Afroamerican and African Studies

200 West Hall
Web site:

Professor Sharon F. Patton, Director

May be elected as an interdepartmental concentration program


Chaffers (Urban Planning), Lewis (History), Wagaw (Education), Walton (Political Science), and Whatley (Economics)

Associate Professors

Patton (History of Art) and Ross (English)

Assistant Professors

Bonilla-Silva (Sociology), Quarcoopome (History of Art), Scott (History), Taylor (Natural Resources and Environment), Ukadike (Film/Video), and Young (Sociology)

Adjunct Lecturers

Lockard (Art) and Woods (Law)

Professor Emeritus

Cruse (History)

The Program in Afroamerican and African Studies offers students the opportunity to analyze historical and contemporary cultures, conditions, problems, perspectives, and accomplishments of peoples of African descent, particularly those in Africa, the United States, and the Caribbean. The concentration is a multidisciplinary, interdepartmental program of study that includes historical, sociological, cultural, psychological, economic, and political approaches and perspectives.

Prerequisites to Concentration. Students planning to concentrate in Afroamerican and African Studies should elect CAAS 100 and CAAS 105 (Category A: Introductory Courses) by the end of the sophomore year. Students who receive a grade lower than "C" are ineligible for a concentration in Afroamerican and African Studies.

Concentration Program. Concentrators in Afroamerican and African Studies must take a minimum of 27 credits in post-introductory courses, including at least one course each from Groups I, II, III, and IV in Category B (Areas of Afroamerican and African Studies) and meet the requirements of Categories C (Geographical Areas of the Diaspora), D (Advanced Courses), and E (Junior/Senior Seminar).

  1. Introductory Courses: Afroamerican and African Studies 100 and 105

  2. Areas of Afroamerican and African Studies: Concentrators must elect at least one course from each of the following four groups representing different modes of intellectual inquiry.

    Group I: Historical Perspectives. Courses in Group I are intended to expose students to the concepts, methods, and skills associated with historical approaches to the Black experience, that is, the development over time of cultural and social formations. Typically, these courses combine humanistic and social science approaches to knowledge.

    Afroamerican and African Studies 230, 231, 333, 334, 336, 412, 446, 447, 448, 531, 532, and 533

    Group II: Politics, Economics, and Development. Courses in Group II are selected from those social sciences that typically explore human behavior in the context of large social structures and formations, that is, parties, nations, world-systems, and other large-scale economic and social institutions. The concepts, methods, and skills learned in these courses focus on the exploration of manifestations of human behavior en masse (e.g., voting behavior, legislatures, and macroeconomics).

    Afroamerican and African Studies 200, 203, 322, 329, 330, 351, 402, 408, 413, 418, 424, 425, 426, 449, 450, 451, 453, 456, 457, 461, 463, 477, 479, and 561

    Group III: Literature and the Arts. Courses in Group III expose students to the expressive components of Afroamerican and African cultures represented in literature, music, and the arts. Courses in this group will provide students with the opportunity for broad, interdisciplinary inquiry into the cognitive, historical, institutional, and cultural dimensions of the various symbolic forms represented.

    Afroamerican and African Studies 108, 204, 214, 274, 338, 340, 341, 342, 348, 360, 361, 370, 380, 384, 385, 400, 401, 404, 433, 435, 440, 442, 464, 465, 466, 470, 475, 476, 489, 562, and 573

    Group IV: Individual Behavior, Cultural Systems, and Social Organization. Courses in this group focus on the Black experience generally. The individual goals are to expose students to micro-analytic analyses of behavioral and psychological processes in their cultural context and the conceptual and methodological models characteristically used to study these issues in various disciplines (e.g., psychology, sociology, anthropology). However, because individual and group behavior are influenced in significant ways by social-structural variables (e.g., macroeconomic factors), these courses include discussions of broad social and economic issues and macro-level analyses to the extent that they help to explain and understand individual and group behavior.

