Courses in Afroamerican and African Studies (Division 311)


Spring 1997

Historical Perspectives

336/WS 336. Black Women in America. (3). (SS).

This course will introduce students to the historical experiences and political struggles of African American women in the United States. Comparing Black women's own self-perceptions and behaviors with the social norms and ideals about women within the Black community and in the larger society, we will examine the racial/sexual politics of Black women's lives. Cost:2 WL:4 (Barkley-Brown)

Literature and the Arts

214/Hist. of Art 214. Introduction to African-American Art. (3). (Excl).

See History of Art 214. (Patton)

Individual Behavior, Cultural Systems, and Social Organization

303/Soc. 303. Race and Ethnic Relations. An introductory course in Sociology or CAAS. (3). (SS). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).

See Sociology 303. (Almaguer)

326. The Black American Family. (3). (SS).
Section 101 North America and the Caribbean.
In this course we will attempt to trace parallels and account for differences with regard to the Black family experience in the U.S. and the Caribbean. We will read excerpts from texts which profiled the original debate between Frazier and Herskovits, and also try to examine the historical evidence independently of those debates. Points of historical comparison will include slavery, sharecropping/peasant formation, migration, urbanization, education, and social mobility. In addition, we will consider the differential impact or incidence of the following in the two situations: minority/majority status, state welfare, hegemonic ideology, juridical and spatial segregation. Students must take a midterm exam and write a final paper. Cost:2 WL:4 (Green)

Independent Study and Special Topics

458. Issues in Black World Studies. (3). (Excl). May be elected for a total of 6 credits.
Section 101 Countryside and City in African Society.
This course attempts to illuminate the dynamics of politics in sub-Saharan Africa through a critical analysis of the nature and the changing patterns of the relationship between city-based elites and peasant producers. In the immediate post-independence years, African leaders strove to consolidate their power and to extend the authority of the state over populations scattered in the countryside. Much of the literature on African politics, therefore, tended to focus on ruling classes and the formal institutions of the state. One of the main objectives of this course is to seek to broaden the analytical focus of post-colonial politics to include peasant producers as relevant historical actors involved in complex relationships with city-based ruling coalitions. Texts include: Jonathan Baker, Peasant Farmers and the State in Africa; Goran Hyden, Beyond Ujamaa in Tanzania. Cost:2 WL:4 (Twumasi)


Summer 1997

Historical Perspectives

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

This course will focus on the pleasures and politics of Black popular culture. Using the city as our site and the variety of African American cultural forms (literature, music, film, television, art) as our primary texts, we will remap Black politics and culture since World War II. In doing so we will consider the relationship, role, commodification, and significance of Black culture in American society and culture. In the process, we will look at how and who has defined what is considered authentic, popular, and pleasurable to see how such ideas have both affected and changed in response to Black struggles for freedom and self definition, and larger political, social, and economic trends. Cost:2 WL:4 (Theoharis)

Politics, Economics, and Development

203. Issues in Afro-American Development. (3). (SS).
Section 201 Black Immigrants and the New Black Community in the U.S.
This course is an exploration of the experiences of Black immigrants in the United States. It is an introductory course that aims to collapse the division that has grown between studies of African-Americans and studies of immigrants. Passage of the Hart-Cellar Act of 1965, which loosened restrictions on immigration from non-Western nations, was followed by an annual migration of about 60,000 Blacks to the U.S. In this course we will explore the settlement patterns, adjustment, and the transformation not only of Black immigrant identities and communities but also the identities and communities of native-born Blacks. We will begin with an overview of America's immigrant history and a discussion of some of the dominant theoretical models that have been used to explain the assimilation of immigrants in the U.S. and the social and economic condition of American Blacks. Central to this discussion will be the understanding that because of America's racial history, the study of Black immigrants cannot be divorced from the situation of native-born Blacks. In the eyes of white America, these immigrants are first and foremost Black, with all other distinctions in nationality, history, culture, and language second. As such, the running question of this course will be: How does a focus on Black immigrants affect the existing framework for understanding African-Americans? We will focus on the particular group experiences of Jamaicans, Haitians, Dominicans and other West Indian immigrants as illustrations of more general phenomenon. Cost:3 WL:4 (Ostine)

Literature and the Arts

204. Cultural History of Afro-America. (3). (Excl).
Section 201 The Politics of Race in the United States.
Through a series of case studies, this course will examine the ways in which different groups have mobilized politically and culturally around "race" since the end of the Civil War. Topics will include: Black politics during the era of Reconstruction; 20th-century struggles by Asian, Hispanic, European and Black immigrants for civil and economic rights; the anti-immigration movements of the 1920's and 1990's; the African American civil rights movement; and "white backlash" politics since World War II. By reading the work of historians and social scientists, and by examining a variety of primary source materials ranging from archival documents and federal legislation to advertising, film and music videos we will investigate the policies, the public debates, and the informal, "everyday" politics of race and racial identity in the United States. In addition to writing two brief review essays, participants will complete an independent research project on a topic of their choice. Reading materials will be available on reserve. Cost:2 WL:4 (Freund)

Individual Behavior, Cultural Systems, and Social Organizations

303/Soc. 303. Race and Ethnic Relations. An introductory course in Sociology or CAAS. (3). (SS). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).

See Sociology 303. (Kim)


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