Courses in Afroamerican and African Studies (Division 311)

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

Introduction to African Studies provides an overview 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 midterm, and a final exam will be required. (Kamara-Swan)

200. Issues in Black Development in the Caribbean and Guyanas. (2). (SS).

This course focuses on the economic development of the Caribbean from the perspective of a social scientist. It attempts to show how the economic development of the region has been moulded by firstly, the historical legacy of European colonialism, slavery, and indentured servitude and secondly, the contemporary vertical integration of the region with the internationalist capitalist sphere. In order to demonstrate why economic stagnation has resulted from the operation of these two forces it disaggregates the economics of the region into the three main sectors: agriculture, mining, and tourism for detailed analysis. Having acquired some detailed knowledge of the specific economic problems facing the region, we then seek to diagnose possible solutions to them through a consideration of the divergent policies which have been adopted by two states of the region: Cuba and Puerto Rico. Students are expected to attend all classes; to do all required readings in their entirety; to demonstrate their knowledge of the readings on six quizzes which will be given every other week; and to take a final examination which will cover the entire course. Students will be evaluated on the basis of: 1) class attendance (10%) 2) quizzes (50%) 3) final exam (40%). Three texts are required: George Beckford, Persistent Poverty, Underdevelopment in Plantation Economics of the Third World (NY: Oxford University Press, 1972); David Lowenthal, West Indian Societies (NY: Oxford University Press, 1972); Norman Girvan, Corporate Imperialism: Conflict and Expropriation (NY: Monthly Review Press, 1976). (Terrelonge)

231(202)/Hist. 275. Survey of Afroamerican History II. (4). (SS).

See History 275. (Wilson)

331. The World of the Black Child. (3). (SS).

This course has two objectives: They are, first, to introduce key areas of research and theory related to the socialization of African-American children, and second, to facilitate critical thinking regarding this body of research and theory. The course will focus on cultural and situational forces which affect the lives of Black lower- and middle-income children in the United States. In order to highlight the factors which contribute to the universe of the African-American child a section of the course will look at the lives of specific individuals, through their personal accounts, and will compare the converging and diverging features of socialization with the African children. Topics to be discussed will include: (1) family, peer, and community socialization; (2) the development of a sense of self; (3) professional counsel on the rearing of African-American children; (4) school and other socio-structural factors, including the welfare system; (5) play and cognitive development; and, (6) language development. Students are required to complete two in-class examinations, a midterm and a final. These examinations will be a combination of short answer and essay. Exams will count equally toward the final grade. In addition, students will be expected to be prepared to discuss the reading material assigned for each class session. (McLoyd)

340/American Culture 340. A History of Blacks in American Film. (4). (HU).

This course will examine the portrayal of Blacks in American films as one method of analyzing the complex relationship between Black and American popular culture. Hollywood films from 1915 to 1970 will be the primary source materials. Other source materials will include independent Black films, documentaries, drama and a wide variety of reading in Afroamerican cultural history literacy and film criticism. Major themes will be 1) the transformation of 19th century literary stereotypes of Blacks in works of Melville, Twain and Stowe to the screen; 2) the influence of the changing socio-political status of Afro-Americans on screen images; 3) the influence of Black music, drama and literature on American popular culture and; 4) the effort of Blacks to combat negative stereotypes in films beginning with the "Birth of a Nation" and to launch an independent Black cinema. No special background is necessary. There will be two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion plus evening film screenings. A film fee will be required. Students will a) keep a journal; b) write three short papers or do a research project as well as; c) a midterm and a final. (Wilson)

351/Pol. Sci. 359. The Struggle for Southern Africa. Lectures: 2 credits; lectures and discussion: 4 credits. (SS).

