History of Ancient Africa
I. Course Prefix/Number: HIS 208
Course Name: History of Ancient Africa
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
IV. Learning Objectives
B. Describe the ethnic, cultural, and political diversity of ancient Africa and interpret its historical consequences.
C. Explain the religious, social, economic, and political ideas that emerged in Africa during the period covered.
D. Evaluate major religious, literary, and philosophical works produced during the period.
E. Analyze the relationship between historical events and contemporary issues in the region.
F. Evaluate conflicting interpretations of the history of ancient Africa.
G. Analyze primary and secondary sources pertaining to the period covered.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
- Prehistory of Africa: the development and spread of agriculture and pastoralism.
- The Iron Age and Bantu migrations.
- Oral traditions and the myths of origin in African societies.
- Trans-Saharan trade and the kingdom of Ancient Ghana.
- North Africa and the spread of Islam into sub-Saharan Africa.
- Sudanic empires of Mali and Songhai
- Christian Ethiopia.
- The Swahili coast to the sixteenth century.
- Later Iron Age states in central and southern Africa.
- The Atlantic slave trade and West Africa to the eighteenth century.
- Africa and the world economy.
- European exploration and missionary activity.
- The “Scramble” for Africa, colonial conquest and African resistance movements.
- Early colonial rule.
VII. Methods of Instruction
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
A. Read a standard textbook, selected literature, and primary source materials.
B. Write outside of class the equivalent of 12-14 double-spaced typed pages, in the form of a term paper, weekly journals, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
C. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.
D. Engage in a group research project that will examine some aspects of race, ethnic, class, or gender inequality in South African history. The project will include both a written and oral presentation.
IX. Instructional Materials
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
XI. Other Course Information
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.