Humanities in Class Online Courses

Medieval Africa and Africans

Catalan map
Detail from a modern reproduction of the map of West Africa in The Catalan Atlas (1375)

In the current political and cultural moment, the Medieval Academy of America is working to redress the historical limitations of Medieval Studies and expand its focus to the “Global Middle Ages.”

Across the premodern globe, before the oceanic dominance of a few European powers, in regions such as China, Mali, Ethiopia, Armenia, and Egypt, people produced great achievements in conditions of relative parity. The misappropriation and misunderstanding of medieval culture has led to the advancement of dangerous, racist narratives, and only education at every level can counter such misuse of history. Teaching this reality, rather than a fictionalized fantasy of the Middle Ages, has never been more important than it is today.

This course has been designed with the generous support of the Medieval Academy of America.

Professional Development Hours: 35

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Fall 2021, Session 2: November 8–December 17
Spring 2022, Session 1: January 24–March 4
Spring 2022, Session 2: March 21–May 6


Sample Activities

  • Placing Africa in the Global Middle Ages
  • Mansa Musa and Islam in Africa: Annotating History
  • Teaching the Unfamiliar: Ancient Manuscripts from Timbuktu
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