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MODERN AFRICA University of Illinois at Chicago HISTAAST 242 Fall 2002


Maps and Peoples of Africa ... Map of Africa' in Martin and O'Meara, pp. ... description: On the following blank map of Africa: 1) Identify all 54 countries, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: MODERN AFRICA University of Illinois at Chicago HISTAAST 242 Fall 2002

MODERN AFRICA University of Illinois at
Chicago HIST/AAST 242 Fall 2002
Course Format
Course Description
  • Africa is the second largest, probably the
    oldest and most diverse, and certainly the least
    understood continent in the world. Until
    recently, prominent European scholars have denied
    that, with the possible exception of the
    Mediterranean countries north of the Sahara,
    there was no history in Africa before the arrival
    of Europeans. The reputation of Africa in the
    media has faired little better. We hear
    descriptions of Africa as the "sick continent"
    or, as Noble Laureate Wole Soyinka put it, "the
    open sore of a continent." Neoconservatives in
    the United States openly argue that African
    Americans should be grateful for slavery as it
    saved them from Africa. One could go on and on.
    But the purpose of this course is not to catalog
    the various ways in which the African continent,
    particularly the part south of the Sahara, has
    been disparaged equated with war, corruption,
    disease and squalor. Rather, we will critically
    review the modern history of the continent and
    explore the processes by which the contemporary
    state of affairs has come about, the past to the
    present crises and triumphs as there are
    triumphs too. We will approach this topic through
    a variety of media, including film, music and
    literary sources.

Course Requirements
Course Materials
  • Books are available at Chicago Text Books on
    Taylor. Their
  • phone number is (312)733-8398. Additionalreadings
    will be
  • provided in course reader.
  • - Phyllis M. Martin and Patrick O'Meara, Africa,
    3rd Edition.
  • - Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart.
  • - Sembene Osmane, God's Bits of Wood.
  • - Frantz Fanon, Wretched of the Earth.

WEEK 1 Aug. 26-30 Mon. Introduction to Modern
  • - the politics of representation
  • course overview
  • film clip.

Weds. Maps and Peoples of Africa
  • Martin and O'Meara, preface and introduction,
    Micheal McNulty, "The Contemporary Map of Africa"
    in Martin and O'Meara, pp. 10-45. Take home map
    assignment due Weds., Sept. 4.
  • Assignment description On the following blank
    map of Africa 1) Identify all 54 countries, 2) 5
    major rivers, 3) 5 capital cities, 4) the oceans
    and seas surrounding the continent and 5) 3 major

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WEEK 2 Sept. 2-6 Weds. Before Empire African
Societies on the Eve of Conquest
  • Lamphear and Falola, "Aspects of Early African
    History" in Martin and O'Meara and Curtin Keim,
    "Africa and Europe before 1900" in Martin and
    O'Meara and Adu Boahen, Politics of Ghana,
    1800-1874 in J. F. Ade Ajayi and Michael
    Crowder, History of West Africa, Vol. Two. NY
    Columbia University Press, 1973

WEEK 3 Sept. 9-13 Mon. The Bible, The Compass and
the Gun
  • Kevin Shillington, History of Africa, chaps.
  • Sven Lindqvist, "Gods of Arms" in "Exterminate
    the Brutes" pp. 35-69. (Reading Packet)
  • film "The Bible and the Gun"

Weds. African Resistance Movements 1
  • David Beach, "'Chimurenga' The Shona Rising of
    1896-97," Journal of African History, Vol. 20(3)
    1979, pp. 395-420, D. Chanaiwa, "African
    Initiatives and Resistance in Southern Africa" in
    A. Adu Boahen, General History of Africa. VII.
  • (Reading Packet)

WEEK 4 Sept. 16-18 Mon. African Movements 2
  • M'Baye Gueye and A. Adu Boahen, "African
    Initiatives and Resistance in West Africa,
    1880-1914," in A. Adu Boahen, General History of
    Africa. VII and Arhin Brempong, "The Role of Nana
    Yaa Asantewa… (web)

Weds. Theorizing Modern Africa Imperialism,
Underdevelopment and Deconstruction
  • D.K. Fieldhouse, "The New Imperialism The
    Hobson-Lenin Thesis Revised" in George H. Nadel,
    Imperialism and Colonialism, pp. 74-97. Walter
    Rodney, "Some Questions on Development What is
    Development? What is Underdevelopment?" in How
    Europe Underdeveloped Africa, pp.3-29 and V.Y.
    Mudimbe, "Discourse of Power and Knowledge of
    Otherness" in The Invention of Africa, pp. 1-23.
    (Reading Packet) Read for different perspectives
    on the causes of Africa's economic marginality

WEEK 5 African Worlds in Crisis
  • Mon. African Worlds in Crisis
  • Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, first half.
  • Weds. The Role of Literature in Modern African
  • Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart, conclude.
    Carter and OMeara, chap. 15.

