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MODERN AFRICAN HISTORY
Course Description and Objectives:
This course will examine the dynamics of political change in Africa during the colonial and post-colonial periods. It will work to identify the legacy of the colonial past on independent African states, giving special attention to such institutions as state bureaucracy, military, and unequal economic development among different ethnic regions. It will investigate coup d'etats and civil wars to see whether common factors among African states account for the environment of political instability after the colonial period. It will also seek to identify the factors that determined which African states would achieve independence through political means and which would in time resort to armed struggle to achieve their liberation. .
The internationalization of African conflicts on account of the post World War II cold war and the role played by Africa in America's formulation of its own foreign policy objectives will also be investigated. This course will explore the political implications of development assistance targeted towards African nations. The democratization movement in Africa will also be examined in terms of what it might presage for the future of that continent. The concluding lectures of this course will be devoted to contemporary problems including the AIDS epidemic, economic development, wildlife preservation and other environmental issues.
Historiography is also a vital element of this upper level course. What are the diverse frameworks through which the History of African has been seen in the past? What are the sources used in the study of this subject matter, and in what ways do they influence the way empirical details of that history are perceived? What stereotypes about Africa define its image in America?
Course Requirements and Grading:
Mid-Term Exam 30%
Term Paper 25%
Periodic Quizzes 10%
Africa Project 5%
The Term paper (10 to 12 pages typed) must present a factual, well-reasoned examination of an issue relating to African History from the 19th century to the present. This paper must demonstrate clarity of thought and an effective use of source materials. Term papers will also be expected to follow accepted practices of form and style for academic writing, and make accurate use of citations, footnotes, bibliography. Do not hand in a term paper that does not have properly formulated citations, that is, footnotes or endnotes.
The Africa Project represents an opportunity for students to explore the expressive cultures of Africa, through presentation of a creative work inspired by the subject matter of this course. It may involve such activities as the writing of a poem, short story, essay, artistic expression in preparing a drawing, sketch, sculpture, craft making, cooking an African recipe, a short dance, singing or instrumental performance, and so forth. Students’ “Africa Projects” will be presented before the class. As this project represents an opportunity to express your own creativity, please refrain from merely reciting someone else’s poetry or writings. These projects will be graded on the amount of creative effort put into the project.
Any student with special circumstances covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act should register with the Office of Disability Accommodation (ODA), Suite 322, University Union Building, and also inform the instructor of the class. Reasonable adjustments will be made to accommodate the special needs of students with disabilities where such adjustments are necessary to provide equality of educational access.
Students who have registered with the ODA should make an appointment to discuss their disabilities accommodation requests with the instructor. Students with special circumstances covered by the ADA may also consult with the History Department's ADA Liaison, Professor Eaton, in WH 263.
The creation of colonial administrations and the African resistance to it; the British in Southern Africa; socio-economic impact of British, French, Belgian, Portuguese colonialism; the continuing spread of Islam throughout West Africa; the rise of incipient African nationalism
IV. The Colonial Period
The economic impact of colonial rule; the growth of African nationalism and protest movements; the consolidation of apartheid in South Africa and the African resistance to it; the Italian conquest of Libya and Ethiopia; the social and political impact of World War II throughout Africa.
V. The Winning of Independence
The emergence of African nationalist leaders from Gamal Abdul Nasser, to Leopold Senghor, Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere; the decolonization process in British and French Africa; the Algerian civil war; secession and civil war in Katanga; federation and independence in the Rhodesias and Nyasaland.
VI. The Wars of Liberation
The eruption of anti-colonial armed struggles in Portuguese Africa lead by PAIGC, MPLA, UNITA, FRELIMO, in Rhodesia directed by ZANU and ZAPU, and in South Africa conducted by the ANC, PAC, Black Consciousness Movement.
The emergence of one party states and military rule; civil wars in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Angola, Somalia; economic legacy of underdevelopment and dependency; South Africa and the dismantling of apartheid; the democratization movement.
VIII. Environmental Challenges
AIDS epidemic, economic development, wildlife preservation and other environmental challenges.