This course explores the history of West Africans in the wider context of the global past. Our course begins in very distant times, and traces currents of change from West Africans’ first attempts to make a living in ancient environments through their subsequent challenges and actions in the eras of the slave trades (domestic, trans-Saharan and Atlantic), colonial overrule by outsiders beginning in the 19th century, political independence in the late 20th century, and ever-increasing globalization to 2018. Though the course focuses primarily on those people living in the region, we will follow a select few to their new places of residence in the Americas in the era of the Atlantic era and to global capitals and their suburbs in our own lifetimes.
Experience studying Africa and/or any of the course themes is welcomed. This may include foundational work in HIAF 2001 or HIAF 2002, or achieved through other courses, including those offered in other departments and disciplines, that approach Africa, Africans, and African diasporas. Other students will bring life experiences or intellectual curiosities about the topics and thereby enrich our work.
The course’s focus is on Africa, but the issues are global and comparative, and therefore course learning is broadly applicable to other places and people.
HIAF 3051 qualifies for the College of Arts & Sciences graduation requirements in the traditional curriculum in Non-Western Perspectives and Historical Studies; and in the New College Curriculum as Historical Perspectives and Cultures & Societies of the World. History majors may use HIAF 3051 as a “non-Western” course for their undergraduate program.