Courses in Afroamerican and African Studies (Division 311)

100. Introduction to Afroamerican Studies. (4). (SS).

This course introduces and provides a general overview to the area of Afroamerican Studies. It employs a multi-disciplinary perspective which combines elements from conventional historical, political, sociocultural and behavioral orientations in the analysis of Afroamerican culture and institutions. The course format is lecture-discussion with twice weekly lectures. Students meet with T.A.'s once weekly to discuss course readings and lectures. The course will be supplemented by guest lectures, selected CAAS colloquia, films, special projects and field trips. Course requirements include two short papers (3-5 pages), a written book report (2-3 pages), two in-class examinations and a final examination. (Allen)

230/Hist. 274. Survey of Afroamerican History I. (4). (SS).

In this course we will examine the history of Americans from their African origins to the present. This examination will focus on two major themes: 1) the dynamics of cultural survival and change among slaves; and 2) the material and social conditions that influenced the responses of Blacks both as slaves and as free workers to racial oppression, as well as their varied strategies for liberation of the Black community. Requirements will include a midterm and final examination and a paper. (Holt)

338/English 320. Literature in Afro-American Culture. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

This course will focus on literature by Afro-Americans which explores the manifold obstacles to Afro-American culture's survival in American society. Our initial course meetings will be devoted to formulating both a general definition of the word culture and an acute understanding of Afro-American culture. Our attention will subsequently focus on literary texts (most of which are novels) whose dramatic action to a significant extent results from protagonists' often-problematic attempts to situate themselves in personally advantageous positions where Afro-American culture and American ideology are concerned. Such a focus will (I think necessarily) lead to general discussions of related topics such as ethnicity's value in a pluralistic America and gender's role in the resolution of a dual (ethnic and American) citizenship. Texts will include: Richard Wright's Black Boy; Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon; James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man; Jean Toomer's Cane; and Paul Marshall's Browngirl, Brownstones. Course requirements: one brief (2-4 page) essay; two medium length (6-8 page) essays; frequent quizzes; and active participation. (Awkward)

360. Afroamerican Art. (3). (HU).

This accelerated course provides an interdisciplinary overview and an introduction to the area of culture and art, and their influences on society. Students will look at the visual arts, music, dance, theatre, literature, television and education. Historical, philosophical, religious, aesthetic and ideological perspectives are considered as we wrestle with the nation of the Afroamerican cultural reality. This course tends to: (a) introduce students to a primary body of knowledge reflective of a fundamental basis of thought capable of establishing an overview of West African cultures and their relationships to Afro-American culture; (b) develop reference on a broad level for an Afrocentric aesthetic and point of view; (c) encourage greater insight and exploration into the arts of African and Afro-American people and the spirits and realities that motivate the "arts"; (d) create a living vehicle capable of a broader understanding and resolution of problematic cultural pattern levels which disturb, confuse, and cancerize our historic and our contemporary lives. The course has two weekly lecture/discussion with weekly readings, video, audio tapes, and slides. Readings include David Walkers' Appeals, Frederick Douglas, Charles Chestnut, Richard Wright, Margaret Walker, Romare Beardon, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Martin Luther King. Video and audio tapes include The History of the Black Athlete, Imamu Baraka (Leroi Jones), Kwame Toure (Stokely Carmichael), Maulana Ron Karenga, Fannie Lou Hamer, Harry Belafonte and Elma Lewis, Bing Davis, Robert Stull, Jon Lockard and Allan Crite. Courses requirements include three short papers (3-5 pages each), an analytical overview from a video presentation, guest lecturer or audio presentation (5 pages), and an in-class final group presentation. This course is designed to be "communal/interactive/intensive/informative/spiritual," creating countless opportunities for students to involve themselves, strengthen their skills, and establish a clearer concept of identity, purpose, and direction. Students must be prepared for discussion and interaction. (Lockard)

400/MHM 457. History of Afroamerican Music I. Music background preferred. (3). (HU).

An explication of the development of the Afro-American musical traditions from African and Afro-American folk origins to Black American music in the twentieth-century. Topics include blues, jazz, gospel, contemporary popular music, and art music. Lecture material will be supplemented by required readings from books, articles, and recorded music (available at the School of Music listening room). Student performance will be evaluated by means of a one-hour midterm exam, a midterm analytical paper (5-7 pages), and a final research or analytical paper (10-15 pages). Non-music concentrators by permission of the instructor. (Brown)

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

Arrangements may be made for adequately prepared students to undertake individual study under the direction of a departmental staff member. Students are provided with the proper section number by the staff member with whom the work has been arranged.

426. Urban Redevelopment and Social Justice. (3). (SS).
Urban Redevelopment and Social Justice Can We Have Both? A Seminar for Future Professionals.
Taught from the perspective of a registered architect, this course is organized around topical issues of design, professionalism, and equity in urban resources development. Intended primarily for students with non-architectural backgrounds, the course seeks to provide a spirited exploration of the explicit (and subtle) connections between people, land and power in our cities and the specific affects of these linkages upon contemporary urban rebuilding. In the main, our explorations are aimed at providing a broadened philosophical understanding of the "Who?" and "Why?" of contemporary urban redevelopment policies particularly as such policies impact on the emerging "central city." As a class we will meet once each week for three hours. A seminar format will be followed, combining formal and informal lectures, color slide presentations, selected case studies, selected readings and a series of student-generated workshops. Throughout all discussion, there will be continuing class focus on the necessity for our making critical distinction between "effecting" (carrying out) and "affecting" (influencing the formation of) various environmental policy. Continued active class participation and the preparation of a ten minute audio cassette tape for presentation near the end of the term are basic course requirements. (Tape productions are intended as an opportunity for sharpening 'ethical sensibilities' and as an opportunity for each of us to clarify our own personal convictions about people and designed environments.) In addition to lectures and audio-visual presentations, ongoing class dialogue will be augmented periodically with urban field trips and invited guests. Enrollment limited to 35 students. (Chaffers)

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

See Cultural Anthropology 414. (Owusu)

450. Black Communities and Legal Rights. (3). (SS).

Law is a central factor in Black history, defining the status and prospects of Blacks, occupying a key role in programmatic debate and activity and reflecting dominant historical trends. This course, in examining the nexus between law, race and social order, uses law as a medium to interpret the forces that shape the Black past and present. One objective is to assist students in gaining knowledge of targeted areas of law i.e., the slaves of slavery, the slave trade, and quasi-freedom in the ante-bellum United States; the constitutional and legislative legacy of reconstruction; contemporary legal trends in education, voting, and employment; considerations of immigration, refuge and international law; the impact of shifting concepts of federalism on race-related legal issues; and comparative perspectives on legal developments in the African diaspora. A second aim is to aid students in refining techniques of theme identification, thesis-building and comparative analysis. The course considers several themes, e.g., multiple causation in the formulation of law; the political economy of legal development; the role of ideology in shaping the legal and public policy terrain; and thematic comparisons in diasporic legal history. Bell, Race, Racism, American Law; Civil Rights Leading Cases. Two tests, final, book analysis. (Woods)

479/Pol. Sci. 479. International Relations of Africa. (4). (SS).

See Political Science 479. (Mazrui)


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