Family History - Support Info
The Family History exercise requires you to trace the geographic locations of your ancestors at various historical periods. In part, you will do this using information provided by your family's folklore or conversations with family members. Past a certain point, however, you will need to engage in some conservative speculation based on our knowledge of the history of human migrations. Through this web page you can link to the assignment and to useful reference material.
If you take this assignment seriously, you should:
- Have fun connecting with the older generation in your family and learning about yourself.
- Be surprised by the wide geographical range over which our ancestors were spread hundreds or thousands of years ago.
- Have a new critical understanding of the degree to which all societies and individuals represent melting pots and a new "appreciation" of claims of national and racial "purity."
When you have completed the exercise, we will discuss and compile our results in colloquium.
- Download the assignment:
- Feeling lost? See how Merck does the assignment
- What we have learned about ELT to date. A compilation of the origins of previous ELT classes.
If you are like many college students, you have been deprived of the opportunity to study world history - i.e. the story of humanity since the invention of writing. What a loss, but no worries. The thumbnail sketches of the histories of various regions below are meant to help you get a handle on the movements of genes and nations during the period covered by this assignment. It is, of necessity, incomplete, but it's what we have to offer.
Remember, we are primarily concerned here with large human migrations, so if we happen to leave our your favorite war, don't get bent out of shape.
PLEASE NOTE: This resource is informal and was developed specifically for this assignment. It does not satisfy normal academic citation standards. If you cite this web page in a paper, you are asking for trouble.
For further information and maps, we recommend Worldhistory@fsmitha.com.
- People at home everywhere
- The Nile (Egypt, Sudan)
- North Africa (Mauretania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya)
- The Sahel (Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Central African Republic, Chad)
- West Africa (Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria)
- Observations on the Transatlantic Slave Trade
- The Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea)
- East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi)
- Central Africa (Cameroon, Gabon, both Congos, Central African Republic, Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique)
- Southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland)
- British Isles
- France and Low Countries
- Spain and Portugal
- Italy, Sicily
- Germany, Switzerland, Austria
- Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia
- Balkans (Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Greece)
- Eastern Europe (Baltics, Belaruss, Russia, Ukraine)
- Northern Europe (Scandinavia)
- The Middle East
- South Asia
- Central Eurasia
- East Asia
- Southast Asia
- The New World