The history of the Democratic Republic of Congo: a brief introduction

Course Dates: 16/03/23 - 30/03/23
Time: 19:30 - 21:00
Location: Online
Not ‘primitive’ and ‘chaotic’ as argued in 20th century Europe, the history of the Congo Basin, or most of the area we today know as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is both rich and central to understand Central Africa. Join us for a brief introduction.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £49.00 Senior fee £49.00 Concession £25.00

Course Code: HWH74

Thu, eve, 16 Mar - 30 Mar '23

Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This 3-session course will explore the key aspects of the history of the Congo Basin. We will start with the deeper history of the region from the 17th century and finish with the current situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

The first session will explore the history from the 17th century to the mid-19th century. We will cover the history of the complex Kongo, Luba and Luanda states and societies in the region, and also how they interacted with the growing European presence in Western and Central Africa more broadly.

Focusing on the period from 1870s to 1960, the second session will focus on the Belgian colonisation of the area, how the colonial system was both set up and resisted, and lastly collapsed due to internal and external pressures.

The last session will cover Cold War Zaire and post-1989 Democratic Republic of Congo, bringing us from 1960 to 2022.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Understand and discuss aspects of general knowledge of the history of the Congo Basin from the 17th century to today
- Place the history of the Congo Basin in regional and global context
- To explore Congolese and Central African history in more depth, either independently or in other classes.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course- no previous knowledge of African and Congolese history is required. However, the following skills and attributes will enhance what you take away from the course:

- An curiosity to look beyond common assumptions in relation to understanding African, Congolese (and European/Atlantic) history
- A willingness to discuss points covered, maps, illustrations, images etc. in class-settings
- An interest in, and ability to listen to, the responses of other students.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The course will entail tutor lecture elements, discussions and Q & A’s. There is no homework per se, but material that will support the course content will be available in Google Classroom for you to go through before each class and after the course.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no additional costs, but you may want to pen and paper, or digital equivalents, for note taking.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please explore our history and politics courses for summer and autumn.

Martin Jorgensen

Martin Ottovay Jorgensen is a historian by education (BA, MA and PhD in Denmark and Belgium). Overall, his research focuses on how forms of international cooperation were new international undertakings but also reflected deeper imperial practices that lingered on long after decolonization in various ways. As a university teacher, he has taught courses on world and global history; imperial and colonial history; the history of international organisations; peace and conflict; global issues and international relations as well as how memory is an active dimension in community-building, society, politics, international relations, conflict as well as corporate branding. Perhaps more importantly, Martin sees the active promotion of robust historical thinking as both a democratic practice of vital importance to the maintenance and continued strengthening of democracy and thus society as a whole. At City Lit, Martin combines these interests with his learner-centric approach that aims to both promote history as a socially relevant way of thinking and give each class and course a horizon beyond itself.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.