See Political Science 359. (Wilson)

361. Comparative Black Art. CAAS 360. (3). (HU).

This course provides an interdisciplinary overview and introduction to the area of culture and its influences on society via the visual arts, music, dance, theatre, literature, television and education. Historical, political, sociocultural, philosophical, religious, aesthetic and ideological perspectives are brought to bear on the analysis of the African American cultural experience. The course tends to: (a) Introduce students to a primary body of knowledge reflective of a fundamental basis capable of establishing an overview of West African cultures and their relationships to Afroamerican culture, (b) Develop reference on a broad level for Afrocentric aesthetic and point of view, (c) Encourage greater insight and exploration into the arts of African and Afroamerican 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 lectures and discussions with weekly readings, video and audio tapes, slides and guest lecturers as reference and motivation for stimulating and challenging exchange. Course requirements include three short papers (three-five pages each), an analytical overview from a video presentation, guest lecturer or audio presentation (five 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. (Lockard)

401. History of Afroamerican Music II. (3). (HU).

The course begins with contributions of African and European musical traditions and surveys the evolution of Afroamerican music through colonial to contemporary periods. Emphasizing the development of an overall tradition of ethnic identification and values in music, early topics will include folk music, crystallization of the blues, religious music, and music for various social occasions - all presented in their social contexts. The role of protest, solidarity, and nationalistic motives in Afroamerican music will be balanced against an overview of its place in the general development of music in the U.S. Later topics will include minstrel music, ragtime, choral music, and sacred and secular music in the 20th century. The importance of ideologies and social conditions will be stressed in surveying Black musicals, academic music, and the phases of jazz and popular music. Finally, the course will overview the contemporary international connections of the Afroamerican music, especially to the West Indies and Africa. No special background is required of students. Instruction will take the form of lectures, with considerable reference to recorded musical examples and other audiovisual resources. Students will be evaluated on two examinations and one paper/presentation. (Fairfax)

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 expected to keep a journal and to share their experiences with other seminar participants. Guest lecturers often address their seminar discussing current issues. Undergraduates elect the course for four credits, while graduate students receive three credits. (Kamara-Swan)

425. Politics of Black Movements in America. CAAS 230 and 231; or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

Throughout the African-American experience, resistance, accommodation and integration have been manifest in the development of various social and political movements. During distinct phases of the African American Liberation struggle, each tension has had particular prominence. Conditioned by the political environment, economic prosperity and social consciousness, African-American movements have had greater and lesser degrees of success in achieving their objectives. By using an interdisciplinary perspective, this course will combine elements from conventional historical, political, economic and sociocultural spheres of analysis to evaluate the significance of numerous movements. While most of our emphasis will be upon 20th century movements, historical antecedents from the 19th century will be previewed. Comparative analysis of leadership styles and effectiveness will be important. Examinations of the interface between ideology and organizational impact will be considered. Students will be evaluated based upon examinations, writing and analytical skills. (Kamara-Swan)

434/Soc. 434. Social Organization of Black Communities. (3). (SS).

See Sociology 434. (Allen)

450, 451. Black Communities and Legal Rights. (3). (SS).

Afroamerican Studies 451 is offered Winter Term, 1983.

This course continues the study of the nexus between law, race and the social order. Whereas 450 provides students an overview of Constitutional and legislative dimensions of the Afro-American legal experience, including trends in education, employment and voting, AAS 451 considers a core of selected domestic, international and comparative legal issues. Among the units to be studied: legal parameters of social protest; U.S. immigration and refugee law with a focus on Haitian, Cuban and Ethiopian immigrants/refugees; international legal norms and the Afro-American and a comparative look at the law and race in the histories of the United States and South Africa. Emphasis is placed on both legal analysis and on understanding law as a product of social process. Themes considered include migration in history, political economy of legal development, group rights vs. individual rights in the Black circumstance, ideology and law, and comparative perspectives in African diasporic legal history. Two texts, book analysis and final exam. Course material includes cases, Refugee Reform Act, 1980 and readings by Bell, Race, Racism and American Law and Fredrickson, White Supremacy. Prerequisite: AAS 450 desirable, not necessary. (Woods)

