logo HIS 512
Africa Since Independence

Spring 2015 (Monday 5:50-8:35pm)

What's New?

Apr. 27 : Listed the topics and clarified the instructions for the in-class assignment due on May 4, 2015.
Apr. 14 : Class on April 27 is tentatively scheduled to be held off-campus, as we discussed last night. We will finalize all the details at the Apr. 20 class.
Mar. 30 : Added a link to the topic (Boko Haram) and assignment for April 27 class (see below).
NOTE: This syllabus is located at http://courses.wcupa.edu/jones/his512.htm.
Emergency? Call 610-436-3311

Instructor: Jim Jones
Email: jjones@wcupa.edu, Tel: 610-436-2312
Office: 411 Wayne Hall, West Chester, PA 19383
Hours: Mon-Wed 2-2:50pm, Mon 4:20-5:50pm, Fri. 10:30-11:50am, and by appointment

Organization of this syllabus: The course outline is at the top, since you will use that every week, followed by an explanation of how the objectives of this class meet History Department learning goals. After that, you will find explanations of class policies on evaluation (i.e. grades), required textbooks and readings, professor and student responsibilities, attendance, "Academic Dishonesty" (i.e. cheating, plagiarism, etc.), ADA compliance (i.e. disabilities), discrimination, substance abuse, and emergency preparedness.

Date Topic Assignment
Jan. 26 Introduction to modern Africa and this course  
Feb. 2 University closed after 4pm; class canceled.  
Feb. 9 The results of independence (Egypt & Algeria). Map test during class and analytical paper due. Osman, 1-85, all of Lewis
Feb. 16 Problems of Governance (Mali) Morgan & Cristiani/Fabiani
Feb. 23 Governance in Egypt. Analytical paper due. Osman, 86-end
Mar. 2 The colonial legacy in central Africa Prunier, 1-72, (Rwanda/Burundi timeline)
Mar. 16 The "Third World War" in the Great Lakes Region. Analytical paper due. Prunier, 72-end
Mar. 23 Introduction to development Moss, 1-90
Mar. 30 Development and economic globalization Moss, 91-end
Apr. 6 The role of China in Africa Taylor
Apr. 13 Connecting everthing (The Gambia) Don Wright, 1-206
Apr. 20 Modern challenges in the Gambia. Analytical paper due. Don Wright, 207-end
Apr. 27 Global terrorism: Boko Haram, a case study Abimbola O. Adesoji, Between Maitatsine and Boko Haram in Africa Today, v.57, n.4 (Sum. 2011), pp.99-119 (JStor article). For an idea of the local impact, visit the Sukur: Culture of the Mandara Mts. home page.
May 4 Research presentation due  

OBJECTIVES: This course addresses major themes of African history since independence through the use of national and/or regional case studies. It is designed to teach students to:

1) construct generalizations and interpretations that demonstrate an advanced knowledge of historical eras, change over time, and key historical concepts in the history of Africa;

2) promote information literacy by teaching how to locate, distinguish between, and assess primary and secondary sources, and how to analyze and interpret a variety of written, oral, visual, and material evidence at an advanced level;

3) communicate effectively at the graduate level (in both oral and written presentations) advanced knowledge of history in reasoned arguments supported by historical evidence, while demonstrating an appreciation of multiple causes, effects, and perspectives;

4) connect the knowledge of multiple historical perspectives to contemporary life and issues in a heterogeneous, global society.

Students who complete this course successfully will demonstrate a broad understanding of the diversity of modern Africa, how Africa has developed over time, and how Africa relates to the rest of the world.

ASSIGNMENTS: Click on links like this one for more info on each assignment.

