The Carter G. Woodson Institute, U.Va.

The Carter G. Woodson Institute

for African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia

Course Listing

Fall 2018 Undergraduate Courses

Course Descriptions

African American and African Studies Program


AAS 1010--Introduction to African American and African Studies I

Kwame Otu

TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

This introductory course surveys the histories of people of African descent in Africa, the Americas, and the Caribbean from approximately the Middle Ages to the 1880s. Emphases include the Atlantic slave trade and its complex relationship to Africa; the economic systems, cultures, and communities of Africans and African-Americans in the New World, in slavery and in freedom; the rise of anti-slavery movements; and the socio-economic systems that replaced slavery in the late 19th century.


AAS 2224--Black Femininities and Masculinities in the US Media

Lisa Shutt

Th 2:00-4:30pm

Mo 2:00-4:30pm

This course, taught as a lower-level seminar, will address the role the media has played in creating images and understandings of 'Blackness' in the United States, particularly where it converges with popular ideologies about gender.


AAS 2559--History of Abolition in the Americas

Marlene Daut

TuTh 9:30-10:45am

The course will introduce students to the long history of attempts to abolish chattel slavery in the Americas. By reading primary documents that include speeches, newspaper articles, novels, poetry, and religious tracts, we will examine the rise of abolitionist movements in Great Britain, France, the Caribbean, and the United States. In many respects, transatlantic abolitionists invented the modern concept of human rights, an ideological tool indispensable to all of our social justice movements in the present, but laden with its own ethical and social complications. By looking at abolition as a global phenomena that extended well beyond the geographical borders of the United States, we will discover a whole range of new events and actors in one of human history’s most compelling and disturbing dramas. By covering issues ranging from gradual emancipation in New England in the late eighteenth century, to the abolition of slavery in the French Caribbean in 1794, to its reinstatement in 1802, to the end of the US Civil War in 1865, to the legal abolition of slavery in Cuba and Brazil in the 1880s, we will examine the origins and ideological underpinnings of antislavery andabolitionist movements across the Atlantic World. In so doing, we will pay special attention to the different methods by which abolitionists in the Atlantic World defined the goals of anti-slavery activism, as well as the various meanings of liberty and independence produced within their discourses. 


AAS 2559-- Swahili Cultures

Anne Rotich

MoWeFr 1:00PM - 1:50PM

Swahili is the most widely-spoken language in eastern Africa.  SWAH 1010 provides a foundation for listening, speaking and writing basic Swahili grammatical structures and vocabulary. By the end of this course you will be able to construct simple Swahili sentences, identify with various cultural aspects and customs of Swahili speakers, and have a basic level of oral proficiency. We will have fun learning the language as we engage in dialogues, group activities and perform some cultural skits. 

AAS 2657--Routes, Writing, Reggae

Njelle Hamilton

TuTh 3:30-4:45pm

In this course, we will trace the history of reggae music and explore its influence on the development of Jamaican literature. With readings on Jamaican history, we will consider why so many reggae songs speak about Jah and quote from the Bible. Then, we will explore how Marcus Garvey's teachings led to the rise of Rastafarianism, which in turn seeded ideas of black pride and black humanity into what would become reggae music.


AAS 3300--Social Science Perspectives on African American and African Studies

Sabrina Pendergrass

TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

This course will focus on major debates, theories, and methodological approaches in the social sciences that contribute to African American Studies. The course helps students to consider how a multidisciplinary approach enriches efforts to analyze such issues as health disparities, education, and incarceration as they relate to the African Diaspora.

