Courses in Afroamerican and African Studies (Division 311)

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

For centuries, non-Africans have thought of Africa in terms of myths, stereotypes and images. There were the images of mystery, strangeness and darkness of various times in the past, and those of political instability, hunger and refugees in more contemporary times. Also, in the pre-independence era, educated Africans tended to depict Africa cultures and civilization in a highly idealized fashion. The basic premise of this course is that none of these approaches help us to get an accurate picture of social and political reality in Africa. The general argument of this course will be that Africans constitute an important branch of the human family and, like human beings elsewhere, have been concerned and are concerned with making a living, raising families, and with giving meaning through symbols, signs etc. to the natural and physical world around them. This course attempts to look at the societies, economics, cultures and politics of Africa in the context of the continent's historic ties with the external world. This course is designed, first, to offer a comprehensive but selective survey of the diverse ways in which Africans have adapted to and sought to control their environment. The theme will be the overall relation between cultures, societies and politics. Second, this course will examine shaping trends, focusing on the ways in which Africans have coped with structural transformations; the characteristics of the transformations will be outlined, and the ways in which they have influenced the rise of modern nation states will be analyzed. Lectures, films, and class discussion will be the main methods of instruction. Students will write two examinations and two short research papers on various aspects of the topics discussed in class. Previous knowledge of Africa is desirable, but not required. (Twumasi)

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)

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

This course is a continuum of 360, and provides the information and the dialogue to escort the minds of the students into a closer examination of the interrelationship of the arts, how they are influenced by society and an Afrocentric approach toward analysis (using both Logic and Reason). The Afroamerican cultural experience is brought under close scrutiny by observing the historical, political, sociocultural, philosophical, religious, aesthetic and ideological aspects of its' existence and its' encounters. The course continues to examine the relationships of West African cultures to both South and North American insistencies. We make attempts to recognize the function the Afrocentric aesthetic and how it influences Western culture and lifestyles. Of course it is also recognized that such view are provocative to the Western mind, however the challenge is where the dialogue plays its' most important role. There is a lecture each week and discussions from assigned readings. Additional classroom supplements are video tapes, slides and films. Occasional guest lecturers give additional reference for stimulating and challenging verbal and mental exchange. The interdisciplinary approach is valid preparation for course in history, art, art history, sociology, literature, psychology, political science and anthropology. Course Requirements. (a) Three short papers, three to five pages each, typewritten. (b) An analytical overview from either a video presentation, guest lecturer or audio presentation. Five typewritten pages minimum. (c) An in-class final group presentation. This course is expected to be communal interactive, intensive, informative and spiritual; creating countless opportunities for students to involve themselves, strengthen their skills and establish a clearer, more substantial concept of identity, purpose and direction. Required Text: Black American Literature, Ruth Miller; Flash of the Spirit, Robert Farris Thompson. Suggested Reading. African Religions and Philosophy, John Mbiti. Art Afroamerican, Dr. Samella Lewis. Office Hours Wednesdays 1-4, Room 233, Lorch Hall, Telephone: 764-55l3 or 487-5550. (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)

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).

See Cultural Anthropology 411. (Owusu)

424/Anthro. 513. Urbanization and Technological Change in Africa. Junior standing or permission of instructor. (3). (SS).

See Cultural Anthropology 513. (Roberts)

426. Urban Redevelopment and Social Justice. (3). (SS).
Urban Redevelopment and Social Justice Can We Have Both? A Seminar for Future Professionals.


Taught from the perspective of a registered architect, this course is organized around topical issues of design, professionalism, and equity in urban resources development. Intended primarily for students with non-architectural backgrounds, the course seeks to provide a spirited exploration of the explicit (and subtle) connections between people, land and power in our cities and the specific affects of these linkages upon contemporary urban rebuilding. In the main, our explorations are aimed at providing a broadened philosophical understanding of the "Who?" and "Why?" of contemporary urban redevelopment policies particularly as such policies impact on the emerging "central city." As a class we will meet once each week for three hours. A seminar format will be followed, combining formal and informal lectures, color slide presentations, selected case studies, selected readings and a series of student-generated workshops. Throughout all discussion, there will be continuing class focus on the necessity for our making critical distinction between "effecting" (carrying out) and "affecting" (influencing the formation of) various environmental policy. Continued active class participation and the preparation of a ten minute audio cassette tape for presentation near the end of the term are basic course requirements. (Tape productions are intended as an opportunity for sharpening 'ethical sensibilities' and as an opportunity for each of us to clarify our own personal convictions about people and designed environments.) In addition to lectures and audio-visual presentations, ongoing class dialogue will be augmented periodically with urban field trips and invited guests. Enrollment limited to 20 students. (Chaffers)

430. Education and Cultures of the Black World. (3). (SS). May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.

This new course is a comparative study of education and culture of Black people of Africa, the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific Islands. It is designed to help the student gain a systematic understanding of the dynamics and interplay of education and culture as related to the Black people of these regions whether they live within self-governing independent nation-states, or as minority members of multiethnic societies whose access to education and full cultural participation have been long proscribed. The lack of equity in access to full opportunities to education and culture have led to underdevelopment, social disequilibrium and alienation in many of these societies. In addition the variety, differences and contrasts in social institutions, values, and beliefs of the respective societies which may give the shape and texture of the quality and magnitude of access to the means of development and integration will be examined. A combination of the lecture-discussion methods will be used. Film strips, and guest speakers will be used as they become available. Evaluation will be based on daily participation and performances on a assigned tasks and periodically administered written tests. Three to six credit hours. The course may be repeated for up to six credit hours. For the Winter 1985 term we will deal with Africa and the Americas. In the subsequent term with the other regions. There is a list of required and suggested reading available in the CAAS office. (Wagaw)

433/French 433. African/Caribbean Francophone Literature in Translation. A literature course or any course dealing with the Black experience in Africa or the Americas. (3). (HU).

See French 433. (Ngate)

448(537)/Hist. 448. Africa in the Twentieth Century. (4). (SS).

See History 448. (Worger)

449/Pol. Sci. 459. Africa: Development and Dependence Prior or concurrent study of the Third World; Pol. Sci. 465 is recommended but not required. (4). (SS).

See Political Science 459. (Wilson)

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

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 Black Workers in a New Field.
This course will explore the post emancipation experience of Black workers as they moved from slavery to sharecropping and from southern agriculture to northern industry. Black workers faced discrimination in employment, hostility from white workers, and often condescension from Negro leaders but fashioned their own vibrant, and militant responses to urban industrial life. The emphasis of the course will be on the complex struggles of Black workers to gain equality inside and outside the work place and fashion a meaningful life for themselves in a new world. A variety of sources will be used including Black social scientists W.E.B. DuBois, William Harris; novels by Claude McKay and others; and the autobiographies of Black workers such as the Narrative of Hosea Hudson by Nell Painter. The course will have a midterm, final and a term paper. (Wilson)

Section 002 Afro-American Literature and its Relations: Caribbean, South American and African. The Center for Afroamerican and African Studies proposes to develop a University-wide mini-course for which experts in literature of the Black World will be invited. The intention is to bring in a total of about four to six distinguished speakers. The lectures and accompanying seminars will run through the Winter Term and will be arranged according to the schedule of the invited speakers. Contact the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies for further details.

463/Poli. Sci. 466. Comparative Decolonization. CAAS 203, any 100-level course in political science, or permission of instructor. (4). (SS).

See Political Science 463. (Twumasi)


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