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. WL:4

Historical Perspectives

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

Through an examination of popular culture, this course critically reassesses the relationship between Black politics and cultural forms emerging from within Africanamerican communitites, the commodification of those forms, and representation of Black images in mass media. Beginning with post war jazz, we will explore the Africanamerican roots of rock and roll, the development of blaxploitation films, and the shifting ideological meanings of hair and dress styles. A research paper, midterm and final examination are required in addition to attendance in a discussion section. (Kelley)

Politics, Economics, and Development

322/Nat. Res. 335. Introduction to Environmental Politics: Race, Class and Gender. (3). (SS).

This course will analyze the development of political action from the 1860s to the present. It will analyze the role of race, gender and class in defining environmental issues and environmental action. It will explore the following questions: Why have people of color traditionally not participated in the mainstream environmental movement? What are the consequences of environmental hazards? Why did the mainstream environmental movement refrain from making toxic exposures a major part of their platforms for so long? How do minorities and the poor respond to toxics in their communities? What is the role of women and minorities in the traditional and newly emerging grassroots environmental groups? How does that emergence of large numbers of minority grassroots environmental groups change the dynamics in the environmental movement? Student participation in discussions, presentations and community action projects supplement the reading assignments and lectures. One research paper, a midterm and a final examination are required. (Taylor).

408. African Economies: Social and Political Settings. (4). (Excl).
Food and Famine.
Famines continue from year to year to fill our television screens with scenes of starving women and children in Somalia, Sudan and other African nations. The effects of drought are compounded by those of civil war, international conflict and polarization of economic and political power to produce situations of extreme and long lasting suffering, approaching genocide. These emergency conditions not only dominate media images of Africa as a whole, but dominate foreign policy priorities for Africa in the US and other industrial nations. Both acute and chronic food shortages keep many nations from moving towards self-determination and economic growth. We will examine the ecological and social conditions of agricultural production and food purchase, considering the impact of climate, population levels, family roles, local marketing systems, food imports, colonial and independent government policies, political relations, military interventions and foreign aid. We will look at resources and strategies Africans employed to survive historical famines and food shortages, and the impact of specific emergency and development assistance programs on this survival capacity. Classes will combine lectures with discussions and films. Students will also research and present in class a paper on a related topic of their choice. Cost:3 WL:2 (Clark)

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

See Political Science 419. (Walton)

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 effects 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. 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. WL:4 (Chaffers)

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

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 crises in United States and world history. This course 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. 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. WL:4 (Woods)

Literature and the Arts

108/Hist. of Art 108. Introduction to African Art. (3). (Excl).

See History of Art 108. (Quarcoopome)

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 course will (a) introduce students to a primary body of knowledge reflective 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. 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. WL:4 (Lockard)

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

See History of Art 404. (Patton)

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

This course is designed to explore developments in the cross-cultural use of media-from Hollywood feature films to ethnographic documentaries, from Caribbean liberationist literature to African allegories of colonialism, from indigenous use of film and video to Black Diasporan "oppositional" film practice. This course, at once theoretical, historical, and metacritical in its focus, is divided into two parts. The first deals with dominant Western paradigms (Hollywood and ethnographic films) and the representation of ethnic minorities and other cultures, while the second part will profile recent productions revealing counterimages that call into question many of the assumptions that shape conventional film history. We will foreground recent debates concerning Afrocentrism, Eurocentrism, multi-culturism, racism, sexism, and class bias as reflected in films and discourse about films. Some of the films screened include: IMITATION OF LIFE, UNCLE MOSES, THE SEARCHERS, PASSION OF REMEMBERENCE, FACES OF WOMEN, SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT and NICE COLORED GIRLS. Readings, screening and written assignments required. Cost:4 WL:3,4 (Ukadike)

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

See English 477. (Gunning)

Individual Behavior, Cultural Systems, and Social Organization

241/Women's Studies 231. Women of Color and Feminism. (3). (Excl).

See Women's Studies 231

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

This course is designed for (1) those who plan a career in international education as teachers or as other specialists; (2) practicing and perspective teachers who desire to broaden their understanding of the process and dynamics of educational development in other cultures, e.g., Africa; and (3) nonspecialists 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).

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

See Anthropology 414.

458. Issues in Black World Studies. (3). (Excl). May be elected for a total of 6 credits.
Section 001 Modern Afro-American Poetry, 1980-1990.
For Fall Term, 1993, this course is jointly offered with English 479. (Chrisman)

Section 004 Economics of Black America. This course analyses the historical antecedents to various contemporary economic issues affecting African Americans. Additional topics include the role of economics in the historical construction of race in America and economic discrimination from slavery to the present. (Whatley)

Section 005 Music of the Caribbean. For Fall Term, 1993, this course is jointly offered with Music 464. (McDaniel)

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

See Anthropology 451. (Williams)

478/Latin American and Caribbean Studies 400/Hist. 578. Ethnicity and Culture in Latin America. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Section 001 Latin American Cinema, History and Society.
For Fall Term, 1993, this course is jointly offered with Film-Video 455.001. (Hurtado)

486. Communication Media in the Black World. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
Print Media.
This course will study the recording of the Black experience in Black media, mainstream mass media, and special interest media in the context of the Black struggle for equality. This 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 and to advocate and debate Black issues such as emigration, abolition, segregation, lynching, employment, self-improvement, self-defense, race relations, and civil rights. This overview will include historic and contemporary print media. (Chrisman)

Independent Study

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

For 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, and upon approval, an override (Election Authorization Form) will be issued.


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