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LSA Course Guide Search Results: UG, GR, Winter 2007, Dept = CAAS
 
Page 1 of 1, Results 1 — 54 of 54
Title
Section
Instructor
Term
Credits
Requirements
CAAS 103 — First Year Social Science Seminar
Section 001, SEM
Malcolm X, Black Power, and the Practice of History

Instructor: Ward,Stephen M

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: SS
Other: FYSem

This course examines the life and legacy of Malcolm X, considering him both as an historical figure whose ideas and actions were part of a specific historical moment, and as an iconic, almost mythical figure whose image continues to stand as a powerful symbol. Our focus will be on understanding Malcolm X's influence on the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s, when various organizations and individuals claimed to be carrying on his legacy. In addition, we will critically assess the ways in which his legacy continues to be constructed and used to represent that period of Black struggle. Our investigation will be guided by three broad objectives. First, we will study Malcolm X's life leading up to his emergence as a national and international figure of Black resistance. Secondly, we will examine the contours and depth of his activism and its relationship to the broader African American freedom movement. This will include a close look at the various ways in which his ideas and his example as a political activist impacted the Civil Rights movement and the emergence of the Black Power movement following his assassination in 1965. Finally, we will analyze and interpret contemporary representations of Malcolm X in both scholarly and popular forms, allowing us to better understand his legacy and his place in narratives of African American history. Throughout the academic term, we will take care to highlight the ways that ideas and images are used to construct historical meaning — that is, to make sense of the past and its relationship to the present.

Advisory Prerequisite: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.

CAAS 103 — First Year Social Science Seminar
Section 002, SEM
I, Too, Sing America: A Psychology of Race & Racism

Instructor: Behling,Charles F

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: RE, SS
Other: Theme, FYSem

Taking its title from the Langston Hughes poem, this seminar will explore psychological aspects of race, ethnicity, and other cultural differences in the United States. What are some of the opportunities and obstacles to our joining with Hughes in affirming, "They'll see how beautiful I am . . I, too, sing America?"

Topics will include stereotyping, communication, cooperation, conflict, justice, and discrimination. For example: What are psychological theories about how individuals and groups might most benefit from life in pluralistic societies? What are some psychological dynamics of stereotyping? What are possible connections between various forms of discrimination (for example, racism, sexism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism)?

Advisory Prerequisite: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.

CAAS 111 — Introduction to Africa and Its Diaspora
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Squires,Catherine R
Instructor: Jacobs,Sean H

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: HU, RE

Introduces basic concepts and methods involved in the study of Africa and its Diaspora. This team-taught course takes a multimedia, interdisciplinary approach using maps, cultural artifacts, films, art, music, archival documents, literary texts, and key scholarly readings from both the humanities and social sciences. Prerequisite to the CAAS concentration and minor.

CAAS 200 — Introduction to African Studies
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Nkanga,Mbala D

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: SS

An interdisciplinary introduction to the history and cultures of Africa. The course surveys Africa's prehistoric past, the rise and development of early African states, and African achievements from the medieval period to the present. Throughout, attention is given to changing perspectives and approaches in the field of African Studies.

Advisory Prerequisite: CAAS 111.

CAAS 202 — Introduction to Afro-Caribbean Studies
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Haniff,Nesha Z

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: RE

Caribbean poet Lorna Goodison will teach this introductory course. Readings will include poems by Derek Walcott, V.S. Naipaul, Jean Rhys, and other Caribbean poets.

Advisory Prerequisite: CAAS 111.

CAAS 214 — Introduction to African-American Art
Section 001, LEC
Twentieth Century African-American Art: An Introduction Survey

Instructor: Francis,Jacqueline R

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: RE

This course covers key issues regarding the last century's African-American painting, sculpture, photography, and mixed media art. Moving through the material chronologically, we will discuss a variety of styles, cultural and social history, patronage, and critical reception. We will also examine the benefits and problems of studying the production of artists of color as a separate field, considering alternatives to the broad category of "African-American art" and the outlook for new, critical methodologies. The course is an opportunity for students to expand their descriptive and analytical skills through oral participation in class and reasoned writing on exams and in short papers.

IV. 4

Advisory Prerequisite: CAAS 111 or permission of instructor

CAAS 247 — Modern Africa
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Diouf,Mamadou; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: SS, RE

This course is a survey of modern African history. It covers particularly the colonial and the postcolonial periods and will include close looks at particular topics and reading and discussion of novels and original documents, as well as of historical scholarship.

The course has three following objectives:

  • to provide students with basic information about the period
  • to train students to think critically and historically
  • to develop general education skills

Course Requirements: Students are expected to (1) participate in class discussion (15%), (2) write one critical book review of a recommended monograph [approximately 4-5 pages] (25%). There will be a midterm (25%) and a final examination(35%).

Article and book chapter required readings are on reserve at University Reserves. Required texts are available for purchase at Shaman Drum bookstore.

CAAS 303 — Race and Ethnic Relations
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: de Leon,Cedric

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: SS, RE
Other: Theme

Sociology is the study of the interaction between "social structure" and "agency" in every sphere of social life. That is, it seeks to explore the relationship between the constraints that affect large groups of people on the one hand and the individual freedom of people to transcend those constraints on the other.

In this course we will examine the ways in which race and ethnicity as social structures have impacted the lives of so-called minority groups both in the United States and abroad. We will also look at how race and ethnicity work in conjunction with other social structures such as class, gender and sexuality. To maximize our sense of what it is like to live life as a member of a racial or ethnic group, we will not only read sociology, but also conduct in-class exercises, analyze films, and read literary fiction.

Advisory Prerequisite: An introductory course in Sociology or CAAS; CAAS 201 recommended.

CAAS 305 — Histories of the Modern Caribbean
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Turits,Richard L

WN 2007
Credits: 3

Situated at the historical crossroads of Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the United States, the Caribbean has played a pivotal role in global transformations since 1492. The course will focus on the Greater Antilles — Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and especially Haiti and Cuba — we will explore world historical themes in this region from the Haitian revolution to the present.

