This course covers the history of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya since the seventeenth century. Among the topics we will discuss are imperialism and local responses to it, the development of national identities, the evolving role of Islam in politics and society, the experiences of religious and ethnic minorities, the impact of and on French culture, North African diaspora communities in Europe and elsewhere, and connections between North Africa and other parts of Africa and the Middle East. This course fulfills the diversity general education requirement.
This course is one of a trio of history courses that cover the development of the Middle East over the past several centuries, along with HSTAFM 163 “Modern Middle East” and HSTAFM 463 “Modern Persian Gulf.” Each of these classes focuses on a different core area within the broader Middle East region. None of these classes has any specific prerequisite, and no background knowledge is required for a student to succeed in any of these courses.
This course is organized in chronological order, covering the period from the Ottoman era right up to the present day. It emphasizes more recent history—the first few class periods will cover several centuries of content, while the last three full class periods will be just about the 2010s. This structure will help students understand the historical legacies that are shaping the dramatic ongoing political movements in all four countries.
In this course, students will learn to appreciate North Africa’s unique position at the confluence of the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. The class will have a hybrid lecture/discussion format that will give students ample opportunity to engage with primary sources from the region, including fiction, film, and music. The written assignments in this class will also ask students to delve into primary source texts, helping students gain an appreciation for how scholars find and analyze historical sources.