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DHUM 1450A - International History of Africa in the 20th century

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This class is intended for students who wish to understand Africa's current international relations. It will provide them during twelve sessions with a historical outlook on relations and connections between African societies or states and the world in the 20th century. Drawing on the global history approach, the programme of this seminar will go beyond traditional imperial history that tends to focus exclusively on Euro-African exchanges. By placing Africa at the heart of the analysis, it will show how Africa became entwined with world politics, interacted with diversified actors across the world (in Asia, Middle East and Latin America) and tried to shape global affairs. The class will start with a short detour to Great Divergence and Atlantic revolutions to contextualise European colonial conquests. It will then consider the history of African resistance and struggles, of anti-colonial and post-colonial solidarities across the world, of African Diasporas and their cultural expressions, of Panafricanism(s) and African integration. Finally, it will also address divergent paths of decolonisation, the role of Africa in the Third world setting and in the Cold War rivalries. More generally, this class would combine the transnational, cultural, and diplomatic history of Africa.


KONIECZNA, Anna K. (Chercheur, enseignante indépendante)

Pedagogical format

The seminar values students' participation and debates. Each session will start with a short historical introduction by the seminar leader (30-40 min). The second part of the seminar will be devoted to academic discussion based on the documentaries or movie excerpts, oral presentations and historical debates on selected source materials. Students will be divided into small groups to encourage their engagement with the material.

Course validation

10%: Class attendance/participation: based on participation in seminars and discussion of the weekly assignments. 15%: A Mid-term exam based on source materials 35%: a group oral presentation (2-3 persons). The presentation will lead to a discussion. Research topics will be proposed and assigned during the first class. 40%: Final paper (2000 words) Students will shape their own topic question, related to one of the seminar sessions.

Required reading

  • There will be one or two readings for each session. The list of readings is provided in the syllabus. As a general introduction, please read:
  • Paul-Henri Bischoff, Kwesi Aning, Amitav Acharya, Africa in global relations. Emerging approaches to theory and practice, Introduction.

Additional required reading

  • Ali A. Mazrui (ed.), General history of Africa, UNESCO, 1993, ch. 1-11, 20, 23-30 or
  • Guy Arnolds, Africa : a modern history, Atlantic Books, 2015.