Introduction to African Civilization

Professor David Mulumba

This course deals with the evolution of man on the African plateau of East, Central, and Southern Africa, the struggle to master the environment, the development of socio-political systems throughout the continent, the introduction of metallurgy, migrations, the growth of civilization and the rise of city states, the slave trade, colonization, nationalism, independence and nation building.


1. To show that Africa is the original home of mankind
2. To explain the geographical and socio-economic diversity of the African continent
3. To study pre-colonial political systems
4. To analyze the causes and the course of the European colonization of Africa.
5. To explain the strategies by means of which Africans regained their independence.
6. To examine different approaches toward nation building

1. Joseph Harris Africans and Their History
2. Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart
3. Peter Abrahams Mine Boy


Oral and Written Assignments
1. Every student will give two oral presentations. The first will be assigned by the instructor. It will be based on one of the films indicated on the next page. The second one will be the student's choosing from one of the following works:
Mongo Beti Mission to Kala
Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart
Ousmane Sembene Last of the Empire
Ali Mazuri The Trial of Chritopher Okigbo
Mark Mathabane KaffirBoy

2. One quiz and two essay examinations.
3. Written book review of one of the literary works listed above.
The review should be at least five pages long and include an introduction and
conclusion. The review should be at least 50% summary of the book
and 50% your analysis of the book. Summarization of a book requires student to
recognize inferences, basic assumptions, organize and synthesize information. The
book review requires that 50 % of the review be an analysis. Analysis is the drawing
of conclusions from the book as well as information and discussion provided in class
lectures and discussions.


Mid- Tern Examination 100 points
Final Examination 100 points
Book Review 100 points
Two Oral presentations 70 points (35 points each)
Quiz 30 points
Total 400 points