Fall 2018


History 112: The World Wars in Africa

This survey course studies the history of Africa's modern period from the precursors to formal imperialism to the post-colonial era. We will examine colonial rule, looking at the ways in which European policies affected African political authority, economic systems, generational and gender dynamics, and cultural and ethnic identities as well as diverse African reactions to these changes. The period of political liberation movements and their results will be studied through the lenses of continued ethnic strife and neo-colonialism. The course is designed for first- and second-year students; previous experience in HIST 218 or an equivalent course is desirable, but not required. Assignments include written examinations, short papers, a map quiz, and a group research project and its presentation to the class.

Prof. Woodfork, 4 credits, MWF 1:00-1:50pm

-Fulfills the College's Alternative Voices and Cultural Pluralism requirements.


History 217: Decolonization in Africa

After the Second World War, the winds of change blew across Africa. Africans sought to end instead of reform the colonial project, and European nations lost the will and the financial wherewithal to maintain their African empires. This course examines the end of empire in Africa, investigating the ideologies that drove independence movements as well as the myriad of challenges these new nations faced, including the role of African "tradition" in the face of "modernity," the economic structure of the nation, citizenship, international relations, mitigating the effects of the colonial presence, and the "success" of decolonization. Reading assignments, discussion, a research paper and its presentation to the class are required.

Prof. Woodfork, 4 credits, TTh 1:00-2:20pm

-Fulfills the College's Alternative Voices and Cultural Pluralism requirements. 


Spring 2019


History 364: History of the Black Atlantic


Africa, the Americas, and Europe came together during the 15th century in ways that drove the world economy and engendered enormous cultural change. The collision of cultures, in their fracturing and recreation, gave birth to new religions, intellectual discourses, culinary and musical forms, as well as new ways of acquiring and wielding power. In the often-uncomfortable spaces created by the intersection of imperialism, capitalism, and race, competing narratives of political and economic growth were tempered by the realities of violence, coerced labor, and racial taxonomies. The people who ceaselessly toiled in sugarcane and cotton fields as well as the people who kept them there created voodoo, gumbo, jazz, and the political and social revolutions that forever affected the three corners of the Black Atlantic. Reading assignments of primary and secondary sources, discussion, a research paper and its presentation to the class are required. Offered every other year.

Prof. Woodfork, 4 credits, MW 2:30-3:50pm

-Fulfills the College's Alternative Voices and Cultural Pluralism requirements.