HIST 104 Spring 2013 Travel Narratives and African History (W)

Cross Listed as AFR104
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, Indian, 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.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on class participation, oral reports, 1-2 short papers and a research paper
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Prerequisites: first-year or sophomore standing
Enrollment Preference: first-year students, and then to sophomores who have not previously taken a 100-level seminar
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Divisional Attributes: Division II, Writing Intensive
Other Attributes: HIST Group A Electives - Africa
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 19
Class Number: 3422
HIST104-01(S) SEM Travel Narratives African Hist (W) Division 2: Social StudiesWriting Intensive Kenda B. Mutongi
MWF 11:00 AM-12:15 PM Paresky Room 210 3422
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