HIS311 logo HIS 311
African History to 1875

Fall 2015, Tue-Thu 11-12:15pm,
102 Old Library

What's New?

Dec. 3: Finals week office hours: Mon 12/7, 9am-1pm; Tue 12/8, 10:30-11:30am; Thu. 12/10, 12:30-1:00pm
Note: This syllabus is located at http://courses.wcupa.edu/jones/his311.htm.
  Emergency? Call 610-436-3311

Instructor: Jim Jones
Email: jjones@wcupa.edu   Tel: 610-436-2312
Office: 411 Wayne Hall, West Chester, PA 19383
Hours: Mon 9-11am, Tue & Thur 12:30-2pm, and by appointment

Organization of this syllabus: The course outline is at the top, since you will use that every week, followed by an explanation of how the objectives of this class meet History Department learning goals. After that, you will find explanations of class policies on evaluation (i.e. grades), required textbooks and readings, professor and student responsibilities, attendance, Academic Dishonesty (i.e. cheating, plagiarism, etc.), ADA compliance (i.e. disabilities), discrimination, emergency preparedness, and Title IX (i.e. maintaining a safe campus).


Weekday Date Topic Reading (page #s in Falola)
Tue. Aug. 25 Introduction, physical and human geography of Africa  
Thu. Aug. 27 Introduction, physical and human geography of Africa Falola, 35-49
You can drop or add classes until Sunday Aug. 31 by
going on-line. If you add a class late, you are responsible for ALL earlier assignments.
Tue. Sep. 1 Africa in History Falola, 7-22
Thu. Sep. 3 Ancient Egypt & the Upper Nile Valley Falola, 73-108
Tue. Sep. 8 The Bantu Falola, 113-125
Thu. Sep. 10 Iron in Africa Falola, 125-137
Tue. Sep. 15 Acephalous Societies: The Igbo Falola, 279-286
Thu. Sep. 17 Review for first exam  
Tue. Sep. 22 EXAM  
Thu. Sep. 24 The West African interior Falola, 137-160
Tue. Sep. 29 The West African coast Falola, 160-188
Thu. Oct. 1 The East African coast Falola, 181-206
Tue. Oct. 6 Fall Break (no class)  
Thu. Oct. 8 Central Africa Falola, 207-225
Tue. Oct. 13 North Africa Falola, 243-274
Thu. Oct. 15 Ethiopia and MAP TEST Falola, 231-242
Tue. Oct. 20 Review for second exam  
Thu. Oct. 22 EXAM  
Friday Oct. 23 is the last day to drop a class or to complete work from the previous semester.
Tue. Oct. 27 European Interest in Africa  
Thu. Oct. 29 Early European Exploration of Africa Falola, 413-421
Tue. Nov. 3 The Transatlantic Slave Trade Falola, 387-396
Thu. Nov. 5 Evaluating the Transatlantic Slave Trade Falola, 396-411
Tue. Nov. 10 The Zulu Mfecane Falola, 359-371
Thu. Nov. 12 After the Mfecane Falola, 371-379
Tue. Nov. 17 Islamic Reform & Usuman dan Fodio Falola, 297-311, Usuman dan Fodio's Genealogy
Thu. Nov. 19 Jihad in West Africa Falola, 311-319
Tue. Nov. 24 Relations with Europeans Falola, 346-353, 379-383, 421-430
Thu. Nov. 26 Thanksgiving Break (no class)  
Tue. Dec. 1 The Omani Empire Falola, 321-334
Thu. Dec. 3 Review for third exam  
Thu. Dec. 10 EXAM at 10:30am  

COURSE OBJECTIVES: This course examines how the history of Africa was shaped by geography and human activity. By the end of the semester, you should be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

EVALUATION: First and second essay exams (20% each), map test (20%), class discussion (10%), third essay exam (30% each). Perfect attendance throughout the semester will improve a borderline final grade. If you miss one of the in-class exams and can produce a valid excuse (see "Attendance" below), you will be permitted to make it up at Professor Jones' convenience. If you can not produce a valid excuse, you will receive a zero (0) for that exam.

Class discussion provides an opportunity to seek clarification on assigned readings, test your analysis and organize your thoughts. It is not a competitive event to see who speaks the most, but rather an opportunity to engage your colleagues (students and professor) in intelligent conversation about history.

The map test is designed to guarantee that everyone possesses the geographical knowledge needed to support all other class activities. For example, if everyone knows where the Niger River is located, they can more easily understand its role in the patterns of farmer-pastoralist relations. To make this task more manageable, the web page at http://courses.wcupa.edu/jones/his311/maps/311map.htm lists the places and features from which questions will be derived.