CAAS 306 — Women of Color and Feminism
Section 001, SEM

Instructor: Haniff,Nesha Z

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This class will provide you with an overview of the thinking of women of color and their views of feminism. A significant proportion of the time will be spent on readings by as wide a variety of women as possible. These will include Native American women, Asian women, Arab women and Hispanic women. The next section of the class will be devoted to African American women exclusively. The texts for this section will be Audre Lorde's Sister Outsider and Harriet Tubman: Road to Freedom. The basic text for the class is Colonize This: Young Women of Color on Today's feminism, edited by Daisy Fernandez and Bushra Rehman. These readings will serve as the basis for dialogue and analysis of the issues that address the very concept of women of color and feminism:

  • What is it?
  • Who defines it?
  • How is it different from western feminism and are the issues affecting Hispanic women and Arab women the same?
  • Is feminism one homogeneous construct or is it more diverse and heterogeneous?

Advisory Prerequisite: One course in WOMENSTD or CAAS

CAAS 341 — Introduction to Black Theatre
Section 001, REC

Instructor: Oyamo

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

A beginning course in Black theatre, acquainting students with origins, developments, current trends and the significant contributions of African-Americans to the theatre of Western civilization and to the theatre of Black America.

Advisory Prerequisite: CAAS 201

CAAS 342 — Acting and the Black Experience
Section 001, REC

Instructor: Dickerson,Glenda

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

An introductory acting course approached from a consideration of African American themes and topics.

Advisory Prerequisite: Permission of instructor (brief interview). CAAS 201 recommended.

CAAS 348 — Black Dance from Minstrelsy to the Present
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Wilson,Robin M; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

An exploration of jazz dance through movement, as it relates to African-American vernacular dance, the African diaspora, and American culture as a whole.    

Advisory Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

CAAS 358 — Topics in Black World Studies
Section 001, SEM
Intersections: Fictions and Feminisms of the African Diaspora

Instructor: Sweeney,Megan L

WN 2007
Credits: 3

Building on the idea of "intersections," this course will explore how works of fiction can contribute to an understanding of feminisms, and how various feminist perspectives can contribute to an understanding of fictional texts. Focusing on a wide range of fiction and essays by African American women, we'll examine the intersecting, often contradictory roles that race, gender, sexuality, class, and nationality have played, throughout U.S. history, in shaping how others have defined Black women and how Black women have attempted to construct their own identities through writing and creative expression. We'll situate African American women's fiction in relation to the development of feminist theory in the U.S., paying particular attention to intersections and points of tension between various forms of African American feminisms, and between the histories and aims of African American and Euro-American feminisms. As points of transnational comparison, we'll also discuss some fiction and essays by women from Senegal, Zimbabwe, and Ghana.

Addressing a spectrum of issues — including artistic expression, sexuality, violence committed by women and against women, welfare, imprisonment, religion, and genital circumcision — we'll reflect on the difficulties and possibilities entailed in trying to link women's experiences across racial, national, sexual, and class divides. We'll also consider how various texts complicate or unsettle the boundaries of categories such as "Black," "African American," "female," feminism," "authenticity," and "culture." Furthermore, we'll think about how Black women's fictional texts sometimes serve as forms of feminist theory themselves by analyzing women's varied experiences; by interrogating the political, historical, economic, social, and cultural forces that reinforce inequalities; and by imagining — and thereby helping to foster — a world in which all women can lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

Please be prepared for a challenging yet highly rewarding engagement with the course materials. Course requirements will include brief weekly writing assignments, three critical analysis essays, a group presentation, and active participation in class discussions. Registered students must attend the first two class meetings in order to remain in the class.

Required Texts:

  • Coursepack of required readings [available at Accu-Copy: 518 East William St.]
  • Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself (1861)
  • Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)
  • Toni Morrison, Sula (1973)
  • Toni Morrison, Paradise (1998)
  • Gayl Jones, Eva's Man (1976)
  • Pearl Cleage, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day (1998)
  • Mariama Bâ, So Long a Letter (1983)
  • Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions (1988)
  • Ama Ata Aidoo, Changes: A Love Story (1991)

This course satisfies the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators.

CAAS 358 — Topics in Black World Studies
Section 003, SEM
Contemporary African Art

Instructor: Adams,Sarah Margaret

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course is a survey of contemporary African art from 1950 to the present. Over the course of the academic term, we will consider how the field of contemporary African art history was defined in the past and how it is understood by various scholars today. We will also discuss the meeting points and departures between contemporary African art, and modern and contemporary art as a whole.

Required text: Sidney Littlefield Kasfir's Contemporary African Art.

I. II. 4

CAAS 358 — Topics in Black World Studies
Section 004, SEM
"‘One Nation Under A Groove?" Afro-American Expressive Culture, 1970-1979

Instructor: Awkward,Michael

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Other: Theme

This course will examine representative works of art that were produced by blacks in America during roughly the ten year period following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and what many have viewed as the end of the Civil Rights Movement. Looking at literary texts, popular music, and films in particular, as well as critical and journalistic commentary which they spawned, we will investigate responses to the opportunities and challenges faced by Blacks following the revolutionary decade if the 1960s. As implicit and explicit responses to (among other things) increasing numbers of Blacks entering into the educational, artistic, political, and economic mainstream, the literature, music, and film created during the 1970s reflected — and reflected upon — sometimes-volatile arguments taking place nationally over the meanings and practices of blackness in cities and regions throughout the United States. By looking critically at a selected number of texts and the debates in which they participate about class, gender, history, racial and national identity, family, romance, and other issues, our goal will be to consider the struggles to make or remake "the race" during the first decade in American history in which Afro-Americans were guaranteed equal rights under the laws of the world's model democracy. Course requirements: a five page essay, a midterm examination, a final (10-15 page) research essay, frequent short writing exercises, and active class participation.

This course satisfies the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators.

CAAS 358 — Topics in Black World Studies
Section 005, SEM
The Atlantic Slave Trade: Histories and Legacies

Instructor: Scott III,Julius S

WN 2007
Credits: 3

The Atlantic slave trade, by which millions of Africans were forcibly removed from their homelands and transported to Europe and the Americas, constituted one of the major forces in modern world history. From its origins early in the "Age of Explorations" through its abolition some four centuries later, this trade affected profoundly and in many ways shaped the entire Atlantic world-Africa, Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean. This course attempts to grapple with the complex history of the slave trade- its origins, development, and consequences-but it will also examine some of the painful legacies of the trade and efforts to address these legacies in various quarters of the Black Atlantic in literature and film, calls form reparations, and recent attempts to "reconnect" the African diaspora with Africa through DNA mapping. This is primarily a lecture and readings course, but each week we will make ample time for discussion and interaction.

