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 in addition to the support of Boston University African Studies Center.

Professional Development Hours

Fall/Spring six-week course: 35
Summer one-week course: 25

Register Now

Registration fee: $125
Fall Session 2: November 7–December 16, 2022
Spring Session 1: January 23–March 3, 2023


Sample Activities

  • Placing Africa in the Global Middle Ages
  • Mansa Musa and Islam in Africa: Annotating History
  • Teaching the Unfamiliar: Ancient Manuscripts from Timbuktu
Find more exceptional teaching resources at the Humanities in Class Digital Library, an Open Education Resource (OER) platform. The Digital Library provides direct access to a wide variety of scholarly and instructional resources for the humanities classroom in one central location. Membership is free!