Culture of Rastafari
This course offers an introduction to some of the central ideas and issues related to the culture of Rastafari. The objective is to allow students to view a range of cultural artefacts and texts produced by and about Rastafari in order to interpret and assess the significance of the movement’s emergence, development and contribution to local sensibilities as well as global thought and practice. The course existing in the field of Cultural Studies will also aim to present the movement as part of a holistic framework of Caribbean socio-cultural retentions. Students will become exposed to the theoretical underpinnings that have sought to expand and regulate the growth of the Rastafarian movement.
The main themes explored include the ideological underpinnings of Rastafari such as Pan-Africanism, Ethiopianism, repatriation and reparation; the emergence and evolution of Rastafari; Rastafari doctrine and dogma; Rastafari and resistance; Rastafari and Reggae music; Rastafari and gender; and Rastafari in the 21st century.
Who is this course for?
This course is divided into 9 units. The units to be covered in this course are as follows:
- Unit 1: The Road to Rastafari I – Context and Foundation
Pan-Africanism Ethiopianism Marcus Garvey
- Unit 2: The Road to Rastafari II – The Founders
Leonard Howell and the Emergence of Pinnacle Archibald Dunkley
Robert Hinds Joseph Hibbert
- Unit 3: Doctrine and Dogma I –Theology of Rastafari, selected texts
The Kebra Negast (The Glory of the Kings) The Promised Key
The Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy
The Holy Piby or The Black Man’s Bible
The King James Bible
- Unit 4: Doctrine and Dogma II – The Rituals, Livity and Mansions of Rastafari
Rituals and Ital Livity
The Mansions of Rastafari: Theocracy Reign Order of the Nyahbinghi (Binghi mansion); the Bobo Ashanti; and the Twelve Tribes of Israel
- Unit 5: Resistance, Persecution and Early Intellectual Attempts to Understand Rastafari
Rastafari and Resistance
Persecution against Rastafari
The “Report” on Rastafari
- Unit 6: Rastafari, Repatriation and Reparation
Repatriation to the Motherland – The Quest of Rastafari Reparation and Rastafari Agitation
- Unit 7: Gender and Rastafari
Gender Roles in Rastafari Ritual and Practice
‘Rastaman Woman’: Role and Place of Women in Early Rastafari Movement
Becoming a Rastawoman: Evolving Position of Women in Rastafari
- Unit 8: Rastafari and Reggae
History of Reggae Music
Reggae and the ‘Gospel’ of Rastafari
- Unit 9: Rastafari in the Globalised Twenty-first Century
Message of Rastafari in the 21st Century – Relevance and Authenticity
When will the course start?
Students may start this programme in January or August of each academic year.
US$570.00 (international non-contributing students)
US$360.00 (regional/contributing students)
How to Apply
Click to Complete Application Form
Mode of Delivery
CLTR2518 will be delivered synchronously (weekly web-conferencing and online tutorials) and asynchronously (discussion forums and pre-recorded videos and interviews). This course embraces collaborative, active and experiential learning styles to achieve course objectives. Units are designed so that students are encouraged to learn by participating in learning activities individually or in groups and through experience. Students therefore undertake video analysis or field trips to Rastafari sites, perform document analysis of Rastafari key texts, and carry out peer teaching/learning through the creation of wikis, blogs and discussion forums.
The course will be assessed as follows:
|Compulsory Coursework:||60% to be assessed as follows:|
The Assessment Plan will provide a detailed breakdown of each coursework assignment.