Course Syllabus

History 10B: Africa Since 1800

Spring 2017


Instructor                                William H. Worger

                                                7242 Bunche Hall



Teaching Assistants               Daniel Beckman

                                                Thabisile Griffin

                                                Lindsay King     

                                                Hazel Reed       

                                                Madina Thiam   

                                                Marques Vestal 



10B focuses on the history of sub-Saharan Africa (that is, Africa below the southern margins of the Sahara desert) from around 1800 to the present. The course takes a thematic approach since it would be impossible to provide comprehensive coverage to a continent which is the second most populous in the world and which consists of 54 sovereign countries. The aim of the course is to engage you in learning about some of the major developments that have taken place in sub-Saharan Africa during the past two centuries, and especially to get you to think and evaluate the ways in which historical change has an impact on contemporary society.


In engaging in the study of Africa you will learn how to understand the wide variety of ways in which people interact over time, how they organize their diverse societies, particularly economically and politically, and how all these societies, despite widely held assumptions and stereotypes to the contrary, constantly change over time. You will also learn how to carry out research utilizing the extraordinary resources that we have at UCLA and throughout all campuses of the UC system, in the form of specialist librarians, extensive hard copy collections, and almost limitless online sources; how to carry out that research in a focused and effective manner; and how to use your original research to argue a point of view in an authoritative and professional way.


Completion of History 10B enables you to fulfill two of the requirements for graduation from UCLA, first that you demonstrate an understanding of the foundations of the cultures and societies in which we all live and second that you gain some understanding of diversity. Here are summaries of the two requirements that this class fulfills:


GE credit, Foundations of Culture and Society



Diversity Credit

The College diversity requirement is intended to help students better understand the perspectives of others whose histories, experiences, cultures, and social conditions may differ from their own.


Frames of difference include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, language, nationality, citizenship status, and place of origin. Diversity courses are designed to provide students with the analytical skills needed to develop critical and reflective perspectives on difference within both domestic and global spheres, and to prepare them to function, thrive, and provide leadership in multicultural, multiethnic, transnational, and interconnected global societies.


Students in the College satisfy the diversity requirement by completing one course from a faculty-approved list of diversity courses. The course must be taken for a letter grade, and passed with a grade of C or better (a grade of C- is not acceptable). The course may also satisfy a general education (GE), major or minor, or elective course requirement.



History 10B is taught during Spring 2017 as an online class. What that means in practice is that you will do a significant amount of work reading required texts (including online documents) viewing films, viewing taped lectures by Professor Worger, and participating in online activities, especially via PIAZZA. You will meet online in real time via ZOOM for a weekly 50-minute discussion section with a teaching assistant who is familiar with the teaching of African history.



During the quarter you will complete a number of different tasks, all asking you to utilize different scholarly skills and to learn how to present your ideas in an effective fashion. These tasks will include a weekly in-class multiple choice test assessing your understanding of the required materials that you will have read or viewed the previous week, weekly regular blog postings and online conversations, and bi-weekly (approximately) written assignments evaluating news media, describing fieldwork resources on the UCLA campus, a 1,000 word essay using original sources, a popular history project, a map assignment, and a final take home exam in the form of an essay which you will submit online in 11th week. All your work will be submitted online through CANVAS with clear and strict deadlines established.



Your grade for the class will be based on a cumulative score for the work which you submit online. If you do not submit work by the set deadline you will not earn points for that piece of work. Therefore it is to your benefit to get work completed in a timely fashion. You will also be able to keep a clear record of your score throughout the quarter and get a good idea of the grade that you will earn for the class.

