HST 299 Ecology in Africa

Department:  History
Faculty:  Sarah Hardin

Spring 2012

This colloquium introduces students to the use of alternative methods - archaeology, historical linguistics, and ecology - in historical research and analysis.

Students consider both Western and African views of the African environment, looking at historical, economic, and political contexts for a better understanding of environmental challenges in Africa today.

In the Botanic Garden, students examine African plants in the greenhouses such as rubber, rice, clove, tropical woods, cacao, banana, coffee, and cotton. Students observe and research the physical properties of these plants: their growth habits, cultivation, and processing.

Looking at human use, they examine how the plants' properties may be related to the plants' economic, social and political history in Africa. Working in small groups, students report their findings to each other as a tour covering each plant.

history class and professor in greenhouse