CAAS 358 — Topics in Black World Studies
Section 006, SEM
Black Religious Thought and Cultures

Instructor: Dillard,Angela Denise

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This junior-level seminar surveys some of the key practices, beliefs, institutions and rituals associated with a variety of Black religions in the United States, from the transformation of African modes of worship in the "invisible institutions" during slavery, to the engagement with Islam and Judaism in the urban North, to the political uses of an evangelical faith throughout the Black freedom struggle, and the rise of present-day mega-churches in major metropolitan regions of the country. Throughout, we will adopt an interdisciplinary approach to the question of what makes a religion specifically "Black," while simultaneously Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Syncretic. Working with historical sources, sociological studies, anthropology, literature, poetry, visual arts and theology we will seek to answer a series of additional questions and to address a number of issues, including the role of women within Black churches and the ways in which gender structures religious authority; the relationship of "mainstream" practices to more non-traditional styles of worship; as well as the ways that black religious thought and culture is effected by class, sexuality, ethnicity and national origin, region, politics and ideology.

CAAS 361 — Comparative Black Art
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Lockard,John M

WN 2007
Credits: 3

Black American art compared to its parent African art and to other art forms in the African diaspora. Attention is given in particular to the art of Brazil and Haiti.

Advisory Prerequisite: CAAS 360.

CAAS 385 — Topics in African Literature
Section 001, LEC
South Africa: Apartheid and After

Instructor: Wenzel,Jennifer A

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

In South Africa, the past sixty years have seen the legislation of institutionalized racism in the policy known as apartheid; decades of protest and repression; and the emergence of popular movements in South Africa and abroad that compelled the apartheid state to enter a process of negotiation that would ultimately lead to its own demise in the democratic election of 1994. Throughout this tumultuous and often violent history, writers and other artists bore witness to life under apartheid; faced censorship, banning, and exile; and debated the ways in which culture could be a "weapon of struggle." The years since the election of Nelson Mandela reflect the possibilities and difficulties of a young democracy, including the remarkable national drama of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and new struggles against an HIV/AIDS pandemic and the stubborn legacies of the apartheid era.

This course traces the multiple, profoundly important roles that cultural production has played in the consolidation of apartheid, as well as its demise and aftermath. Our texts will include novels, short stories, memoirs, plays, poetry, and films, with some attention to other visual culture and music as well. Assignments will include short essays and at least one exam.

List of possible texts:

  • Coetzee, Disgrace
  • Duiker, Thirteen Cents
  • Fugard, Sizwe Bansi Is Dead
  • Gordimer, July's People
  • Krog, In the Country of My Skull
  • La Guma, A Walk in the Night
  • Magona, Mother to Mother
  • Mda, Ways of Dying
  • Mpe, Welcome to our Hillbrow
  • Ndebele, Fools and Other Stories
  • Paton, Cry, the Beloved Country
  • Serote, To Every Birth its Blood
  • Wicomb, You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town

Readings from the magazines Drum and Staffrider

Films: Amandla!, Forgiveness, Yesterday, Zulu Love Letter

This course satisfies the New Traditions requirement for English concentrators.

Advisory Prerequisite: CAAS 200

CAAS 403 — Education and Development in Africa
Section 001, REC
Education and Development in Africa

Instructor: Hill,Lori Diane

WN 2007
Credits: 3

Interdisciplinary course surveying the role of education and social change. Introduces the student to the key elements of the educational system and examines the impact of education on economic and political development. Tradition and reform in African education and cultural values in transition are explored.    

Advisory Prerequisite: CAAS 200

CAAS 407 — Looking at African Things
Section 001, SEM
Exhibiting Africa: Museum Representation of the continent and Its People

Instructor: Silverman,Raymond A

WN 2007
Credits: 3

What are the cultural forces that have driven the collecting and display of Africa — its animals, its peoples, and the things that people make — in the museums of Europe, North America and Africa? "Exhibiting Africa" examines the social, political, economic and aesthetic ideologies that have influenced the interpretation of the continent in a variety of exhibitionary contexts, including expositions, natural history museums, ethnology museums, art museums, and zoological parks. The course, which focuses primarily on sub-Saharan Africa, is organized in three sections. The first considers the history of museum representation in the West — practices associated with Europe's first encounters with West Africa in the 15th century, systematic collecting and display shaped by Darwinian evolutionary theory, and the "discovery" of African art at the turn of the 20th century. The second part of the course examines the history of museums in Africa — indigenous analogues for the museum, the Western institution introduced during the colonial period, and new paradigms for the museum that are grounded in the needs of local communities. The third section offers an opportunity to apply some of the current thinking about representing cultures in the conceptualization of an exhibition that will be installed in U-M's Exhibit Museum of Natural History. The course is presented as a seminar. Weekly meetings will include lecture and discussion built around reading assignments and museum/gallery visits. The class will travel to Washington, DC, during the second half of the course, to visit a number of museums that have been involved with interpreting the cultures of Africa. There are no text books for the course, reading assignments will be drawn from a set of articles, essays and book excerpts available through U-M Library's electronic reserves. In addition to preparing written summaries of weekly reading assignments, students will prepare a critical analysis of an exhibition dealing with Africa, and written and visual materials for the proposed exhibition. No prerequisites are required, however, some knowledge of Africa and/or cultural theory associated with colonial and post-colonial encounters is recommended.

II. 3, 4

Advisory Prerequisite: HISTART 108/CAAS 108

CAAS 409 — Maternal/Child Health and Environmental Pollution in Africa
Section 001, SEM

Instructor: Renne,Elisha P; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course will focus on the effects of environment and environmental pollution on the health of women and children in several sub-Saharan African countries. Selected readings in medical anthropological, public health, and environmental pollution as well as films examining connections between health, environmental factors, and development will be discussed. Specific health problems covered will include the effects of wood smoke pollution on infant and child health, the use of pesticides and women's reproductive health, waterborne diseases, automobile emissions and respiratory health problems, and waste disposal and contagious disease. The course will be evaluated through a health intervention project proposal and presentation, class participation, and a mid-term exam and a final intervention proposal report.

Intended audience: Upper-level undergraduates; graduate students in anthropology, medical anthropology, and public health.

Course Requirements: Participation in discussion of class readings(10%); 5-pg preliminary project proposal with primary source citations and secondary references (20%); mid-term in class exam (25%); presentation of health intervention proposal (15%); final health intervention report, 13-15 pg, double-spaced, including references, tables, etc. (30%).

Class Format: 3 hours per week in seminar format.

Advisory Prerequisite: Junior or above.

