We all come from Africa, yet most of us know little about our origins and little about subsequent cultural developments on the continent and surrounding islands. Those developments include not only a wide-ranging variety of subsistence strategies, but also the origins of numerous and diverse independent complex states across the continent. This course provides an introduction to the prehistory, culture history, and contemporary cultures of sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. It also includes the study of various cultural practices and theoretical issues that have continued to fascinate anthropologists and animate ethnological discussion, including state formation, witchcraft beliefs, oral traditions, and indigenous philosophy. African fiction and film will also be examined as important sources that can contribute to a fuller appreciation of African and Malagasy culture.