Course Content and Outcome Guide for HST 284 Effective Fall 2015

Course Number:
HST 284
Course Title:
History of Africa
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Examines the major themes and issues in the culture and history of the African continent, considering the rise of complex indigenous empires, smaller African societies, agricultural and technological achievements, African state systems, as well as the impact of international trade and Islam on Africa. Includes colonialism, independence, and the social, political and cultural contributions of Africa's diverse people to world history. Recommended: completion of WR 115 with a C or better grade. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This course explores the history of African civilizations in each of five geographic regions: Northern, Eastern, Western, Central and Southern. It will focus on topics and issues that were important to the various African civilizations and explore how they interacted with each other; it also encompasses information about the activities of famous as well as ordinary people as they lived their daily lives within the larger framework of cultural and historical realities.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion students should be able to:

  • Articulate and interpret an understanding of key historical facts and events in the culture and history of the African continent.
  • Identify the influence of culturally based practices, values, and beliefs to analyze how historically defined meanings of difference affect human behavior.
  • Identify and investigate historical theses, evaluate information and its sources, and use appropriate reasoning to construct evidence-based arguments on historical issues.
  • Construct a well organized historical argument using effective, appropriate, and accurate language.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assess by using any combination of the following:

  • Exams
  • Essays
  • Oral presentations
  • Research projects
  • Book critiques
  • Service Learning
  • Class participation and discussion
  • Other creative assignments

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Competencies and Skills:

Analyze and evaluate primary and secondary sources:

  • Connect evidence to its relevant historical context
  • Analyze and evaluate written, artistic, or other evidence
  • Assess the motivation and purpose of evidence

Evaluate different interpretations of past events and construct your own interpretation:

  • Identify a historian¬Ä¬ôs thesis and supporting evidence
  • Evaluate the arguments used to support different interpretations of historical issues
  • Develop your own thesis and historical interpretation and use evidence to support it

Think critically about the relationship between past and present events and issues:

  • Recognize and identify historical roots and parallels to current issues

Compare and contrast the experience of diverse groups in society:

  • Listen to and appreciate the experience of students from a variety of  backgrounds
  • Assess the contributions and experiences of various groups in society

Demonstrate college-level communications skills with an emphasis on writing (and may include listening and speaking):

  • Communicate effectively in writing about a historical topic
  • Communicate in writing an understanding of historical process and an evaluation of how concepts or values change over time

Clearly articulate thoughts and ideas to a particular audience which may include:

  • Working collaboratively with other students to evaluate and understand historical events
  • Working collaboratively with others in discussions, debate, or role plays
  • Presenting information in oral presentations

Themes, Concepts, Issues:

  • State formation: the rise and development of political entities
  • The role of women
  • Cultural continuity and change
  • Acculturation
  • Political and economic progress
  • Developments in literature, art and music
  • Conflict and cooperation
  • Religions and philosophies
  • Leadership
  • Revolution
  • Religious pluralism (belief systems)
  • Self-understanding (world views)
  • The Diaspora
  • Pan Africanism
  • Leadership and statecraft
  • Colonialism and imperialism
  • Historical interpretation
  • Resistance
  • Domestic and commercial slavery
  • Ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic class
  • Inter- and intra-ethnic cooperation and conflicts
  • Impact of Christianity and Islam
  • State building and empire building
  • Cultural evolution
  • Colonialism and its impact
  • Negritude and other aspects of cultural pride
  • The symbiotic relationship between Europe and Africa