This course traces the incorporation of Africa into an expanding global world from the middle of the 19th century to the present and examines the impact of this integration on the history of African cultures and modern nation states. It is designed to provide you with an introductory understanding of the economic, social, and political forces that have shaped Africa in recent times and continue to affect the lives of individual people across the continent.
Over the course of the semester you will be introduced to major historical themes in African History from the past 150 years, including the abolition of the slave trade and its effects, African states in the 19th century, the growing integration of different regions into shifting global and economic systems, European colonization, and African resistance to imperial conquest. We will also explore the emergence of the nationalist and anti-colonial movements, and Africa’s post-colonial experiences of self-governance. Within these broad historical processes, the class will cover additional key themes such as religious change and the role of Western missionaries; changing gender roles; environmental exploitation and change; the emergence of the developmental state; urbanization; military dictatorships, and war and violence in the late 20th century. We will also cover some of the issues surrounding the study of African History as a discipline. This is a challenging task as no single course can cover more than a silver of the complexity and variety of the continent. This is why we approach the study of Modern African History through a comparative prism.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
active participation in discussion, map quiz, response papers, midterm and final exams, and a case study paper (7-10 pages)
if course is over-enrolled, preference to history majors and students with a demonstrated interest in African studies
Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
This course will introduce students to how modern Africans have contended with powerful forces that have deeply affected the continent. It will examine how different societies on the continent -- in different environments and circumstances -- devised solutions to the challenges of the day. All of the readings, discussions, and assignments will ask students to center and insert African voices into histories fraught with misrepresentations.
GBST African Studies Electives
HIST Group A Electives - Africa