This course focuses specifically on the Western region of Africa and will examine a diverse range of arts and cultures from the following countries: Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burkina Faso, and Senegal. By focusing on a specific geographic region, students will be able to better understand the arts of the aforementioned countries and how they are interrelated. Students will be further encouraged to examine how African cultures and their respective art forms have been represented by Western academics and the Western art historical canon. The course will include both historical and contemporary art forms, such as masks and masquerades, textiles, wood carvings/sculptures, and architecture. Contemporary works of art will also be discussed, with an emphasis placed on artists who are influenced by historical forms of African art (such as El Anatsui and Yinka Shonibare).