Course Descriptions

Course Attributes

This course will introduce students to the fundamental issues and concepts in the Africana experience in Africa and the United States from a humanist and interdisciplinary perspectives. Principal topics of discussion will be drawn from areas of history, philosophy, political-economy, literature and the arts, religion and society.

This course surveys continental African religions and their manifestations in the African Diaspora. Brazil, Jamaica, Trinidad, Cuba, Haiti and the U.S.A. are highlighted. The epistemologies and practices of the Fon, Yoruba, and Bantu peoples are analyzed to understand their continued impact on the contemporary world.

Introduction to African American literature will explore the linguistic and cultural roots and traditions of literary writing by African Americans in three centuries of American history focusing on select readings in poetry, drama, non-fiction, and fictional prose. The overall goal of the course is to introduce students to different perspectives of American history, through an Africana lens, and apply the different genres, contexts, and content of literary production by African American writers from the 1700s to the late 20th century, to an overall critique of American Culture.

Course provides a comprehensive understanding of the African American experience as grounded in the humanities. A broad investigation of Africana history and culture and its subsequent evolution in the United States.

Global, comparative analysis of religion and culture in Africa, the Caribbean, U.S., and South America. Impact of African religions in the contemporary world.

This course is an introduction to the history of an enormous continent, Africa. Because of the size of the geography, population and time covered, one of the main purposes of this course is to pave the way to the upper division regional and thematic classes. We will move our way through African history both temporally and thematically. Lectures will introduce key themes and ideas and in section you will discuss historical evidence for African communities, cultures and ideas. This course is suitable to those who know nothing of Africa, and to those who are considering taking an upper division lecture classes or seminar in African history or Africana Studies.

This course evaluates the early experiences of peoples of African descent in North America. The culture of African captives, their daily lives under different slave regimes, slave resistance, free blacks, and emancipation are the main subjects addressed in this class.

This course evaluates the experience of peoples of African descent in the United States after the Civil War. Reconstruction, "Jim Crow" segregation, "New Negro" Movement, Cold War, Civil Rights Movement, and the "Great Society" are the main subjects addressed in this class.

When you think of hip-hop, you often think of gangsters, thugs, pimps, drugs, crime, wealth, violence ,and misogyny. Students taking this course will be expected to take the artist perspective to dig deeper into the historical underpinnings of where this contemporary art form comes from as well as its evolution and proliferation nationally and beyond(globally). This beginning level class combines practical movement practices based on actual hip-hop dance styles with straight lectures and lively discussions that help students to be critical, analytical, logical, questioning, reflective and evaluative thinkers This holistic approach which combines theory and practice, will furnish learners with the relevant cultural, historical, and practical knowledge of hip-hop dance and cultures in general. Similarly, in order to fully examine and acquire the different hip-hop dance and movement styles, skills, techniques, vocabulary, and cultures emanating from particular historical and evolutionary periods and geographic regions in the USA and globally, the course will adopt ahistorical-geographical approach. The ultimate objective is to challenge and encourage students to take on the lens of the artists and independently create final dance projects where they dig deeper and get immersed in to the core values, knowledge, theories, world views, concepts, and ideas specific to the Africana Studies discipline. Students are not required to have prior dance knowledge to enroll in this class and will participate at their ability levels. To demonstrate the student's mastery of disciplinary content, methodologies, skills, knowledge and value systems, the class will culminate with an independently conceived practical performance, or a digital project accompanied by a critical/analytical write up.

Introductory survey of the literature, history, culture and social issues affecting Black Americans.

This course is concerned with the history of oppression of African and other Indigenous peoples in the world and examines ideas by radical philosophers and scholars from the African Diaspora directed toward liberation from oppression.

Course acquaints students with the theoretical and philosophical ideas expressed by thinkers of the African world. Issues in epistemological relativism, ethics, political philosophy and the history of ideas is examined.