CAAS 410 — Supervised Reading and Research
Section 001, IND

WN 2007
Credits: 1 — 6
Other: INDEPENDENT

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 200 West Hall) in advance of the beginning of the independent study term and, upon approval, a permission number will be issued.

Advisory Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

CAAS 413 — Theories of Black Nationalism
Section 001, LEC
Theories of Cultural Nationalisms

Instructor: Nkanga,Mbala D

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course analyzes the political, social, and artistic movements promoting ideas and practices of national independence, nation-building, and national identity basin in shared racial histories for people of African descent. It explores the theories of Black nationalism promulgated across different periods and regions of Africa and the Diaspora.

Advisory Prerequisite: CAAS 111, and one 200-level course, CAAS 200, 201 or 202.

CAAS 418 — Black Americans and the Political System
Section 001, REC

Instructor: Walton Jr,Hanes; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course focuses upon the evolution, nature, and role of African American politics within the American Political System. The concern is with African Americans as actors and creators and initiators in the political process. The course will focus upon the inputs, the responses of the decision makers, and the outputs in terms the political process. Finally, the various controversies will be explored and analyzed in regard to African American politics.

Advisory Prerequisite: One course in Political Science and CAAS 201.

CAAS 422 — African Culture
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Owusu,Maxwell K

WN 2007
Credits: 3

Africa is considerably more important, more interesting and certainly more complex than its popular image suggests. The course provides an introduction to the peoples and cultures of tropical (sub-Saharan) Africa. Topics covered include: the historical geography of Africa; pre-colonial and colonial roots of contemporary African state-societies; case studies of changing systems of kinship, marriage, family and gender relations; race, ethnicity, language, class and the dynamics of cultural, national and pan-African identity; religion, music, dance and the arts in contemporary Africa; globalization and the challenge of African development. The course is open to both anthropology concentrators and non-concentrators. Grades are based on four 5-6 page or three 7-8 page, type-written, take-home papers, and contributions to class discussion. Film/videos shown in class when available.

Basic Texts: Basil Davidson, Modern Africa, A Social and Political History, R. Olaniyan, ed African History and Culture.

Advisory Prerequisite: ANTHRO, Junior standing and CAAS 200

CAAS 451 — Law, Race, and the Historical Process, II
Section 001, LEC
Law, Race and Historical Process II

Instructor: Woods,Ronald C

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course is the second half of a two-course sequence on the constitutional and legal history of African Americans. It covers the phase of this history beginning with the advent of the Modern Civil Rights Movement and extending to the present. In this course, we will approach law as an institution which is constantly shaping and being shaped by the cultural, economic, political, and social environments around it. In looking at the interaction between law, race, and historical process in the latter half of the twentieth century, the course will explore the reciprocal relationship between law and the societal order, the role of law in the philosophical and social discourse of African Americans, and the function of law in the developmental strategies adopted by them. This course will routinely examine the constitutional and legal experience of African Americans as a case study in how ideas are transformed by historical forces in malleable principles of law.

Advisory Prerequisite: CAAS 450

CAAS 458 — Issues in Black World Studies
Section 001, SEM
Health and African Development

Instructor: Stein,Howard

WN 2007
Credits: 3

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the two-way interactive relationship between health and socio-economic conditions in African and other developing countries. The course will review trends in health and development indicators; socio-economic determinants of health, including poverty and income, education, nutrition, fertility, and culture; impact of globalization in terms of neo-liberal policies, trade and capital flows, expanding urbanization and growth of the informal economy; and the effects of health changes on economic growth and development.

CAAS 458 — Issues in Black World Studies
Section 002, SEM
Love in Black and White

Instructor: Jones,Martha S

WN 2007
Credits: 3

A generally comparative study of the nature, evolution, and implications of the Black experience in Africa, North America, the Caribbean and Latin America. Specific focus is determined by instructor and indicated in the current Schedule of Classes.

CAAS 458 — Issues in Black World Studies
Section 003, SEM
Higher Education and African-American Social Development

Instructor: Rowley,Larry L

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course will provide an empirically informed overview and analytical engagement of the various factors central to understanding the role higher education has played in the social development of the African-Amrican population in the United States. Historically most African Americans have understood that access to higher education (i.e., colleges and universities) can have a fundamental impact on their future life chances within the American social structure. Many African Americans also view higher education access and attainment as proven vehicles for achieving desired social and economic well-being. The various benefits associated with advanced education include higher incomes and upward social mobility for the poor, enhanced career and social opportunities, and access to the knowledge and resources needed to acquire a desirable standard of living. However, it is not clear that there is a broad understanding of how the mechanisms (i.e., social, economic, and political) by which higher education has enhanced African-American social development have been either advanced or impeded in the struggle for equal opportunity and racial democracy in American society. In this course we will examine those mechanisms and their consequences from detailed conceptual and disciplinary perspectives.

CAAS 458 — Issues in Black World Studies
Section 004, LEC
American Social Reflection: Thinking About Race & Society.

Instructor: Briones,Matthew M

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This seminar examines literature that aims at social scrutiny or a moral critique of American society. We will focus on the distinctive approach of the literary mind to social problems, such as poverty, racial injustice, gender and class inequality, and alienation. How do "ordinary" people respond in extraordinary circumstances?

Studying and reading authors as unique and diverse as Zora Neale Hurston, Flannery O'Connor, John Okada, Ralph Ellison, Sherman Alexie, James Baldwin, Philip Levine, Toni Morrison, Hisaye Yamamoto, Helena Maria Viramontes, Brian Ascalon Roley, and Arthur Miller, the course serves as an opportunity for students to reflect both critically and morally about their own lives. In that spirit, the literature acts as a springboard for students' careers beyond these ivied walls.

We will rely primarily on close readings of fiction, essays, poetry, films, and documentaries.

CAAS 458 — Issues in Black World Studies
Section 005, SEM
African/South African Cinema

Instructor: Saks,Lucia A

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course introduces students to the theories, films, filmmakers and themes that comprise the cinemas of Africa. Often taken to be a monolithic category, the cinemas of Africa are unique and reflect the concerns of the individual filmmakers. This is not surprising considering the geographic dispersion and massive size of the continent. Yet, they are also linked in many of their thematics and their positioning of the cinema as a social tool for societal change and redress. Issues of homeland, nation, identity, race, gender, and the exploration of history are foregrounded in many of the films. The course will examine African films from the early sixties (the beginning) to the present, thus noting the changes that have taken place during this time. It will also include films made in Africa by transnational filmmakers such as Raoul Peck. There will be a special emphasis on the "newest" African cinema, namely South African cinema, which has become a major player on the continent since the end of apartheid.