AAS 3500-001 Digital Caribbean Studies

Marlene Daut

Tu 2:00-4:30pm

Increasingly, we access, share, and create information in digital forms, and this has been referred to as a digital revolution. But how does — or how should — this revolution in the way we teach, learn, and conduct research also change the way we do scholarly work in the classroom? The digital humanities investigates how new media and digital tools are changing the way we produce knowledge in the humanities, by enabling us to share not only information, but sound, visualizations, and even performances using new platforms. This class will provide an introduction to some of these formats and tools, along with immediate critical reflection and discussion about their value to the academy. Since information technology has become one of the key ways in which the peoples of the Caribbean and its diasporas both communicate with one another and gain access to global conversations, alongside this exploration of digital tools, in general, this class will likewise study how the internet can help people in marginalized spaces to engage with crucial social problems and to express their political ideals and aspirations. As the creators of the Digital Caribbean website have attested, “the Internet is analogous in important ways to the Caribbean itself as dynamic and fluid cultural space: it is generated from disparate places and by disparate peoples; it challenges fundamentally the geographical and physical barriers that disrupt or disallow connection; and it places others in relentless relation.” This class will therefore both introduce students to the digital humanities and to the Caribbean as an apt space for exploring the potential of the internet to confront and disrupt many of the more traditional structures of dominance that have traditionally silenced marginalized voices

AAS 3500-002 Revolutionary Struggles in African Atlantic

Kwame Otu

Tu 3:30-6:00pm

In this course, we will grapple with the concept of struggle, as it pertains to Africans’ desire to wrestle themselves from the interlocking white supremacist systems of colonialism, enslavement, apartheid, and racialized capitalism. How, we will consider, has the desire to be “free” from these systems of oppression defined black identities both in Africa and its myriad diasporas? Our goal is to work together to comprehend blackness as struggle, and to amplify how black bodies continue to contend with anti-black regimes spawned by enslavement, colonial oppression, and apartheid. Focusing on places like South Africa to Brazil to the USA to England, and from Haiti to Guinea, we shall emphasize how in the afterlives of slavery, colonialism, and apartheid, white supremacist structures and infrastructures continue to legitimize black death. In the face of death, nevertheless, the struggle to live a dignified life, and to be free from white supremacy continue to define black experiences in neocolonial and neoliberal scenes of empire. Understanding that this struggle is revolutionary, we shall tackle how the fight for freedom from white supremacy is constitutively part of the desire to be free from heteropatriarchal nationalism and sexism, homonegativity, and racialized capitalism. Thus, we will ask: How do African and African descended peoples’ quests for freedom in the circum-Atlantic world compel us to revision freedom as something other than a state of being, but as a condition continuously in the process of becoming?  

AAS 3500-003 Toni Morrison

MoWe 2:00-3:15pm

Maurice Wallace

Reading, class discussion, and written assignments on a special topic in African-American and African Studies Topics change from term to term, and vary with the instructor. Primarily for fourth-year students but open to others.

AAS 3500-004 Working Barefoot in the Snow and Other Dimensions of the Environmental History of Slavery

Tony Perry

Mo: 3:30 - 6:00 pm

This course bridges studies of the historical environment and American slavery in order to examine enslaved people’s complex relationship to the places they inhabited. We will devote particular attention to enslaved women and men’s encounters with a range of environmental phenomena, including the land and landscape, waterways, plants and animals, and the weather. Thinking deeply about the impact of slavery on the environment and vice versa, we will also consider how Virginia-based locales such as the UVA Grounds, Monticello, and the Great Dismal Swamp are entwined in the larger environmental history of slavery in this country.

AAS 3500-005 What is Performance? The Practice of Black & Latin/x Performance

Ethan Madarieta
M/W, 2:00 – 3:15

From 2001 to 2009 Black artist William Pope.L crawled 22 miles up Broadway in Manhattan dressed in a Super Man costume with a skateboard strapped to his back in his performance The Great White Way. In 1972 Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta performed Untitled (Death of a Chicken) in which she, naked and standing before a white wall, held a recently decapitated live chicken by its legs in the throes of death. In his 2017 performance Manual to Be (to Kill) or to Forgive my Own Father, indigenous Mexican artist Emilio Rojas cut text from several (mis)translated copies of his father’s children’s book Little Friend and assembled his own texts from these on over a hundred self-healing cutting mats for 8 hours/day, five days/week (ongoing). Connecting all of these performances are their physical and emotional intensity, duration, endurance, and their specific reference to present and historical racial subjectivities. But why did these artists perform and document such acts? What and how do these performances mean? What can they tell us about ourselves, race, culture, social relations, and even existence? And what effects do these, and other performances have in the world? This course prepares us to answer these questions by first understanding what performance is, and second, how to study it through research, writing, and practice. Throughout the course we will explore the foundations of Performance Studies and Performance Theory and put pressure on what has largely been a white and western discipline by engaging works by Black and Latina/o/x scholars and performers, and by perceiving theory as performance and performance as the practice of theory. We will apply the knowledge gained through this practice in in-class analyses of live and documented performances, and in our own daily practice. You will also write three short essays that formally analyze a performance related to the theme of the week in which the essay is due. And finally, we will all be practicing various modes of performance in class, with an option of creating a well-conceived and thoughtful 10 – 12-minute performance in lieu of a final research paper.

