Courses in Afroamerican and African Studies (Division 311)

105(205). Introduction to African Studies. (4). (SS).

Introduction to African Studies provides an overflow of significant periods in African history, from the ancient past to the present. Beginning with a brief discussion of Africa as the "birthplace" of humankind, the course examines ancient African kingdoms and their relationships to Europe and Asia; Africa and the trans-Atlantic slave trade; the impact of the European colonial presence on Africa's development; the problems and issues confronting independent African countries in the contemporary period. Students will be introduced to the main features of indigenous African societies and cultures, including: types of family organization, political and economic structures, religion and philosophy, and aesthetics. Major currents of social change in the twentieth century will also be covered. Course readings range from Joseph Harris' concise history of Africa entitled Africans and Their History to Chinua Achebe's internationally acclaimed novel Things Fall Apart. Several films on Africa will be shown. One short research paper (Approx. 10 pages), a mid-term, and a final exam will be required. (Sudarkasa)

231/Hist. 275. Survey of Afroamerican History II. (4). (SS).

See History 275. (Holt)

402. Community Actions: Analysis and Service. (3-4). (Excl). (EXPERIENTIAL).

This course seeks to analyze problems of community development with the students actually becoming participant observers in local agencies and organizations. Students are expected to synthesize the theoretical material from readings with their practical experiences from community placements, to produce a coherent analysis of community development strategies. Each participant is also expected to keep a journal and to share their experiences with other seminar participants. Guest lecturers often address this seminar discussing current issues. Undergraduates elect the course for four credit hours, while graduate students receive three credit hours. (Kamara)

410. Supervised Reading and Research. Permission of instructor. (1-6). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit with permission.

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.

422/Anthro. 411. African Culture. Junior standing or permission of instructor. (3). (SS).

This course will use ethnographic texts to explore in detail aspects of the cultural life of several different African groups. Readings will be organized topically, to permit comparative study of practices such as, initiation, healing, religion and magic. We will also examine concepts of kinship, social structure and cosmology. Our key texts will be Jomo Kenyatta's Facing Mt. Kenya, and Victor Turner's The Forest of Symbols, though other works will also be used to extend the understanding we derive from these. Our aim will be not only to gain a clear sense of African society but also to fully comprehend the principles of philosophies of life contained in African traditions. Evaluation will be on the basis of a short paper, a midterm and a final exam. (Roberts)

458. Topics in Black World Studies. (3). (SS).
Section 001 Racial Attitudes and Social Inequality.
This course focuses on racial attitudes and their role in the creation, maintenance and change of social inequalities. Emphasis is placed on the operation of racism, and racial identity in the life of Black Americans although some attention is also given to the experience of Blacks in other national settings. Theoretical and empirical literature will cover the influence of attitudinal and institutional factors in racial oppression, the relationship between racial attitudes and behavior, as well as the formation and change of racial attitudes. Conceptual and measurement issues involved in research on the effects of attitudes and Black American cultural institutions in coping with economic, political and educational inequalities are also considered. Other course features include both lecture and discussion, a take home midterm and a special project, and readings from traditional and more informal sources. (Bowman)

Section 002 Black Scholarship: Culture and Politics. In this course we will examine the unique relationship between culture and politics that is the special challenge confronting Black writers. To focus our study we will examine the lives and works of three Black scholars: Zora Neale Hurston, Black American anthropologist and novelist; Jomo Kenyatta, African anthropologist and the first president of Kenya; and Frantz Fanon, Martiniquean psychiatrist, Algerian essayist and spokesman for the liberation movement. Each of these in their lives and through their works struggled with the dilemmas of Black self-definition. Each scholar's choice of subject and method of writing was directed toward the development of a literature of Black identity defined in its own terms. Our purpose will be to understand this union of lived experience, academic study and political action, and to consider its implications for our own self-creation. Evaluation will be on the basis of a short paper, a midterm exam and a final exam. (Roberts)

476/Engl. 478. Contemporary Afroamerican Literature. Permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

This is a course in contemporary Afro-American fiction. We will read four early works for background and connections: Frederick Douglass' Narrative of the Life of, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Jean Toomer's Cane, and Richard Wright's Native Son. Contemporary works will include: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Ernest Gaines' The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Alice Walker's The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon. There will be several exams and a final paper. (G. Jones) a final paper. (G. Jones)

 


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