CAAS 458 — Issues in Black World Studies
Section 007, SEM

Instructor: Partridge,Damani James

WN 2007
Credits: 3

A generally comparative study of the nature, evolution, and implications of the Black experience in Africa, North America, the Caribbean and Latin America. Specific focus is determined by instructor and indicated in the current Schedule of Classes.

CAAS 458 — Issues in Black World Studies
Section 008, SEM
The Algebra Project: Education, Citizenship, and Community Organizing for Social Justice in the 21st Century

Instructor: Ward,Stephen M

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Other: Theme

This course explores the history, philosophy, and pedagogical practice of the Algebra Project. Founded by civil rights veteran and community activist Bob Moses, the Algebra Project is a math literacy program based on the principle that all children deserve an education that encourages and supports them in the development of the knowledge and skills necessary for 21st century citizenship. It draws on the lessons and legacy of the Civil Rights movement, and especially of the movement's "community organizing tradition." We will investigate this tradition and the broader movement history of which it was a part, studying how this history informed the founding and development of the Algebra Project. This will include looking at the ideas and influence of Ella Baker on the movement in general and on Bob Moses and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in particular. Our study of the Civil Rights movement will also focus on the Freedom Schools that activists organized during the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project ("Freedom Summer"). From there we will examine other theories of radical and liberatory educational practice before moving to an examination of current challenges, concerns, and crises in our public education system. All of this will provide the basis for our in-depth analysis of the Algebra Project as well as the Young People's Project (YPP), a youth-initiated and youth-led movement. The YPP has grown out of the Algebra Project to project and expand its vision of education, community organizing, and citizenship for the 21st century.

CAAS 458 — Issues in Black World Studies
Section 009, SEM
Culture, Racism, and Human Nature

Instructor: Williams,Melvin D; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: RE

This course examines the possible origins of culture to understand the unique behavior and historical development of Homo sapiens and traces the salient features of human history and contemporary modernity to discuss and explain the nature of humans. The understanding of the nature of humans and their development will enable the students to comprehend, explain and resolve racism, part of a pan-human phenomenon. Is racism fundamental to the character of human culture? The course will suggest that many of our modern social problems have a common generation — the nature of human culture. That would suggest that the solutions will require a social transformation in the character of human culture. These examinations of human culture will require us to return to the discussions of Leslie White (culture is autonomous) and Alfred Kroeber (culture is superorganic) to determine the possibilities of social transformations that contemporary society may require. The course looks at human Biophobia — the denial, defiance, and defilement of our animal kinship. This biophobia and denial gives humans an inferiority complex that is only assuaged by classism, racism, ethnocentrism, sexism, sectarianism, ageism, nationalism, disableism, speciesism, and power (CRESSANDS-POWER). The present stockpile of human weapons, the rage of international terrorism, and the oppression that CRESSANDS-POWER creates requires a new human revolution — THE ECOLOGICAL REVOLUTION. In that revolution the human body and the Earth will have such value that we can develop a new human-global community and end the human plague that CRESSANDS-POWER has brought upon our species.

CAAS 458 — Issues in Black World Studies
Section 010, SEM
The Culture of Jazz

Instructor: Anderson,Paul A; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

John Szwed writes that "there is more to jazz than music, and it is there, paradoxically, that its influence is profound." "Jazz," he continues, "is also a loosely connected set of ideas: it has a history and a tradition of thought, an imagery and a vocabulary that have given it reality and presence." This senior seminar will explore selected elements of the music and culture of jazz in the United States. With special attention to matters of jazz's relationship to African American cultural history, literary history, and US race relations, we will deal with biographical, critical, and literary issues in addition to addressing essential musical concepts, stylistic definitions, and chronologies.

Although this is not a musicology course, most of the reading will include some discussion of instrumental music, musical styles, concepts, and so forth. Therefore, students need to be willing to work on their own time (reading, listening, and so forth) at acquiring a richer familiarity with relevant musical concepts important to understanding and analyzing instrumental music. Some technical terms and musical skills will also be learned and/or sharpened in the course. This reading-intensive course will pay close attention to a set of imaginative and non-fiction writings about of from the culture of jazz, especially between the 1910s and the 1970s. On some evenings (less than six), we will also be screening a number of documentaries and feature films that do not fit into the time constraints of our class meetings. Students who are unable to attend any evening screenings are still responsible for watching the materials in time for discussion.

This course has no specific prerequisites. It is aimed at upper-level students with a prior intellectual interest in learning more about the history of jazz music in its musical and cultural contexts. Because this is an upper-level seminar, it is expected that students will have performed successfully in prior related coursework in musicology, African American Studies, or American Culture with significant musical components. Reading and digesting the required materials (100-200 pages a week) will be essential to a strong performance in this course. There will be frequent short quizzes and commentaries, along with the usual essay requirements of a senior-level humanities seminar.

Because of major past problems with students who have registered but remain "no shows" well into the term (thus denying entry for other students), the instructor reserves the right to drop any "no shows" students who do not attend the first two class meetings. If you are registered but expect to miss one of these courses, contact the instructor.

CAAS 459 — African-American Religion
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Williams,Melvin D; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course will examine the nature of religion in the lives of humans, within the framework of culture, and as a pervasive social institution. It will focus on the special case of the intensive and involved character of religion in the history and the lives of African-Americans. These special uses of religion create special problems. We will analyze those problems. The course objectives are to: introduce the subject of religion as a social institution, as a pervasive component of culture, and as a contemporary adjustment and adaptation to peculiar social problems; demonstrate how an anthropological analysis can be used to understand religion in contemporary society; develop skills in critical thinking and analysis; present the relationship between culture, institutions, religion, subculture, and the nature of man (humans); and enable students to understand the religious institutions of humans generally and African-Americans specifically. The course is open to all students, and it requires no special background or preparation. There will be two examinations. Class participation and attendance are graded.

Advisory Prerequisite: One introductory course in the social sciences. CAAS 201 recommended.

CAAS 469 — Issues in Field Studies in the Diaspora
Section 001, SEM
Feminism in the Global Field

Instructor: Haniff,Nesha Z

WN 2007
Credits: 3

The pedagogy of action is the kernel of empowering ordinary people to act in their communities to address their own pressing problems. At the heart of this methodology is the philosophy that people can take responsibility for themselves if given the right tools, that literacy was not a requirement for education. Students will use this methodology to teach HIV prevention in groups of two or three depending on the size of the site. They will not only teach HIV prevention, but leave in place enough local persons who can continue this process. It is expected that the student, before leaving for their site in South Africa, will have completed teaching this module to a local community in his or her home community in the U.S. The process of the student's own transformation begins here. The idea is to give them new eyes so that they could see themselves and the world anew.