    Afroamerican and African Studies 241, 303, 325, 326, 327, 331, 335, 339, 403, 415, 420, 422, 423, 427, 430, 431, 434, 436, 439, 444, 452, 454, 459, 467, 478, 480, 481, 486, 487, and 574

    C. Geographical Areas of the Diaspora: At least two courses on Blacks in the Americas (i.e., the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America) and at least two courses on Africans of the Continent. Courses that are comparative in nature may be used to satisfy this requirement. Courses used to meet this requirement also may be used to satisfy the requirement listed in Category B.

  3. Advanced Courses: At least 21 credits in Afroamerican and African Studies courses numbered 300 or above. To achieve coherence in the concentration, students are expected to focus on one of the four modes of intellectual inquiry represented by the four groups in Category B. This means that the courses used to meet requirements in Category D should be selected principally from one of the four groups (e.g., Historical Perspectives). In addition, faculty advisors will assist students in identifying courses offered by other programs and departments that complement the students' programs of study in Afroamerican and African Studies.

  4. Junior/Senior Seminar.

Honors Concentration. Students who wish to pursue the Honors Concentration should apply to the Program by the end of the sophomore year. To be eligible, students must have a grade point average of 3.0 overall and 3.25 in courses in Afroamerican and African Studies. In addition to meeting all of the requirements for concentration in Afroamerican and African Studies as listed in this Bulletin, students are required to elect CAAS 410 - Honors Tutorial, in the second term of the junior year (3 credits), and CAAS 510 - Honors Thesis, in the first and second terms of the senior year (6 credits). For application and further information, students should contact the Honors advisor for Afroamerican and African Studies.

Advising. Students are encouraged to work closely with faculty advisors to develop a concentration plan consistent with individual needs. Advising appointments are scheduled at the Program Office.

Course Credit. Many 400- and 500-level courses are elected by undergraduate and, often for less credit, by graduate students. The LS&A Bulletin lists credits earned by undergraduates.

Courses in Afroamerican and African Studies (Division 311)

Introductory Courses

100. Introduction to Afro-American Studies. (4). (SS).

105. Introduction to African Studies. (4). (SS).

Historical Perspectives

230/Hist. 274. Survey of Afro-American History I. (3). (SS).

231/Hist. 275. Survey of Afro-American History II. (3). (SS).

333. Perspectives in Afro-American History. (4; 3 in the half-term). (Excl).

334/Hist. 365/Amer. Cult. 336. Popular Culture in Contemporary Black America. (3). (HU).

336/WS 336. Black Women in America. (3). (SS).

446/Hist. 446. Africa to 1850. (3). (SS).

448/Hist. 448. Africa Since 1850. (3). (SS).

Politics, Economics, and Development

203. Issues in Afro-American Development. (3). (SS).

322/NR&E 335. Introduction to Environmental Politics: Race, Class, and Gender. (4; 3 in the half-term). (SS).

329. African American Leadership. (3). (Excl).

408. African Economies: Social and Political Settings. (4; 3 in the half-term). (Excl).

418/Pol. Sci. 419. Black Americans and the Political System. Two courses in political science. (3). (Excl).

425. Politics of Black Movements in America. (3). (Excl).

426. Urban Redevelopment and Social Justice. (3). (SS).

449/Pol. Sci. 459. African Politics. Prior or concurrent study of the Third World; Pol. Sci. 465 is recommended. (3). (Excl).

450. Law, Race, and the Historical Process, I. (3). (Excl).

451. Law, Race, and the Historical Process, II. CAAS 450 recommended. (3). (Excl).

453. Culture, Class, and Conflict in Southern Africa. (4). (Excl).

457/Econ. 476. Political Economy of Black America. Econ. 101. (3). (Excl).

477/NR&E 477. Women and the Environment. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

479/Pol. Sci. 479. Political Development and Economy of Africa. (3). (SS).

Literature and the Arts

108/Hist. of Art 108. Introduction to African Art. (4). (HU).

204. Cultural History of Afro-America. (3). (Excl).

214/Hist. of Art 214. Introduction to African-American Art. (3). (Excl).

274/English 274. Introduction to Afro-American Literature. (3; 2 in the half-term). (HU).

338/English 320. Literature in Afro-American Culture. (3). (HU).

340/Amer. Cult. 340. A History of Blacks in American Film. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee ($15) required.