AAS 3500-006 Free Your (Funky) Mind: Mod/ernist Africana Poetry

Brenda Marie Osbey
Wednesdays, 3:30 – 6:00

This course locates the origins of Modernism in the texts of Africana authors of the New World and covers poetry, poetics and poetry movements of Brazil, Latin America, the Caribbean and United States. MAPA begins with audio/video presentations of composer-musician-performance artist George Clinton and his early Parliament-Funkadelic bands as a way of introducing such major Black Arts Movement poets of the period as Amiri Baraka, Mari Evans, spoken word artist Sekou Sundiata and others. Works by the above-mentioned poets epitomize innovations associated with late 20th-early 21st literary expression: experimentation with and revision of traditional forms; irregular line/stanza; disrupted syntax; transgressive language; experimentation with sound and rhythm; blurring of boundaries between poetry and music (blues, jazz, hip-hop, chant); heightened emphasis on oral delivery and performance; increased use of multi-media, improvisation and audience participation; dramatic monologue and confessional style and tone; interiority and questions of identity and displacement; a trend toward more social and political themes; thematic treatment of previously taboo or unorthodox topics; increased emphasis on human and technological threats to the natural environment, to name a few. These and other trends, however, date to far earlier periods and works. The seminar, therefore, resets to introduce work by earlier Africana poets who radicalized poetic expression, language, diction, content, and form across the Americas. Modernism begins with the “adoption” and transformation of European languages by African captives throughout the Americas as a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. MAPA treats poets of African descent writing in the four primary languages of the New World – Portuguese, Spanish, French, English. Included are samples of works by such early Modernist poets as Domingos Caldas Barbosa of 18th century Brazil, Candelario Obeso, Armand Lanusse and the Couvent School/les Cenelles poets of 19th century Colombia and New Orleans, respectively. The course then advances to works by the first self-declared Modernist poet, Rubén Darío of Nicaragua; continues with major poets of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1910’s and 20’s; Mario de Andrade’s conception and execution of the 1922 Week of Modern Art in Brazil; Caribbean writers of the Negrismo and Négritude movements of the 1930’s and 40’s; and concludes with the work of such US and Anglophone Caribbean poets as Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden and Martin Carter. 

AAS 3645--Musical Fictions

Njelle Hamilton

TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm

Over the course of the semester, we will explore the genre of the contemporary musical novel in order to better understand why writers and readers are so intrigued by the figure of the musician as a literary trope. Pairing close listening and music theory with close readings of seminal blues, jazz, reggae, mambo, calypso and rock novels set in the US, UK, Jamaica, Trinidad, France and Germany.

AAS 3749--Food and Meaning in African and the Diaspora

Lisa Shutt

We 2:00-4:30pm

This course investigates the traditions and symbolics of food and eating in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora -- wherever people of African descent have migrated or have been forced to move. This course will help students to investigate the way the foods people eat' or don't eat' hold meaning for people within a variety of cultural contexts.Topics will include symbol, taboo, sexuality, bodies, ritual, kinship & beauty, among others.

AAS 3853--From Redlined to Subprime: Race and Real Estate in the US

Andrew Kahrl

TuTh 9:30-10:45am

This course examines the history of housing and real estate and explores its role in shaping the meaning and lived experience of race in modern America. We will learn how and why real estate ownership, investment, and development came to play a critical role in the formation and endurance of racial segregation, modern capitalism, and the built environment.

AAS 4570--MLK Jr.: Power, Love, Justice

Maurice Wallace

TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm

Reading, class discussion, and research on a special topic in African-American and African Studies culminating in the composition of a research paper. Topics change from term to term, and vary with the instructor. Primarily for fourth-year students but open to others.

