Africa Before Colonialism

SAME AS V11.0055

Africa, the ‘Dark Continent’ of the euro-American imagination, was long portrayed as a land without history. This course debunks the myths, exploring the complexity of African civilizations before European colonialism. We will examine how ecology, gender, religion, and slavery and the slave trades shaped medieval Mali, the Swahili Coast, the Cape Colony—and the world. Through class visits to museums and archives in New York City, students will also learn how to use linguistic, material, oral, and written sources to reconstruct Africa’s deeper past.

Africa, the ‘Dark Continent’ of the euro-American imagination, was long portrayed as a land without history. In this course we debunk the myths, exploring African civilization and culture in the centuries before European colonialism. We will examine how ecology, slavery and the slave trades, and Africa’s place in Atlantic and Indian Ocean networks shaped medieval Mali, the Swahilli Coast, the South African cape colony—and the world. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Information

HIST-UA 55

Undergraduate

4 Points

Term Section Instructor Schedule Location

Fall 2017

1
Helen Hazelwood Isaac
TR: 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM GCASL 369
1
Robyn d'Avignon
TR: 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM GCASL 369