The field of African history has been enriched immensely by the important contributions of the studies of women and gender. Recent scholarship has highlighted that gender is constructed and shaped by larger social, economic, cultural, political and religious conditions and that gender is not a synonym for ‘women’ alone, but it also applies to men, masculinity, homosexuality and intersex conditions and experiences. This course will focus largely on women from the pre-colonial through colonial periods and discuss how power shapes and is shaped by gender relations. It explores changing ideas about sexual and gender difference in Africa during the modern period stretching from ca. 1500s up until the end of colonialism to ca. 1960s.