African History through the Lens of Economics: Important course information
In collaboration with historians, political scientists, and anthropologists, we designed an open-access, interdisciplinary lecture series to study the impact of Africa’s history on contemporary development.
This course will cover recent contributions in economic history that, using geospatial data from anthropological maps, colonial archives and secondary sources, will explore current economic and development challenges by drawing parallels between the past and present.
How to join
This course will be run virtually via Zoom. Throughout the 11 weeks, every lecture can be accessed using the same zoom link. Please find the joining link below.
Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/91957997765?pwd=UGpNSlZKaUFISnhhcFBUbUkzbHVPQT09
This course will take place every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10am ET / 3pm GMT starting Tuesday 1 February. *Minor variations do occur. Please note sessions in purple.
|Tuesday 1 February||10am ET / 3pm GMT||Introduction: African development and history||Join here|
|Wednesday 2 February||10am ET / 3pm GMT||Long-run trends of development in Africa||Join here|
|Tuesday 8 February||10am ET / 3pm GMT||Precolonial Africa. Political Organization||Join here|
|Wednesday 9 February||10am ET / 3pm GMT||On origins of African States||Join here|
|Thursday 10 February||10 am ET. 3pm GMT||Mapping Contemporary African Development||Join here|
|Tuesday 15 February||10am ET / 3pm GMT||Social Structure [kinship, family, social relations]||Join here|
|Wednesday 16 February||10am ET / 3pm GMT||Understanding African Studies||Join here|
|Thursday 17 February||10am ET / 3pm GMT||African History through the Lens of Leonard Wantchekon||Join here|
|Tuesday 22 February||10am ET / 3pm GMT||The slave trades||Join here|
|Wednesday 23 February||11am ET / 4pm GMT||The slave trades’ impact on population and Africans||Join here|
|Tuesday 1 March||10am ET / 3pm GMT||The scramble for Africa||Join here|
|Wednesday 2 March||10am ET / 3pm GMT||A closer look at South Africa and Nigeria from colonization||Join here|
|Tuesday 8 March||10am ET / 3pm GMT||Colonization I. Introduction||Join here|
|Wednesday 9 March||10am ET / 3pm GMT||On the legacy of Christian missions||Join here|
|Tuesday 15 March||11am EDT / 3pm GMT||Colonization I. Introduction. Human capital and infrastructure||Join here|
|Wednesday 16 March||11am EDT / 3pm GMT||Colonial infrastructure and repression||Join here|
|Tuesday 22 March||11am EDT / 3pm GMT||Colonization II. Infrastructure and extraction||Join here|
|Wednesday 23 March||11am EDT / 3pm GMT||Local Government and Tax Capacity||Join here|
|Wednesday 30 March||12pm EDT / 5pm BST||Colonial concessions||Join here|
|Thursday 31 March||4pm EDT / 9 pm BST||31st Annual Kuznets Memorial Lecture: Political Distortions and Economic Development||Join here|
|Tuesday 5 April||10am EDT / 3pm BST||Conclusion: Persistence and opportunity||Join here|
|Wednesday 6 April||10am EDT / 3pm BST||Plenary session 1: Foreign aid||Join here|
|Tuesday 12 April||10am EDT / 3pm BST||Plenary session 2: Africa’s latent assets and the future||Join here|
|Wednesday 13 April||10am EDT / 3pm BST||Plenary session 3: Conclusion and Africa: WEIRD or not?||Join here|
Course syllabus and readings
- Course syllabus and pre-readings: Please download the course syllabus for access to the course schedule and pre-readings for each session. The readings have been selected to give you a historical background and introduction to the research which will be discussed in the lectures. Most of the papers can be accessed online.
Frequently asked questions
The main lectures will last 90 minutes and the special lectures will last 75 minutes.
This course is free-of-charge and open-access to students and professionals with an interest in economics, political science, history, sociology and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa.
No, you are free to attend the sessions as you please.
However we do recommend you attend each session so that you can appreciate the team of (guest) lecturers we have assembled.
No, the course will not involve any coursework, however we encourage all attendees to read the items we have highlighted on the reading list. The readings have been selected to give you a historical background and introduction to the research which will be discussed in the lectures.
Yes, the sessions will be recorded and available on our website and via our YouTube channel. Please subscribe to be notified: https://bit.ly/3bukgoT
The lecture slides will be uploaded as soon as they are available on our website under the Course Materials section.
This course begins on Tuesday 1 February 2022 and will run every Tuesday and Wednesday (with minor variations) until Wednesday 13 April 2022. Pleaser refer to the course schedule above for specific timings each week.
This course will be delivered virtually via zoom.
The readings have been selected to give you a historical background and introduction to the research which will be discussed in the lectures. Most of the papers can be accessed online.
The reading list will be sent to you via email when you register and prior to the start of the lecture. You can also access it via following this link: Course syllabus and pre-reading or via our course website.
We will be doing our best to allow for interactions. We encourage all participants to post questions during the main and special lectures. We plan to devote considerable time addressing the most common ones. Considering the high number of registrations, every week we will send an email with suggestive responses to the most frequently asked questions during the lectures. We will also run questionnaires seeking your views on the historical events that economics research has studied. We have added review sessions with our Teaching Fellows to allow for more feedback and dialogue. For more information, please see the FAQ on Review Sessions.
One of our core objectives is to listen and allow for interaction. We have added review sessions to the course, which will take place for those keen to delve further into the materials discussed in the lectures of each week. A dedicated team of Teaching Fellows with a background in Economics, African History and Political Science (working in European, American, and African academic institutions) will run three open sessions every Friday from 18 February to 7 April and on Thursday 14 April.
The joining details for the sessions will be emailed to you once you have registered for the course. If you have registered already, please also check our regular emails for further information
No. Economics’ training will help but our goal is to abstract from econometric methods and economic theory and to make economics research accessible to a wider audience.
No. The course aims to familiarize students with insights into the recent, burgeoning literature in economics on the impact of Africa’s history on contemporary development. Our exclusive focus will be on the links between Africa’s past to current developments.
No. The course will focus on how modern economic research tries shedding light on the contemporary legacy of history in Africa.
While we will cover applications and applied works zooming into some regions and countries, the goal of the course is, rather than focusing on a particular country or region, to highlight commonalities of the impact of historical legacies across mostly Sub-Saharan Africa. Of course, the history of Africa is complex and we hope that more research will shed light and understand these complexities.
This is not a formal course of neither LBS nor the academic institutions of the teaching team.
However, for individuals who want their participation recognized, the Wheeler Institute will issue a letter recognising active participation. To receive this letter of participation, you need to complete: the first course questionnaire by Friday, 4 March, 5pm GMT / 6pm WAT / 12pm ET; two course assessments, one in week 4/5; and the second one in week 9/10,and a final questionnaire.
Please check the last updates in our regular emails or please register for the course for more information.
This is a purely online open-access lecture series. If some papers are behind an internet access wall (and thus inaccessible) we are afraid that we cannot provide access to them. However, we urge you to search for the papers online, as typically pre-publication drafts are available on the public domain.
We welcome questions on organization and context. And we hope to learn from you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions related to communications, marketing, and promotion, please email email@example.com