American Studies

AMST 4500--Race and Sound

John Hamilton

We 6:00-8:30pm

This seminar is intended to focus study, research, and discussion on a single period, topic, or issue, such as the Great Awakening, the Civil War, the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression, or the 1960s. Topics vary.


ANTH 2250--Nationalism, Racism, Multiculturalism

Richard Handler

TuTh 3:30-4:45pm

Introductory course in which the concepts of culture, multiculturalism, race, racism, and nationalism are critically examined in terms of how they are used and structure social relations in American society and, by comparison, how they are defined in other cultures throughout the world.

ANTH 3310--Controversies of Care in Contemporary Africa

China Scherz

TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm

In this course we will draw on a series of classic and contemporary works in history and anthropology to come to a better understanding of current debates concerning corruption and patronage, marriage and sexuality, and medicine in Sub-Sahararn Africa.

Architectural History

ARTH 2753--Arts and Cultures of the Slave South

Louis Nelson

TuTh 9:30-10:45am

This interdisciplinary course covers the American South to the Civil War. While the course centers on the visual arts 'architecture, material culture, decorative arts, painting, and sculpture' it is not designed as a regional history of art, but an exploration of the interrelations between history, material and visual cultures, foodways, music and literature in the formation of Southern identities.

ARTH 4591--Histories Photography Africa


Th 3:30-6:00pm

Subject varies with the instructor, who may decide to focus attention either on a particular period, artist, or theme, or on the broader question of the aims and methods of art history. Subject is announced prior to each registration period. Representative subjects include the life and art of Pompeii, Roman painting and mosaics, history and connoisseurship of baroque prints, art and politics in revolutionary Europe, Picasso and painting, and problems in American art and culture. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.


DRAM 3070--African-American Theatre

Theresa Davis

TuTh 2:00-3:15pm

Presents a comprehensive study of 'Black Theatre' as the African-American contribution to the theatre. Explores the historical, cultural, and socio-political underpinnings of this theatre as an artistic form in American and world culture. Students gain a broader understanding of the relationship and contributions of this theatre to theatre arts, business, education, lore, and humanity. A practical theatrical experience is a part of the course offering. Prerequisite: Instructor permission



ENAM 3559--Jim Crow America

K. Ian Grandison and Marlon B. Ross

TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm

Why has Jim Crow persisted? This course examines how the Jim Crow regime was established in New England during the early republic, how it was nationalized after the Civil War, and how it has been perpetuated into the present, despite the passage of 1960s Civil Rights legislation. What have been the changing modes of maintaining Jim Crow particularly in law (including law enforcement), education, planning, public health, and mass media (newspapers, film, radio, and social media); and what strategies have African Americans used to fight Jim Crow segregation, discrimination, disenfranchisement, and economic exclusion. Focus will be placed on Charlottesville, Richmond, and Washington, D.C. as case studies. The course culminates in a required field trip to Richmond.


ENAM 4500--W. E. B. Du Bois

Marlon Ross

Th 5:30-8:00pm

This course examines the work, career, and life of leading American and international intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois by placing him historically in relation to the movements he led, the figures he allied himself with and fought against, and the transformations in thought, social activism, and literature he helped to bring about. Because Du Bois’s intellectual and activist contributions range across the fields of history, sociology, education, fiction, philosophy, political theory, literary theory, biography, and autobiography, we’ll sample works by him in each of these fields. In addition to examining his major texts — including The Souls of Black Folk (philosophy), Philadelphia Negro (sociology), Black Reconstruction in America (history), John Brown (biography), Dark Princess (novel), Dusk of Dawn (autobiography), The World and Africa (African studies) — we’ll sample his influential essays from the journal he edited, The Crisis. Du Bois’s phenomenal impact will be further understood by examining the work of his interlocutors, those with whom he had an intense public dialogue on major issues of the day, including Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Marcus Garvey, Langston Hughes, Jessie Redmon Fauset, and Oswald Garrison Villard. We’ll contextualize influential theories like the color-line, double consciousness, the Talented Tenth, art as propaganda, liberal education as uplift, Pan-Africanism, etc. in light of the movements he championed, including the Niagara Movement, the NAACP, the Pan-African Congresses, the anti- lynching campaign, the Harlem Renaissance, anti-World War II activism, the United Nations movement, anti-colonialism, and democratic socialism. How did a man whose fierce idealism over decades end in a decision to renounce his U.S. citizenship and retreat to Ghana in the final years of his life?


