Courses in Afroamerican and African Studies (DIVISION 311)

Politics, Economics, and Development

203. Issues in Afro-American Development. (4). (SS).

LAW AND SOCIETY. The general focus of AAS 203 during the Spring Half Term is on the law and its role in Black development. The course examines the intersection of the law and recent phases of Black development. Special emphasis will be put on the social context in which legal change in racial affairs occurred during the 1950's and 1960's. The course will then briefly survey trends in racial law and policy up to the present time. Affirmative Action as a tool to redress historical patterns of discrimination and the question of whether governmental involvement hinders or retards the quest for racial advancement are among the issues that the course will cover. (Woods)

Literature and the Arts

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)

Individual Behavior, Cultural Systems, and Social Organization

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

Section 101 THIRD WORLD WOMEN. This course will examine critical issues affecting Third World around the globe in the context of their colonial past, their increasing integration into the international capitalist system, and their ongoing efforts to free themselves from various forms of (neo-) colonial, racial, class and patriarchal oppression. We will want to understand how women's identities are forged through their own activities as workers/producers and caretakers/reproducers as well as in their relationships to men, the state, dominant economic interests and different kinds of development programs. How do we-and marginalized Third World Women themselves-ensure that they are included as subjects (rather than objects) in the development process? How do we all ensure that we/they are socialists, feminists, planners and development agencies? (Green)

430. Education and Cultures of the Black World. (3). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

This course is a comparative study of education and of the cultures of Black peoples in Africa, the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean and South Pacific Islands. Among the texts that will help us define issues, isolate contexts for emphasis, and design relevant approaches within so broad a racial and cultural context are the following: Marvin Harris, PATTERNS OF RACE IN THE AMERICAS; Paulo Freire, PEDAGOGY OF THE OPPRESSED; Preiswerk and Perrot, ETHNOCENTRISM AND HISTORY; Vidya Mandal's UNESCO publication EDUCATION ON THE MOVE; and CONFIGURATION OF CULTURE AND EDUCATION: AN AFRICAN EXPERIENCE. The readings and approach are designed to help students gain a systematic understanding of the dynamics and the interplay of education and culture as they relate to peoples of color in the regions listed above-whether such people live within self- governing and independent nation-states, or whether they do so as minority members of multi-ethnic societies. In instances where such minorities and/or nation-states have been denied access to education or where full cultural participation has been long proscribed, we will look at how education and culture interact to correct or to aggravate subsequent patterns of disequilibrium, alienation, and underdevelopment. (Wagaw)

455. Seminar on Project and Research Planning. Upperclass standing. (3). (Excl).

Subsaharan African countries have been facing enormous economic problems since the mid-1970's. Even thought African governments registered striking advances in infrastructural development in the immediate post-colonial period, social services, as indicated by the data on health, education and nutrition, continue to worsen in many parts of the region today. By the end of the 1980's well over thirty African countries had adopted World Bank-sponsored structural adjustment programs in an effort to address their economic problems. However, by the beginning of the 1990's most of the programs were in trouble. Owing to the growing trend on the continent to resort to international agencies and financial institutions, relations between Subsaharan African governments, the OAU and ECA on the one hand, and the World Bank, the IMF and EEC on the other, have taken center stage in Africa's recent economic activities. Although one substance of the international discussions are economic, the choices made over strategies and the distribution by African governments of the burdens and benefits development among various social groups are basically political. This course will deal with the major substantive issues in the complex interplay between the policy choices of African governments and the policy recommendations of international agencies. The goal here will be to: 1)explore the political basis and some effects of structural reform strategies adopted by African governments; and 2)examine critically the role that international agencies have played and continue to play in the economic challenges that face Africa. This course is open to students Junior standing or above and those who have taken at least one course in African Studies and Political Science. (Twumasi)

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 by 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.


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.