- Code HIST2315
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by School of History
- ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
- Course subject History
- Areas of interest Anthropology, Art History, Gender Studies, History, Philosophy
- Academic career UGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
This course will examine the African experience and its diasporic extension in transoceanic and comparative historical frameworks. The course will encourage students to challenge preconceived notions that are attributed to African and Afro-descendant societies. Understanding the diversity of African cultures requires that we decolonize history, and reconsider Eurocentric assumptions about the nature of society, politics, and the identity inherited from European models and the Atlantic slave trade. Due to the complexity and size of the African continent, as well as the diversity of its diaspora, the course is not intended to cover the whole of African history. We will examine race, gender, and religion as central issues in precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial contexts for both the continent and its diasporic peripheries. The course aims to study the connections between African cultures and their refraction in Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Brazil and the United States. We will also examine historical events, including the impact of missionaries, the transatlantic slave trade and large-scale slavery, that led to the creation of a forced diaspora and the breakdown of traditional African thought on the continent and its refraction in the diaspora.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- demonstrate an understanding of the diverse cultural milieu throughout Africa and its diaspora;
- analyse primary and secondary sources and explore the relationship between text and context;
- demonstrate understanding of the analytical vocabulary, methodologies and forms of evidence (including documentation, oral history, photographs, and songs) necessary to comprehend an African and Afro-descendant society;
- demonstrate critical analysis of popular and conventional understandings of Africa and learn to question Eurocentric approaches; and
- examine key historiographical debates in African and Afro-descendants history.
List of Weekly Topics:
1 Introducing Africa in Global History
2 Legacy of the Classic Empires: Kemet, Songhai, Ashante
3 Kongo Kingdom: Christianising Bakongo´souls
4 Gender in Dahomey and Yoruba societies
5 Atlantic Slave Trade and the modernity of the enslaved subject
6 Saint Domingue/ Haiti: First Black Revolution sealed by Voodoo
7 Brazil, between Candomblé and Quranic schools
8 Calabar in Cuba: Abakuá legacy
9 Scramble for Africa
10 Decolonizing Africa: between Frank Fanon and Ama Ata Aidoo
11 Between Literature and Arts: representation of the racialized body
12 Contemporary African and Afrodescendant movements: from Mau Mau to Black Live Matter
- Primary Source exhibition (1000 words) (15) [LO 1,2,3]
- Research Essay (1500 words) (25) [LO 1,2,3]
- Take-Home Exam (2500 - 3000 words) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Tutorial Participation/Group Oral Presentation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Lecture & Tutorial Discussion Forum (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorial and tutorial-like activities; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Aidoo, A. A. (1997). Our sister killjoy. Longman Publishing Group
Chinua, A. (2021). Things fall apart.
de la Fuente, A., & Andrews, G. R. (Eds.). (2018). Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press.
Isichei, E. (2004). The religious traditions of Africa: A history. Westport, CT. Publisher: Praeger.
Falola, T. (2002). Key events in African history: A reference guide. Greenwood Publishing Group.
Oyewùmí, O. (1997). The invention of women: Making an African sense of western gender discourses. U of Minnesota Press.
Abbink, G. J., De Bruijn, M., & Van Walraven, K. (Eds.). (2003). Rethinking resistance: revolt and violence in African history (Vol. 2). Brill.
Achebe, C. (1994). Things Fall Apart. 1958. New York: Anchor, 178.
Amadiume, I. (2015). Male daughters, female husbands: Gender and sex in an African society. Zed Books Ltd.
Appiah, A., & Gates, H. L. (Eds.). (2005). Africana: The encyclopedia of the African and African American experience. Oxford University Press, USA.
Buck-Morss, S. (2009). Hegel, Haiti, and universal history. University of Pittsburgh Pre.
Cabrera, L. (2004). Afro-Cuban Tales. U of Nebraska Press.
Césaire, A. (2001). Discourse on colonialism. NYU Press.
Dayan, J. (1998). Haiti, History, and the Gods. 1995. Berkeley: U of California P, 2000-13.
Fanon, F. (2007). The wretched of the earth. Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Gilbert, E., & Reynolds, J. T. (2004). Africa in world history: From prehistory to the present. Prentice-Hall.
Gilroy, P. (1993). The black Atlantic: Modernity and double consciousness. Harvard University Press.
Hartman, S. (2008). Lose your mother: A journey along the Atlantic slave route. Macmillan.
Isichei, E. (1997). A history of African societies to 1870. Cambridge University Press.
James, C. L. R. (2001). The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution. Penguin UK.
Linebaugh, P., & Rediker, M. (2013). The many-headed hydra: Sailors, slaves, commoners, and the hidden history of the revolutionary Atlantic. Beacon Press.
McAlister, E. (2002). Rara!: vodou, power, and performance in Haiti and its diaspora. Univ of California Press.
McEvedy, C. (1995). The Penguin atlas of African history (revised edition).
Miller, I. L. (2010). Voice of the leopard: African secret societies and Cuba. Univ. Press of Mississippi.
Palmié, S. (2002). Wizards and scientists: explorations in Afro-Cuban modernity
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