Spring 2022 - HIST 231 D100

History of Africa to the 19th Century: From Ancient Times to the Slave Trade (3)

Class Number: 4633

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 10 – Apr 11, 2022: Thu, 8:30–10:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 22, 2022
    Fri, 12:00–3:00 p.m.



A general, introductory survey of Africa's rich pre-colonial past, its vibrant cultures and sophisticated technologies, far-reaching commercial and political networks, and dynamic (and internally differentiated) social systems. Also discusses the trans-Atlantic trade in African slaves and the arrival of Europeans on African shores. Breadth-Humanities.


This course is a general, introductory survey of Africa’s pre-colonial past. We will begin our journey by considering the question of what “Africa” is, as the term itself is a construct (or “invention”) that conjures distinct and powerful reactions. After establishing our theoretical foundation with this first step, we will look at some of Africa’s many empires from the Ancient and Pre-Modern periods. We will then investigate the impact of the introduction and spread of Christianity and Islam on the continent before turning our attention to trade and commerce. After the reading break, we will spend four weeks surveying post-1500 Africa in a geographic context. Finally, we will conclude by scrutinizing and reflecting on the Atlantic Slave Trade.


  • Attendance and participation 25%
  • Quizzes 10%
  • Primary source analysis oral presentation 10%
  • Primary source analyses (written) 20%
  • Final examination 35%



Erik T. Gilbert & Jonathan T. Reynolds, Africa in World History, 3rd Edition, Pearson, 2012.

Registrar Notes:


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