History Department
History Department

Abikal Borah

MA (History), The University of Texas at Austin

Abikal Borah



Sub-Saharan Africa, Africa and the Indian Ocean World, Global and Transnational History, History of Migration, History of Violence, Postcolonial Theory


Abikal Borah completed an MA in English Literature (2008) and MPhil in Comparative Literature (2011) from the University of Delhi. In 2015, he completed an MA in History from UT, Austin. His primary research interest is entangled histories of race and violence in modern South Africa. His research engages the gray areas of racial and political violence in colonial Natal moving beyond the white and black dichotomy. His doctoral dissertation, titled "Aftertaste of Empire: Amandiya and Racial Violence in South Africa, 1843-1949," narrates a history of migration, land, and labor in the century leading to the 1949 race riots between the indigenous Zulus and the migrant Indians in the port city of Durban. His articles have appeared in Africa Today, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of African HistoryReview (Fernand Braudel Center), and South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. He is the co-editor of Imagining Vernacular Histories: Essays in Honor of Toyin Falola and Creative Incursions: Cultural Representations of Human Rights in Africa and the Black Diaspora


HIS 306N • Africa In Global History-Wb

39060 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM
Internet; Synchronous

This course offers an introduction to the entangled histories that have shaped the past of Africa and the world. Historians cannot imagine Africa’s past without recognizing the impact of global historical processes. Conversations on the major themes in global history unavoidably lead historians to discuss the role and place of Africa and the Africans. The course examines the meaning of global history as well as explains the problem associated with uncritical study of history through analogy. It begins with topics such as the history of human evolution and evaluates Africa’s connected history in the ancient world. Thereafter, the course maps the historical changes in Africa during each major phase in global history such as the spread of Islam, emergence of capitalism as socio-economic organization, the age of great divergence, the rise of European empires, the Second World War, and the Cold War. Simultaneously, it explains how African societies responded during each major phase of global history. The course ends with discussions about Africa’s contemporary presence in a multipolar world. As the course brings together themes in global history and African history into a conversation, students will be able to appreciate the connected histories that have shaped our world.

Robert Harms, Africa in Global History with Sources, New York: W.W. Norton &
Company, 2018. (First edition) ISBN 978-0-393-64318-3
Kevin Shillington, History of Africa, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019, (Fourth edition)
ISBN 978-1137504036
Suggested readings
David Northrup, Seven Myths of Africa in World History, Indianapolis: Hackett
Publishing Company, 2012. ISBN 9781624666391
Erik Gilbert and Jonathan T. Reynolds. Africa in World History: From Prehistory to the
Present, London: Pearson, 2012. (Third edition) ISBN 978-0205053995
Gwyn Campbell, Africa and the Indian Ocean World from Early Times to Circa 1900,
New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019. ISBN 9781108578622
John Thornton, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800,
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. (Second edition) ISBN
DocuSign Envelope ID: 2A69B719-9B91-4B97-9B24-2D10E05D4BEE
Martin Bernal, Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, Vol. I: The
Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press,
2020. ISBN 9781978807136
Ralph A. Austen, Trans-Saharan Africa in World History, New Work: Oxford
University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-19-515731-4

Grading components
Primary source response paper (1): 20% (February 11)
Midterm examination: 30% (March 11)
Primary source response paper (2): 20% (April 13)
Final examination: 30% (May 6)

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