Seminar in African History, "Battleground Africa: Cold War Burning Hot" (uOttawa, HIS 4186, Winter 2021)

seminar-in-african-history_cold-war-in-africa_uOttawa-HIS 4186-winter 2021_syllabus.pdf

Dublin Core


Seminar in African History, "Battleground Africa: Cold War Burning Hot" (uOttawa, HIS 4186, Winter 2021)


This course was designed for fourth-year undergraduate university students. It explores the Cold War in Africa, a continent which has experienced reinvention more than any other area of the globe in the latter half of the 20th century. The relation between nativist and ideological struggles opposing local and foreign protagonists are of peculiar interest for this class. The post-Second World War saw a new African intelligentsia influenced by Panafricanism or Marxist ideas, committing themselves to emancipation. While European colonial powers attempted to recast their empires at all cost. On their behalf, the emerging superpowers (the USA and the USSR) opposed colonialism and were not interested in Africa. However, all this was about to change in the course of the 1950s, as the area became a battleground for the “hot” Cold War in the Global South. Students will research a pertinent topic of interest and contextualize it into the double context of decolonization and the Cold War. Ideally, the topic regards international solidarian initiatives from a peculiar country, area, or protagonist(s). For example, one could focus for the internationalist involvement of Cubans, or perhaps the Red Cross and the Save the Children funds. Contextualizing such topics locally, nationally and internationally will allow for a true understanding of the span, the motives, the objectives and the shortcomings of such initiatives. Indeed, they were not unfolding in an isolated manner, but in the broader contexts of decolonization and the Cold War.


Cold War in Africa


Lépine, Nicolas


2021 Winter


syllabus for synchronous course, PDF, 10 pages


Lesson Plan




Jurisdiction of University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Lesson Plan Item Type Metadata

Lesson Plan Type





  • 10% Presence/participation during virtual class time; assiduity on Brightspace.
  • 10% Readings presentations and slides.
  • 10% Meta-quiz on readings.
  • 30% Research statement (5%), annotated bibliography (20%) and plan (5%).
  • 40% Final assignment: either a webpage on Recipro or a paper handed in.


  • Exploring decolonization, nation building and ideological struggle during the African Cold War;
  • Defining the origins, structures and agendas of the two international orders at odds (liberalism vs. communism);
  • Understanding the protagonists’ intentions, may they be local, national, pan-national, continental or foreign;
  • Becoming familiar with the transnational solidarian principles (internationalism vs. developmentalism), its incentives and initiatives;
  • Further develop knowledge and mastery of digital humanities through involvement in the Recipro OMEKA website/exhibit;
  • Gain experience in communitarian engagement through the Michaëlle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement and its Community Service Learning initiative;
  • Further develop scientific research using solely internet databases;
  • Improve oral presenting and debating skills, persuasive writing ability and advance analysis of primary sources;
  • Improve resiliency in times of a pandemic.

Associated Course

Seminar in African History "Battleground Africa: Cold War Burning Hot" (uOttawa HIS 4186)


Lépine, Nicolas, “Seminar in African History, "Battleground Africa: Cold War Burning Hot" (uOttawa, HIS 4186, Winter 2021),” Recipro: The history of international and humanitarian aid, accessed June 14, 2024,

Output Formats

Document Viewer