HIST3614: Africa in World History
Fall semester 2006

T-Th 2:30-3-50pm ML14
Instructor: Dr. Fikru Gebrekidan
Office: 311 Edmund Casey (STU)
Phone: (506) 452-0509
Email: fikrug@stu.ca
Office hours: WF 10 30am-12:00pm or by appointment. Should you find my office door open feel free to stop by.

Eric Gilbert and Jonathan T. Reynolds, Africa in World History: From Prehistory to the Present (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2004). Charles Johnson, Middle Passage (New York: Atheneum, 1990, or any subsequent edition).

Books on reserve
Shihan De Silva Jayasuriya and Richard Pankhurst, eds., The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean (Trenton: Africa World Press, 2003). Joseph E. Harris, ed., Global Dimensions of the African Diaspora (Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1993). Ken Alexander and Avis Gaze, Toward Freedom: The African Canadian Experience (Toronto: Umbrella Press, 1996). Isidore Okpewho et al., eds., The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999). Joseph Holloway, Africanisms in American Culture (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991).

Course description
The central theme of this course is "African agency" in world history. The course explores the roles Africans played in world history both as givers and receivers, initiators as well as reactors. While consideration of continental dynamics will remain at the foreground of every discussion, particular attention will be given to the investigation of African encounters with Europe, America and Asia, and to the various economic and sociocultural syntheses that have emerged as a result of such trans oceanic contacts.

Course objective
By focusing on African agency, the course challenges the pervasive image of Africa as a passive bystander in world history. In so doing, the course hopes to stimulate a more critical engagement with Africa as well as Africa's place in world history. Last but not least, the course hopes to contribute to students' appreciation of human interdependence and cross cultural awareness.

Final grade will be based on six factors: paper (eight double spaced pages) 25%, final exam 30%, midterm 20%, attendance and participation 10%, quizzes and short assignments 5%, book review (five double spaced pages) 10%.

Grading Scale
0-49 =F
50-59 =D
60-64 =C
65-69 =C
70-74 =C+
75-79 =B
80-84 =B
85-88 =B+
89-91 =A-
92 =A

Research paper, book review, and take home assignments will be submitted electronically by email in addition to hard copies. Make sure to keep a carbon copy of each email transaction. Should you send your assignment to the wrong address or encounter an unexpected email problem, this will save you from the frustration of having to retype your assignment from scratch. Electronic papers should be turned in as word attachment, double spaced, and with standard font and margins. Typically, a double spaced page with standard font and margins has an average of 250 words, which means your research paper of eight pages may have about 2000 words.

All written assignments should have the following information on the top right corner of the first page: student's full name, instructor's full name, course name and number. Paper should be stapled. Paper should have a title which must be centered and underlined. Failure to adhere to any of these basic formats will adversely affect the quality of your paper. Late papers will be penalized a point per day.

Attendance and participation
Attendance and participation count for 10 percent of the final grade. Assessment is based on several factors: class activity, coming to class prepared, respect to the professor and fellow students, positive attitude, class etiquette, and arrival on time. You are allowed a maximum of three absences. Each absence beyond that will lower your grade by a percentage point. For instance, if you have eight absences, your grade for attendance and participation will be lowered by at least five points, which might mean a loss of a full letter grade. Students with obligatory campus activities that may conflict with class schedule should immediately see the professor. Extenuating circumstances such as family emergencies and health problems have to be documented through the registrar's office to be excused, and even then the student has the responsibility to turn in all assignments on time.

Class activity
Discussions, debates, asking and answering questions help sharpen students' analytical and reasoning skills as well as expose them to different perspectives. As such, they are central components of class activity. Political views have nothing to do with grades and students should feel free to express their opinions without feeling intimidated. Feel free to disagree with a particular point of view, but use a polite and formal language to assert your views. Derisive, disrespectful and spiteful comments create a hostile atmosphere and may result in an automatic zero grade for attendance and participation.

Class etiquette
Food is not permitted in class. Cellular phones must be turned off before entering class and should stay off until the class is dismissed. Portable CD and cassette players should be put away before entering class. Falling asleep or snoring in class, besides being embarrassing, disrupts learning. Ask permission to leave the class if you cannot keep yourself awake. Bathroom trips, although understandable under critical circumstances, are generally discouraged and should never become a pattern. While communicating with your professor in person or by email, address him or her by the last name and the proper title unless you are told otherwise. Do not start to pack up before the class is over.

Policy on accommodation
Students with disabilities and in need of special accommodation are encouraged to talk to the professor as well as the office of Services for Students with Disabilities to make the necessary arrangements in accordance with UNB guideline on accessibility and accommodation. Let the professor know how he or she can be of help. It is more likely that you know more than the professor about the nature of your disability. It is therefore up to you to try to enlighten the professor about your classroom needs. Such information is confidential and is not shared with any other person without your knowledge.

Students are expected to honor principles of truth and honesty in their academic works. Academic honesty entails, among other things, that students will not plagiarize. This means that students will not submit someone else's work as their own, nor will they hand in a paper copied from the web or any other published or unpublished sources. Academic honesty also means students will acknowledge any borrowed ideas (be it in the form of quotation, summary or paraphrase) using the proper citation format. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense that can result in a failing grade for the course. See the 2006-2007 undergraduate calendar (43-44) or the last section of this syllabus for more details on plagiarism and its consequences.

