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HIST 280 History of Africa • 5 Cr.


Examines the history of the continent from the origins of the human species to the present. Topics include the rise and fall of ancient kingdoms and civilizations, the impact of the wider world from Greek and Roman times to the 20th century, and Africa's role in international affairs. Same as INTST 280. Either HIST 280 or INTST 280 may be taken for credit, not both. May be used as social science or humanities credit, not both, at BC.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • By using map exercises, identify the continent of Africa; the modern states and major cities; key geographical features and regions; important historical locations.
  • Describe and explain the development of African historiography from ancient through modern times and identify leading historians of Africa and their contribution to the writing of African history; identify major historigraphical debates relating the African history
  • Recognize and analyze the significance of the development of the early human species in Africa and identify the key evidence that has been discovered in African relating toe the development of humans.
  • Describe and explain the main cultural developments in African societies during the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods.
  • Analyze the significant developments in African societies for the pre-colonial era, such as the development of civilizations in the Nile Valley, Nubia and Ethiopia; the “classical age” in N. Africa and Saharan history; the rise and impact of Islam; the growth of trade and commerce; the rise of trading empires and kingdoms during the middle ages; East African trading city-states; and the growth of the iron-age Bantu-speaking societies across the continent.
  • Describe and explain the beginning of European contact in the early modern age and the factors which led to the rise of the Atlantic Slave trade; analyze the organization, development and impact on the traffic in slaves on Africa, the Americas and Europe.
  • Identify the key factors which promoted the growth of European imperialism and colonialism I Africa from the 19th century onwards and describe and explain the process of the European “scramble for Africa” and its consequences.
  • Describe and explain the history of African polities in the colonial area, including the major kingdoms and states of West, East, Central and Southern Africa and analyze the reactions of these states to European conquest and colonial rule.
  • Describe and explain the rise of modern African nationalism from the early 20th century onwards and the independence “revolution” of the second half of the 20th century.
  • Identify and analyze the key problems and conflicts which have confronted contemporary Africa including, but not limited to: Neocolonialism; international investment; civil wars in such places as Nigeria; the Congo; Ethiopia, the Sudan, East Africa; the rise of Apartheid and its ultimate dismantling in South Africa; economic and social problems such as famines and disease; the role of women in African societies.

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Bellevue College
3000 Landerholm Circle SE Bellevue, WA 98007-6484 U.S.A.
Work: (425) 564-1000