Essay exams give each student a chance to respond to a broad, thematic question by making arguments based on facts derived from primary and secondary sources. While literary skill and spelling/grammar are not primary concerns, weakness in those areas should not interfer with the clarity of your argument. The best essay exams include more detail, organized in a logical way, supported by factual statements of specific origin. These statements, from essays about the formation of West African empires, are organized from strongest to weakest:

TEXTBOOK: Toyin Falola, editor, Africa, vol. 1. African History Before 1885 (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2000 & 2003, ISBN #0-89089-768-9). Other materials are avaiable at the African History Resource Page.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Professor Jones must deliver interesting lectures and facilitate meaningful classoom discussion, maintain regular office hours, write fair assignments and provide written feedback. Students must read and digest (i.e. make a sincere effort to understand) assignments before coming to class, participate in class discussion, and pass three essay examinations and one map test.

ATTENDANCE: Professor Jones follows the University's attendance policy, which provides for the reduction of a final grade for more than six (6) unexcused absences during the semester. An excused absence is one that you can document with a valid written excuse concerning a medical condition, legal proceeding, university-sanctioned event (see "Undergraduate Student Attendance Policy" in the Undergraduate catalog for specifics) or death of an immediate family member (i.e. parent, sibling or child). All other absences are unexcused.

Please note: 1) If you face an extraordinary circumstance and believe you should receive special consideration, discuss it with your professor before you are absent -- exceptional requests made after an unexcused absence will not be considered. Also, 2) the professor reserves the right to treat multiple incidents of tardiness as additional unexcused absences. Finally, 3) any time you miss a class, you are responsible for getting notes from a class mate and completing all assigned readings. If, after that, you have questions, talk to your professor during office hours (i.e. don't just send an email asking "what did I miss?")

CHEATING/PLAGIARISM: It is the responsibility of each student to adhere to the university's standards for academic integrity. Violations of academic integrity include any act that violates the rights of another student in academic work, that involves misrepresentation of your own work, or that disrupts the instruction of the course. Other violations include (but are not limited to): cheating on assignments or examinations; plagiarizing, which means copying any part of another's work and/or using ideas of another and presenting them as your own without giving proper credit to the source; selling, purchasing, or exchanging term papers; falsifying information; and using your own work from one class to fulfill the assignment for another class without significant modification. Proof of academic misconduct can result in automatic failure and removal from this course. In particular, "cutting and pasting" from an on-line source is NEVER acceptable. Instead, you are expected to rewrite what you found in your own words, and provide a reference note to show where you found it.

For questions regarding Academic Integrity, the No-Grade Policy, Sexual Harassment, or the Student Code of Conduct, you are encouraged to refer to the History Department's Undergraduate Handbook, the Undergraduate Catalogue, the Ram's Eye View, and the University website at www.wcupa.edu.

ADA COMPLIANCE: West Chester University will make accommodations for persons with disabilities. Consult the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (ext. 3217) and bring the resulting documentation to the instructor.

DISCRIMINATION: Professor Jones supports West Chester University's prohibition against discrimination, including sexual harassment, of any individual based on race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, religious creed, disability or veteran status. The University is committed to providing leadership in extending equal opportunities to all individuals and will continue to make every effort to provide these rights to all members of the University community, including students, staff, and administrators, as well as all applicants for admission or employment and all participants in University-sponsored activities. Any individual having suggestions, problems, complaints or grievances with regard to equal opportunity or affirmative action is encouraged to contact the Director of Social Equity at 610-436-2433.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS: All students are encouraged to sign up for the University's free WCU ALERT service, which delivers official WCU emergency text messages directly to your cell phone. For more information and to sign up, visit www.wcupa.edu/wcualert. To report an emergency, call the Department of Public Safety at 610-436-3311.

TITLE IX STATEMENT: West Chester University and its faculty are committed to assuring a safe and productive educational environment for all students. In order to meet this commitment and to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and guidance from the Office for Civil Rights, the University requires faculty members to report incidents of sexual violence shared by students to the University's Title IX Coordinator, Ms. Lynn Klingensmith. The only exceptions to the faculty member's reporting obligation are when incidents of sexual violence are communicated by a student during a classroom discussion, in a writing assignment for a class, or as part of a University-approved research project. Faculty members are obligated to report sexual violence or any other abuse of a student who was, or is, a child (a person under 18 years of age) when the abuse allegedly occurred to the person designated in the University protection of minors policy. Information regarding the reporting of sexual violence and the resources that are available to victims of sexual violence is set forth at the webpage for the Office of Social Equity.


The most recent version of this syllabus is located at http://courses.wcupa.edu/jones/his397.htm.
A list of all of Jim Jones' course syllabi can be found at http://courses.wcupa.edu/jones.

Fall 2015 Office Hours: Mon 9-11am, Tu & Th 12:30-2:00pm, and by appointment, in 411 Wayne Hall.