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 of 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 a lecture-discussion with four weekly lectures. Students meet with T.A.'s once weekly to discuss course readings and lectures. The course will be supplemented by guest lecturers, selected CAAS colloquia, films, special projects and field trips.

Historical Perspectives

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

This course surveys Black historical and cultural developments through the Reconstruction Period emphasizing African backgrounds and African Cultural persistence, strength of Black families during slavery, the slavery experience. Black self-liberation efforts, the formation of Black institutions and organizations.

Politics, Economics, and Development

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." 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. (Chaffers)

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

LAW, RACE, AND THE HISTORICAL PROCESS, I. Law is a central feature of Afro-American history. It defines the status and prospects of Blacks, occupies a key role in Black ideological debates and organizational activity, and reflects dominant crisis in United States and world history. Law is a medium through which to better understand the several forces that have shaped the Black past and present. This course, the first of a two-part sequence on the legal experience of Blacks in the United States, adopts this approach. Chronologically, it covers the time period from the initial interaction between Blacks and the processes of law in Colonial North America to the beginnings of the modern Civil Rights era. It thus reviews such subjects as the law of slavery and the slave trade, the Constitution and the Black status in the antebellum period, Constitutional and legislative developments during Reconstruction and the legal circumstance of Blacks in the era of Jim Crow segregation. The course also examines several themes which characterize the operation and role of law in Afro-American history. For example, the course routinely considers such items as the concept of multiple causation in the formulation of law, and the law as a component of Black intellectual and political discourse. Through its emphasis on the nexus between law, race and the historical process, this course hopes to meet three major aims. One is to assist students in gaining knowledge of the legal particulars, norms and events that have figured most prominently in the historical saga of Blacks up to the mid-twentieth century. The second is to cultivate an understanding of law as a central dynamic in the human experience. The third is to aid students in acquiring and refining techniques of critical inquiry, theme identification and thesis construction. (Woods)

Literature and the Arts

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

See Theatre and Drama 222. (Jackson)

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

See Theatre and Drama 233. (Jackson)

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. Course 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)

442/Film-Video 442. Third World Cinema. (3). (Excl).

See Film and Video Studies 442. (Ukadike)

470/Film-Video 470. Cultural Issues in Cinema. (3). (Excl).

See Film and Video Studies 470. (Ukadike)

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

See English 478. (Awkward)

Individual Behavior, Cultural Systems, and Social Organization

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

In this course, an interdisciplinary perspective will be taken in examining the unique historical and contemporary forces that have shaped the lives of Black women in America. The Black woman in American has been a victim of multiple oppressions, and it is the goal of this course to examine the impact of those oppressions on empowering as well as disabling her. Literature from psychology, sociology, history, and women's studies will be utilized on exploring issues related to the Black woman's economic, social, and psychological well-being. Full attendance and participation in class is required, in addition to the completion of written assignments and a research project-paper. (Barkley-Brown)

358(458). Topics in Black World Studies. (3). (Excl). May be elected for a total of 6 credits.

SECTION 001. THE DEWEY CENTER PROJECT. For Fall Term, 1991, this section is offered jointly with English 310. (Alexander)

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

This course is designed for people who (1) plan for a career in international education as teachers or as other specialists; (2) practicing or perspective teachers who desire to broaden their understanding of the process and dynamics of educational development in other cultures, e.g., Africa; and (3) non-specialists but who wish to understand the problems and ramifications of educational development upon the development of national resources. For convenience of treatment the course will be organized under three broad divisions of time, i.e., indigenous (traditional), colonial and national education. (Wagaw)

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

The remarkably active roles that African women play in their communities bring them respect, but also heavy responsibilities. The degree and kind of independence and resources they enjoy has changed radically in specific societies from pre-colonial to contemporary times, while their responsibilities continue to multiply. This course follows the themes of autonomy and control of resources, such as land, labor, income and cattle, and social resources, such as education, religion, and political power. Critical discussions of these alternatives and changes for women will include their relevance to African and U.S. development policy and to our own personal options. From cities to nomadic tribes. African women usually have independent incomes and statuses, but limited access to major resources. Women farmers grow 90% of Africa's food, but often without controlling their crops and land. Economic changes, from cash crops to apartheid, eroded women's traditional rights in marriage and property. Female leaders and groups, represented in many local political hierarchies, were restricted or dropped under the colonial rule. The powerful contribution women made to many independence struggles rarely translated into significant power in national governments, or consideration in education, legal or economic policies. Indigenous religion that give prominent places to female gods, ancestors and priests have also yielded prestige to Islam and Christianity, although women retain influence in syncretic cults. Recent crises endanger women and their families by increasing their responsibilities while attacking their social and ecological resource base. Examples of development policies and projects show that women need both autonomy and adequate resources to reserve the downward spiral of economic degeneration. (Clark)