Name Date Due % of final grade
Map test February 2 10
Four Analytical Papers Feb. 9, Feb. 23, Mar. 16 and Apr. 20 60 (15% each)
Research presentation May 4 20
Class participation All semester 10


  1. Dario Cristiani and Riccardo Fabiani, "From Disfunctionality to Disaggregation and Back? The Malian Crisis, Local Players and European Interests" IAI WORKING PAPERS 13/08 (March 2013). Available on-line
  2. William H. Lewis, "The Cycle of Reciprocal Fear" in African Studies Bulletin, vol. 12, no. 3 (December 1969), pp.323-337. JSTOR article available on-campus at www.jstor.org/stable/523211. Available on-line
  3. Andy Morgan, "The Causes of the Uprising in Northern Mali: The Tuareg rebels' recent attacks represent a fourth roll of the Kel Tamasheq dice" in Think Africa Press (6 February 2012). Available on-line
  4. Todd J. Moss, African Development: Making Sense of the Issues and Actors, 2nd edition (Boulder CO: Lynne Rienner, 2011).
  5. Tarek Osman, Egypt on the Brink: From the Rise of Nasser to the Fall of Mubarek (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013).
  6. Gerard Prunier, Africa's World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe (Oxford University Press, 2009).
  7. Ian Taylor, China's New Role in Africa (Lynne Riener, 2010).
  8. Donald W. Wright, The World and a Very Small Place in Africa: A History of Globalization in Niumi, The Gambia, 3rd edition (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2010).
[You may also find useful information at http://courses.wcupa.edu/jones/africa.htm] .

RESPONSIBILITIES: Professor Jones must deliver interesting presentations and facilitate meaningful classoom discussion. He must also maintain regular office hours, create fair assignments and provide written feedback. Students in this class must complete the assigned readings before coming to class, participate in class discussion, and complete all written and oral assignments in a timely and academically honest manner.

ATTENDANCE: Attendance is important because every class member develops his or her own understanding of the assigned readings, and classroom discussions enable everyone in the group to share what they've learned. You are strongly encouraged to miss no classes, but recognizing that life sometimes throws curveballs, you are entitled to one unexcused absence without having it affect your final grade. Any additional unexcused absence will reduce your final grade by one full letter (i.e. A drops to B), but there is no limit to excused absences as long as you 1) provide documentary evidence of your excuse (see below), 2) complete the assigned readings, and 3) get notes from a class mate. After that, talk to Professor Jones during his office hours if you have further questions, but under no circumstances should just begin by sendig an email that asks "what did I miss?" Professor Jones also reserves the right to treat multiple incidents of tardiness as additional unexcused absences.

An excused absence is one that you can document with a valid written excuse concerning a medical condition, legal proceeding, university-sanctioned event or death of an immediate family member (i.e. parent, sibling or child). All other absences are unexcused. If you believe that you have an extraordinary circumstance that merits special consideration, disucss it with Professor Jones before you are absent. Requests for special consideration made after an unexcused absence has occurred will not be considered.

CHEATING/PLAGIARISM: In brief, do NOT do this. Cheating is any act that "defrauds, deceives or employs trickery" in order to obtain credit for work which has not been completed. Plagiarization is the act of "passing off the ideas of another as one's own work." Anyone who cheats or plagiarizes will receive a penalty as provided for in the WCU Academic Integrity Policy.

DISABILITIES: We at West Chester University wish to make accommodations for persons with disabilities. Please make your needs known by contacting Professor Jim Jones and/or the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities at ext. 3217. Sufficient notice is needed in order to make the accommodations possible. The University desires to comply with the ADA of 1990.

DISCRIMINATION: Professor Jones supports West Chester University's prohibition against discrimination, including sexual harassment, of any individual based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, religious creed, disability or veteran status. The University is committed to providing leadership in extending equal opportunities to all individuals and will continue to make every effort to provide these rights to all members of the University community, including students, staff, and administrators, as well as all applicants for admission or employment and all participants in University-sponsored activities. Any individual having suggestions, problems, complaints or grievances with regard to equal opportunity or affirmative action is encouraged to contact the Director of Social Equity at ext. 2433.

SUBSTANCE USE/ABUSE: West Chester University is committed to improving retention, graduation and time-to-degree rates by assisting students during key transitional periods in their academic careers. Because Professor Jones believes that alcohol and drug issues can interfere with and even prevent student success, he has participated in the "Partners in Prevention" training program to learn how to recognize addiction and provide referrals to assistance. If you wish to talk about any of this -- in strictest confidence -- please contact the professor before or after class.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: All students are encouraged to sign up for the University's free WCU ALERT service, which delivers official WCU emergency text messages directly to your cell phone. For more information and to sign up, visit www.wcupa.edu/wcualert. To report an emergency, call the Department of Public Safety at 610-436-3311.



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