Homework: Narrative of Olaudah Equiano

Tonight, you will read a selection from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, detailing his experiences with the trans-Atlantic slave system.  Please respond to the following prompt on a separate sheet of paper:

In the full narrative of Olaudah Equiano’s experiences with slavery, he describes his personal background and the cultural from which he was taken as a slave.  While the portion of the narrative you have does not directly provide information about Equiano’s background, it does, however, suggest certain things about his culture.  What assumptions might you make about Equiano’s background, based on what he writes in this passage?  (Are there any guesses as to his cultural practices, social norms, taboos, or beliefs which you would feel comfortable making based on what you’ve read?

Consider when and why Equiano wrote his narrative.  To whom does he think he is writing?  Do you think that might have had an effect on WHAT he chose to write?  If so, why?

Please try to provide specific textual references as you answer the above discussion points!

Homework: Ibn Battuta in Mali

First things first: remember that if you have not signed up for your AP exams, tonight is your last chance before the deadline.  Please go to the North Cobb TotalRegistration portal in order to sign up now! 

Everybody good?  Good.

As to your homework tonight, please thoroughly read and annotate Ibn Battuta’s account of his travels in Mali– if you’ve lost your copy, you’ll find a digital version on the Unit Three materials page.

Ignore the questions at the bottom of page 64 (I’ve marked through them on your copy)– instead, I want you to focus on the discussion points below.  One point of caution, however: as you respond to these point, you are to avoid using the words ‘bias‘ or ‘biased.’  Those words don’t exist in AP World History.  Find another, more precise way of explaining what you mean.

1. What does Ibn Battuta find admirable about the people of Mali?

2. Many of Ibn Battuta’s concerns regarding Mali involve the freedoms and behaviors of women.  What do Ibn Battuta’s responses suggest about his cultural and social background?  Is Battuta’s reaction surprising, given his personal background?

3. Is Ibn Battuta’s account useful as a source when studying Mali?  What are the problems inherent in using texts written by people who are from outside of the culture about which they are writing?  What are the problems in relying ONLY on sources drawn from within a culture?

Normal commenting rules apply: one good comment that answer the question will receive a maximum of 95%, and a comment to a colleague’s post will result in a maximum of 100%.

We’ll be working heavily on analyzing primary sources over the next several weeks, so you can expect us to spend a good chunk  of time working on reading texts for content, evidence, and perspective.

 

Primary Source Analysis: Ibn Battuta in Mali

Enjoy your three day weekend, guys!  You do have some homework this weekend, but hopefully it’s nothing too onerous.  Please thoroughly read and annotate Ibn Battuta’s account of his travels in Mali– if you’ve lost your copy, you’ll find a digital version on the Unit Three materials page.

Ignore the questions at the bottom of page 64– instead, I want you to focus on the discussion points below.  One point of caution, however: as you respond to these point, you are to avoid using the words ‘bias‘ or ‘biased.’  Those words don’t exist in AP World History.  Find another, more precise way of explaining what you mean.

1. What does Ibn Battuta find admirable about the people of Mali?

2. Many of Ibn Battuta’s concerns regarding Mali involve the freedoms and behaviors of women.  What do Ibn Battuta’s responses suggest about his cultural and social background?  Is Battuta’s reaction surprising, given his personal background?

3. Is Ibn Battuta’s account useful as a source when studying Mali?  What are the problems inherent in using texts written by people who are from outside of the culture about which they are writing?  What are the problems in relying ONLY on sources drawn from within a culture?

We’ll be working heavily on analyzing primary sources over the next several weeks, so you can expect us to spend a good chunk  of time working on reading texts for content, evidence, and perspective.

You do NOT need to post your responses as a comment to this blog; you can just write out your responses and bring them to class on Tuesday.

Don’t forget to keep up with your reading over the weekend!

Sub-Saharan African Societies: Axum, Meroe, the Niger River region, and Bantu Migrations.

We’re going to do some experimental work today, guys, so be prepared to be patient if the technology we’re using gives us fits– it’s always worth playing around with new ways of collaborating and sharing information, even if there are some hiccups.  Here’s what’s going to happen:

  1. You’re going to be divided up into groups, each of which will be responsible for researching the history of one region of African history during the period 600 BCE to 600 CE.
  2. You will use all available resources (textbooks, JSTOR, Google Scholar, etc.) to generate a detailed, annotated, interactive, and ACCURATE digital timeline of your region during the period 600 BCE to 600 CE.  You will be working on this timeline not only with the people in your group, but with ALL of the groups in ALL of my classes.  Your timeline should include information on the political, economic, religious, social, intellectual, and artistic (PERSIA) history of your region.  You will CITE your sources that you use.
  3. You will find additional media (Flickr or other Creative Commons images, YouTube or Vimeo videos, Soundcloud audio, Google maps, etc.) to support your information.  You will correctly attribute this media in the Google spreadsheet template.
  4. You will use the shared Google spreadsheet link I have emailed to you in order to add your information to the template.  The template will automatically update.  DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING THAT IS DISPLAYED IN RED.
  5. Make sure to read over the material other groups have generated before you add anything new! You don’t want to repeat information.

In order to access the Google template, please check the email address you provided me at the beginning of the semester.  I should have shared the appropriate link with each of you.  (Really, only one person in each group needs to enter the information you generate as you work, so only one person will need to access this link.)  If you need to, you can use the emailed link to access the template at home and add more information after class.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When entering BCE dates, please indicate them in the spreadsheet by adding a minus sign before each.  (Thus, 600 BCE becomes -600, and 555 CE is simply 555.)

Here are the timelines for each region.  Remember, they’re automatically updated, so as soon as you type anything into the spreadsheet, it will show up online:

Your homework tonight will be to examine each of the above timelines, and to comment on this post with (a) the most interesting thing you learned from each timeline, and (b) one good observation about sub-Saharan culture or history between the years 600 BCE and 600 CE.