14432 - Modern and Contemporary History of Africa (1)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

This is an introductory course to African history from 19th to mid 20th century. At the end of the course you will have a detailed knowledge of the major historical events taking place in Africa in this period and be able to situate these events in the framework of global historical trends. You will be aware of the major historiographical debates, especially regarding slave trades (Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Trans-saharan) and colonialism, and understand what is the contribution of Africanists to these dabates. You will be familiar with the sources used by historians of Africa and be able to use the appropriate terminology when writing and talking about African history.

Course contents

Lessons from monday february 3rd 2020 to 13th march 2020.


Methodology lessons, the decodification and importance of sources.

Confrontation of lectures of colonialism.

Analysis on the approach on African decolonization.

Confrontation on african nationalisms.

Political and social problems of modern and contemporary Africa.


Students attending the course:

C. Coquery Vidrovitch, Breve Storia dell'Africa, Il Mulino 2012

Irma Taddia, Autobiografie africane. Il colonialismo nelle memorie orali, Fangeli, Milano 1996, pp. 9-44

Irma Taddia, Etiopia 1800-1900. Le strategie del potere fra l'Africa e l'Italia, Fangeli, Milano 2013

Students not attending the course have to add this volume:

Tekeste Negash, L'Etiopia entra nel terzo millennio, Roma, Aracne 200

Teaching methods

Lectures, supported by power point presentations. Discussion of historical sources.

Assessment methods

During the oral exam you will be asked three questions, one on each book you have read. For the students attending the course, part of the exam will be on the themes and issues discussed in class and part on the books chosen from the reading list. During the exam, you will have to show that you are familiar with the major events taking place in Africa from mid 20th century until the 1980s.To obtain a positive evaluation, you have to show that you are able to discuss methodological problems and use an appropriate terminology. You have to read all the books assigned. If the reading list is not clear enough or you have problems in finding the texts, please contact Prof. Pallaver by e-mail.You can also ask for a reading list in English.

Teaching tools

During each lecture, we will use power point presentations with maps and images. We will discuss historical sources as well as writings by African intellectuals and politicians. We will also project and comment documentary films.

Office hours

See the website of Irma Taddia