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 three 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, and special projects. WL:4

Historical Perspectives

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

See History 446. (Atkins)

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).

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)

453. Culture, Class, and Conflict in Southern Africa. (4). (Excl).
Section 001 Autobiography as History: Life Stories of 20th Century Black South Africans.
This course will introduce students to some of the main currents in South African history during this century including: the colonization of Southern Africa; social and economic differentiation amongst Black South Africans and the white minority settler society; rural to urban migration; the similar and also particular experiences of Black men and women; attempts by Black South Africans to work within and alter the developing system of segregated rule; and resistance and defiance to this rule in the second part of the century. We will attempt to "read" these historical themes and issues through the autobiographical writings of Black South African authors, particularly women, writing in this century, whose lives span the period from the First World War to the present. (Burns)

457/Econ. 476. Political Economy of Black America. Econ. 201. (3). (Excl).

See Economics 476. (Whatley)

Literature and the Arts

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

See History of Art 108. (Quarcoopome)

274/English 274. Introduction to Afro-American Literature. (3). (HU).

See English 274. (Zafar)

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)

407. African Literature. (3). (HU).

Whether we are dealing with D.T. Niane's version of the Sundiata epic or Wole Soyinka's childhood memoirs, the modern tradition of African literature has been generated by questions of literacy, education, and social change. The purpose of this course is to examine the different ways in which the form and language of this literature, and the theories and cultural debates surrounding it have been generated by the phenomenon of change, the discourses on what change in colonial and postcolonial Africa means, and the modes of knowledge that emerge when African cultures and peoples encounter European events and institutions. Our emphasis, then, will be as much on how different subjects encounter change (especially the culture of imperialism), and how they narrate their experiences; we will explore the ways in which writing about the imprisoned self functions as a gesture of freedom; we will also try to understand why African fiction invests so much in the process of education and its multiple contradictions. Through close readings of a cross-section of novels, we will examine how the dynamic of literacy in the African bildungsroman (the novel of education and social change) has shaped the modern literary tradition and its critical theories. The authors examined will include Amos Tutuola (The Palmwine Drinkard), Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart), Niane (Sundiata), Ferdinard Oyono (Houseboy), Mongo Beti (Mission to Kala), Camara Laye, (The Dark Child), Buchi Emecheta, (The Joys of Motherhood), Wole Soyinka (Ake: The Years of Childhood), Ama Ata Aidoo (Our Sister Killjoy) and Ngugi (Matigari). Course requirements include regular quizzes, two short papers (or one long paper), a midterm and final examination. (Gikandi)

440/Comm. 440. African Cinema. (3). (Excl).

This course will provide a critical and interdisciplinary look at the development of African cinema from its inception in the 1960's to the present. In looking at this period, we will move from the sociopolitical upheavals of late colonialism to the recent phase of introspection and diversification. The relationship of cinematic practices to transformations in the social and economic sphere will be examined, as well as the creation of distinctively African film styles based on oral traditions. In pursuing these topics, we will consider the impact of technology, history and culture, ties to the cinema of other developing nations, and co-productions. The films to be screened include: Halfaquine (Tunisia), Baadis (Morocco), Angano...Angano (Madagascar), Faces of Women (Cote d'Ivoire), Xala (Senegal), Harvest: 3,000 Years (Ethiopia), and Yaaba (Burkina Faso). Written assignments, midterm and final paper are required. WL:4 (Ukadike)

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

See English 478. (Awkward)

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

See English 479. (Artis)

Individual Behavior, Cultural Systems, and Social Organization

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

See Women's Studies 231.

303/Soc. 303. Race and Ethnic Relations. One of the following: Soc. 100, 101, 102, 195, 202, 203, 400, or 401; or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Sociology 503. (4). (SS). (This course fulfills the Race or Ethnicity Requirement in the fall and winter terms only).

See Sociology 303. (Almaguer)

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. (Owusu)

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.

This course is jointly offered with Film and Video Studies 455.001 for Fall Term, 1994. (Hurtado)

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

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. It 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 and Special Topics

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 second 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 an override (Election Authorization Form) will be issued.


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