341/Theatre 222. Introduction to Black Theatre. (3). (HU).

342/Theatre 233. Acting and the Black Experience. Permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

348/Dance 358. Dance in Culture: Origins of Jazz Dance. (3). (Excl).

360. Afro-American Art. (3). (HU).

361. Comparative Black Art. CAAS 360. (3). (Excl).

370/Hist. of Art 350. Special Topics in African American Art. CAAS 108 and 214. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

380/Hist. of Art 360. Special Topics in African Art. CAAS 108 or 214. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

384(406)/Engl. 384/Amer. Cult. 406. Topics in Caribbean Literature. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

385(407)/Engl. 385. Topics in African Literature. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

404/Hist. of Art 404. The Art of Africa. (3). (Excl).

435/Hist. of Art 425. 20th Century African-American Art. CAAS 214 or Hist. of Art 272. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl).

440/Film-Video 440. African Cinema. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee ($35) required.

442/Film-Video 442. Third World Cinema. (3). (Excl). Laboratory fee ($35) required.

464/MHM 464. Music of the Caribbean. (3). (HU).

470/Film-Video 470. Cultural Issues in Cinema. (3). (HU). Laboratory fee ($35) required.

475/Engl. 477. Early Afro-American Literature. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

476/Engl. 478. Contemporary Afro-American Literature. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

489/English 479. Topics in Afro-American Literature. CAAS 274 and/or 338 strongly recommended. (3; 2 in the half-term). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

562/Hist. of Art 560. African Art and Archaeology. CAAS 108 or 404. (3). (Excl).

Individual Behavior, Cultural Systems, and Social Organization

241/WS 231. Women of Color and Feminism. (3). (Excl).

303/Soc. 303. Race and Ethnic Relations. An introductory course in Sociology or CAAS. (4; 3 in the half-term). (SS). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).

326. The Black American Family. (3). (SS).

327/Psych. 315. Psychological Aspects of the Black Experience. One course in psychology or Afroamerican and African Studies. (3). (SS).

331/Psych. 316. The World of the Black Child. One course in psychology or Afroamerican and African Studies. (3). (Excl).

335/Rel. 310. Religion in the Afro-American Experience. (3). (HU).

403. Education and Development in Africa. (3). (Excl).

420/Anthro. 347. Race and Ethnicity. Junior standing. (3; 2 in the half-term). (SS).

422/Anthro. 411. African Culture. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

427/Anthro. 427/WS 427. African Women. One course in African Studies, anthropology, or women's studies. (3). (SS).

430. Education and Cultures of the Black World. (3). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

431. Topics in Black Education. CAAS 430 recommended. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

434/Soc. 434. Social Organization of Black Communities. (3). (Excl).

444/Anthro. 414. Introduction to Caribbean Societies and Cultures, I. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

452. Education of the Black Child. (3). (Excl).

454/Anthro. 453. African-American Culture. One introductory course in the social sciences. (3). (Excl).

459/Anthro. 451. African-American Religion. One introductory course in the social sciences. (3). (Excl).

478/LACS 400/Hist. 578. Ethnicity and Culture in Latin America. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

486. Communication Media in the Black World: Print Media. (3). (Excl).

487. Communication Media in the Black World: Electronic Media. (3). (Excl).

521/Soc. 521. African American Intellectual Thought. Senior standing. (3). (Excl).

Independent Study and Special Topics

103. First Year Social Science Seminar. (3). (SS).

200. Issues in Afro-Caribbean Studies. CAAS 100 recommended. (3). (Excl).

206. Issues in African Studies. (3). (Excl).

358. Topics in Black World Studies. (3). (Excl). May be elected for a total of 6 credits.

410. Supervised Reading and Research. Permission of instructor. (1-6). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit with permission of the concentration advisor.

455. Seminar on Project and Research Planning. Upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).

458. Issues in Black World Studies. (3). (Excl). May be elected for a total of 6 credits.

490. Special Topics in Black World Studies. Junior standing. (1-2). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

510. Supervised Research. Graduate standing or permission of instructor. (1-6). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit with permission of the concentration advisor.

558. Seminar in Black World Studies. Graduate standing or P.I. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

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