Weekly Readings

Sep. 7. Overview of course and syllabus.

Sep. 12-14. Africa and the human genesis. Reynolds and Gilbert )RG) 1 2 (numbers refer to chapter numbers).

Sep. 19-21. Migration and iron age civilizations. RG 4; video I.

Sep. 26-28. Northeast African encounters with Christianity. RG 3 & 5; video II.

Oct. 3-5. African Encounters with Islam. RG 6; Hunwick, "African Slaves in the Mediterranean World: A Neglected Aspect of the African Diaspora," in Harris's Global Dimensions of the African Experience.

Oct. 10-12. East Africa and the Indian Ocean Trade Complex. RG 7; Pankhurst, "The Ethiopian Diaspora to India," in Jayasuriya's African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean; Frukawa, "Black-Asian Relations," in Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African-American Experience, 2nd edition, pp. 479-480.

Oct. 12. Midterm.

Oct. 17. Video III.

Oct. 20. Last day to withdraw from fall semester courses without penalty.

Oct. 24-26. West Africa and the transatlantic slave trade. RG 8; Inikori, "Africa in World History: The Export Slave Trade from Africa and the Emergence of the Atlantic Economic Order," in Unesco General History of Africa volume 5 (1997); Inikori, "Slaves or Serfs: A Comparative Study of Slavery and Serfdom in Europe and Africa," in Okephwo's African Diaspora.

Oct. 31. Discussion on Johnson's Middle Passage. Come to class with a one page (double spaced) synopsis of the novel; late submission will not be accepted.

Nov. 2. Defining diaspora. Alpers, "The African Diaspora in a Comparative Perspective," in Jayasuriya's African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean; Rodney, "Africa in Europe and the Americas," in Cambridge History of Africa volume 4 (1975); Catherine Molineux's online review of T. F. Earle and K. J. P. Lowe's edited volume, Black Africans in Renaissance Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

Nov. 7-9. Africanisms in American culture. Joseph Holloway, "The Origins of African American Culture," In Holloway's Africanisms in American Culture; Maultsby, "Africanisms in African American Music," in Holloway's Africanisms in American Culture; Evans, "The Reinterpretation of African Musical Instrument in the United States," in Okephwo's African Diaspora. Middle Passage book review due.

Nov. 14-16. Africa and the colonial powers. RG 13-14.

Nov. 21-23. Nationalism and decolonization. RG 15 & 17; video IV.

Nov. 28-30. Africa in contemporary world cultures. RG 16 & 18; research paper due.

Date and time for final exam to be announced in class.

Note about the syllabus
This syllabus is not a binding legal contract. Rather, it is meant to serve as a road map for both the students and the professor. Should the need arise, the professor maintains the right to modify the course by adding, subtracting, or rearranging reading assignments and course requirements.

Note on plagiarism (from pages 43-44 of the 2006-2007 Undergraduate Calendar)

Plagiarism includes:
1. quoting verbatim or almost verbatim from a source (such as copyrighted material, notes, letters, business entries, computer materials, etc.) without acknowledgment;
2. adopting someone else's line of thought, argument, arrangement, or supporting evidence (such as, for example, statistics, bibliographies, etc.) without indicating such dependence;
3. submitting someone else's work, in whatever form (film, workbook, artwork, computer materials, etc.) without acknowledgment;
4. knowingly representing as one's own work any idea of another.

NOTE: In courses which include group work, the instructor must define and warn against plagiarism in group work. Unless an act of plagiarism is identified clearly with an individual student or students, a penalty may be imposed on all members of the group.

Penalties for Deliberate Plagiarism

In a case of deliberate plagiarism, the penalties are:

First Offence: If the student does not appeal, or if, on appeal, the Committee upholds the instructor's decision:
1. A notation will be placed on the student's transcript of academic record concerning the academic offence. The length of time the notation appears on the student's transcript of academic record is to be decided when the penalty is imposed and will depend on the severity of the offence.
2. The student may be required to submit a satisfactory and genuine piece of work to replace the one involving plagiarism. If the assignment is not resubmitted or is unsatisfactory, the student will receive a grade of F (zero) in the course. NOTE: If this penalty is assessed, the period of time allowed for the submission of the work will be determined by the Registrar in consultation with the faculty member making the charge, and, where appropriate, the Committee.
3. The student will receive a grade of F (zero) on the piece of work and, depending on the severity of the offence, may receive a grade of F for the course.
4. Other penalties as outlined in penalties for Other Academic Offences may be imposed.

Subsequent Offence: In cases where the Committee considers that the student has plagiarized again:
1. The student will receive a grade of F in the course and a notation of the academic offence will appear on the student's transcript of record. The length of time the notation appears on the student's transcript of academic record is to be decided when the penalty is imposed.
2. Other penalties as outlined in penalties for Other Academic Offence may be imposed.

For further information on procedures for dealing with cases of plagiarism, students should refer to the regulations found on pages 44-45 of the 2005-2006 Undergraduate Calendar.

History 1006 - World History
History 4516 - Themes in African History

Fikru Gebrekidan / History / Faculty / St. Thomas Homepage