AAS 104 - First Year Humanities Seminar
Winter 2023, Section 005 - Black Lives and Life Writing: How We Tell Stories about Ourselves
Instruction Mode: Section 005 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Afroamerican & African Studies (AAS)
Department: LSA Afroamerican and African Studies
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.

Details

Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Other:
FYSem
Waitlist Capacity:
99
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
Other Course Info:
(Cross-Area Courses). May not be included in a major.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 1/4/23 - 4/18/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.

Description

This course introduces first-year students to the genre of life writing, with a focus on African American and African diasporic literary histories. The course offers hands-on instruction on building vital tools for college-level expository writing. 

Traditionally referred to as “autobiography,” and most recently and expansively as “life writing,” the genre we will study has been tremendously popular in the U.S. since the late-twentieth century and keeps gathering momentum as we progress into our decade of the third millennium. Rooted in centuries of oral traditions practiced by ancient peoples all over the world, in the English-speaking West, life writing has flourished equally among the so-called “high-brow” literary and pop-culture audiences, engaging secular and religious writers of all backgrounds, as well as scientists, artists, queer and trans folk, activists, medical practitioners, philosophers, chefs, gardeners, animal lovers, political leaders, and others. It includes memoirs, biographies, novels, graphic novels and stories, and mixed-media installations, to name a few varieties comprising the genre.

Taking an interdisciplinary humanities approach, this course focuses on texts that hold appeal to all types of publics and specifically explores how lives of Black Americans, African immigrants and migrants (or diasporic Africans) provide material for stories recalling various types of personal experience at different moments in history. We will read mostly literary texts published in the later-twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with the first four weeks of the course devoted to a brief historical overview of African diasporic narratives by enslaved individuals, intellectuals, journalists, and social justice activists that spans the 18th and 19th centuries. The rest of the course will explore writings that all of you, regardless of epidermal hues, where you come from, or however you identify, will be able to link to your own or your family’s life experience as you develop your skills through increasingly more sophisticated writing assignments. Among others, we will explore the following themes: power of place, architecture, social space and travel, immigration, exile, gender and sexuality, class and social status, incarceration, social media and self-fashioning, oral history, ethnography and auto-ethnography. You will be encouraged to link your writing to other creative skills, and will be able to use video, photography, oral history, music, visual arts, ethnography, sculpture, and material culture as inspirations and enhancements for your writing. 

Course Requirements:

Regular active and intelligent participation in all we do in the classroom, and in individual and group assignments, as well as willingness to be challenged by new concepts and ideas will ensure your passing and attaining excellence (and vital humanities skills to last you a lifetime!) in this course.

Class Format:

We will meet twice a week for an in-person classroom gathering/lecture & discussion, with a few sessions conducted remotely (students will watch required feature films and documentaries or work on group and individual projects and peer editing), with the instructor available online or in another time slot.

Schedule

AAS 104 - First Year Humanities Seminar
Schedule Listing
005 (SEM)
 In Person
31747
Open
18
3Y1
6Enrollment Management
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
007 (SEM)
 In Person
33264
Open
10
3Y1
7Enrollment Management
-
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
008 (SEM)
 In Person
34718
Open
17
2Y1
4Enrollment Management
-
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23
009 (SEM)
 In Person
36242
Open
18
6Enrollment Management
3Y1
-
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
1/4/23 - 4/18/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

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Syllabi

Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for AAS 104 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)