Piazza posting (weekly deadline 6pm Sundays, except week 1) 10
Quizzes (weekly deadline 6pm Tuesdays)   20
News story assignment (deadline 6pm Friday week 2) 5
Fieldwork assignment (deadline 6pm Friday week 4) 5
First essay assignment 1,000 words (deadline 6pm Friday week 6) 10
Popular culture assignment   (deadline 6pm Friday week 8) 5
Map assignment (deadline 6pm Friday week 9) 10
Section/Discussion (WEEKLY) Attendance and participation   20
Take home final essay 1,500 words (deadline TBD week 11) 15



Grading scale

A+                   95-100

A                      90-94

A-                    85-89

B+                    80-84

B                      75-79

B-                    70-74

C+                    65-69

C                      60-64

C-                    55-59

D                     50-54

F                      0-49


Required texts listed in order of use. Please note that other than the Worger & Clark, and Boahen texts, all the other titles are instantly available in electronic versions from Amazon. All the books are available in the ASUCLA bookstore, and can also be ordered as new or second hand copies via ASUCLA or directly from such online retailers as and You can compare the prices of any in-print and many out-of-print books at both and at


Make sure you obtain your own copies of all the required texts as soon as possible. The weekly quizzes require that you have done all the required reading. If you have not completed the weekly readings, then your grade will suffer. In order to provide some lead time, the required readings for weeks 1 and 2 ONLY are posted online in pdf format.


William Worger and Nancy Clark, Africa and the West (2010 edition ONLY), volumes 1 & 2, available from the ASUCLA bookstore

  1. Adu Boahen, African Perspectives on Colonialism (1989), available from the ASUCLA bookstore

Ngũgĩ wa Thiongo, Dreams in a Time of War: A Childhood Memoir (2011), available from the ASUCLA bookstore, kindle edition available from Amazon

Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah (1997), available from the ASUCLA bookstore, kindle edition available from Amazon

Trevor Noah, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (2016) Audible edition (Amazon) preferred because then you will hear the author himself telling his story in his own words, his facility in several languages, and the nuances of tone that he uses. You can sign up for a 30 day free trial for audiobooks with Amazon and listen to Noah’s book and then cancel your subscription, or you can buy the audiobook outright.


Multiple copies of all the books are on two-hour reserve in Powell Library.


Course organization

One of the big differences between a face-to-face class and this online class is that there will be continuous interaction between yourself, your classmates, the instructor and the teaching assistants. You will be expected to interact regularly with the instructor, TAs, and your peers in weekly assignments, participation exercises and discussions. These activities will keep you intellectually engaged with the subject matter and with each other.


The class is organized in learning modules, and each learning module includes different sets of assignments that you will complete independently and interactively with your classmates.


Assignments will be due as follows:

Piazza/blog posts are due each Sunday @ 6pm

Quizzes are due each Tuesday @ 6pm (no quiz week 1)

News story assignment is due module 2, Friday @ 6pm

Fieldwork assignment is due module 4, Friday @ 6pm

Essay one is due module 6, Friday @ 6pm

Popular culture assignment is due module 8, Friday @ 6pm

Map assignment is due module 9, Friday @ 6pm

Final essay/exam is due module 11, TBD @ 6pm


All deadlines are firm. Only medical excuses for late submission will be considered. All assignments will be posted at the beginning of the quarter and you can complete them at any time before the due dates for each. Except, quizzes must be completed in the order in which they are posted and within a 30-minute time frame for each.


Required reading:

Each weekly module will have a combination of assigned readings from the textbooks, links to PDFs of primary documents when needed, and links to online documentaries. The required reading has been kept to a manageable length to that you can get it all done. Please complete the readings BEFORE your weekly discussion section (which have been scheduled mid week onward in order to ensure that you have time at the beginning of each week to complete all tasks).


Course goals

In this class I would like you to be able to learn about and acquire a combination of ideas, information and skills. In particular I would like you to:


  • Develop an interpretative understanding of economic, political, cultural and social change in African societies during the past two centuries, with attention paid especially to the diversity of societies on the continent.


  • Be able to identify general processes of change over time throughout the continent as a result of such processes as imperialism, conquest, colonialism, anti-colonialism, independence, economic dependence, authoritarianism and democracy.


  • Be able to present a coherent analysis of an historical issue from Africa in a way that relates to contemporary American concerns/interests/engagement with Africa especially as expressed/found in the news media.


  • Be able to evaluate the ways in which historians identify and use evidence.


  • Be able to evaluate the ways in which historians write and research a convincing historical essay/paper/article.


  • Understand fully the scholarly apparatus used by historians – primary and secondary sources, footnoting/citation, bibliographies, “Chicago style” – all the items that are expected of academic scholarship.




