Students explore various historical and contemporary processes that have created Africa's diverse and complex geography. The course begins with a historical survey of the continent, starting with its great civilizations and continuing through its experiences through colonialism, independence, the cold war, and globalization. This section of the class examines how these major events have played out throughout the different regions of Africa, south of the Sahara. The class then turns directly to thematic issues that are central to a human-geographic perspective of the continent: population, rural/urban dynamics, education and health issues, and human-environment interactions including agricultural systems and conservation issues. Finally, with a deeper understanding of the region, the course addresses present-day political hot spots of post-cold war Africa, and the critical development problems plaguing the continent.