Courses in Afroamerican and African Studies (Division 311)


360. Afro-American Art. (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. WL:4 (Lockard)

Individual Behavior, Cultural Systems, and Social Organization

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

This course examines Black women in America from a 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 in the principal focus of the readings, discussions, and research project. Reading materials will be drawn from literature, history, and the social sciences. (Barkley Brown)

358. Topics in Black World Studies. (Excl). May be elected for a total of 6 credits.
Section 101: The Historical Legacy of African American Student Movements.
Two key ideas are central to this course. First, the materials and lectures review and critique the major sociological theories of social movements. Second, the American Civil Rights and student movements of the 1950- and 1960's provide exemplary case histories for a comparison with the 1970, 1975, 1987 anti-racist student movement at the University of Michigan. Our objective is to first learn the theories and then make sense of these movements by reviewing those theories which fit best the case study. (Linzie)

420/Anthro. 347. Race and Ethnicity. Junior standing. (SS).

A comparative analysis of race and ethnicity as social and political phenomena with emphasis on the current theoretical literature; criteria by which different peoples classify races and/or ethnic groups; the implications of these classifications for intergroup relations; and the study of how attitudes and values surrounding race and ethnicity have shaped contemporary world events. (Stoler).

430. Education and Cultures of the Black World. (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. WL:4 (Wagaw)

458. Issues in Black World Studies. (Excl). May be elected for a total of 6 credits.
Section 101: Introduction to British Caribbean History.
This course is open to and designed to facilitate students in the History, Anthropology, Music, Literature and other Social Science disciplines, who wish to understand the present day Caribbean and how its institutions evolved. The knowledge gained will allow them to be in a better position to make comparative judgments with other areas in the Western Hemisphere. Students, especially those studying Afro-American History, will comprehend better the African Continuum, and note how acculturation processes and cultural transformations involving Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean people, occurred. (Liverpool)

Section 102: Social Movements in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using an interdisciplinary perspective this course will study various forms of social movements in sub-saharan Africa, both historical and contemporary. The course will start by a broad critical review of existing theories of social movements. Theories such as N. Smelser's Collective Behavior, McCarthy and Zald's Resource Mobilization, as well as classical Marxism will be studied and the extent to which they succeed in explaining social movements in sub-saharan Africa addressed. Various social movements e.g., the Mahdist revolution in the Sudan, the Mau Mau in Kenya, and the Bai Bureh of Sierra Leone will be examined and the role of historic, economic, political, and other systemic factors in those movements will be identified. There are no prerequisites for this course. It is recommended that students have taken at least one course in African studies. (Omer)

558. Seminar in Black World Studies. Graduate standing or permission of instructor. (Excl). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.
African American Political Thought. Prerequisites: PS 419 and 619 or permission of instructor.
This seminar considers the following questions. What are the core themes and concepts that have developed historically out of African American politics? To what degree have African political practices and norms influenced African American political thought? To what degree does African American political thought owe its heritage to western philosophy? Students will study important African American intellectuals and activists such as Ida B. Wells, W. E. B. Du Bois, Angela Davis, and Marcus Garvey as well as using historical records and survey data to understand how the "grassroots" have adopted core themes and concepts. Political science courses in public opinion and/or political theory, and CAAS courses in African American politics, history, and/or culture would provide useful preparation for this course. (Dawson)

Independent Study

410. Supervised Reading and Research. Permission of instructor. (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. WL:3


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