Writing is an essential skill of historians. You have to be able to write in a clear, concise, and effective manner if you are to communicate your ideas to a wide audience. Since there are a number of writing assignments in this class I would like to draw to your attention to university resources where you can get advice and assistance. These offices are staffed by advanced students, who are proficient writers themselves, and who understand well the practices of certain disciplines such as History and the Social Sciences in general. Their aim is to help you in every way possible with your writing. Always feel welcome to call on the staff in these offices and don’t wait until the end of the quarter.

  1. The History Writing Center is a discipline specific center that is open to all undergraduate students enrolled in History classes. We offer one–on-one assistance with all stages of the writing process.

Located in Bunche Hall 2165, we are open Monday through Wednesday from 10am to 6pm, Thursday from 10am to 5pm, and Friday from 9am to 3pm. The center will open its doors on the Monday of week two.


We strongly recommend that you schedule an appointment in advance, but we also have drop-in appointments. Appointments can be scheduled online. Please note that we do not look at take home exams, unless we have the instructor's specific consent.

We strongly recommend that you schedule an appointment in advance, but if we are full, you may try walking in to the History Writing Center on the half hour (e.g. 10:30, 12:30, 1:30, etc.). We cannot guarantee that a tutor will be available, but we will do our best to accommodate you.

Please note that you need to bring in a hard copy of your paper with you. We do not read papers online. You cannot print your papers at the History Writing center. Please make sure you print your papers before coming to your appointment.

Handouts - These handouts cover topics on sentence structure and types of sentences.

Primary and Secondary Sources

Thesis Statements [Workshop Powerpoint]

What Is A History Paper? [Workshop Powerpoint]

Annotated Bibliographies

Steps for Writing a History Paper

Introductions and Conclusions


Documenting Sources

Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition, online)

UCLA Special Collections


Online Writing Lab at Purdue

Ask About English, through the BBC "Learning English" site


  1. Writing assistance -- UCLA Undergraduate Writing Center Spring 2017.

The Undergraduate Writing Center offers UCLA undergraduates one-on-one sessions on their writing.  The Center is staffed by peer learning facilitators (PLFs), undergraduates who are trained to help at any stage in the writing process and with writing assignments from across the curriculum.  PLFs tailor appointments to the concerns of each writer.


We open on Sunday, April 9th in Rieber 115 & Powell 238 Evening/Weekend Locations & Monday, April 10th at all locations


Main Campus -- A61 Humanities

Mon. thru Thurs., 10am-6pm; Fri., 10am-3pm

Social Science Satellite (Powell 238)

Mon. thru Thurs., 10am-6pm; Fri., 10am-3pm

Rieber Hall 115 Evening/Weekend Location (for on-campus residents)

Sun. thru Thurs., 7 pm – 9 pm

Powell Library 238 Evening/Weekend Location

Sun. thru Thurs., 6 pm – 9 pm


Scheduled appointments: Work in person with a Peer Learning Facilitator (PLF)

  • 50-minute appointments in A61 Humanities & Powell 238 Evening/Weekend Location
  • 50- and 25-minute appointments in Social Science Satellite & Rieber 115


Walk-in appointments: Walk in to discuss a small issue or an entire paper

  • 30-minute appointments available at all locations
  • first-come, first-served


Online Writing Center: Talk via Google Hangouts with a Peer Learning Facilitator (PLF)

  • 50-minute appointments (during A61 Humanities location hours), using Google Hangouts
  • submit your paper online, using Google Docs


What you should bring to the Writing Center:

  • A draft if you have one
  • Preliminary notes or writing if you don’t have a draft
  • A copy of the assignment
  • Instructor or peer comments on your paper
  • Copies of readings or research related to the assignment.


The Undergraduate Writing Center

A61 Humanities & Social Science Satellite: Mon thru Thurs, 10am-6pm; Fri, 10am-3pm

Rieber 115: Sun-Thurs, 7-9PM

Powell 238: Sun-Thurs, 6-9PM

Phone: 310-206-1320; e-mail:

Book an Appointment:

Course Summary:

Date Details Due