Map of Africa



The African continent is in the midst of a renaissance. The post-colonial generation is committed to creating multiracial and multiethnic societies based upon an ethic of tolerance, the protection of human rights, and the rule of law. Our study of Africa will be guided by five themes of the nature and evolution of the social, economic, and political renaissance. First, the African continent must be understood as a rich mosaic of diversity. Secondly, a complete understanding of Africa must include an analysis of all five regions (North, East, West, Central, and Southern Africa). Thirdly, African history is important to understanding the modern era. African history will be divided into three historical periods: the pre-colonial period (prior to 1884), the colonial era (1884-1951), and the contemporary independence period (1951-present). Fourthly, the influence of the international system on the political and economic developments of the African continent will be analyzed. Fifthly, it is important to understand the domestic socio-political dimension in African countries and understand the impact of African leaders, non-governmental organizations, and social movements. This course will cover the themes mentioned above.


1. To obtain a knowledge of the geo-politics of Africa today.
2. To learn information about the process of colonialism and de-colonization and how both phenomena shape the current conditions of the African continent.
3. To obtain knowledge of the political and economic systems that have developed in independent Africa.
4. To discuss and analyze competing political ideologies that guide African political thought.
5. To discuss and analyze the processes of nation-building and economic development in Africa.
6. To increase the students ability to understand the role of international and regional organizations in the development of Africa.

Course Outline

I. Week 1: Introduction
Video: African History and Culture by Ali Mazuri

II. Week 2: The Struggle for Development
An overview of the major development issues that face the African continent.
Assignment: Africa Chapter 1

III. Week 3: North Africa: Crossroads to the Continent
A discussion of the pivotal role North Africa played historical and still plays
today as a crossroads between Europe, Asia, and the rest of Africa.
Assignment: Africa Chapter 2
Video: Battle for Algiers

IV. Week 4: West Africa: Seeking Unity in Diversity

Sanders and Queen MotherMeeting Queen Mother in Larteh, Ghana

A discussion of the ethnic, political and ideological diversity and efforts at
institutionalizing an economic and political integration.
Assignment: Africa Chapter 3
Video: Finzan
Statement of Intent Due

IV. Week 5: Central Africa: Possibilities for Cooperation
Great Zimbabwe RuinsGreat Zimbabwe Ruins, Zimbabwe

An examination of regional conflict and cooperation in Central Africa.
Assignment: Africa Chapter 4

V. Week 6: Midterm Examination

VI. Week 7: East Africa: A Mixed Inheritance
An analysis of the diverse background that dominates the region. Islamic and ethnic influences shape the socio-political direction of this part of Africa.
Assignment: Africa Chapter 5

VII. Week 8: Southern Africa: Continuing Struggle for Self-Determination
An analysis of the legacy of apartheid on social, economic and political developments in southern Africa.
Assignment: Africa Chapter 6
Video: Nelson Mandela

Cape opf Good HopeCape of Good Hope, South Africa

VIII. Week 9: Understanding the African Renaissance
An examination of the African continent as a mosaic of diversity. An analysis of the human and material resources that are the foundation for economic and political development.
Assignment: African Politics and Society: A Mosaic in Transformation
Chapter 1
Video: Long Night's Journey Into Day

IX. Week 10: The Study of Africa within the Liberal Tradition
The effect of the theory of "modernization" on policy decisions in Africa.
Assignment: African Politics and Society: A Mosaic in Transformation
Chapter 2

X. Week 11: The Study of Africa within the Critical Tradition
An examination of the Socialist and Dependency theory of African
Assignment: African Politics and Society: A Mosaic in Transformation
Chapter 3

X. Week 12:

XI. Week 13: Ethnicity and Class
The impact of ethnic divisions and violence in Africa
Assignment: African Politics and Society: A Mosaic in Transformation
Chapter 7
Term Paper Due

XI. Week 14: Africa in World Politics
Cooperation and conflict in the post-colonial period
Assignment: African Politics and Society: A Mosaic in
Transformation Chapter 14

XII. Week 15:
Final Examination

Evaluation Measures:

1. Oral Report (50 points) Each student will give an oral report on assigned reading. The criteria for evaluation includes delivery, ability to summarize the major points covered in the reading material, and the ability to respond to questions from the class.
2. Statement of Intent: (50 points) A three-five page typewritten statement which includes the intent of the student's research paper. The statement includes the thesis, rationale for the paper, methodology, an outline, and annotated bibliography. Due
3. Research Paper-(100 points) One twenty five page research paper on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the professor.
4. Mid-term examination: (100 points).
5. Final Examination: (100 points).

Required Text:

Ramsey, Jeffrey. Africa. 8th edition. (Connecticut, MacGraw Hill, 1999).
Schaeder, Peter. African Politics and Society: A Mosaic in Transformation. (Boston,
Macmillian Press, 2000).


Internet Resources: The following internet sites provide a useful starting point for carrying out research on Africa.

Africa and African American Studies course/ Sanders

African Studies Center at University of Penn
Africa News Online

News on Africa: Columbia University

Peacelink for Africa

Books and Resource Guides

Alden, Patricia, David Lloyd, and Ahmed Samatar. Eds. African Studies and the
Undergraduate Curriculum Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1994
Aryeetey-Attoh, Samuel, Ed. Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa. Upper Saddle River,
Prentice Hall, 1997.
Azevedo, Mario. Ed. Africana Studies: A Survey of Africa and the African Diaspora.
Durham: Carolina Academic, 1993
Bastian, Misty and Jane Parpart. Eds. Great Ideas for Teaching about Africa
Boulder:Lynne Rienner, 1999
Bates, Robert, V.Y. Mudimbe and Jean O'Barr,. Eds. Africa and the Disciplines: The
Contributions of Research in Africa to the Social Sciences and Humanities Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1993.
Cook, Chris and David Killingray. African Political Facts since 1945 New York:
Facts on File, 1991
Danaher, Kevin. Beyond Safaris: A Guide to Building People to People Ties with
Africa Trenton, Africa World, 1991.
DeLancey, Mark. Ed. Handbook of Political Science Research on Sub-Saharan Africa; Trends from the 1960's to the 1990's. Westport: Greenwood, 1992.
Gordon, April. A. and Donald Gordon. Eds. Understanding Contemporary Africa.
Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1996.
Guyer, Jane. African Studies in the United States: A perspective. Atlanta: African
Studies Association, 1996
Neve, Herbert. Homeward Bound: Readings in African Studies Trenton: Africa World, 1994.
Schmidt, Nancy. Africana Resources for Undergraduates: A Bibliographic Essay
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.
Witherrell, Julian, Ed. Africana Resources and Collections: Three Decades of
Development and Achievement. Scarecrow Press, 1992
Zell, Hans and Cecile Lomer. Eds. The Africana Studies Companion: A Resource Guide and Directory. London: Hans Zell, 1997.