Spring 2022 - HIST 344 D100

Themes in Modern East Africa (4)

Zamani:Poets,Prophets,&Politics East Africa Pas

Class Number: 4637

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 10 – Apr 11, 2022: Tue, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history.



Examines the diversity of environments, cultures and livelihoods in East Africa and the Horn in the context of long-term trans-regional influences, especially slave trade, cash cropping, colonization and post-colonial politics, and the expansion of the world religions into East Africa. Content may vary from offering to offering; see course outline for further information. HIST 344 may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught.


Zamani: Poets, Prophets, & Politics in Eastern Africa’s Past

In this lecture and seminar class, students will be introduced to the major historical currents of eastern African people and politics before the class decides on several case studies to pursue through seminar style reading and discussion meetings. Eastern Africa extends from Mogadishu to northern Mozambique, and includes islands, archipelagos, and Madagascar.  Through Indian Ocean trade and travel, people living in this region have singularly influenced, and been influenced by, the ideas, styles, technologies, and populations of other parts of Africa, Arabia, India, and later Europe and China. We will consider how people and ideas circulated in eastern African  societies,  and we will be curious about how the past was recorded, recounted, and mobilized for present and future purposes. These topics will be explored through lectures, discussions, scholarship, primary documents, fiction, film, and current news sources.



  • Discussion 25%
  • Student Contributions 5%
  • Quiz (week 5) 10%
  • Reading Responses (3) 30%
  • Research/Creative Project 30%



  • Collins, Robert O. African History in Documents: Eastern African History (1990, Markus
  • Weiner Publishers) ISBN 978-1558760165.
  • Owour, Yvonne Adhiambo, The Dragonfly Sea (2019, New York: Knopf) ISBN 9780451494047

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.