This class is designed to prepare the student for their work in South Africa. All students who are accepted in this program must attend this class. Readings and discussions about the issues, ideas, culture and politics of the young American student teaching in South Africa will be rigorously addressed.

  • What and where is South Africa?
  • What are the myths and perceptions of this African country?
  • Is this trip a chance to have a vacation or to take seriously this place as a site of cultural significance, a place of ideas and learning?
  • What does it mean to be an American in the world today?
  • How do South Africans see Americans?
  • What kind of American do you want to be and present to the world.

Advisory Prerequisite: CAAS 111 or permission of instructor. May require concurrent registration in CAAS 468, Field Studies in the Diaspora

CAAS 487 — Communication Media in the Black World: Electronic Media
Section 001, SEM
Media & Social Movements.

Instructor: Jacobs,Sean H

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Other: Theme

This course explores the relationship between media and social movements. After a brief survey of the relevant theoretical literatures, we will look at these questions through a series of case studies, organized thematically. These will include decolonization (focusing particularly on the Algerian war of independence and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa), '60s era social movements in the United States (particularly Civil Rights, anti-war protests), and the "new social movements" (with emphasis on the Zapatista movement in Mexico, broad-based resistance to the negative effects of globalization, and the political efforts by and on behalf of AIDS sufferers in South Africa and the US). Throughout the course we will be interested in how media write history and how social movements utilize/engage with media technologies. We will make extensive use of audio-visual media, and some outside viewing of films is required. In addition to active class participation, requirements include a book and film review as well as a final research paper.

Advisory Prerequisite: CAAS 201

CAAS 489 — Topics in Afro-American Literature
Section 001, REC
Toni Morrison's Word-Work: Exploring the Actual, Imagined, and Possible

Instructor: Sweeney,Megan L

WN 2007
Credits: 3

When she received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, Toni Morrison stated that, for her, the vitality of language lies in its ability to portray "the actual, imagined and possible lives of its speakers, readers, [and] writers. . . . It arcs toward the place where meaning may lie." Morrison's emphasis on the actual, the imagined, and the possible, and her description of language as reaching toward new meanings, serve as helpful entry points for understanding her work as a novelist, cultural critic, and public intellectual. In all of Morrison's writings, a healthy tension exists between her keen awareness of existing reality, and her radical openness to imagining and creating new realities, meanings, and ways of being.

As we read each of Morrison's eight novels, we will analyze the development of themes, formal strategies, and figurative language in her work, and we'll explore the social and political contexts that have shaped her narratives and to which her narratives respond. Our discussions will also address Morrison's engagements with the African American and American literary traditions, as well as the reception of her work over time, from critics' early dismissals of her writing, to the celebration of her novels on Oprah's Book Club. Furthermore, we'll discuss some of Morrison's literary and cultural criticism, which addresses topics such as race and the imagination, immigration, the O.J. Simpson case, and the Anita Hill/ Clarence Thomas hearings. In exploring issues and themes that emerge in Morrison's work — including history, gender, economics, race, community, motherhood, love, violence, and justice — we will also consider the ways in which novels can function as forms of theory.

Please be prepared for a challenging yet highly rewarding engagement with Morrison's writings. Course requirements will include brief weekly writing assignments, three critical analysis essays, a group presentation, and active participation in class discussions. Registered students must attend the first two class meetings in order to remain in the class.

Required Texts:

  • Coursepack of required readings [available at Accu-Copy: 518 East William St.]
  • The Bluest Eye (1970)
  • Sula (1974)
  • Song of Solomon (1977)
  • Tar Baby (1981)
  • Beloved (1987)
  • Jazz (1992)
  • Paradise (1998)
  • Love (2003)

This course satisfies the American Literature and New Traditions requirements for English concentrators.

Advisory Prerequisite: ENGLISH/CAAS 274 and CAAS 201 and/or ENGLISH 320/CAAS 338 strongly recommended.

CAAS 490 — Special Topics in Black World Studies
Section 001, LEC
The Making of the Black Atlantic: The Neo-Slave Narrative in the African Diaspora. Meets 3/7-4/11. (Drop/Add deadline=March 13)

Instructor: Tillet,Salamishah Margaret

WN 2007
Credits: 2
Other: Minicourse

This mini-course looks at contemporary novels about slavery — a genre that has been called neo-slave narrative. We will explore the preoccupation that post-Civil Rights and postcolonial writers have in recovering and reinventing the lives of enslaved Africans, as well as their concerns about national identity, memory, and history.

While we make reference to the canonical slave narratives of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, we will spend the majority of the class examining the following Black Atlantic neo-slave narratives:

  • Octavia Butler's Kindred (United States);
  • Caryl Phillip's Cambridge (England);
  • Dionne Brand's At the Full and Change of the Moon (Canada);
  • Charles Johnson's Middle Passage (United States); and
  • Michelle Cliff's Abeng (Jamaica).

Advisory Prerequisite: Upperclass standing or permission of instructor.

CAAS 490 — Special Topics in Black World Studies
Section 002, LEC
South African Cinema. Meets March 5th-April 10th, 2007. (Drop/Add deadline=Mar. 12).

Instructor: Ekotto,Frieda

WN 2007
Credits: 2
Other: Minicourse

As a South African filmmaker who makes films mainly about women and children I am interested in showing work around that theme. Work that I have collaborated on and work that I have either produced or directed.

However it would be very important to show work that has been created post 1994 with regards to a new South Africa and how the Black filmmakers now had the opportunity to tell their own stories. i.e., filmmakers like Dumisani Phakati very talented, creative, never went to film school yet gives most filmmakers a run for their talent. We need to understand why and how it was and has been important for new voices to challenge the status quo of how cinema and documentary has been important in defining who we are as people in South Africa. The issue of cinema in South Africa is something we are still trying to define, partly because we are a young democracy and film is expensive although new technologies, i.e., DVD is making it possible to make films. Films like Fools by Ramadan Suleman and Teddy Materra's film ‘ Max and Mona' come to mind. These two films are distinctly different films yet there is an independent refreshing creativity that is not necessarily characteristic of South African cinema, the point I am trying to make is that South Africa is diverse, unique and we all trying different forms of expression and defining who are as a people and how we want to be perceived by the world. I would also want to look at white filmmakers and how they have interpreted post 1994.