ENAM 4500--Black Queer Culture

TuTh 9:30-10:45am

TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

Timothy Griffiths

Mary Kuhn

In the now-essential critical anthology Black Queer Studies (2005), scholars like E. Patrick Johnson, Mae G. Henderson, and Dwight A. McBride announced three primary reasons for the formalization of black queer cultural studies: the need for a usable past in African American culture for black queer people, the traditionally patriarchal and heterosexist tendencies of African American cultural studies, and a perceived inhospitality in women’s and gender studies toward research on race as it intersected with gender and sexuality. When Barry Jenkins’ film Moonlight won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2017, it was a sign to some that at least some minor progress had been made in the cultural representation of queer people of color. “Intersectionality,” though not always adequately defined, is now an acknowledged conceptual keyword of liberal and leftist culture. And in women’s and gender studies and African American studies, it is now becoming a given that critiques of race, gender, and sexuality are not hermetically sealed discourses, that the elevations and devaluations of certain identitarian markers are constellated in both deliberate and latent fashions. Given the progress being made in all three of the needs Black Queer Studies addressed, what are the primary critical problems faced by black queer cultural studies now and in the future? How can we continue to expand the usable past of black queer culture, opening up African American cultural production across its history to a black queer critical audience? Where have increases in black queer cultural representation succeeded and what are the discontents of cultural representation as a primary ethic of black queer liberation? How can or should we understand the relationship between the discursive histories of black feminism and black queer culture, and what conflicts have arisen in their mutual (but not always well-mapped) related growth? And finally, how do the anthologizing practices and theorizations of black queer culture elevate or exclude various iterations of black queer cultural expression, identity, or history? To answer these questions, we will engage a very broadly defined canon of black queer literature from Harriet Jacobs to Uzodinma Iweala, constellating black queer identity with other forms of black transgressive sexuality. Other cultural figures may include Alice Dunbar Nelson, Nella Larsen, James Baldwin, Barbara Smith, June Jordan, Audre Lorde, Essex Hemphill, E. Patrick Johnson, Cheryl Dunye, Samuel R. Delany, Janelle Monae, and Berry Jenkins.

ENCR 4500--Race in American Places

K. Ian Grandison

Tu 5:30-8:00pm

This interdisciplinary seminar uses the method of Critical Landscape Analysis to explore how everyday places and spaces, “landscapes,” are involved in the negotiation of power in American society. Landscapes, as we engage the idea, may encompass seemingly private spaces (within the walls of a suburban bungalow or of a government subsidized apartment) to seemingly public spaces (the vest pocket park in lower Manhattan where the Occupy Movement was launched in September 2011; the Downtown Mall, with its many privately operated outdoor cafés, that occupy the path along which East Main Street once flowed freely in Charlottesville; or even the space of invisible AM and FM radio waves that the FCC supposedly regulates in the public’s interest). We launch our exploration by considering landscapes as arenas of the Culture Wars. With this context, we unearth ways in which places are planned, designed, constructed, and mythologized in the struggle to assert and enforce social (especially racial) distinctions, difference, and hierarchy. You will be moved to understand how publicly financed freeways were planned not only to facilitate some citizens’ modern progress, but also to block others from accessing rights, protections, and opportunities to which casually we believe all "Americans" are entitled. We study landscapes not only as represented in written and non-written forms, but also through direct sensory, emotional, and intellectual experience during two mandatory field trips to places in our region. In addition to informal group exercises and individual mid-term exam, critical field trip reflection paper, and final exam, you are required to complete in small groups a final research project on a topic you choose that relates to the seminar. Past topics have ranged from the racial politics of farmers’ markets in gentrifying inner cities to the gender--and the transgender exclusion—politics of universal standards for public restroom pictograms. Students showcase such results in an informal symposium that culminates the semester. Not only will you expand the complexity and scope of your critical thinking abilities, but also you will never again experience as ordinary the spaces and places you encounter from day to day.

