Dynamic Societies of Ancient & Medieval Africa


FOCAL SKILLS AND DISPOSITIONS: Inquiry; Evaluating Visual Evidence; ICT Literacy; Developing Cross-Cultural Sensitivity

DATES: July 7 – August 3, 2021
PDPs/CREDITS: 22.5 PDPs; option for 1 graduate credit ($160 fee applies)

FEE: Partnership educators—no cost (other than fee for 1 graduate credit); Non-partnership educators—$400 (plus fee for 1 graduate credit)

Africa has a history of complex societies and rich cultures which has not, traditionally, been appreciated fully despite its deep and lasting contributions to humanity. This course will illuminate the longevity and dynamism of African civilizations, cultural developments, and connectedness to the world, with an emphasis on sub-Saharan regions in the ancient and medieval eras. Each of four sessions will trace a different theme across a set of case studies and contexts: geography and environment; trade, exchange and cultural diffusion; knowledge and belief; and social structure and governance. Participants will explore a wealth of new websites and sources for the art, archaeology, technological achievements and literatures of pre-modern African societies. Inquiry-centered approaches using interactive maps, material objects, and 3-D archaeological re-creations will also be featured. The course is highly relevant for teachers of geography, world history, ancient societies and world religions. All educators who seek a deeper understanding of Africa’s dynamic history are welcome.

Especially for educators of grades 6-12.



Special thanks to the Boston University Africa Studies Center and the Teaching Africa Outreach Program for collaborating and providing support for this course.




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