NOTE: Guest Lecturer Xoliswa Sithole from South Africa

Advisory Prerequisite: Upperclass standing or permission of instructor.

CAAS 495 — Senior Seminar
Section 001, SEM
Race and Class in Detroit

Instructor: Lacy,Karyn R

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: ULWR

This research seminar takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of urban culture and representations of the city by Black people in the United States. Beginning with the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago and ending with the Los Angeles riots/uprising in 1992, the course emphasizes the transition from a utopic (though ambivalent and racist) view of the city in the 19th century to a harshly racialized and apocalyptic view of urban life by the end of the 20th century.

In this course, we will address such ideas as the racialization of urban space, the gendering and racialization of poverty, cultural articulations of "ghetto life" in Black texts, and the production and consumption of urban cultural forms like hip hop and public graffiti.

Advisory Prerequisite: Upperclass standing.

CAAS 495 — Senior Seminar
Section 002, SEM
Building Black Communities

Instructor: Quinn,Kelly Anne; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: ULWR

In Building Black Communities, we will examine how African American women, men, and children created, maintained, negotiated, and performed community life historically, with an emphasis on the period from the Reconstruction to the dawn of the 21st century. We will consider how African Americans have contended with internal and external tensions and challenges. And, we will explore various strategies of self-determination as we engage such subjects as protest, migration, urbanization, and modernity. Our readings and lectures will take us to "real" and imagined in places such as Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham, Alabama; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Mississippi Delta; New York, New York; Richmond, California; Richmond, Virginia; and Washington, D.C. Through our class discussions, small group activities and other assignments, we will investigate primary sources including maps, music, letters, photographs, architectural plans, and the built environment. Additionally, this course may include at least one field trip and one evening performance.

Advisory Prerequisite: Upperclass standing.

CAAS 495 — Senior Seminar
Section 003, SEM
Homophobia in the Black World

Instructor: Haniff,Nesha Z

WN 2007
Credits: 4

The issues surrounding homophobia in the Black world are overwhelming and complex. This course will focus on three areas of the Black world, the U.S. communities of Color, the Caribbean and Africa. The students in this class will be challenged to see the multiple constructs of homophobia. The usual frames of race, gender, class and sexuality will be used as modes of analysis. Of primary importance to this class is the role of culture and violence as critical signifiers in the place and acceptance of sexual minorities in the Black world. The consequences of homosexuality in Jamaica for example are profoundly different in comparison to the U.S. and many African countries. The use of homophobic lyrics in popular Jamaican dance hall music drive the extreme acts of violence and harassment of those even perceived to be gay.

In the African countries, we will examine the contradiction of traditional acceptance of sexual minorities as opposed to the modern vilification of these groups that keep them essentially underground. Again these groups live in fear of death, ostracism and various forms of discrimination. It is at once the larger overview of homophobia in the Black world in addition to closer study of selected groups in the Caribbean and Africa — specifically Jamaica, Kenya, and Southern Africa

The material used for this class will draw from the works of Black gay writers in the Caribbean and the US where there is a larger body of literature in this area. The readings from Africa will be culled from a variety of sources including underground networks. Students must be prepared to be creative and open to accessing information that is elusive.

Although there will be an emphasis on the particular problematic of homosexuality and its various forms of expression, attention will be paid to lesbian issues and an interrogation of its apparent acceptance over homosexuality. Is this a myth? Students who take this class must be prepared for controversial ideas and discourse.

Advisory Prerequisite: Upperclass standing.

CAAS 510 — Supervised Research
Section 001, IND

WN 2007
Credits: 1 — 6
Other: INDEPENDENT

Arrangements may be made for adequately prepared students to undertake individual study under the direction of a departmental staff member. Students are provided with the proper section number by the staff member with whom the work has been arranged.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor

CAAS 558 — Seminar in Black World Studies
Section 002, SEM
Caribbean History

Instructor: Turits,Richard L

WN 2007
Credits: 3

For five centuries, the Caribbean has stood at a crucial crossroads in the unfolding history of the Americas, Europe, and the African diaspora, possessing an importance for world history disproportionate to its size. That importance is derived in part from the region's geopolitical and economic significance and hence centuries of colonial and imperialist domination, from extensive migration into, out of, and within the region connecting it to most major areas of the globe, and from its resultant extraordinary racial and ethnic complexity. The region's importance is also derived from its dramatic historical transformations, including the sudden, nearly complete destruction of its large indigenous population, the rapid expansion of plantation agriculture and importation of millions of enslaved Africans, the subsequent waning and overthrow of these systems, the profound global implications of the Haitian and Cuban revolutions, and the rise and fall of long, infamous dictatorships. These radical disjunctures make the Caribbean an ideal place from which to explore many of the central themes and contradictions of modern history: slavery and freedom, colonialism and independence, despotism and revolution, racial hierarchy and political equality, nationalism and transnationalism, and migration and creolization. In this course, we will examine historical literature treating these themes in the Caribbean with a focus on the Greater Antilles (Haiti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica).

Students may take this class either as a History reading seminar (698), a History research seminar (796), or as a CAAS course (558).

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.

CAAS 558 — Seminar in Black World Studies
Section 003, SEM
Narratives of Race, Gender, and Nation

Instructor: Miles,Tiya A

WN 2007
Credits: 3

The topical focus of this course is the interplay among the experiential and structural categories of race, gender, nation, class, and sexuality in narratives of Native American and African American historical experience. In particular, we will read and discuss various reconstructions of the story of Tituba in the Salem Witch Trials, the story of Margaret Garner's infamous killing of her enslaved child, and the story of Muskogee Creek identity (re)formation in the 19th and 20th centuries. While this course will serve as an opportunity for us to closely consider significant happenings in this nation's past, the attainment of "content" knowledge is not the central aim. Rather, the core purpose of this seminar is to encourage graduate students to develop an awareness of critical reading and writing practices at the intersections of history and literature. In essence, students will consider how they read and write as scholars, what stories they are crafting and refuting as they do their work, and how they might strive to consciously employ writing to translate and fulfill their individual intellectual projects.

