CAAS 111 is a team-taught course that introduces students to the study of Africa and its Diaspora in the Americas and West Indies, as well as Europe. The course takes a multimedia, interdisciplinary approach to a range of historical, literary, artistic, religious, economic, and political questions crucial to the understanding of the experiences of people of African descent. Using maps, films, the visual arts, music, important historical texts, and contemporary writings, the course will focus on four major themes: 1) migration and the middle passage; 2) slavery and resistance; 3) segregation, colonialism, and freedom movements; and 4) comparative dimensions of race. A course website with the syllabus, schedule, announcements, and additional information is accessible at: https://ctools.umich.edu.
This course is appropriate for both concentrators and non-concentrators. It counts as 4 credits toward the LS&A humanities distribution requirements and also satisfies the LS&A race and ethnicity requirement. Concentrators should complete this course by the sophomore year.
The course will meet in a lecture and audio/film format twice a week, with one discussion section per week.
- Regular class and section attendance is crucial to success in this course. Students are held responsible for the assigned readings, any assigned section writing assignments, and for taking part in section discussions (25%)
- A midterm exam, Thursday, February 19th (25%)
- One five-page essay, due in lecture on Tuesday, March 24th (20%)
- A final exam, Friday, April 24th, from 4-6 PM (30% total). The essay and exams will be based on lectures, discussion sections, films, and readings.
Required texts (listed below) are available for purchase at Shaman Drum Bookstore (313 S. State St., 662-7407) and are on reserve at both the Shapiro Undergraduate Library and the CAAS Library (5511 Haven Hall). A coursepack of additional required readings is available for purchase at Excel (1117 South University Ave.). These readings are also accessible through Electronic Reserves (via Mirlyn, the University of Michigan library catalog) and through the CAAS 111 Ctools website (http://ctools.umich.edu).
Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali, D. T. Niane, ed. (Longman, 1965)
The Life of Olaudah Equiano, Olaudah Equiano (Dover, 1999)
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass (Dover, 1995)
Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora, Michael Gomez (Cambridge, 2005)