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Instructions for Assignments

Spring 2015

What's New?

Apr. 27 : Listed the topics and clarified the instructions for the in-class research presentations due on May 4.
Mar. 3 : Posted individual reading presentation assignments for Prunier & Moss.

Go to the course syllabus


All assignments are due by the beginning of class on the day indicated on the syllabus.

Print out all assignments on plain white paper with one-inch margins, double-spaced, single-sided, using a 12-point font (Arial preferred). Do not provide a separate title page or place your paper in a binder or cover. Instead, write "HIS 512," your name, and the date at the top of the first page, number your pages, and staple them together in the upper left corner.

Make sure that you provide reference notes (end notes are preferable) for everything you cite in your work. The formatting of your paper and reference notes should follow the Chicago Manual of Style (Turabian).


View the list of place names from modern African history. The map test will be administered in class and take one half hour. To complete it successfully, you must be able to locate places on a map and/or describe their location in writing. For example, you might have to draw the Nile River on a map, showing the correct locations for the source, mouth and general course of the river. Alternately, you might be asked if it lies to the east of the Red Sea, or asked to give a more complete description of its location, such as "The Nile is located in northeastern Africa with sources in the Ethiopian and Ugandan highlands. It flows north through the Sudan to Egypt and enters the eastern Mediterranean Sea."


After you complete the reading, write a analytical paper on the assigned question. Recommended length: two-four doubled-spaced pages, plus reference notes on additional pages as needed. Your paper is due at the beginning of class. Make sure to footnote everything correctly (for examples, see Step 8: "Cite your sources") and correct all spelling, grammar and punctuation errors before submitting your work.

Your grade will be determined by the extent to which your paper addresses the assigned question (20%), your paper's completeness (20%), the clarity of your explanation (20%), the accuracy of your spelling, grammar and punctuation (20%), and the thoroughness with which you document your argument with reference notes (20%). Late papers will receive a grade of zero.

Country/region Date due Question
Algeria Feb. 9 The FLN was successful at guiding a revolution, but according to William Lewis, less successful at guiding a newly independent country. How did the two tasks differ?
Egypt Feb. 23 Assume that politics is a "zero-sum game" in which the winners gain power and influence at the expense of the losers. How does Osman explain the loss of political power of the "liberal" parties (i.e. the middle class parties) in Egypt between the end of World War II and 2012?
Great Lakes Region Mar. 16 In what ways did the manner of independence and subsequent decisions about governance contribute to the war?
The Gambia Apr. 20 How do the issues raised this semester affect life in The Gambia in the 21st century?


On April 27, we will discuss the issue of global terrorism in Africa, using the Boko Haram movement of Nigeria as a case study. Each member of the class will select an aspect of the topic to research further, and present it at the next class on May 4. Prepare a one-page handout to give your colleagues on May 4 which 1) identifies your research topic in a sentence, 2) states your conclusion in one or two paragraphs, and 3) lists the sources you consulted in your research. Bring your handout to 411 Wayne Hall a few minutes before class starts, or email it by noon on May 4 to jjones@wcupa.edu so Dr. Jones will produce copies for the entire class. When you arrive at class, be ready to explain your research, listen to other presentations, and discuss how everyone's research informs our understanding of global terrorism in Africa.

Your grade will be determined by the throughness of your presentation (20%), how well you demonstrate understanding of Boko Harum (20%), how well you demonstrate understanding of contemporary Nigeria (30%), how well you explain the relationship between your topic and Boko Haram in Nigeria (15%), and the extent to which you participate in the discussion of the other presentations (15%).

Name Topic
Alyssa Did Boko Haram's kidnapping of school girls in April 2014 have an impact on women's political movement(s) in Nigeria?
Andrea What was the history of the Muslim Students Society and when/where did it become a radical organization? (p113)
Bridget How did Nigerian politics from 1970-1985 affect religious extremism? (p100)
James What is the history of crises in Kano since 1953? (p104)
Kelsee How was sharia law introduced to Nigeria and has the process changed since civilian rule was restored in 1999? (p110)
Kevin What are the dimensions and impact of the movement of migrants to Nigeria from the Sahel? (p103)
Liz What were the macro-economic conditions in Nigeria in 1980 and how do they compare to the situation in 2009?
Lydia How/why is Boko Haram connected to the Islamic State and what links are there to earlier Muslim movements in history?
Sara What is the source of political patronage for religious movements in Nigeria? (p113)


For each class, you will receive the equivalent of a D for showing up, a C for making one or two relevant comments, a B for participating more often and an A for participating in ways that encourage other class members to participate. For each class that you miss without an acceptable excuse, you will receive an F.


In order to facilitate class discussion, we will assign the responsibility to lead discussion on portions of the following readings. Each student should prepare to present an overview of the content of their assigned section and to ask questions that promote a discussion about how that section relates to the overall theme for that week.

For the Prunier book, make sure you can describe the internal politics of the country your are presenting and the kinds of interests that were generated which led to their involvement in the conflict that resulted from Rwanda's 1996 invasion of the Congo. Pay attention to the individuals and factions that Prunier names, their interests in the conflict, and the alliances they formed. (Note: It might be helpful to create a timeline for your country like that for Rwanda/Burundi timeline.)

Your Name Prunier (Mar. 16) Moss (Mar. 23-30)
Sarah France Chapter 4
Alyssa Uganda Chapter 9
Elizabeth Zambia Chapter 8
Bridget Angola Chapter 13
Lydia Namibia Chapter 5
James Central African Republic Chapter 11
Andrea USA Chapter 10
Kevin Sudan Chapter 12
Kelsee Congo-Brazzaville Chapter 7

Go to the course syllabus or view a list of all of Jim Jones' course syllabi.