Introduction to the discipline of history for new or prospective majors. Emphasizes the basic skills of reading, analysis, and communication (both verbal and written) that are central to the historian's craft. Each seminar discusses a different subject or problem.
The class, "Africans and Britons: British Colonialism in Sub-Saharan Africa," explores British imperialism in Africa from the perspective of both Africans and Britons. We will be looking at a wide range of sources to consider how colonial encounters shaped identities, cultures and histories. The course begins in the late eighteenth century and ends with current debates about post-colonialism and neocolonialism.
Student learning goals
Students will gain insights into how to read and make sense of a wide range of historical materials. These include autobiography, novels, anthropological essays, missionary promotional materials, advertisements, popular lectures, and film.
Students will hone their writing and analytical skills by composing three primary source essays.
Students will also improve their research skills through the final project which involves asking and delimiting a historical question and creating an annotated bibliography.
Students will gain a deeper understanding of the nature of imperialism and the complicated histories of Sub-Saharan Africa and Great Britain.
General method of instruction
This class is primarily discussion-driven. There will be short lectures on an as-needed basis to ground the reading materials in their historical context.
The only prerequisites are those for enrolling in any 388 class.
Class assignments and grading
Students are expected to read and discuss materials each week. Participation is a key element of this course. Written assignments include three short analytical essays on assigned materials. The final assignment is to set up a research project.
Class participation is a significant portion of one's grade. The three short assignments will carry roughly the same weight. The final paper includes several small, but graded assignments, that are designed to help the student complete the project.