HST6051: Africa’s ‘hot’ Cold War: Congo and Angola, 1960-1976
15 credits (semester 2)
Module Leader: Dr Miles Larmer
This module examines Africa’s Cold War in two countries where political tensions turned to military conflict: Congo in the early 1960s and Angola in the mid-1970s. The course will examine the relationship between the causes identified by historians: the colonial legacy and problematic decolonisations; competing African nationalisms and ethno-regional conflicts; superpower interests and strategic mineral resources. Students will explore historiographical debates regarding the causes of these conflicts. Using primary sources (e.g. contemporary newspaper reports, the memoirs of protagonists and declassified intelligence reports) students will situate these events in the context of both African decolonisation and the wider Cold War.
This course will efforts to achieve national independence in British colonial Africa will enable students to understand how Cold War conflicts in Africa were caused by a range of contested causes central to late-colonial and post-colonial historiography: decolonisation, ethnicity, superpower rivalries and global mineral economies. Students will thus be able to explore how these factors shaped the outbreak of conflict, the actions taken by African and non-African political, military and economic actors, and how these actions should best be interpreted. Students will undertake a structured programme of reading, presentation and discussion in order to investigate both the particular history of the Cold War in Congo and Angola and how this relates to wider discussions of decolonisation, political representation, and other wider questions of modern history. Students will be expected to understand a range of contemporary perspectives and to consider relevance of wider Cold War historiographical interpretations to sub-Saharan Africa. They will also develop their skills in source criticism though the analysis and investigation of primary documents.
The module will be taught in five, two-hour classes. These will explore key themes in the historiography of the Cold War in Africa. The emphasis will be on student presentation, informed debate and discussion., enabling students to research and present their ideas, share knowledge, debate controversial issues and listen and respond to the views of others in a structured environment. Students will, in addition, have individual tutorial contact with the module leader in order to discuss their written work for this module.
Students will prepare a 3,000-word paper relating to at least one of the key themes of the module.
O.A. Westad, The Global Cold War (2005), Introduction and Chapters 6 & 7
C. Clapham, Africa and the International System (1996), Chapter 6
C. Young, Politics in the Congo (1965)
L. de Witte, The Assassination of Lumumba (2001)
L. Devlin, Chief of Station, Congo (2007)
J. Stockwell, In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story (1979)
P. Gleijeses, Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976 (2002)
Intended Learning Outcomes