Islamic uprising in North East Sahara: movement against Christianity and against
Westernization. People feel that in that area Westernization has failed because of
extreme poverty. It is very close to Lake Chad: area of massive climate change.
Climate change affects history a lot.
Africa has a deep history of kingdoms, empires, etc.
There is also things like development of early industrial society like iron working. He
points to the importance of cattle in the global economy. Cattle become main stray of
African life. Cattle are a means of exchange. Cattle become enormously important.
Nubian state emerges 5-4000 years ago.
Oral cultures: many African people didn’t have writings so they were techniques used
such as music, etc. Problem with oral tradition: if the population dies then you lose
What kind of mythologies can historians use? Look at the film.
Reading about tribe:
o What is wrong about using the word tribe: It distorts reality
o The way it is being used is to imply that tribal peoples because of their nature
and the way they live because of their social organization is unchanging right
o Makes things complicated and tries to fit everything into one box/ category.
Ethnic group of 20 million people is compared with another group and is said to
be the same way.
o Implies ignorance
o British had a system of indirect rule: ruling through existing African institutions
and the existing African institutions that were there were tribes and chiefs.
Chiefs evolved and have a history of their own. Europeans looked to the chiefs.
o Two ways of looking at identities
Primordial: means that identity is essentially very ancient and fixed and
Constructionist approach: the identity changes and what might have
been identities of the Arab speaking people 1500 years ago changed
since then. The constructionist suggests that identity is not fixed and that
it changes all the time. Power point presentation
Africa is the most successful place in the world because that’s where we came from but
in general the African climate has been difficult with many dangerous diseases. Africans
adapted to their environment by adopting social and political institutions and so these
adaptations allowed surviving in this difficult physical climate. One of the problems for
African societies is maintain and building up populations. It is the 2 largest continent
on earth. Because of its difficulty it has been difficult to build up populations. Many