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Module

HIS2027 : Africa: History of a Continent

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jack Webb
  • Lecturer: Dr Nicola Clarke, Dr Jane Webster, Dr Willow Berridge, Dr Micaela Langellotti
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

This module covers the history of Africa from roughly the dawn of history until the post-colonial period. The module is organized chronologically by region, in order to introduce students to the great diversity of peoples, cultures, and climates that characterize the African continent. In this module, students will learn that Africa was never the “dark continent” that it is often supposed to be. A major focus of the module will be Africa’s engagement with the outside world, including the trans-Saharan trade, Swahili city-states and the Indian Ocean, and Trans-Atlantic trade. The module will stress continuity across time periods in order to highlight the lasting impact of historical processes, especially the slave trade and European colonialism. By privileging interdisciplinary methodologies to recover African voices, ideas, and institutions, students learn how Africans have always been influential historical actors in world history, exploring how they interacted with their neighbors in ways that made sense to them and their communities.
Module Aims:
•       Introduce students to the African past, especially the way in which Africans influenced, and were influenced by global networks of exchange of people, goods, and ideas.
•       Introduce students to multidisciplinary methods and sources used to recover the African past.
•       Explore the challenges of “doing history” by evaluating historical interpretations.
•       Introduce students to crafting their own arguments about the African past.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics for this course may include:

The Invention of Africa
Human Origins
Invention of Language
Foodways: Farming, Hunter Gatherers, Pastoralists
Diffusion of Iron
Climate
The Bantu Expansion
Nile River Valley Societies – Egypt, Nubia
The Horn of Africa
North Africa in Global History
Christianity, Islam, and African Traditional Religions
Niger River Valley and the Medieval Empires
Trans-Saharan Trade in Global History
East Africa, Swahili City States, and Indian Ocean Trade
Encounter with Europeans
Dependency, Slavery, and Slave Trades
Southern Africa in Global History
Impact of the Slave Trade on Africa
European Colonialism
Post-Colonial Africa

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials182:0036:00Non-synchronous recorded content and enhanced readings
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion641:0064:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading641:0064:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Seminars
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities181:0018:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery91:009:00Online
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Our teaching strategy is based on a flipped classroom. Students are expected to come to class having completed the assigned reading in order to fully participate in active learning, lead by in-classroom activities. Seminars are spaces for students to workshop specific case studies, developing the competencies in the multidisciplinary methodologies and analytical skills targeted in the module aims.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M301000 words
Essay2A702000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Informed by pedagogical research, this course adopts an outcome based assessment model. In order to ensure accessibility to socially and neurologically diverse student population, this course uses scaffolded written assignments to build critical writing skills, facility with the material and historical research.

Reading Lists

Timetable