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

See Anthropology 414. (Owusu)

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

SECTION 001 THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF THE URBAN GHETTO. 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)

SECTION 002: RACE, ETHNICITY AND GENDER. Afro-American cultural history historically surveyed within the multi-racial, multi-ethnic evolution of American cultural arts. Examined are the origins of cultural arts developments from Colonial American to the 20th Century related to Blacks, Indians and other ethnics. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson's views on Black and Indian "cultures" in the "Anthropological" sense of the meaning "culture," the creative and artistically interpretive perceptions of race and ethnicity are examined through the cultural arts. For example, the long range influence of "Negro Minstrelsy" in American music, dance and theatrical forms is examined as the root-origin of the "Negro Stereotype": the influence of Harriet Beecher Stowe's, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" on the literary genre of the white authors' approach to the Black and Indian music themes into American music composition, the Anton Dvorak-Jeanetta Thurber Thesis of the 1890's; the origins of the Ragtime-Jazz Blues continuum in popular music culture; Puritanism, Africanisms and Americanisms in the evolution of popular American dance; Blacks (and ethnicity) in the modern American Theatre; the Eugene O'Neill thematic and dramatic revolution and the aesthetics of the Black image on the American stage as perceived by white (and Black) dramatists. 1917-1930; the Harlem Renaissance (1917-1930) seen as the artistic literary and aesthetic cross-cultural, trans-racial adaptation, accommodation and cross- fertilization in American music, literature, graphic arts, theatre and dance; the 1930's and the New Deal's Work Project Administration (WPA) impact on the (Seven) cultural arts up to World War II. An interpretive survey of post-World War II to the 1980's will be open-ended, depending upon the general results of classroom discussions based on the topical choices elected by students themselves. Course requirements: One thoroughly researched term paper on a student-chosen topic related to the historical survey substance of the course. The course will be taught seminar- style; choices of term paper topics must be agreed upon by the instructor. An adequate reserved reading list will be provided plus additional sources suggested by the instructor. WL:4 (Cruse)

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

This course will study the recording of the Black experience in Black media, mainstream mass media in the context of the Black struggle of equality. The course will address the problems of replication; the nature and function of stereotypes; ideology and propaganda; the process of reification; advertising and spectacle, as they impact upon communications concerning the Black experience. Beginning with Black oral media, we will study the canon of media that Blacks have developed to supplement and correct their representation in dominant media that Blacks have developed to supplement and correct their representation in dominant media and to advocate and debate Black issues such as emigration, abolition, segregation, lynching, employment, self-improvement, self-defense, race relations, civil rights. This overview will include historic and contemporary print media. Varieties of Black electronic media will be studied, with consideration of the debates that often accompany them. Some study will also be given to comparative aspects of Black media in the Third World. (Chrisman)

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

SECTION 001 THE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS OF ANTHROPOLOGISTS AT WORK. The involvement of anthropologists in the process of intentionally managed socioeconomic change, directly or indirectly, raises thorny intellectual and personal issues. This seminar addresses some of the conceptual, epistemological, political, ethical and pragmatic questions we will be dealing with. It will be useful to students planning work in locations where development policies and projects are important aspects of the social context, and to those considering work in development organizations. We will give most attention to anthropologists working in Africa, but compare these with the work of other professionals and experience of other continents. We will examine both historical and contemporary change processes and the implications of anthropologists' participation in them. We will analyze concrete policy arenas, such as participatory development, structural adjustment, and environmental, industrial and agricultural projects. We will consider the varied and contradictory meanings of international agencies, donor and national governments, non- governmental organizations, multinational corporations, and local citizens wanting better lives. Is development a dream, an industry or a catastrophe? Intensive discussion of key writings and cases will strengthen our ability to work with a set of questions without fixed answers. What is it like doing policy-related research or working directly on the design, implementation and evaluation of projects and policies? What kinds of knowledge are generated by the conditions of anthropologists' work, and what can improve them? What kind of expectations do other participants have of us, and what do we have of them? WL:4 (Clark)

Independent Study

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

Students who can show appropriate preparation in courses previously taken, the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies offers course credit for independent study. A full-time faculty member must agree to supervise the undertaking and to meet with the student during the term. The proposed course of study may not duplicate the material of any course regularly offered by the Center. The reading and writing requirement should be comparable to that required in a regular course for the same number of credits; and all the work must be completed by the final day of class in the term. After consultation with and approval from a CAAS faculty member, applications for independent study along with statements describing the schedule of readings and of writing assignments must be filled out. Such applications must be signed by the faculty member involved and turned in before the end of the week of the term. It is therefore advisable to submit applications (available in Room 200 West Engineering Building) in advance of the beginning of the independent study term, upon approval, and override (Election Authorization Form) will be issued.


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