HISTORY 247 - Modern Africa
Winter 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/19/21 - 4/21/21 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


This course offers students the tools they need to understand current events in Africa from a historical perspective. The issues that define African politics today are shaped by the economic, political, and social changes that attended the 19th and 20th centuries. Any student of political science, economics, psychology, business, or literature who wishes to understand Africa must study its history, for that history sets the stage for the present. The course will begin by examining how wide-ranging processes--the slave trade, colonial rule, nationalism, independence--transformed the social and political lives of African people.  In the middle part of the course, we will explore the dynamics of human rights in contemporary Africa, using a detailed study of a recent court trial in Kenya. Toward the end of the semester, we’ll study a series of current issues—the political crisis in Zimbabwe; the Rwanda genocide; the end of apartheid in South Africa—in relation to longer-term histories. The core reading will be a set of “primary” documents dealing with issues addressed in lectures. By the end of the course, students will have learned how to interpret evidence, synthesize disparate sources, and create compelling arguments about the relation between past and present.  This course satisfies the ‘Race and Ethnicity’ requirement.

Course Requirements:

Map quiz; three short (3-5 page) essays; and one longer (7-8 pages) essay.

Intended Audience:

This is an introductory course. Anyone interested in the history of modern Africa is welcome.

Class Format:

Lecture, with films and general discussion, twice a week; and seminar-style discussion in sections once a week.


HISTORY 247 - Modern Africa
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
1/19/21 - 4/21/21
002 (DIS)
W 12:00PM - 1:00PM
1/19/21 - 4/21/21
003 (DIS)
W 2:00PM - 3:00PM
1/19/21 - 4/21/21

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for HISTORY 247 (UM login required)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)