Approved by University Studies Sub-Committee.  A2C2 action pending.

University Studies Course Approval Application

 

Department/Program: History

Course Number: 170 Number of Credits: 3

 Course Title: African Civilization

 Catalog Description:

A survey of African history from prehistoric times to the present. The emphasis is on African social, cultural and political history. The periods of study include Africa in the ancient world, medieval Africa, the slave trade, the era of European colonialism, the rise of nationalism and independence movements and contemporary Africa. Grade only.

This is an existing course that has previously been approved by A2C2: Yes.

 This is a new course proposal: No.

 Department Contact Person:

Marianna Byman

mbyman@winona.edu

 

History 170: African Civilization

 

University Studies Category: Unity and Diversity: Global Perspectives.

The program requires courses in this category to address at least two of the specified outcomes.

 

University Studies Outcome A:

To promote students’ abilities to understand the role of the world citizen and the responsibility world citizens share for their common global future.

The department believes that History 170: African Civilization will make a significant contribution to the Global Perspectives category of University Studies by introducing students to cultures that differ radically from their own. That in itself will bring students closer to any reasonable definition of "world citizen." Students will also have the opportunity to identify those cultural themes and historical developments in Africa that are similar to their own, another essential element of "world citizenship." Moreover, the course improves students’ understanding of the past conflicts between European and African societies and among African societies, highlighting how local conflicts can have genuinely global consequences.

The department also believes that understanding the principle African cultural traditions and external relations will begin to prepare students to work with people drawn from diverse traditions in a shrinking world. This, it seems to us in the History Department, is a critical element of "world citizenship."

History 170: African Civilization promotes these outcomes in several ways. The course introduces students to selected pre-modern African traditions and modern African history. Students, for example, will read and discuss extracts of texts drawn from the African oral tradition, as well as from medieval Islamic texts. Moreover, the course examines in some detail the impact on modern Africa of nationalism, colonialism, and militant imperialism. In the process, the course enables students to better understand the cultural diversity � as well as cultural commonality � of the world. Students then are better prepared to understand what in their own culture is local and particular and what is not.

The course also explores the relationship between the domestic affairs of nation states and their foreign policies, a dimension of the world system that its citizens need to understand. The course, for example, dedicates time to exploring the internal sources of Europe’s intrusion into African affairs. The course’s examination of 19th century imperialism emphasizes the economic and political sources of The Scramble. The course examines the global implications of domestic political and economic systems, as well as of the political and economic choices made by both subjects and citizens.

The course attempts to accomplish this through lectures, readings (in both historical literature and translated documents drawn from African cultures), class discussions using both small-group and full-class formats, essay exams, and an essay on a choice of assigned topics.

 

University Studies Outcome B:

To promote students’ abilities to describe and analyze social, economic, political, spiritual or environmental elements that influence the relations between living beings and their environments or between societies.

The department believes that History 170 will enable students to understand relations among societies by exploring both developments within Africa and relations between African and European powers.

The course attempts to accomplish this through lectures, readings (in both historical literature and translated documents drawn from African cultures), class discussions using both small-group and full-class formats, written tests, and an essay on a choice of assigned topics.

 

 

University Studies Outcome C:

To promote students’ abilities to identify and analyze specific global issues, illustrating the social, economic, political, spiritual or environmental differences that may affect their resolution.

History 170 introduces students to the global issue of imperial expansionism � cultural, political, and economic - drawn from the past rather than from the contemporary world. The course also invites students to compare European colonial systems and expansionism of the United States.

The course attempts to accomplish this through lectures, readings (in both historical literature and translated documents drawn from African cultures), class discussions using both small-group and full-class formats, written tests, and an essay on a choice of assigned topics.

 

 

Representative Syllabus

WINONA STATE UNIVERSITY

DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY

 

History 170 -- African Civilization � 3 Semester Credits

 

University Studies Program Course

Unity and Diversity: Global Perspectives

 

History 170 is a three-credit course meant to survey the entire sweep of African Civilization. It is an impossible task, and the course will be far more narrowly focused than the course title might imply. As a thematic, guiding thread the course concentrates on how the combination of traditional beliefs and institutions endured their collision with Western expansionism to help shape modern Africa.

The course will feature lectures, but it will also involve small group and class discussions. If you are not willing and ready to read assignments in advance of the class sessions and to discuss them, you should drop the course. Each student will take a map test, write a five- to ten-page paper on an assigned topic and complete two written examinations. You will find attached to this syllabus study guides for the map test and written examinations and an assignment sheet for the paper.

