Modern Africa

Teacher: Shannon Morocco
Extra Help: Tuesdays 3-4 pm, room 205 or by appointment.

Course Overview

Africa is a continent that lags behind others in the modern world and continues to face economic, social, political, and cultural challenges.  Despite all of this, the continent has experienced significant growth in the past century.  In this course we will explore the history of Africa through book excerpts, documentaries, discussions and a variety of primary and secondary sources.  Units throughout the course will include the effects of colonization, the independence movement, new nations and emerging Africa.  Throughout the semester, students will explore case studies of Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Algeria and Kenya, role play key African independence leaders and research new innovations in the continent.  While we will be examining challenges the continent has faced in recent decades, our main goal will be to explore how many nations have begun to take agency over their present and consider further opportunities for Africa to embrace its future.  

Resources: Brown University’s Choices Curriculum “Colonization and Independence in Africa, Dayo Olopade’s The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules & Making Change in Modern Africa, Giles Bolton’s Africa Doesn’t Matter: How the West Has Failed the Poorest Continent and What We Can Do About It, the DVD What are we doing here, Wangari Maathai’s The Challenge for Africa and  Steven Radelet’s book, Emerging Africa: How 17  Countries are Leading the Way.

Course Essential Questions:

  • What challenges has Africa faced in its development?

  • How has Africa sought to overcome some of these challenges?

  • What opportunities exist in Africa today?

  • What does the future hold for Africa?