HIST 2707A: Modern Africa
Summer 2022 

Instructor: Dr. Mary Owusu 

How is Africa tied to modernity and the World? What is Africa’s place in the World?  In this course, students will be asked to challenge standard narratives about modern Africa and conceptualize a history of modernity from an African perspective. Africa is a complex continent in terms of its geography, cultural traditions, and regional areas. African history is a correspondingly vast terrain. Thus, Africa cannot be treated as a monolithic or homogenous entity; it is a vast continent with a multiplicity of nationalities, languages, and cultures. As the Trans-Atlantic slave trade ended, various European powers vied for control of Africa’s territories and resources, which had a profound and lasting impact on Africans. The story of modernity in Africa has often been told from this vantage point. Is modern Africa a result of what unfolded during the European encounter? How might a focus on how Africans experienced the modern era disrupt our assumptions? Since comprehensive & detailed coverage of this vast terrain in one semester is impossible, the focus will be on selected topics encompassing a survey of colonial and post-colonial Africa up to the twentieth century.

  • Assessment: Students will be assessed on several kinds of assignment, including written work and class participation.