HIST 104
Travel Narratives and African History Spring 2010
Division II Writing Skills
Cross-listed HIST 104 / AFR 104
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

In a way, all historical thinking and writing deals with travel accounts given that, as many scholars have noted, the past can be likened to a foreign country and the historian can be viewed as a traveler in foreign places. Nevertheless, actual travel narratives–narratives about the actual physical visits of writers to distant lands–call for careful and critical analysis because they can be seductive, and they can shape the ways we think about the present–and the past–of distant lands and cultures. This course discusses Arab, European, African and African American travel narratives about various regions of Africa since the 14th century. We will mine the travel accounts for descriptions of local contexts. We will also explore what travel writing says about the author’s perceptions of self, home, and “other.” Ultimately, we will investigate the authors’ biases and how the narratives influence both our perception of Africa and the writing of African history. This course is highly interdisciplinary and draws heavily on literary, anthropological, geographical, and historical methodologies.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3073
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation, oral reports, 1-2 short papers and a research paper
Prerequisites: first-year or sophomore standing
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students, and then to sophomores who have not previously taken a 100-level seminar
Unit Notes: meets Group A requirement in History major only if registration is under HIST
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 104 Division II AFR 104 Division II
Attributes: HIST Group A Electives - Africa

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