Film as History (Theme: Africa focus) (HIST*2020) | College of Arts

Film as History (Theme: Africa focus) (HIST*2020)

Code and section: HIST*2020*01

Term: Winter 2022

Instructor: Femi Kolapo


HIST*2020. Film as History (Africa focus)
Term: Winter 2022
Instructor: Femi Kolapo

Method of Delivery

1½ hours/week will be taught in face-to-face class format and the other 1½ hours/week as a virtual (synchronous or asynchronous) class time. Students are expected to attend and participate in both in-person and virtual components.

Course Synopsis:

This course will use selected films and documentaries (6-8), to introduce students to the history of Africa. The subject matter of the selected films will provide students with the basis to address important themes and topics in the history of Africa as well as matters relating to how, when, and by who Africa’s history is produced, and to what effect. The films will be accompanied by assigned readings from a history textbook that correspond to the theme/topic addressed in the films. These assigned readings, together with the professor’s introduction to the topic, will be used to evaluate the accuracy of the films/documentaries in representing Africa in the history they depict.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. assess the viability of film as a historical source
  2. understand perceptions about Africa and their impact on the understanding of Africa’s past.
  3. evaluate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic factors that have defined Africa’s history
  4. identify and discuss major themes in African history with global ramifications
  5. develop a critical understanding of African history, culture, and society. 



Method of Evaluation and Weights:

40%    Generating 2 questions each from viewing 4 assigned weekly films and readings (out of 8) and explaining in a paragraph or two why the questions are important. 
20%    Midterm Exam    (on readings and films covered up to Week 6)    
40%    Final Project    (comparing two films, evaluating their historical accuracy/usefulness in their re/presentation of Africa.

Texts Required:

Robert Harms, Africa in Global History with Sources (W.W. Norton & Company, 2018) 

**Please note:  This is a preliminary web course description only.  The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description.  The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.**