WEEK 6 Sept. 30-Oct. 4 Mon. Material Basis of
Colonial Society
  • Sheldon Gellar, "The Colonial Era" Bill Freund,
    The Making of Contemporary Africa, chaps. 6,8.
    Sol Plaatje, Native Life in South Africa,
    descriptions of 1913 Native Lands Act in South
    Africa. "King Leopold's Syliloquy." (Reading

Weds. The African Working Class
  • Helen Bradford, "Mass Movements and the Petty
    Bourgeoisie The Social Origins of ICU
    Leadership, 1924-1929," Journal of African
    History, Vol. 23(1984), pp. 295-310, Donald
    Brody, "Clement Kadalie, Champion of the African
    Worker" and History of South African Communist
    Party. (webpage)

WEEK 7 Oct. 7-11 Mon. 1929 Womens War in Nigeria
  • Judith Van Allen, Judith Van Allen, "'Aba Riots'
    or Igbo 'Women's War'? Ideology, Stratification,
    and the Invisibility of Women" in Nancy Hafkin
    and Edna Bay (eds.), Women in Africa, pp. 59-85
    and see John Oriji, "Ibo Women from 1929 to 1960"
    in West African Review, 2000.

Weds. World War Two and After A Rising Tide of
  • After the War The Rising Tide of Anti-Colonial
    Resistance Through Film
  • Kevin Shillington, The Second World War in
  • Begin reading Gods Bits of Wood.
  • film Sembene Ousmane's, "Camp de Thiaroye."
    Viewing times and venues tba.

WEEK 8 Oct. 14-18
  • Mon. Rising Tide of African Resistance through
  • Sembene Ousmane, God's Bits of Wood. Visit
    Website biography of Sembene Ousmane.
  • Weds. Midterm Exam 

WEEK 9 Oct. 21-25 Mon. Ethiopianism John
Chilembwe to Marcus Garvey
  • George Shepperson, "Ethiopianism Past and
    Present" in CG Baeta (ed.) Christianity in
    Tropical Africa Robert Hill and Gregory Pirio,
    Africa for the Africans the Garvey Movement
    in South Africa, 1920-1940 in Shula Marks (ed.),
    The Politics of Race, Class and Nationalism, pp.

Weds. Religion and Social Change
  • Carter and OMeara, chaps. 11,16 and Bennetta
    Jules-Rosette, Symbols of Power and Change An
    Introduction to New Perspectives on Contemporary
    African Religion in The New Religions of Africa,
    1979, pp. 21.

WEEK 10 Mon. Oct. 28-Nov. 1 Mon. It Was the Best
of Times and the Worst of Times South Africa in
the 1950s
  • Nigel Worden, "The Hey day of Apartheid" in The
    Making of Modern South Africa, pp. 95-120, Mariam
    Makeba, My Life, pp. 32-74.
  • Peruse The Beat of Drum (website)
  • film clips "Have you seen Drum Lately?"

Weds. Rise of Anti-Apartheid Movement
  • Women's Anti-Pass Protest Frances Baard, "My
    Spirit is not Banned." Peruse Women's Struggle
    Documents and Now You Have Struck the Women from
    ANC Homepage. Read Nelson Mandela, The Struggle
    is My Life, pp. 50-61 and 87-122.
  • film "You Have Struck a Rock"
  • Paper One is due

WEEK 11 Nov. 4-8 Mon. Mau Mau and other Armed
  • See Global Literacy Project, Roots of the Kenyan
    Struggle for Independence, (webpage) Cora Ann
    Presley, "Kikuyu Women and the Mau Mau Rebellion"
    in Kikuyu Women, the Mau Mau Rebellion and Social
    Change in Kenya and Harkman Muniu speaks about
    the Mau Mau Rebellion. (webpage) Other sources,

Weds. Decolonization, Neocolonization and the
Congo Experience
  • Kevin Shillington, The History of Africa, chaps.
    26-27(Reading Packet) and John
  • Hendrick Clarke,"The Passing of Patrice
    Lumumba." Who Killed Lumumba? (webpage) Edmond
    Keller, Decolonization, Independence, and the
    Failure of Politics" in Carter and O'Meara, pp.
  • film Raoul Peck, La Mort du Prophete

WEEK 12 Nov. 11-15 Mon. Frantz Fanon and African
  • Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, chaps.
  • Class Visitor Lou Turner

Weds. Socialist Strategies of Revolution and
Development in Africa
  • Amilcar Cabral, Revolution in Guinea, pp. Tba.
    (reading packet)

WEEK 13 Nov. 18-22 Mon. Anti-Apartheid and
Lusophone Liberation Movements in Chicago
  • Readings tba.
  • Class Visitors Lisa Brock and Prexy Nesbitt.

Weds. Postcolonial and Postgenocidal Movements
for Democratization and Peace
  • Carter and O'Meara, chaps. 347-412.
  • Browse Truth and Reconciliation
  • Commission site. (webpage)
  • film "Long Night's Journey into Day"
  • Paper Two is due.

WEEK 14 Nov. 25-29 Presentations on Contemporary
Developments in Africa
  • Mon. Group Presentations
  • Weds. Group Presentations
  • FINAL EXAM ON Dec. 5th!

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