CAAS 111 - Introduction to Africa and Its Diaspora
Section: 101
Term: SP 2010
Subject: Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Other Course Info:
May not be included in a concentration plan. F.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

  • Is the African diaspora a concept or an actual geographical location?
  • What does it have to do with the multi-lingual, multicultural continent of Africa comprised of over fifty countries?
  • What impact has Africa and its diaspora had on the so-called “white” West?

CAAS 111 engages these questions by exploring the long historical relationship between the United States, Britain, France, and Germany on the one hand; and Jamaica, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Namibia on the other.

Topics include:

  • slavery and resistance;
  • the Middle Passage;
  • colonialism, postcolonialism, and map making;
  • migration;
  • freedom movements;
  • politics;
  • war;
  • religion; and
  • usefulness of artistic forms such as fiction, autobiography, and film.

In-class discussion will usually be held on Mondays and Wednesdays 10-1; while weekly films will usually be screened on Tuesdays, 10-12. Weekly films will include:

  • The Amistad;
  • Liberia: America’s Stepchild;
  • The Iron Ladies of Liberia;
  • Eqalíté For All (on the Haitian revolution);
  • Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind;
  • Namibia: Genocide and the Second Reich

Required texts:

  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ed. The Classic Slave Narratives;
  • Octavia Butler, Kindred;
  • Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier


  • regular attendance;
  • two map quizzes (20%);
  • two encyclopedia entries (20%);
  • midterm and final (30% each).

CAAS 111 - Introduction to Africa and Its Diaspora
Schedule Listing
101 (LEC)
MW 10:00AM - 1:00PM
Tu 10:00AM - 12:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Required Books: 
Classic Slave Narratives, ed. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. 
Kindred, Octavia Butler 
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah
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