This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.
Limited places are also open for exchange students.
Please note: this course takes place in The Hague. Traveling between University buildings from Leiden to The Hague takes about 45 minutes.
This course is designed to provide a general introduction to the history of Africa from the ancient times to the indepencence from colonial imperialism.
Issues covered during the course will be:
Physical Context of African History;
Geography and Environment;
Africa and Human Origins;
Egyptian, Greek, Roman Civilisations;
Christianity and Islam;
Slavery and the Creation of the Atlantic World;
African societies, economies and states from 1500 to 1880;
Colonialism and African Resistance;
Africa, Economic Changes and the World System;
Political Change in the Time of Colonialism;
African Culture in the Modern World;
Political Economy of Decolonization and Independence;
Pan-Africanism and other Ideaologies;
Post-Cold War Africa.
The student has:
Acquired knowledge and understanding of history, its processes, structure, actors, factors and events and has familiarised him-/herself with the academic understanding of history and the history specific to the area, with an emphasis on the last two centuries. Furthermore, the student has acquired a basic understanding of the theories used in the field of History and those with specific relevance to the Area History. Finally the student has acquired the basic research skills, which he/she has put into practice for the first time in the shape of a small individual research project.
Acquired knowledge and understanding of the concepts and conceptual structures relevant for the study of history from an area perspective, i.e. local, national, regional but also transnational and from a comparative, international and global perspective.
A basic understanding of the methodologies used in the field of History. Both the methods and theories will be explained and activated through exercises based on the handbook common to all Area History courses and used for the overall History track in the programme. Robert Williams, The Historian's Toolbox; A Student's Guide to the Theory and Craft of History will be the common frame of reference. The student will make a first attempt to put into practice one relevant method in an individual research project.
The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.
Mode of instruction
Lectures are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Weekly lectures will cover issues both inside and outside the readings.
Tutorials are held once every two weeks, with the exception of the midterm exam week. Attending all tutorial sessions is compulsory. If you are unable to attend a session, please inform your tutor in advance, providing a valid reason for your absence. Being absent without notification and valid reason or not being present at half or more of the tutorial sessions will mean your assignments will not be assessed, and result in a 1.0 for the tutorial (30% of the final grade).
Total course load for this course is 5 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 140 hours, broken down by:
Attending lectures: 24 hours
Attending tutorials: 12 hours
Assessment hours (midterm and final exam): 4 hours
Study of compulsory literature: (approximately 7 pages per hour): 64 hours
Time for completing assignments, preparing classes and exams: 36 hours
Midterm exam: Written examination with open questions and multiple choice questions.
Final exam: Written examination with open questions and multiple choice questions.
To successfully complete the course, please take note of the following:
The end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average of tutorial, midterm exam and final exam.
The weighted average of the midterm exam and final exam needs to be 5.5 or higher.
If the end grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), or the weighted average of midterm- and final exams is lower than 5.5, there is a possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier midterm and final exam grades. No resit for the tutorial is possible.
Please note that if the resit exam grade is lower than 5.5, you will not pass the course, regardless of the tutorial grade.
Retaking a passing grade
Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2017 – 2018.
How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.
Erik Gilbert & Jonathan Reynolds, Africa in World History (3rd edition), Pearson, 2012.
Colin McEvedy, The Penguin Atlas of African History (new edition), Penguin, 1995.
Further written and video material will be distributed to students via Blackboard.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis can be found here.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
When contacting lecturers or tutors, please include your full name, student number and tutorial group number.