Senegal: National Identity and the Arts
- How to Choose a Program
- View SIT Study Abroad Undergraduate Research / ISP Collection
- View the 2014 Overview Brochure (PDF, 2MB)
- View the 2014 Semester Catalog (PDF, 8MB)
- View the 2014 Summer Catalog (PDF, 1MB)
- View Our Photo Galleries on Flickr
- Academic Resources/Library
- Track Your Application Online
- US State Department "Students Abroad"
- SIT Study Abroad Gear
Experience the enormous contribution to African arts and culture made by Senegal, a nation that has inspired centuries of poets, novelists, and artists.
Learn to create or perform Senegalese art, music, and dance through workshops in djembe, batik, glass painting, bronze sculpture, ceramics, and traditional Senegalese instruments such as the tama.
Led to independence by internationally acclaimed poet and philosopher Leopold Sedar Senghor, Senegal has long emphasized the transformational roles of art and culture. Senghor believed that – beyond politics and economics - knowing and supporting one’s own culture was the key to true development.
With the capital city of Dakar as home base, students examine the complex social, economic, and political issues facing Senegal. Topics of study include the role of Islam in Senegalese life, contemporary development, challenges posed to women’s rights, education, and traditional West African music, rhythms, and storytelling.
The program takes a critical approach to Senegalese artistic and cultural forms — from traditional aesthetic expressions to modern notions of cosmopolitanism/afropolitanism and urban identities realized in new artistic formats such as hip-hop, street art, and graffiti. Students not only learn a variety of West African art forms and what they represent but also learn to create and perform them.
Through the program’s homestays, students live with different Senegalese families in urban and rural parts of the country thereby experiencing contrasting expressions of everyday life. Stays in the coastal Wolof town of Mouit and the remote inland town of Kédougou reveal similarities and differences among Senegal’s different ethnic groups.. Learn more about the program’s excursions to diverse areas of Senegal.
Through the program’s language instruction, students are able to enhance their French while also learning Wolof.
Lecturers and resources for this program are drawn from institutions such as:
- Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar
- Village des Arts (professional artists’ cooperative)
- Senegalese Ministry of Culture
- Media Centre of Dakar
- Réseau Africain du Développement Integré (RADI)
- Centre Culturel Blaise Senghor
“SIT Study Abroad Senegal profoundly impacted my life and gave me a different perspective on how I see myself and the world.”
Inspired by artisans he met studying abroad in Senegal, Clint has made it his life’s passion to use poetry to raise awareness about critical global issues. Following graduation, he returned to Africa to work for a South African organization that uses soccer as a means to promote awareness and education about HIV/AIDS. Today, he is active in South Africa’s spoken-word poetry scene and works with local advocacy organizations to use his poems to raise awareness about issues ranging from miners’ rights to increasing social and civic engagement among South African youth.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Dakar
Language Study: French, Wolof
Prerequisites: 3 semesters French Read more...
View Student Evaluations for this program:
888.272.7881 (toll-free in US)
PO Box 676, 1 Kipling Road
Brattleboro, VT 05302 USA