Fall 2020


History 211: The World Wars in Africa

From the first shots of the First World War to the release of African POWs in Germany in 1945, this course will investigate how Europe's need for manpower and resources fettered Africans and at the same time opened up new opportunities for them to effect their interactions with colonialism and themselves. With forced agricultural production, commercial sex work, and young men sent to battlefronts in Africa and Europe, the World Wars changed Africa and Africans in numerous ways. While the course will address traditional aspects of military history, it will also investigate the social, cultural, and political changes that took place as intended and unintended outcomes on the part of European rulers as well as colonized Africans.

Prof. Woodfork, 4 credits, MWF 11:00-11:50am

-Fulfills Social Sciences distribution and Race & Ethnic Studies requirements.

-History major: modern history; Empires & Colonialism; Revolution, War, & Politics; Social Justice


History 319: Women in Africa

This course will analyze the diversity of experiences of women in Africa, focusing on how religious practices, colonialism, work, and social class have impacted their lives. We will examine how people construct and reinforce notions of gender and how women function in social systems such as the family. We also will study issues concerning reproduction and the control of the bodies of women and girls. The goal is to restore women to the history of Africa, looking at them not as accessories to the historical process, but as veritable actors and agents of change. A research paper and its presentation to the class are required.

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

-Fulfills Social Sciences and Cultural Pluralism distribution and Race & Ethnic Studies requirements.

-History major: modern history; Social Justice


Spring 2021


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, MW 2:30-3:50pm

-Fulfills Social Sciences and Cultural Pluralism distribution and Race & Ethnic Studies requirements.

-History major: modern history; Empires & Colonialism; Revolution, War, & Politics; Social Justice