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Origins of Western Literature

CWL 220

Same as CLCV 220. See CLCV 220.

Topic: 'North Africa from Prehistory to the Arab Spring'. This course explores the deep and recent past of North Africa. Some of our first Homo sapiens ancestors called Morocco home. In an Iron Age royal purge, Princess Dido fled her Lebanese homeland to found the city of Carthage (modern-day Tunis) and become its first queen. The Roman Republic fought three costly wars over a 118-year period to conquer North Africa from Carthage, eventually burning the city to the ground. So fertile and full of resources, the region—today known as the Maghreb—later became the breadbasket and olive oil jar of the Roman Empire. In addition to the indigenous Amazigh people (a.k.a. Numidian or Berber), wave after wave of migrant populations and colonial powers have shaped the region including Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, and Europeans. In modern times, the North African nation of Tunisia was the first country to revolt in the movement that has become known as the Arab Spring. We will study the archaeology, history, environment, and culture of North Africa within its geopolitical context as a crossroads of the Sahara, the Mediterranean, the Near East, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Students are encouraged to bring their own interests (art, music, literature, technology) to their experience of the class. No prerequisites.