There were actually several "Souths" during the Holocaust of Enslavement. However, courses taught in the era of African enslavement have tended to focus on the northern most regions, such as Virginia, which are often taken to represent-if not constitute-the South. This course looks at the other "South" and the French and Spanish colonizers of South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. It offers a different perspective of the beginnings of the Great Enslavement and compares and contrasts the lives and struggles of enslaved, freed, and self-emancipated Africans in the Southwest during the tenure of Spain.

Anglophone and Francophone literature. Focuses on major authors; Achebe, Soyinka, Head, Wa Thiong'O, Brutus, Emecheta. Employs bio-literary analysis.

Introduction to African literature coming from the African continent and the diaspora, which explores the representation of Black experience in a variety of geographical and cultural settings. Select themes (such as liberation, oppression, identity) will invite students to reflect on current debates in historical perspective. Taught in English.

This course investigates how audiovisual media including feature films, documentaries, music videos, visual albums represent Africa. The emergence of digital technologies with widespread access transformed Africa's media landscape. Through this exploration of African audiovisual media, the course builds connections across the arts, social sciences, and humanities. Upon completing "Images of Africa," students will have an enhanced understanding of contemporary Africa from a variety of social positions as well as the skills to interpret audiovisual media and evaluate their significance in cultural and historical contexts by drawing on a critical repertoire across disciplines.

This course is designed to illumine the political economy of the African American community in the United States, with special attention to issues of race, politics, class and gender. Major themes in the course will focus on the struggles of African American people for justice from the period of reconstruction through the civil rights and post-civil rights eras. The question of Black political organizing and institution building both within and outside the dominant structures of the U.S. political economy will be discussed throughout the course.

Analysis of minority relations and mass movements in urban society; trends in the modern world, with special reference to present-day race problems and social conflict.

This course takes representations and experiences of citizenship in modern Brazil as the springboard for the study of cross-cultural membership in society. How are understandings and experiences of citizenship bound up with the definition and institutionalization of race/ethnicity, class, and gender? This broad question will be examined in specific areas in Brazil such as public health, urban and rural development, environment, education, law, politics, and pop culture. The course covers theoretical readings and case studies from different geographical areas. Instructional materials are interdisciplinary, drawing mainly on the fields of History, Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science, and Geography.

Stresses techniques, styles, aesthetics, and comparative content analysis. Explores "socialist realist" narrative and other themes.

This course is designed to provide students with skills in conducting social science research in the field of Africana Studies. The course will consist of discussions of the role of knowledge, the various methods by which knowledge is acquired, and the manner that interpretations of knowledge occur.

This course examines the lives and writings of Black women from selected ethnicities such as Caribbean, Canadian, Latin American and African American who, despite geography, form bridges to meet and develop a dialogue which enlightens us.

In constructing this course, the recognition of Whiteness/Blackness is not solely a reactionary response to challenges from persons of color; it is also a reflection of the need to provide a narrative of Whiteness/Blackness that intends an understanding of the notion of Whiteness/Blackness as a racial category and the implications of this categorization and association. For example, naming Whiteness displaced it from the unmarked, and unnamed status that is itself an effect of dominance. Within the particular disciplines of Anthropology and Ethnic Studies, Whiteness, Blackness and Race have come to be earnest subjects of study. Being White or Black in the 21st Century, however, is far from straightforward. It is riddled with ambiguity and marked by a general sense of racial angst as to what it means to be White or Black. This course will attempt to respond to the question: What does it mean to be Black/White in our global climate?

In constructing this course, the recognition of Whiteness/Blackness is not solely a reactionary response to challenges from persons of color: it is also a reflection of the need to provide a narrative of Whiteness/Blackness that intends an understanding of the notion of Whiteness/Blackness as a racial category and the implications of this categorization and association. For example, naming Whiteness displaces it from the unmarked status that is itself an effect of dominance. Within the particular disciplines of Anthropology and Ethnic Studies, Whiteness, Blackness and Race have come to be earnest subjects of Study. Being White or Black in the 21st Century, however, is far from straightforward. It is riddled with ambiguity and marked by a general sense of racial angst as to what it means to be White or Black. This course will attempt to respond to the question: what does it mean to be Black/White in our global climate?

