UWC Ba Modules, Within the past decade our Department has emerged as one of the leading research and teaching History Departments in South Africa and one of the most productive centres for knowledge production in the field of southern African studies. Our successes in recent years include the publication of major monographs by leading members of the department; the development of the foremost programme in Museum and Heritage Studies in Africa which has graduated over 150 M.A. and diploma students from throughout the continent; the establishment of the most dynamic graduate-driven centre for the study of visual history on the continent; the development of substantial research projects in the fields of culture and performance studies, intellectual and political biography, women and gender studies, land and agrarian history, liberation history, urban history and the history of anthropology.
We have also developed the journal Kronos: Southern African Histories into the leading publication in the field of historical studies in the region. The journal has an Open Access readership numbering in the thousands, a dynamic new international editorial team, and combines its commitment to high quality historical scholarship with a unique and longstanding interest in integrating visual and textual sources.
We have also excelled as a teaching department with members of our department having twice won the university-wide teaching award during this period. Our undergraduate courses provide a rigorous training in African history from the pre-colonial to the post-independence periods. We also now teach courses on India, the Middle East and Vietnam. We have built up powerful graduate African studies programmes in the fields of museum studies, heritage studies, visual history, the history of anthropology, cultural performance studies, biography and liberation histories. We have pioneered innovative new teaching methods in lectures from staged debates between lecturers to cutting-edge multimedia visual and performative presentations and web-based interactive communicative platforms.
The HISTORY 1 course studies, discusses and debates changes that took place along the eastern and western coast of Africa between the eleventh and the nineteenth centuries. The central theme of the course is the production of history. It focuses on how historians collect evidence from various sources of knowledge, how they interpret and use such evidence to produce history, and how these processes sometimes produce different or conflicting interpretations, opinions and arguments.
The course is aimed at assisting the students identify and understand different interpretations of the same historical events, develop means to assess the value of conflicting interpretations and, most importantly, enable them structure their own historical argument. The main feature of the course is the debates that take place during lecture periods. Two lecturers holding different opinions on a particular topic lead out by debating the topic, after which the chairperson opens the discussion to the floor for the students to join in.
History 141: Historians and their arguments: Societies on the East African coast, 1000-1860
– Identify and understand different interpretations of the same event;
– Assess the value of conflicting interpretations;
– Develop an historical argument. Content:
East African coast, 1000-1860
History 142: Historians and the interpretation of evidence: Societies on the West African Coast, 1000-1860
– Identify different types of historical evidence;
– Understand how historians make use of evidence;
– Evaluate the use of evidence in historical arguments;
– Substantiate historical arguments through the use of evidence. Content: West African coast, 1000-1860