Spring 2016 - HIST 344 D100

Themes in Modern East Africa (4)

Migrations & East Africa

Class Number: 4200

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 5006, Burnaby

    Fr 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 5005, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 19, 2016
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    AQ 5030, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including 9 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.


Migrations AND Eastern Africa: Movements of People, Ideas & Things

Eastern Africa, broadly defined, encompasses the Horn of Africa south to Mozambique, as far inland as Lake Victoria. Beginning with early hominids, the people living in this region have singularly influenced, and been influenced by, the ideas, technologies, and populations of other parts of Africa, Arabia, India, and later Europe and China. We will explore how peoples of Eastern Africa experienced movements of populations in the spheres of religion (Islam, Christianity, indigenous practices) and trade (foods, technologies, luxuries, and slaves) by the first millennium. Then, we will then examine colonial migrations to Eastern Africa (Portuguese, Omani, German, British), and the impact of incoming merchants and labour from Asia. In the decolonization and post-colonial eras, we will contemplate how migrants are positioned relative to emerging ethnic nationalisms, including the famous expulsion of Asians by Uganda’s Idi Amin. In recent times, Chinese investment in eastern Africa has led to marked and rapid changes, and regional migrant labour patterns have contributed to the spread of HIV. We will consider how scholars conceptualize migration in the past and present, and this class will tap into current discourses of migrations and migrants around the world. These topics will be explored through lectures, discussions, scholarship, primary documents, fiction, film, and current news sources.


  • Primary Source Analysis 20%
  • Tutorial 20%
  • Quizzes (2) 30%
  • Term Paper 30%



Collins, Robert O. African History in Documents: Eastern African History (1990, Markus Weiner Publishers) ISBN 978-1558760165.

Fischer, Michael. Migration: A World History (2013, Oxford University Press) ISBN 978-0199764334

Vassanji, M.J. The in-between world of Vikram Lall. (various editions)

Additional readings to be available on Canvas


Parker, John and Richard Rathbone. African History: A Very Short Introduction. (2007, Oxford University Press) ISBN 978-0-19-280248-4

Koser, Khalid. International Migration: A Very Short Introduction, (2007, Oxford University Press) ISBN 978-0-19-929801-3

Registrar Notes:

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