ENLT 2547--Black Writers in America

Alyssa Collins

MoWe 3:30-4:45pm

Topics in African-American writing in the US from its beginning in vernacular culture to the present day; topics vary from year to year. For more details on this class, please visit the department website at


FREN 3570--Topics in Francophone African Studies

Kandioura Dramé

TuTh 3:30-4:45pm

This course addresses various aspects of Francophone African Culture including , oral traditions, literature, theatre, cinema, and contemporary music and visual arts. Prerequisites: FREN 3031 & 3032

FREN 4743--Africa in Cinema

Kandioura Dramé

TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

Study of the representation of Africa in American, Western European and African films. Ideological Constructions of the African as 'other'. Exoticism in cinema. History of African cinema. Economic issues in African cinema: production, distribution, and the role of African film festivals. The socio-political context. Women in African cinema. Aesthetic problems: themes and narrative styles. Prerequisite: FREN 3032 and FREN 3584 or another 3000-level literature course in French.


HIAF 1501--Africa and Virginia

James LeFleur

We 3:30-6:00pm

Introduces the study of history intended for first- or second-year students. Seminars involve reading, discussing, and writing about different historical topics and periods, and emphasize the enhancement of critical and communication skills. Several seminars are offered each term. Not more than two Introductory Seminars may be counted toward the major in history.

HIAF 2001--Early African History

Christina Mobley

TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

Studies the history of African civilizations from the iron age through the era of the slave trade, ca. 1800. Emphasizes the search for the themes of social, political, economic, and intellectual history which present African civilizations on their own terms.

HIAF 3021--History of Southern Africa

John Mason

TuTh 9:30-10:45

Studies the history of Africa generally south of the Zambezi River. Emphasizes African institutions, creation of ethnic and racial identities, industrialization, and rural poverty, from the early formation of historical communities to recent times.

HIAF 4511--Soccer in the Global South

Christina Mobley

Mo 3:30-6:00pm

The major colloquium is a small class (not more than 15 students) intended primarily but not exclusively for history majors who have completed two or more courses relevant to the topic of the colloquium. Colloquia are most frequently offered in areas of history where access to source materials or linguistic demands make seminars especially difficult. Students in colloquia prepare about 25 pages of written work distributed among various assignments. Some restrictions and prerequisites apply to enrollment. See a history advisor or the director of undergraduate studies.

HILA 1501--Race, Sex, Cold War Latin America

Eleana McGrath

Tu 6:00-8:30pm

Intended for first- or second-year students, this course introduces the study of history. Seminars involve reading, discussing, and writing about different historical topics and periods, and emphasize the enhancement of critical and communication skills. Several seminars are offered each term. Not more than two Introductory Seminars may be counted toward the major history.

HIUS 1559--Slavery and Its Legacies

Kirt Von Daacke

TuTh 2:00-3:15pm

This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject area of United States history.

HIUS 2559--African American History to 1865

Justene Hill

TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm

This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject area of United States history.

HIUS 3490--From Motown to Hip-Hop

Claudrena Harold

TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm

This survey traces the history of African American popular music from the late 1950s to the current era. It examines the major sonic innovations in the genres of soul, funk, and hip-hop over the course of the semester, students will examine how musical expression has provided black women and men with an outlet for individual expression, community building, sexual pleasure, political organizing, economic uplift, and interracial interaction

HIUS 4501--Capitalism and Slavery

Justene Hill

TuTh 13:30-1:145pm

The major seminar is a small class (not more than 15 students) intended primarily but not exclusively for history majors who have completed two or more courses relevant to the topic of the seminar. The work of the seminar results primarily in the preparation of a substantial (ca. 25 pp. in standard format) research paper. Some restrictions and prerequisites apply to enrollment. See a history advisor or the director of undergraduate studies.

HIUS 4501--Eugenics

Sarah Milov

Mo 3:30-5:00pm

The major seminar is a small class (not more than 15 students) intended primarily but not exclusively for history majors who have completed two or more courses relevant to the topic of the seminar. The work of the seminar results primarily in the preparation of a substantial (ca. 25 pp. in standard format) research paper. Some restrictions and prerequisites apply to enrollment. See a history advisor or the director of undergraduate studies.

