History | African Military Cultures and Conflict, 1600-1980
J300 | 15462 | Moyd


Above class COLL intensive writing section
Above class open to undergraduates only
A portion of the above class reserved for majors

Wars in Africa have attracted considerable media attention and
provoked much public discussion of how to deal with these conflicts
and their aftermaths.  Media coverage of the continent tends to
focus on episodes of spectacular violence, but rarely do these
accounts provide historical context for understanding African
conflicts on their own terms. Similarly, media coverage of a
seemingly endless stream of military coups contributes to an image
of Africa as a continent riddled with militarism, warfare, and
social strife.

This course explores Africa’s past through the lens of military
history in order to assess how African societies and cultures have
been shaped by periods of conflict, as well as how regional social
and cultural realities have shaped African military practices and
ways of war.  How did African men and women experience warfare at
different times and in different regions? To what extent did
societies orient themselves around military ideologies or purposes?
How did African military institutions change over time? In what ways
did the conduct of warfare in Africa reflect African understandings
of gender, identity, and culture? These are some of the broad
questions we will consider while studying African military and
social history from the time of early European contact to the
independence era.

This is a writing intensive course designed to strengthen your oral
and written communication skills, as well as your ability to
critically engage readings, presentations, discussions and film.
Students will read about 100-150 pages per week. Assessment will be
based on class participation, several short papers, as well as a
longer (8-10 page) research paper.