Dakar: Media and Political Science

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Students coordinate on a music video with local hip-hop artists and learn the ways in which the media industry and popular media (film, TV, radio, newspapers, popular music) have been influential in instigating political change and political engagement by youth. Students work directly with the co-founder of the Y’en A Marre movement to better understand the relationship between music and politics in Senegal. Students live together in an apartment with a Senegalese cook who prepares their meals daily.

The Republic of Senegal, which achieved independence in 1960 after more than a century of French colonial rule, is arguably one of the most democratic countries in West Africa. Senegal has a population of nearly 15 million, with 3 million living in Dakar, the political and economic capital, and one of West Africa’s most vibrant cities. A major port and administrative center, Dakar is home to the National Assembly, president’s palace, and bustling Sandaga Market. Around Dakar, you’ll find majestic cliff walks, beaches and major historic attractions like the Dakar Grand Mosque and Dakar Cathedral.

Although French is the country’s official language and Wolof the predominant language, other languages are spoken by the country’s multiethnic population. Ninety-four percent of Senegalese are Muslim.

Program Highlights

This is an example program. All CIEE Faculty-Led & Custom Programs can be customized to meet your academic goals and financial requirements.

12 days

Days 1-2

  • Arrival, welcome dinner, orientation
  • Lunch with CIEE summer session students
  • Dakar city tour

Days 3-6

  • Visit to a TV/Radio station
  • Visit to a walkable island with a history in the Atlantic slave trade
  • Guest lectures from a young filmmaker and a Senegalese rapper
  • Overnight excursion to Toubab Dialao, dancing and drumming activities

Days 7-12

  • Visit to a famous art complex and a beautiful coastal area
  • Group project work throughout the week
  • Community engagement activity

Our Staff

Serigne Ndiaye, Ph.D., has been resident director of the CIEE Study Center in Dakar since 2002. Born and raised in Senegal, Serigne completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in English and American literature and civilization at Université Cheikh Anta Diop, and earned his doctorate in comparative literature at Emory University. His primary research and teaching areas include Francophone African and Caribbean literature and culture and post-colonial theory. Serigne has taught at both Emory University and the State University of New York-Albany and speaks four languages: English, French, Serer, and Wolof.


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