University of Botswana History Department
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H201 HISTORY OF AFRICA to c.1800
Course Outline 1999-2000
Course description revised 16 August 1999
A survey of pre-colonial Africa discussing selected themes in prehistory, state formation, trade, and small-scale societies. Topics include the origin and spread of modern humans, their languages, and cultures; Nile civilizations, Christianity, and Islam in north Africa; forest and sudanic states, slavery and slave trading in west Africa; savannah migrations, states, and coastal trade in eastern & southern Africa, with emphasis on the region of Botswana.
H201 builds on the insights of the first semester of H101, and forms a basis for 300 and 400 level History courses on African regions since 1800. It provides essential background on Africa before 1800 for other courses in Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education. The course is compulsory for History Major and Archaeology Major students.
By the end of the course students should be able to understand and evaluate Africa’s distinctive cultural and historical heritage, and to relate that understanding to a wide range of academic disciplines.
Prof. NEIL PARSONS & Dr. KENNETH MANUNGO
with the assistance of teaching assistants for tutorials.
Lectures and tutorials
Lecture periods will be at the following times:
- Mondays at 5.10 pm in 230-G5
- Tuesdays at 3.00 pm in 230-G5
- Fridays at 2.00 pm in 230-G5
Tutorial periods (groups to be announced):
- Monday at 4.10 pm in 204-2
- Wednesday at 6.00 pm in 239-002
- 1. Kevin Shillington, History of Africa Macmillan, 2nd edition
- 2. Elizabeth Isichei, A History of African Societies to 1870 Cambridge University Press
- 3. Philip Curtin et.al., African History Addison Wesley Longman, latest edition
- Topic 1: Introduction to history and environment of pre-colonial Africa
- Topic 2: Stone Age origins of modern people
- Topic 3: Language-families, food production, and the spread of human populations
- Topic 4: Language families, metals, and the spread of human populations
- Topic 5: Sahara desertification and Ancient Egypt on the lower Nile
- Topic 6: Kingdoms of Kush & Christian Nubia, Axum (Aksum) and Early Ethiopia
- Topic 7: Spread of Islam to the Nile and Mahreb, Spain, and the Sahara
- Topic 8: Early Islamic states in the Sudan of West Africa
- Topic 9: Later Islamic states in the Sudan of West Africa
- Topic 10: Guinea and forest states of West Africa
- Topic 11: Trade and Islam on the east coast of Africa
- Topic 12: Great Lakes cultures and states of East Africa
- Topic 13: Toutswe, Kutama (Leopard's Kopje), and Moloko traitions
- Topic 14: Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe
- Topic 15: Butwa (Khami) and Munhumutapa
- Topic 16: Khoesan, Tswana, and Nguni chiefdoms
- Topic 17: Portuguese and slave trade in Kongo and Ngola
- Topic 18: West Africa and trans-Atlantic slave trade
- Topic 19: Trade and chiefdoms at Maputo Bay and in the Limpopo valley
- Topic 20: Dutch settlers and slaves at the Cape of Good Hope
- Topic 21: Cape Colony and its northern/ eastern frontiers
Introductory notes for Topics 1 & 2 are on the Internet as http://humanities.ub.bw/history/ub/h201i.htm The Early Prehistory of Modern People in Africa. Introductory notes for Topics 13, 16, 19 should be made available and put on the Internet during Semester II. See also http://humanities.ub.bw/history/ac/mfec.htm Kicking the Hornet's Nest: a Third View of the Cobbing Controversy on the Mfecane/ Difaqane which touches on Topic 21.
For guidelines on essay writing (including bibliography style) and note-taking see http://humanities.ub.bw/history/ub/bb-ess.htm Guide to Writing Essays and http://humanities.ub.bw/history/ub/bb-lec.htm How to Take Notes in Lectures.
H201 Books on Reserve in UB Library
- 4. ***Beach, David N. Zimbabwe before 1900 Gweru: Mambo Press
- 5. ***Elphick, Richard & Hermann Giliomee (eds.). The Shaping of South African Society, 1652-1840 Cape Town: Maskew Miller Longman.
- 6. ***Fage, John D. History of Africa London: Hutchinson.
- 7. ***Hall, Martin. The Changing Past: Farmers, Kings and Traders in Southern Africa Cape Town: David Philip, 1987.
- 8. ***Hamilton, Carolyn (ed.). The Mfecane Aftermath Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press & Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press.
- 9. ***Hrbek, I. (ed.) Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century London: James Currey (UNESCO General History of Africa, Abridged Edition Volume III).
- 10. ***Iliffe, John. African History Cambridge University Press
- 11. ***Ki-Zerbo, J (ed.) Methodology and African Pre-History London: James Currey (UNESCO General History of Africa, Abridged Edition Volume I).
- 12. ***Maylam, Paul. A History of the African People of South Africa: From the Early Iron Age to the 1970s Cape Town: David Philip
- 13. ***Mokhtar, G. (ed.) Ancient Civilisations of Africa London: James Currey (UNESCO General History of Africa, Abridged Edition Volume II).
- 14 ***Oliver, Roland & Brian Fagan. Africa in the Iron Age
- 15 ***Parsons, Neil. A New History of Southern Africa, Second Edition
- 16 ***Phillipson, David W. African Archaeology
Other useful books in UB Library
- 17. Ajayi, Jacob & Michael Crowder (eds.). History of West Africa, Volume 1.
- 18. Beach, David. The Shona and Zimbabwe 900-1850
- 19. Birmingham, David & Phyllis Martin (eds.). History of Central Africa, Volume 1
- 20. Cambridge History of Africa, Volume 3: 1050-1600.
- 21. Collins, R.O. (comp.). Problems in African History Book 1
- 22 Ifeka, Caroline. People and Empires of West Africa
- 23 Langworthy, Harry. Zambia before 1800
- 24 McEwan, P.J.M. (comp.). Africa from Earliest Times to 1800
- 25 Maylam, R. A History of the African People of South Africa
- 26 Mudenge, Stanislas I.G. Political History of MunhuMutapa 1400-1902
- 27 Ogot, Bethwell A. Zamani: A Survey of East African History
- 28 Oxford History of East Africa, Volume 1
- 29 Oxford History of South Africa. Volume 1
- 30 Randles, W.G.L. The Empire of Monomotapa
- 31 Ranger, Terence Osborn (ed.) Aspects of Central African History
- 32 Shillington, Kevin. History of Southern Africa
- 33 UNESCO General History of Africa, Volume 1: Methodology and African Pre-History, ed. J. Ki-Zerbo/
- 34 UNESCO General History of Africa, Volume 2: Ancient Civilisations of Africa, ed. G. Mokhtar.
- 35 UNESCO General History of Africa, Volume 3: Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century, ed. I. Hrbek.
- 36 UNESCO General History of Africa, Volume 4: Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century, ed. D.T. Niane.
- 37 UNESCO General History of Africa, Volume 5: Africa from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century, ed. B.A. Ogot.
- 38 Vansina, Jan. Kingdoms of the Savanna
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Copyright © Neil Parsons & Kenneth Manungo 1999
Last updated 7 September 1999