This essay describes a process for teaching introductory undergraduate premodern African history using language project portfolios centered on analyzing language, space, and material culture as African primary sources. Four composition exercises are described in terms of student experience, learning objectives, and theoretical frames used for creating knowledge grounded in African thought. Special consideration is given to the presumed capacity of students outside privileged educational institutions in the United States, the consequences for mentoring and stimulating new scholarship, and the potential to inspire collaborative relationships with African peers.

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