The concept of "cool" in regards to music, fashion, and social status grew popular fifties and sixties. Evidence of hipster slang is documented in Cab Calloways's "Hepster's Dictionary" in 1938. It is, according to linguistic anthropologist Robert L. Moore, the most popular slang term of approval in English. "Cool" more than a word. This course investigates the idea of "cool" in America and its musical relationship to urban culture through various genres of African--American music. The rise to prominence of "cool" will be analyzed through and investigation of the music of Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, West Coast jazz, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Iggy Pop, The Ramones, Sugar Hill Gang, and Grandmaster Flash along with their music's effect on social mores, fashion, film, and literature.

Students will gain insight into the historical and cultural factors that have created, and continue to perpetuate gender and ethnic inequity. Students will come to understand African American writers, particularly women, as historical agents and self-defined individuals. While the course will emphasize the multiple roles of African American women, as portrayed autobiographically it also incorporates the historical struggles of those around them. It is my goal that through the course material students will see how African Americans are constantly recreating themselves in the face of adversity.

This course examines the history of the African slave trade. The trans-Atlantic slave trade was the world's largest forced migration between continents, but it was only one of many slave trades that shaped societies throughout the world. In order to understand the historical significance of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, we will compare it to other slaveries. In examining the historical significance and legacies of the slave trade, we will link the histories of Africa to that of the New World and to Europe. There continue to be heated debates about the volume and impact of the slave trade on African and New World societies. We will explore these debates. The course will also examine the changing meaning of the term "slavery" and examine some modern forms of slavery that persist to this day.

A bio-critical discussion/study of writers of African decent/extraction from Latin America.

Physical and human bases of regional contrasts, with emphasis on tropical environmental systems and changing patterns of resource utilization and development.

The course examines how the literature captures the multifaceted social, cultural, and political life of the region.

This course fosters an appreciation of aesthetic principles that define Pan African dance through a combination of theory and practice. Students will explore how aesthetic judgments are sensory, emotional, intellectual, political, and religious at the same time.

This course is designed to introduce undergraduate students to the history of narratives by African slaves before and after the American Civil War. This course will benefit majors/minors in American/African Literature or other interdisciplinary majors who wish to study the historical experiences of minority ethnic cultures in America.

Introduction to African prehistory, social anthropology, ecology, religions, ancient and modern state formation, slavery, urbanization, and contemporary issues.

Political problems of the poor; analysis of systematic poverty in the U.S. and theories of causation; selected policy problems: education, housing, job training, enforcement of anti-discrimination statutes; future of "power" movements.

This course is a study of popular culture and religion in African-American and Latin@ communities, with a focus on the place of rap music in the cultural identity of these traditions. The class will begin with a study of some major themes in cultural studies concerning identity, class, race, and gender in addition to a study of the role of religion in Black and Latin@ communities. We will consider the approaches and self-understandings of identity and culture in rap music with special attention to the voices of protest, resistance, and spirituality among rap artists.

By examining both primary and secondary sources this course explores the historical development of African-American civil rights from 1619 with the arrival of the first Africans to Jamestown colony, to the momentous decision by the Supreme court to desegregate schools in 1954.

In order to conceptualize the way gender and ethnicity has shaped women's lives in the public and private domain students will "hear" the voices of African American women in ethnography, history and literature as we discuss the Africana concepts of life, health, beauty and family. The experiences of these women, as expressed in literature have become "formidable" presences in African American culture and history. The self-expression and self-definition, expressed by African American women's voices have generated social and political changes in American history that have also impacted the dominant Euro-American culture of American society.

Critical, thematic exegesis of indigenous African and Christian contributions to African American religions. Analyzes role of religion in resisting oppression and racial injustice.