Toward this end, we will explore the power of story in personal and cultural meaning production through the work of literary, cultural, and feminist critics. We will identify and articulate our own default mechanisms of reading and then practice the application of a particular analytical lens — the women of color feminist concept of "intersectionality" — as a reading method. We will consider the varying ways that a range of historians and historical fiction writers (who are themselves scholars), construct narratives of the same events in the past — with what methods, toward what intellectual ends, and with what degrees of "success." And finally, we will track our own challenges and think through strategies as crafters of narrative in our scholarly work.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.

CAAS 558 — Seminar in Black World Studies
Section 004, SEM
Europe and Diaspora: Narratives, Memories and Marked Lives

Instructor: Hart,Janet Carol

WN 2007
Credits: 3

The topic of Europe and diaspora sprawls across such vast cultural and geo-political territory that it threatens to be about nothing in particular. This course will attempt a narrower approach. In large part, our focus will be the African diaspora in France, Britain, Germany, and Italy, although for heuristic and comparative purposes, we will draw a wider circle to include other diasporas in Europe, such as Jewish, Arab, Chinese and Sikh, as well as places beyond continental Europe, such as the island of La Réunion, a French department in the Indian Ocean where the euro circulates and the school system is run according to French laws and administrative dictums. Diaspora (a Greek term signifying the scattering of seeds) and its combination of movement, mixture, resistance and adaptation, require us to define our terms. We will discuss possible working definitions of diaspora, and consider them in light of other related constructs such as globalization, transnationalism, creolization, and cosmopolitanism. Also on our agenda will be temporal and spatial questions of primordial origins and purity. Course materials will consist of an interdisciplinary range of theoretical essays, ethnographies, historical studies, literary works, and schedules permitting, films. Evaluations will take into account class participation including sessions lead by pairs of discussion leaders, weekly responses to readings and ongoing conversations to be posted on CTools (or in hardcopy form if preferred), and a final essay or term paper.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.

CAAS 558 — Seminar in Black World Studies
Section 005, SEM
James Baldwin and the Black Novel, 1950-1990

Instructor: Zaborowska,Magdalena J

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This weekly seminar, open to graduate and upper-level undergraduate students from American Culture, CAAS, and English begins with questioning the placement, if not entrapment, of James Baldwin's works in the Black male tradition of the "big three" writers, that is, along with Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison. Although the trinity of the male masters of the Black novel seemed to define the African American literary 1950's and the following three decades, the works of Gwendolyn Brooks, Anne Petry, Paule Marshall, Audre Lorde, Gloria Naylor, and Toni Morrison created a powerful counter-tradition that developed throughout the same period. As we shall see while reading Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953) and If Beale Street Could Talk (1974), this Black and queer transnational writer's works have much in common with the novels by these Black women, a perspective that challenges reading him as perpetually stuck in an Oedipal conflict with Wright. Far from feminizing Baldwin and essentializing Black women's literature, or segregating gendered and racialized readings, this class examines Baldwin's works in a trans-gender dialogue with women writers, with whom he shares the focus on space and place, life cycles of birth and death, and importance of the feminine and maternal as sources of artistic creativity.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.

CAAS 596 — History of Environmental Thought and Activism
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Taylor,Dorceta E; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

Introduction to techniques of risk benefit analysis as applied to water resource and environmental engineering. Techniques of multi-objective water resource planning, the engineering-political interfaces, and political bargaining and decision making are also discussed.

CAAS 600 — Appr Afr,AfAm,Blk St
Section 001, SEM

Instructor: Young Jr,Alford A; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

As part of meeting the minimum fifteen hours required for a certificate, all students would take the pro-seminar CAAS 600. This course introduces students to a cluster of traditional and current topical questions commonly treated in the fields of African and African American Studies and explores the various interdisciplinary approaches that can be used to address them. To provide a strong interdisciplinary foundation as well as familiarizing students with a wide-range of methodological approaches, the course will be based on a program-approved syllabus that will be reviewed annually by the CAAS curriculum committee. It will be taught and graded by one senior or very advanced assistant professor who may draw on colleagues for a revolving co-teaching structure with up to ten visiting weeks over the course of the academic term.

Requirements: Weekly participation including leading class discussions in groups of tw0-three (two-three times over the course of the academic term) and weekly response papers to be emailed to the class one day prior to the meeting. One 20-25 page paper based on works assigned in class and additional readings agreed upon by mutual consent of student and professor.

CAAS 600 — Appr Afr,AfAm,Blk St
Section 002, SEM
African Paris: Histories and Literature of Race and Rethinking Negritude in Imperial France

Instructor: Diouf,Mamadou; homepage
Instructor: Ekotto,Frieda

WN 2007
Credits: 3

The goals of this course are to provide students with an overall view of race from a literary and historical perspective, and to offer students a context from which to study race relations outside the United States. While there are many courses which are taught on the topics of race in History and in CAAS, the curriculum still lacks courses that talk about race from the melding of a literary and a historical perspective. This course is designed to address this lack by examining the phenomenon of Negritude in the early part of the twentieth century to consider how literature and history can be imperative to the shaping of our consciousness of race. We believe that a course centered on Negritude is essential to extending the Race and Ethnicity required courses to include perspectives on race outside of the United States, as well as to understanding the important role culture played as a tool to articulate race as well as to combat racism. This course also seeks to intervene into a discussion on debates on globalization, multiculturalism and postcolonial studies, and to provide a concrete foothold for upper-level undergraduates to segue into these larger issues.

The phenomenon of Negritude will be extremely important in helping to bring discussions of race relations to an international level. Negritude was an Afro-European literary and cultural phenomenon of the early twentieth century. Negritude was one of the many ways in which black people from the French Empire first began to articulate notions of "Blackness", a way of conceiving of a kind of subjectivity that would transcend the deep divisions between Arabs, West Indian Africans, continental Africans and other members of the Black Diaspora and allow them to come together and find a new form of self-respect. They carved in Paris, the imperial metropolis, an imperial public sphere to sustain a conversation between imperial subjects — in particular but not only among Blacks — about citizenship, nationalism, universalism, modernity and race. Their goal: locate and/or reconcile African modes of thought, traditional African Humanism and a complex recreation of universalism.

This course will be taught by two faculty members, Frieda Ekotto, who holds appointments with Romance Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature, affiliated with CAAS and Mamadou Diouf, who holds a joint appointment with CAAS and History.

This class will be taught seminar style, and students will be required to lead class discussion at least once a semester, and this will constitute a considerable amount to their grade. This means that the student will have to master the text for the day s/he has signed up for, and to pose important questions that the text introduces for the discussion, to field questions as well as to encourage class participation.

 
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