 

University Studies Program Notes

This course meets the requirements as a Global Perspectives course within the Unity and Diversity category of the University Studies Program. As such, this course includes requirements and learning activities that are designed:

 

A: To promote students’ abilities to understand the role of the world citizen and the responsibility world citizens share for their common global future.

This course will do this by using lectures, readings, and discussions to introduce you to the cultural traditions of Africa, emphasizing both the how they differ from western traditions and what they have in common with western traditions. The course will prepare you to better live in the shrinking world that you are inheriting. The course will also improve your understanding of past conflicts between Africa and the European powers and the U.S., and conflicts within Africa. In the process, the course will highlight how the interests and ambition of one nation (and its citizens or subjects) can have global consequences. The course, in other words, will imply that you, a citizen of one nation state, already are a "global citizen" whose interests and decisions will have far reaching consequences.

 

B: To promote students abilities to describe and analyze social, economic, political, spiritual or environmental elements that influence the relations between living beings and their environments or between societies.

The course addresses this University Studies outcome by focusing on the elements that influence relations between societies in the past. The course, for example, will explore both the sources of and the effects of European imperialism on the African continent’s society and people.

 

C: To promote students’ ability to identify and analyze specific global issues, illustrating effects of the social, economic, political, spiritual or environmental differences that may affect their resolution.

The course addresses this outcome as it focuses in the global issue of imperialistic expansionism, making you more aware of cultural and economic as well as political expansionism. Moreover, the course will encourage you to compare differing forms of expansionism. It will highlight and seek to explain Africa’s responses to the expansion of European power into Africa. While examining how Africa reacted to the conclusion of WW II, the course will continue to explore the sources of the divergent African responses to this global issue and its resolution.

 

Course Schedule

 

[Note: below, the letters MCJ refer to Schirokauer, MODERN CHINA AND JAPAN, and RDGs refers to READINGS FOR HIST 123, AFRICAN CIVILIZATION]

Topic 1: Course Introduction, Imperial China -- MCJ, ch. 1; RDGs, 1-70 (USO A) Map Quiz

Topic 2: Feudal Japan in the Tokugawa Era -- MCJ, chs. 2; RDGs, 95-108; Handout (USO A)

Topic 3: Traditional East Africa and the World: China�s Tribute System--MCJ, ch. 3; RDGs, 103-128. (USO B and C)

Topic 4: The Western Onslaught: China -- MCJ, ch. 4; RDGs, 71-94; Handout. (USO A, B, and C)

Topic 5: The Western Onslaught: Japan -- MCJ, ch. 5; Miyoshi, AS WE SAW THEM, all (USO A, B, and C)

Topic 6: Japan�s Meiji Revolution and Reconstruction � MCJ, ch. 6; handout. (USO B and C)

Midterm Exam

Topic 7: China�s Traditionalist Reformers -- MCJ, ch. 7; RDGs, 129-140 (USO B and C)

Topic 8: China�s Aborted Revolution, and Political Disintegration - MCJ, ch. 8; RDGs, 141-147, Handout. (USO B and C)

Topic 9: Modernizing Japan in Crisis-- MCJ, ch. 9; Handout (USO A, B and C)

Topic 10: Africa�s World War � MCJ, ch. 10; RDGs 147-163 (USO B and C)

Topic 11: Occupied Japan -- MCJ, ch. 11 pt. 1; Handout (USO A, B and C)

Topic 12: Revolutionary China � MJC, ch 11 pt. 2; Deng Xiaoping, pp. 1-116 (USO B and C)

Paper Due

Topic 13: Toward Contemporary Japan -- MCJ, ch 12; Nakane, Japanese Society, all; Rdgs. 163-206 (USO A)

Topic 14: Toward Contemporary China -- MCJ, ch. 13; Evans, Deng Xiaoping, pp. 116-329; (USO A)

Topic 15 Contemporary African Relations -- extracts from Japan Times and Beijing Review (USO B and C)

Final Exam

History 170/African Civilization

M. W. Byman

 

Required Books:

Biography of the Continent, John Reader

Things Fall Apart

To Kill A Man’s Pride

Cry the Beloved Country

 

 

Reading Assignments and Class Schedule:

Week 1

Monday Introduction to Class (USO A)

Wednesday Text: Prologue and Chapter 1

The African Continent (USO B and C)

Friday Text: Chapters 2, 3 & 4

Human Origins in Africa (US0 B and C)

 

Week 2

Monday Holiday

Wednesday Text: Chapters 5, 6 & 7 (USO B and C)

Friday Text: Chapters 8, 9 & 10 (USO B and C)

 

Week 3

Monday Traditional African Religions (USO A, B and C)