This course provides an introduction to the politics of Caribbean states, from 1960 to the present. It will discuss major issues that affect the Caribbean region, namely, migration, poverty, regional economic cooperation and political integration, democratic institutions, and U. S. foreign policy towards the region.

Social, economic, cultural and political history from Jamestown to Secession.

From the Civil War to the present.

The impact of commercial expansion, urbanization, industrialization, and ideological change on race and class relations in Latin America from the 16th to early 20th century.

A broadly comparative introduction to slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean. Exploration of slavery, the use of slave labor, and the daily lives of slaves and slave owners in different settings and different cultures.

How are race and racism perceived and experienced in countries in Latin America particularly such as Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia where a mixed-race ideology and the myth of racial equality have traditionally been at the core of national identity? This class critically analyzes notions of race and anti-racist activism to examine the ideologies and circumstances of the political structure, race-targeted public policies, and black activism in contemporary Latin America.

This course illuminates the vastness and far-reaching complexity of ancient African civilizations. It demonstrates the historical role that African cultures and civilizations played in the shaping of the ancient classical world.

This course provides a strong foundation in the history and development of hip-hop cinema from Africana Studies, Cinema and Cultural Studies perspectives. Major films, theories, and movements are studied in their historical, social, and cultural context, with a particular focus on the aesthetics of visual language and cinematic techniques. Interdisciplinary analysis will allow for viewing hip hop and cinema in revolutionary but academic ways.

Examination of the historical, ethical, social, and political impacts and perspectives of hip-hop artistic practices and works on communities and societies in the United States and in the French-speaking world. Taught in English.

This course investigates how the dynamics of resistance and repression have shaped protest in Africa and the diaspora since the slave revolt in Saint-Domingue that produced modern-day Haiti (1791-1804). In the years since, uprisings have occurred that actively renegotiated freedoms, rights, and ideas of citizenship for peoples of African descent with a grounding in the French-speaking world. This course looks at a range of materials from historical documents, poetry, song, films, and fiction to deepen our understanding of how historical progress has been shaped by the dynamic interplay between resistance and repression.

While the British invented "football" (as soccer is known around the world), the French were key players in structuring it worldwide. This interdisciplinary course is about the emergence and growing notoriety of soccer in France, the French - speaking world, and as a worldwide global phenomenon through explorations in the following areas: cultural and global studies, philosophy, history, institutions, anthropology, sociology, and language. The course presents several important themes that allow to understand the popularity and identification of the populations with soccer worldwide, as well as the human values it represents: olympism, pacifism, imperialism, colonialism and post - colonialism , national identities, race, politics, gender, and globalization.

Digital Africana Studies aims to bridge the best of Africana Studies (key concepts, theories, methods of inquiry, and pedagogies) with the democratic potential of Digital Humanities. Digital Africana Studies examines and re-imagines possibilities for the practices and structural logics of Digital Humanities and digital media broadly by questioning the often taken-for-granted assumptions of Digital Humanities spaces, discourses and cultural productions. To the degree that Africana Studies has long advocated for the inclusion of African American contributions and the documenting of historical racial struggles for diversity and social justice, Digital Africana Studies encourages critical yet productive engagements through literature, art, history and popular culture.

This course explores the aspirations that people of African descent have for the future, speculation, utopias and dystopias. Part of the resilience of black culture and black life is about imagining the impossible, imagining better places, situating oneself on different levels of existence and interacting with other life forms, be they alien, artificial or human, in ways not fully embraced or understood by Western culture. Afrofuturism encompasses art, music, literature, religion, technology and the future in new and exciting ways in order to further understand the human condition, more specifically the place of people of color in the 21st century and beyond. Overall, this course explores the construction of modern and future worlds from the perspective of global black experiences.

This course examines religious beliefs in Africa in order to illuminate connections between religion and culture on that continent, and to examine the relationship between religio-culture and the socio-economic and political forces that shape contemporary African societies.

This course surveys issues surrounding race and ethnic politics in the post-Civil Rights era. The course is designed to reflect both the complexity of the relationships between and within racial and ethnic groups and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of ethnic and racial relations.

