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The courses offered by the Department are designed to provide students with critical insights around the writing and re-writing of history. The emphasis is on textual, visual, material and oral analysis. In all the courses differing interpretations and debates are highlighted. Students are encouraged to develop their own understandings about the past, present historical arguments and sustain them through locating and making use of evidence.
 
Courses are directed at transformation in society particularly in the education, land and heritage sectors. There are courses on precolonial African societies, the Atlantic slave system, comparative genocides, imperialism, colonialism in Africa, gender and African history, postcolonial Africa, and South Africa in the twentieth century.