458. Topics in Black World Studies. (3). (SS).
Section 001 Racial Attitudes and Social Inequality.
During Winter Term, 1983, this course is jointly offered with Psychology 486. See Psychology 486 for description. (Bowman)

Section 002 Mass-Media Effects and the African-American Child. The effects of mass media will be considered from a psychological viewpoint in terms of the well-being of the African-American child. The course will focus on the psychological effects of television viewing on Black children, but other forms of media will be considered as well. Media forms will be considered as agents of socialization, and the Black child as a television viewer will be considered in the context of his/her family and community setting. Several writers have asserted that various aspects of the American cultural experience have had deleterious effects on the psychological well-being of African-Americans. Banks (1975) discussed the negative effect on the identities of African-American children of the continuing neglect of "Black history" and culture in multi-ethnic curricula, and charged that the textbooks convey fallacious images. Clark (1972) asserted that televised images of African-Americans often communicate disrespect and thereby generate feelings of incompetence in African-Americans. Hayes, Hill, and Young (1975) discussed the negative influences of "blaxploitation" films (films which present exploitative images of African-Americans) on the self-concept development, aggressive behavior, and motivational levels of African-American youth. Relevant literature in these areas will be the content of course material which will be provided as a backdrop for considering psychological issues, both theoretical empirical, presented in: Liebert, R.M., Neale, J.M., & Davidson, E.S. The Early Window: Effects of Television on Children and Youth, NY: Pergamon Press, 1973. Students will be encouraged to explore historical and contemporary issues concerning the topic(s) at hand, and will become involved in content analyses of the media. (Rasheed)

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)

481. Introduction to African Education. (3). (SS).

This course is designed for people who plan for a career in international and comparative education 1) as administrators, instructors, advisors or human resource planners, 2) and for nonspecialists who desire to broaden their professional and personal outlook by exploring different philosophies and approaches of human resources development adopted by different societies and cultures. Emphasis is placed on education as a tool for securing full human freedom and self reliance. The learning-teaching activities consist of lectures, discussions, guest speakers, and film strips. No prerequisite needed. (Wagaw)

533(577)/Amer. Cult. 533/Hist. 572. Black Civil Rights from 1900. (4). (SS).

Cross-cultural interpretation in Afroamerican History; the evolution of Civil Rights Protest movements, 1890's to 1980's; survey of Black Experience in political, economic and cultural aspects as a consequence of Civil Rights priorities in the 20th Century; the origins of seminal movements such as the Afro-American League, Afro-American Council (1890's), the Tuskegee Machine of Booker T. Washington, the W.E.B. DuBois Niagara Movement (1905), the founding of the NAACP (1909) and the National Urban League (1911). These Black movements are assessed within context of relationships with "Populist" and "Progressive" social reform movements in America. World War One and the impact of Black Migrations from Southern Agrarian to Northern Urban conditions are examined. The Harlem, New York Literary and Cultural Renaissance is examined comparatively with the "Jazz Age" of the 1920's. The Marxist-Communist-Socialist movements of the Twenties and Thirties are examined in light of their influence on Black movements, 1900-1940. The NAACP and the Urban League are further assessed in conjunction with the Great Depression and the outcome of the New Deal and the World War Two era, 1941-45. From the late Forties, Civil Rights movements are assessed from 1950 to the 1980's, including the Brown Supreme Court Decision (1954), the rise of Martin L. King, Jr., the Black Power movement and all militant trends of the Sixties. The quarter-century of Civil Rights militancy, 1955-1980's is reviewed with references to the Bakke Supreme Court Decision, 1978. Reagan Economic-Conservatism's impact on Civil Rights issues is assessed from the critical open-ended perspective in the analysis of the Seventies. Lecture -Seminar. Students below senior level accepted only by special permission of instructor. Requirements: one comprehensive term-paper. (Cruse)


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