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Trade, Technology, Tanzania and the Swahili Coast

Semester and Year FA 2018
Course Number IDSEM-UG1969
Section 001
Instructor Ngina Chiteji
Days TR
Time 4:55 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 4
Level U
Requirement   SOC, PREMOD



How did societies trade in the past, long before the advent of airplanes, GPS, and Google maps? In this course, students will learn some basic economic trade theory while also using Tanzania as a case study for an investigation of trade patterns and other issues related to trade in Pre-modern times. The region of Africa that now forms the nation-state called Tanzania had a rich history long before European colonial powers arrived, including several city-states that accumulated substantial wealth during the 12th through 15th centuries. This course examines the "Swahili Coast," its trade, and its relationship to places in the Eastern part of the world, such as Persia and India. The course also will place some emphasis on studying the relationships between the Tanzania of today and several present-day Arab states. It draws on academic disciplines such as economics, archaeology, history, linguistics, and the natural sciences as part of its inquiry. Readings may include  The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, 1001 Arabian Nights, Dhow Cultures of the Indian Ocean,  and Adam Smith's  The Wealth of Nations.  


All Syllabi

Course Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)