Courses in Afroamerican and African Studies (Division 311)

Introductory Courses

100. Introduction to Afro-American 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 three 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 three short papers (3-5 pages), a written book report (2-3 pages), and three in-class examinations. No final examination. (Allen)

Politics, Economics, and Development

351/Pol. Sci. 359. The Struggle for Southern Africa. Lectures: 2 credits; lectures and discussion: 4 credits. (SS).

See Political Science 359. (Wilson)

425. Politics of Black Movements in America. CAAS 230 and 231; or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

The organization of the African-American community has taken various forms over the last two centuries. Movements for integration, separation and emigration have all been part of the unique experience. Resistance and struggle have been continuous themes as African-Americans have sought to secure a place for themselves within this society. By using an interdisciplinary perspective this course will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of past and current movements seeking social and political change on behalf of African-Americans. The Civil Rights Movement, Back to Africa Movement, and independent political movements will all be topics for discussion during the term. Thoughtful, critical analysis will be stressed throughout the course in discussion and writing. Other course objectives: (1) Discussion of the content and organization of major Afro-American political movements; (2) Comparative analysis of leadership styles and effectiveness; (3) Considerations of the most significant social, economic and political influences upon the African-American experience; (4) Examinations of the interface between ideology and organizational effectiveness. (Kamara)

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. Ongoing class dialogue will be augmented periodically with urban field trips and invited guests. Enrollment limited to 22 students. (Chaffers)

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, refugee 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)

Literature and the Arts

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 PRAISE SONG FOR THE WIDOW. Course requirements: one brief (2-4 page) essay; two medium length (6-8 page) essays; frequent quizzes; AND ACTIVE PARTICIPATION. (Awkward)

360. Afro-American 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)

401/Music 405. History of Jazz. (3). (HU).

An explanation of the development of the jazz tradition from its African and Afro-American folk origins to contemporary developments. Topics include blues, early jazz ("King" Oliver and Louis Armstrong) and swing bands to Free Jazz and "new" creative music. Lecture material will be supplemented by required readings from books, articles, and recorded music (available from the UGLi reserve desk and the School of Music Listening Room). Student performance will be evaluated by means of two one-hour exams, a final paper and project. (Brown)

Individual Behavior, Cultural Systems, and Social Organization

331. The World of the Black Child. (3). (SS).

This course has two objectives. They are, first, to introduce key areas of research and theory related to the socialization of African-American children and, second, to facilitate critical thinking regarding this body of research and theory. The course will focus on cultural and situational forces which affect the lives of Black lower- and middle-class children in the United States. In order to highlight the factors which contribute to the social conditions of the African-American child, a section of the course will look at the lives of specific individuals through their personal accounts and will compare the converging and diverging features of the socialization of African-American children and South African children. Topics to be discussed will include (1) family, peer, and community socialization, (2) the development of a sense of self and racial identification, (3) portrayal of Blacks in books for children, (4) school achievement and intellectual development, (5) language development, (6) teenage pregnancy, and (7) welfare, poverty, and father absence. Students will be required to complete two or three take-home essay exams. The exam scores will count equally toward your grade. Students will read two novels (autobiographies), selected book chapters, and a few journal articles. (McLoyd)

336/Women's Studies 336. Black Women in America. (3). (SS).

This course examines Black women in America from an historical and contemporary perspective. Understanding the full life cycle and multiple roles of Black women as wives, workers, mothers, daughters, sisters and social change agents is the principal focus of the readings, discussions, and research project. Reading materials will be drawn from literature, history, and the social sciences. Each student will be expected to complete an individual or group research project which will involve either primary research, oral history, or survey research. Class attendance and participation are required. (Wilson)

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

This course is designed to serve the needs of students who plan to engage in international-related activities as well as those who may desire to gain basic understanding into the forces and dynamics of education in the processes of cultural and socioeconomic transformation in one of the major developing regions of the world, i.e., Africa Education operates within the existing political, religious and social institutions and values. It also has a profound impact on those institutions' conventions and values. The question is whether the direction and magnitude of the interactions can be controlled and guided in order to optimize social development. The lecture-discussion method is used. Students will be encouraged to read widely into the relevant literature. No prerequisite is required. Evaluation consists of class participation and periodical written tests. (Wagaw)

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

See Cultural Anthropology 414. (Owusu)

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

The course is designed to make it possible for students to engage in the examination and analysis of the public education philosophies, laws, and practices as related to the education of Black children in the past and at present. It considers the theoretical frameworks of growth, development and learning of children in different settings and at different life space on the one hand and the existing structural, socio-political and psychological conditions of the public school systems on the other and attempts to find ways and means of relating the objectives and philosophies of the schools to the needs of Black children. (Wagaw)

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

This seminar will analyze how the interaction of the structure of the American political system and the structure of the American economic system interact to produce the current economic crisis in Afro-American urban communities throughout the country. We will analyze the various components of the economic status of individual Afro-Americans and their families as well as the dynamic features of the economy of the Black community. This will necessitate a brief review of the effect of structural changes in the American economy on the political economy of Black communities as well as analyzing the effect of cyclical shifts in the performance of the macro-economy. We will pay particular attention to the ability of local, state and national political authorities to create policies that can improve the economic conditions of Black America. This will not only involve looking at the policy making process and particular public policies, but also will involve looking at the mobilization of political resources in Black communities to win effective policies. Two previous courses in political science, economics or urban sociology are highly recommended. This course will require a heavy reading load combined with a substantial writing requirement. Class participation and writing assignments will be the primary basis for evaluation. (Dawson)

Independent Study

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.


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