Africa is an enormous continent. The course explores different themes and issues in African history both temporally and thematically. Lectures will introduce key themes and ideas and in-class discussions will expand on historical evidence for African communities, cultures and ideas. This course is suitable for anyone interested in Africa, particularly those who have taken HIS208: History of Africa.

Qualified students working on an individual basis with professors who have agreed to supervise such work.

This course is geared toward illuminating the relationship of dance and music through a theoretical and technical examination of historical Pan African dance forms from the African continent, through the Diaspora and the Americas. A range of Black and other thinkers and artists from Indigenous cultures in Africa and the Diaspora will be discussed in this course.

This course aims at analyzing and appreciating the foundations of Black theatre aesthetics while examining the socio-political context in which the performances are produced.

A content-based course designed to help students gain a better sense of Africana Studies through the focused examination of a particular issue or topic . The topic of each course varies according to the faculty's expertise . May be repeated when topics vary .

The aim of the course is to investigate African Caribbean writings in English on issues from slavery through the 20th century. the key focus will be on issues from what is now considered the post colonial islands and countries. It will also take into account, the growing body of literature by Caribbean women writers.

This course will explore how racial, economic and cultural background affect peoples access to a clean and safe environment. Through lectures, field trips, literature review, guest lecturers, and videos we will examine how people's environmental rights are being threatened locally, nationally and globally and the mechanisms being used to secure these rights.

Political, constitutional, economic, and military developments in the U.S. and the Confederacy during and after the Civil War.

This introductory course focuses on the impact the subjective concept of race has had in African American cinematic representations, and how images work in controlling and policing thought and constructing sexuality. This course serves as an introduction to basic race theory.

This course is designed to expose undergraduates to the complexity of cultural and ethnic considerations as they pertain to the health and well being of underrepresented groups in the U. S., such as, African Americans. Drawing on perspectives from public health, the social/behavioral sciences, and perspectives from Africana Studies, we will engage in the comparative study of health cultures. We will explore the historical and contemporary multilayered social, cultural, political, and economic systems that engender the social and cultural determinants that shape health status, health behavior and health inequalities of Africana peoples in the United States.

Social processes involved in minority groups in terms of race, caste, class, ethnicity, politics, and religion.

Government and politics of African nations south of the Sahara; emphasis on processes of political and economic development.

This course will focus on the historical and political developments of colonialism, racism, and racial segregation in the United States and in South Africa *(Azania) since the beginning of the colonialism-slavery epochs to the present. It will illumine the striking similarities and differences particularly between the slave and Jim Crow South and apartheid South Africa and between dispossession of Indigenous peoples in North America and those of Azania, paying special attention to issues of ideology, color, class, and gender. This class does satisfy requirements for the Africana Studies minor, Study Area I, Africana History, Politics and Economics.

The study of novels, drama and poetry by leading Black writers.

Introduction to African American involvement in shaping U.S. foreign policy from 1850 to the present. The objective is to show how African Americans organized to change both U.S. foreign policy toward Africa and the Caribbean as well as domestic racial policies by appealing to the international community. The course will highlight how U. S. foreign policy was reformulated by ruling elites to stave off international criticism of unjust domestic racial policies.

Specialized work on an individual basis, consisting of training and practice in actual service in a technical, business, or governmental establishment.

The practical application, on an individual basis, of previously studied theory and the collection of data for future theoretical interpretation.

The exchange of scholarly information and/or secondary research, usually in a small group setting. Instruction often includes lectures by several different persons. Research projects may or may not be required of course registrants.

A culminating experience for majors involving a substantive project that demonstrates a synthesis of learning accumulated in the major, including broadly comprehensive knowledge of the discipline and its methodologies. Senior standing required.

An honors thesis is required of all the students graduating with honors. Students ordinarily sign up for this course as a two-semester sequence. The first semester the student performs research under the supervision of a faculty member; the second semester the student writes an honors thesis.