African History

HIST 10101  Introduction to African Civilization I  (E. Osborn)  African Civilization introduces students to African history in a three-quarter sequence. Part One considers literary, oral, and archeological sources to investigate African societies and states from the early Iron Age through the emergence of the Atlantic World. We will study the empires of Ghana and Mali, the Swahili Coast, Great Zimbabwe, and medieval Ethiopia.  We will also explore the expansion of Islam, the origins and effects of European contact, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

HIST 23209  France and Its Empire, 1830–2020 (L. Auslander)  Opening with the French invasion of Algeria and closing with the contemporary debates around race, gender, secularism, and Islam, this course will provide both an overview of France's engagement in the world and its consequences and an in-depth knowledge of some key moments or events. Special attention will be given to the engagement of French feminists in the imperial project and the development of feminist movements in West and North Africa; the role of indigenous intermediaries; and the mobilization of culture in the interests of both imperial rule and anti-colonial nationalism. Materials will include primary printed and visual and material sources, such as films, as well as a textbook for background. The format will combine lecture and discussion. Assignments: class presentations on the readings, a midterm paper, and a final paper. Attendance will be required and participation graded.

HIST 26614  Making the Monsoon: The Ancient Indian Ocean  (R. Payne)  The course will explore the human adaptation to a climatic phenomenon and its transformative impacts on the littoral societies of the Indian Ocean, circa 1000 BCE–1000 CE. Monsoon means season, a time and space in which favorable winds made possible the efficient, rapid crossing of thousands of miles of ocean. Its discovery—at different times in different places—resulted in communication and commerce across vast distances at speeds more commonly associated with the industrial than the preindustrial era, as merchants, sailors, religious specialists, and scholars made monsoon crossings. The course will consider the participation of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and East African actors in the making of monsoon worlds and their relations to the Indian Ocean societies they encountered; the course is based on literary and archaeological sources, with attention to recent comparative historiography on oceanic, climatic, and global histories.