This course covers the period of African history up to 1870. It will examine the human activities in Africa before its encounters with European colonial powers by analysing the history of the northern, western, eastern, central and southern Africa states before 1870. This course focuses on how, through trade and religious activities, Africa participated in the global exchange of ideas and goods, and the impact this has had on shaping the human life in African. It will also examine the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and its consequences on Africa in creating modern African states.
The main objective of this course is to provide the students with a broader understanding of the African continent until it became the battleground for European imperial powers at the end of the nineteenth century. It will further explore diverse forms of pre-colonial African civilizations defined in terms of complex political organizations and cultural formations.
At the end of this course, students should be able to:
• Understand that Africa was not isolated from the rest of the world until the era of European exploration, but was a part of the world wide network of commercial and cultural interactions;
• Acquire perspectives on African history and an understanding of the factors that shape human activity;
• Critically evaluate diverse interpretations of historical events and to apply that skill in careful analyses and appreciation of primary and secondary historical sources.
1. African History: Introduction
2. North Africa Before 1800: Early Christian States of North-East Africa, Islamization of North Africa.
3. West African States Before 1800: Sudanese Empires: Ghana and Mali; Songhay and Borno; Rise of Jihadi States in Western Sudan; Non-Islamic States of West Africa up to 1800: Benin and Oyo; Ashanti and Dahomey
4. East-Central and Southern Africa Before 1870: The Swahili City States; Great Zimbabwe and the Kongo Kingdom; The Southern African states.
5. Slavery and the Slave Trade up to 1870: The Transatlantic slave trade; African, Christian and Islamic perspective on the slave trade; Abolishing of the slave trade – African perspective (Raw materials and the beginning of colonization; Prelude to the partition of Africa)
Midterm Test or Assignment 30%
Final Exam 60%
Shillington, K. (2005) History of Africa, London/ Canada: Palgrave MacMillan
Harms, R. (2000) The Diligent: A Voyage through the Worlds of the Slave Trade, Basic Books.
Conrad, D. (2004) Sunjata: A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples, Cambridge: Hackett Publishing.
Collins, R. (2007) A History of Sub-Saharan African, Oxford: Oxford University Press.