Courses in Afroamerican and African Studies (Division 311)

Politics, Economics, and Development

203. Issues in Afro-American Development. (SS).
(2 credits).
Issues in Afroamerican Development takes a broad look at the current status of Afro-america. This course is particularly concerned with legal developments since 1954 and with the relevance of law to the current circumstances of Afro-America. After an overview of constitutional and legal history to 1954 we will consider the case of Brown v. Board of Education. Following a review of other legal landmarks during the 1950s and 1960s, we will consider the changing constitutional orientation to Black rights in the 1970s and 1980s. The course will conclude with a look at the developmental challenges facing Afroamericans and will consider the relevance of law to these challenges. Course requirements include two tests, a final exam and a series of writing analyses. Texts likely include: Harold Cruse, Plural But Equal; Roy Brooks, Rethinking the American Race Problem; Derrick Bell, Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism; Hunter Clark and Michael Davis, Thurgood Marshall: Warrior at the Bench, Rebel on the Bar. (Woods)

Literature and the Arts

360. Afro-American Art. (HU).
(2 credits).
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 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)

406/Amer. Cult. 406. Literature of the Caribbean World. (Excl).
Section 101 The Caribbean as Text: Reading and Writing (About) the Caribbean. (3 credits).
The purpose of this course is to examine some of the assumptions about Caribbean people, literature, history and culture. The works studied will include literary, historical and philosophical texts, films, posters, travel writing, 'eyewitness accounts'. It will cover a significant amount of historical and theoretical ground, drawing on materials across five centuries - from 1492 to 1992. Our major preoccupation during this term will be to question, question, question. Our questioning will be informed by close and careful analyses of the discourses through which we have come to 'know' and talk about the Caribbean. In order to ensure that our discussions are grounded in rigorous textual analyses, you will be required to identify, summarize, compare and evaluate the major points and arguments of the works studied. (Gregg)

Individual Behavior, Cultural Systems, and Social Organization

336/Women's Studies 336. Black Women in America. (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 is the principal focus of the readings, discussions, and research project. Reading materials will be drawn from literature, history, and the social sciences. (Barkley-Brown)

420/Anthro. 347. Race and Ethnicity. Junior standing. (SS).
(2 credits).
This course is a comparative analysis of race and ethnicity as social and political phenomena with emphasis on the current theoretical literature. It analyzes the 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.
(2 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. 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. (2 credits).
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 The Political Economy of West Africa. (2 credits) This is a course in comparative politics designed to introduce students to the political economy of the West African subregion. We will examine the political and economic processes that promoted the rise of post-colonial states in West Africa in the context of the widely held liberal view that the promotion of development and economic growth was the driving force behind the demand by Africans for independence. Consolidation of central state power and class formation will be analysed, with the focus on the issue of why these twin processes came increasingly, in the late 1970s and 1980s, to limit the possibilities for development and economic transformation. Broad comparative themes to be investigated include: the range and character of the disparate social groups and economic interests that constitute ruling coalitions; the economic consequences of the use of state power for regime consolidations, and patronage as a mechanism of governance and political domination. (Twumasi)

Independent Study

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

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 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, and upon approval, an override (Election Authorization Form) will be issued. WL:3


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