HIS-30149 - The Making of Contemporary Africa since c.1945
Coordinator: Rachel Bright Tel: +44 1782 7 33466
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

How has Africa become the continent it is today? Who creates the images of Africa we see? To what extent are ideas of Africa and Africans still tied to colonialism? What about China┐s more recent involvement? This module will introduce you to the history of Africa and its diaspora since 1945, examining the forces of decolonisation, nationhood, religion, the Cold War and other factors shaping Africa. We will explore a wide range of primary sources, including traditional sources about politics and economics, as well as a range of films, music, poetry and novels. Seminars will encourage students to use specific case studies to explore how ideas of what it means to be `African┐ have developed historically in Africa itself and around the world. Through understanding these diverse histories, we can also begin to ask: what exactly is `African┐ about African history?

Intended Learning Outcomes

recognise and explain the changing ways in which people perceived Africa and Africans, both inside and outside the continent from c.1945 to the present, engaging critically with the formation of African history and identity: 1,2
relate case studies and examples of historical change, especially regarding British and French decolonisation and post-colonialism, to broader thematic issues in the historiography of colonial Africa and post-colonialism: 1,2
evaluate and critically assess a range of primary sources and apply them appropriately within historical analysis: 1
distinguish between and critically evaluate different academic interpretations and explanations for the events under examination, including from disciplines other than history: 1,2
develop the capacity for independent thought and communicate such thoughts clearly and effectively through class discussion and through both verbal and written assessment: 1,2

Study hours

12 x two-hour seminars
12 x one-hour workshops
48 hours seminar preparation
33 hours researching and writing for the source commentary
33 hours preparation for essay

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Commentary weighted 50%
Source Analysis
Students will be expected to write a commentary about a primary source chosen from the Module Handbook, or agreed with the module convener in advance. Total length: 1500 words.

2: Essay weighted 50%
Choose one essay question of c.1500 words from a list provided. Each question requires students to draw on at least two of the weekly topics to compose a satisfactory answer.