Wednesday Text: Chapter 20

Early African Civilizations (USO A, B and C)

Friday Film: Black Kingdoms of the Nile (USO B and C)

 

Week 4

Monday Text: Chapters 21 & 22

The Kingdom of Aksum (USO B and C)

Wednesday Kingdoms of Western Africa (USO B and C)

Friday Film: The Holy Land (USO A, B and C)

 

Week 5

Monday Text Chapters 34, 35,36 & 37

European Expansion and Exploration (USO A, B and C)

The Slave Trade

Wednesday Christian Missionary Movement in Africa (USO A, B and C)

Friday Film: The Slave Kingdoms (USO B and C)

 

Week 6

Monday Examination

Wednesday The Partition of Africa/The Scramble (USO A, B and C)

Text: Chapter 46

Friday Film: The Road to Timbuktu (USO B and C)

 

Week 7

Monday Book Review Essay/Things Fall Apart (USO B and C)

Wednesday Class Discussion of Reading

Friday Film: Lost Cities of the South (USO B and C)

 

 

Week 8

Monday Theories of Colonialism (USO A, B and C)

Handouts

Wednesday Class Discussion of Readings

Friday Film: The Swahili Coast (USO B and C)

Spring Break

 

Week 9

Monday Dutch and British in South Africa (USO A, B and C)

Text: Chapters 41 & 42

Wednesday Zulus in South Africa (USO B and C)

Text: Chapter 43

Friday Afrikaners in South Africa (USO A, B and C)

Text: Chapters 44

 

Week 10

Monday South Africa/ Apartheid (USO A, B and C)

Wednesday Book Review Essay: To Kill a Man’s Pride (USO A, B and C)

Friday Class Discussion of Reading

 

Week 11

Monday Resistance to Colonialism (USO A, B and C)

Text: Chapter 49, 50 & 51

Wednesday Independence Movements (USO A, B and C)

Text: Chapter 53

Friday Wars of Independence (USO A, B and C)

 

Week 12

Monday Examination/Part I

Wednesday Examination/Part II

Friday Library Day for Research Projects

 

Week 13

Monday Reform in South Africa (USO A, B and C)

Wednesday Book Review Essay: Cry the Beloved Country (USO B and C)

Friday Class Discussion of Reading

 

Week 14

Monday Group Reports on Research Projects (USO A, B and C)

Wednesday Group Reports on Research Projects (USO A, B and C)

Friday Group Reports on Research Projects (USO A, B and C)

 

Week 15

Monday Group Reports on Research Projects (USO A, B and C)

Wednesday Group Reports on Research Projects (USO A, B and C) Research Papers Due

Friday Overview of course

Final Examination

 

 

Each student will (1) write a two to three page review of three assigned books and (2) participate in a group research project on a topic concerning problems in modern Africa. Each student must turn in an individual written report on the group project.

All exams will be essays. There will be no make-up exams. Missed exams, in cases of excused absences, require an additional research assignment. All assignments must be turned in no later than the last regular day of class. The grade for this course will be determined by exam grades, group reports, quizzes, written assignments, attendance, class discussion and class participation. The three examinations will constitute 70% of the semester grade; the research project, other assignments, quizzes, attendance and class participation will constitute 15% of the grade; book review essays will constitute 15% of the grade. This syllabus is a plan for the class, not a contract.

 

Writing Assignments:

This is a class that emphasizes reading, writing and class discussion. The topics for study will include the history of the African continent, the history of the African people, the literature and culture of selected parts of Africa, and the political history of certain regions of Africa during and after colonialism. In this class there will be both formal and informal writing assignments. Formal writing is the result of learning- it is indispensable to communicating knowledge, and it can be evaluated. Examples of formal writing are essay exams, term papers, book review essays. In history classes, the primary audience for formal writing is the instructor.

Informal writing is about the process of learning. In-class informal writing assignments are frequently spontaneous. They stimulate discussion, heighten participation, focus a discussion, generate questions, and reflect upon a learning experience. Out-of-class assignments are more focused, but they have the same purposes: to stimulate thinking about the subject, to become involved with history, to create a link with the past.

Informal writing assignments generally fall into four categories: summaries of text chapters or articles; summaries of class discussions; question writing: reaction/response essays; and dialectical writing. Chapter and article summaries help you, the student, keep up with the reading. Summaries of class discussion help you focus your attention on important ideas in class. Question writing assignments lead to critical thinking and a deeper understanding of the material. Dialectical writing assignments give you an opportunity to read and write about the work of your classmates.

I do not grade informal writing but I record participation in these assignments. Informal writing is more about the process of learning than about the product of learning.