM GWB 1.138

This course examines the relationship between religion and colonization on the African continent. We will explore the ways Europeans’ relied on conversion efforts as a strategy of colonialism, and the ways Africans resisted organized religion by reinterpreting, reappropriating, and ultimately transforming it to meet their own spiritual, social, and political needs as well as maintained their own indigenous religions.

The course has two objectives.  It will expand graduate students’ knowledge of the history of and scholarly debates about the relationship between colonization and religion in Africa, with special attention to Christianity.  The course will also help students develop and refine their own pedagogical approaches.  While we will draw heavily on history and religion, we will critically examine interdisciplinary approaches to these issues, particularly those rooted in African and Diasporic Studies.

Our discussions will also address pedagogical shifts that emphasize global studies and ethical reasoning by giving students an opportunity to think about the ways African content can be integrated into non-African focused courses that are global in nature while also exploring effective ways to facilitate highly controversial topics such as religion.

AFR 317C • Intro To The Study Of Africa

29645 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.210

Who speaks for Africa and, by extension, African Studies? What has the emergence of new African diasporas meant for the study of Africa in the Western academy? And to what extent has those diasporic formations altered the relationship between African and African-American Studies? This course seeks to provide students with a deeper understanding of the complex histories, intellectual entanglements, and enduring hierarchies of these fields. Students will explore the evolution of African Studies (both intellectually and institutionally), particularly in regards to the emergence of Black Studies.

 

 

AFR 374C • Mandela:the Man & His Politics

30747 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM JES A203A

On December 5, 2013, the world mourned the loss of international icon: Nelson Mandela.

As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward a multiracial government and majority rule. His story is certainly one that is rooted in South African political history. Yet, his life, especially after enduring twenty-seven years of unjust imprisonment, captivated the world. He was revered as a champion of human rights and racial equality. As the former president of South Africa and a recipient of the Nobel peace prize, he became fixed in public consciousness as a remarkable model of supreme tolerance, generosity, grace, and reconciliation. This course relies on the personal and political history of Nelson Mandela to examine the history of modern South Africa. It seeks to unpack the Mandela as a mythical figure by examining some of the key experiences that shaped him as a man, revolutionary, and respected elder statesman. It will draw heavily on an array of primary evidence ranging from Mandela’s own writings, to government reports, contemporary newspaper articles and books, as well as popular art, films, and music. It critically traces his development across a range of issues from resistant strategies, gender, Pan-Africanism, as well as multiracialism, and nonviolence—hoping to give life to one of the most powerful and inspiring stories of the 20th century.

Texts (needs to be specific texts, not “course packet” or “TBA)”:

David James Smith, Young Mandela: The Revolutionary Years (New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2010)

 

*Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (Boston: Back Bay Books, 1995)

* A portion of these books will be read throughout the semester.

 

Grading breakdown (percentages):

Participation 15%

Midterm Examination 25%

Final Examination 30%

Primary Source Analysis Paper 30%

 

AFR 372G • Jesus, Africa, And History

30425 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM JES A218A
(also listed as R S 360)

The belief in Jesus through Christianity has been a a tool of colonial oppression, subjection, and alienation as well as a forum of African resistance and cultural appropriation. This course charts the development of Christianity in Africa, taking note of its mutually transformative processes for missionaries and for converts, this course approaches the belief in Jesus in Africa as a genuine spiritual experience, and as a site white modern African political and intellectual history can be examined. It is especially attune to the religious traditions African Christians integrated in their religious practice both in mission and African Initiated Churches. This course seeks to introduce students to some of the most formidable scholarship on African Christianity. It is both a course in which we will be attentive to the largest scholarly debates and also contextualize this work into the meteoric rise of African-Initiated Churches in Africa and among Africans abroad, keeping its history at the center.

 

Grading:

Attendance 10%Participation 10%Quizzes 10%Review Essay 20%Midterm 25%Final Exam 25%

 

Texts:

Cornaroff, Jean and John. Of Revelation & RevolutionHoefler-Fatton, Cynthia. Women of Fire & SpiritMagaziner, Dan. The Law and The Prophets.Mbiti, John. African Religions and Prophecy.

HIS 364G • Histories African Liberation

39693 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM PAR 306
(also listed as AFR 372G)

Is Africa free from all forms of colonialism? This course engages this question by examining the historical moment of African independence. It focuses on a variety of texts, both primary and secondary, from across the continent and beyond that embody the romantic visions, realistic compromises, and some of the tragic aftermaths of independence on the African continent. The course will explore themes that include an examination of the anti-colonial movement, the role of Pan-Africanism within nationalistic dialogues, the strengths and weakness of African nationalism after independence, as well as the challenges of nationalism in contemporary Africa.