Media Studies

MDST 3760--#BlackTwitter and Black Digital Culture

Meredith Clark

TuTh 2:00-3:15pm

Using a mix of scholarly and popular-press readings and an examination of digital artifacts, we will analyze the creations and contributions of Black digital culture from the mid-90s to the present. Covering topics including the early Black blogosphere; the creation of niche content sites like; the emergence of Black Twitter; the circulation of memes, and the use second-screening.


PLCP 3410--Politics of Middle East and North Africa

Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl

MoWe 3:30-4:45pm

Introduces contemporary political systems of the region stretching from Morocco to Iran. Prerequisite: Some background in comparative politics and/or history of the Middle East.

PLCP 4810--Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa

Robert Fatton

Studies the government and politics of sub-Saharan Africa. Includes the colonial experience and the rise of African nationalism; the transition to independence; the rise and fall of African one-party states; the role of the military in African politics; the politics of ethnicity, nation- and state-building; patromonialism and patron-client relations; development problems faced by African regimes, including relations with external actors; and the political future of Southern Africa. Prerequisite: Some background in comparative politics and/or history of Africa.


RELA 2850--Afro-Creole Religions in the Americas

Jalane Schmidt

TuTh 9:30-10:45am

A survey course which familiarizes students with African-derived religions of the Caribbean and Latin America

RELA 3890--Christianity in Africa

Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton

MoWe 1:00-1:50pm

Historical and topical survey of Christianity in Africa from the second century c.e. to the present. Cross listed with RELC 3890. Prerequisite: A course in African religions or history, Christianity, or instructor permission.

RELC 3222--From Jefferson to King

Mark Hadley

TuTh 9:30-10:45am

A seminar focused upon some of the most significant philosophical and religious thinkers that have shaped and continued to shape American religious thought and culture from the founding of the Republic to the Civil Rights Movement, including Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Jane Addams, William James, Reinhold Niebuhr and Martin Luther King, Jr. We will explore how their thought influenced the social and cultural currents of their time.

RELG 3325--The Civil Rights Movement in Religious and Theoretical Perspective

Charles Marsh

Tu 3:30-6:00pm

The seminar considers the American Civil Rights Movement, its supporters and opponents, in religious and theological perspective. While interdisciplinary in scope, the seminar will explore the religious motivations and theological sources in their dynamic particularity; and ask how images of God shaped conceptions of personal identity, social existence, race and nation in the campaigns and crusades for equal rights under the law.

RELG 4559--MLK Jr.: Power, Love, Justice

Maurice Wallace

TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm

This course provides the opportunity to offer a new course in the subject of Religious Studies.


SOC 2442--Systems of Inequality

Sabrina Pendergrass

TuTh 11:00-11:50am

This course will examine various types of inequality (race, class, gender) in the US and abroad. We will discuss sociological theories covering various dimensions of inequality, considering key research findings and their implications. We will examine to what extent ascriptive characteristics impact a person's life chances, how social structures are produced and reproduced, and how individuals are able or unable to negotiate these structures.

SOC 3410--Race and Ethnic Relations

Milton Vickerman

MoWe 2:00-3:15pm

Introduces the study of race and ethnic relations, including the social and economic conditions promoting prejudice, racism, discrimination, and segregation.  Examines contemporary American conditions, and historical and international materials.

SOC 4559--Race, Crime, and Punishment

Rose Buckelew

TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm

This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject area of sociology.

Women and Gender Studies

WGS 2896--Front Lines of Social Change: Through the Lens of Gender, Race, and Class

Jaronda Miller-Bryant

TuTh 13:30-1:45pm

This course is for students who have committed to an internship with the Women's Center. While analyzing the intersectionality of race, class and gender and the deep connection to advocating for social change, interns will be exposed to experiential learning on Grounds in the community and abroad. We see our interns as ambassadors for the university. This course was designed to help students develop into the most well-informed interns possible.


WGS 4620--Black Feminist Theory

Lanice Avery

Th 2:00-4:30pm

This course critically examines key ideas, issues, and debates in contemporary Black feminist thought. With a particular focus on Black feminist understandings of intersectionality and womanism, the course examines how Black feminist thinkers interrogate specific concepts including Black womanhood, sexual mythologies and vulnerabilities, class distinctions, colorism, leadership, crime and punishment, and popular culture.