The Carter G. Woodson Institute, U.Va.

The Carter G. Woodson Institute

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

Fall 2011

View current course listings page

African-American and African Studies Program

AAS 1010 - Introduction to African-American and African Studies (4)

Instructor: Roquinaldo Ferreira

Tues/Thurs. 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 1850s. 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; and the rise of anti-slavery movements in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The first section provides an overview of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its impacts on Africa. The second section centers on Latin America (Brazil and Cuba) and the French Caribbean - Haiti. The last section deals with North America, tracing the history of slavery from the seventeenth to the late eighteenth century. Course requirements include regular attendance and three written exams.

AAS 2559 - Black Femininites and Masculinities in the Media (3)

IInstructor: Lisa Shutt

Mon. 2:00-4:30

This course 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. We will explore how different media, including feature films, popular television, documentaries, popular fiction, television, and print news media create categories of race and gender in different ways for (different) Americans – each media encapsulating its own markers of legitimacy and expertise – each negotiating its own ideas of authorship and audience. We will concentrate on the particular ways various media produce, display, and disseminate information; in particular, we will be analyzing cultural texts, the cultural environment in which they have been produced, and the audience reception of those texts. Finally, we will ask what responsibilities those who create and circulate information have – and whether or not the consuming/viewing public shares in any sort of responsibility. This class will enable students to cultivate theoretical tools and critical perspectives to analyze and question the influence of the popular media that saturate our lives.

* Another section of this course is offered on Mon. 6:30-9:00 as SWAG 2224 (See below)

AAS 2700 - Festivals of the Americas (3)

Instructor: Jalane Schmidt

Tues/Thurs. 9:30-10:45AM

Combined with RELG 2700

By reading case studies of various religious festivals in locations throughout the Caribbean and South, Central and North America, as well as theoretical literature drawn from social anthropology and religious studies, students will become familiar with significant features of contemporary religious life in the Americas, as well as with scholarly accounts of religious and cultural change. Students will become more critical readers of ethnographic and historical sources, as well as theories from the Study of Religion (Jonathan Z. Smith, Ronald Grimes, Lawrence Sullivan), and will increase their ability to theorize about ritual, festivity, sacred time, ritual space and ethnicity.

AAS 3280 - Reading the Black College Campus (3)

Instructor: K. Ian Grandison

Tues. 6:30-9:00PM

Combined with ENAM 3280

Historically Black Colleges and University campuses are records of the process of democratizing (extending to excluded social groups such as African-Americans) opportunities for higher education in America. Through landscapes, we trace this record, unearthing the politics of landscapes via direct experience as well as via interpretations of representations of landscapes in literature, visual arts, maps, plans, and photographs. For more details on this class, please visit the department website at http://www.engl.virginia.edu/courses.

AAS 3456 - Supreme Court and Civil Rights (3)

Instructor: Gordon Hylton

Mon./Weds. 4:00-5:15PM

This course explores the role of the United States Supreme Court in defining the legality of racial distinctions in the United States in the post-Civil War era. Special attention is paid to the role of the court’s landmark 1954 decision, Brown v. Board of Education. The class will be taught in a discussion format based upon assigned readings.

AAS 3500-1 Development and Culture in Africa (3)

Instructor: Niklas Hultin

Tues./Thurs. 11:00-12:15

This course draws on insights from critical theory to examine social issues, culture and development in Africa. As part of a broader introduction to the history and politics of the continent, it explores the general contours of European colonialism, national independence, and the position of African states in today's global economic order. Against this backdrop, the course teaches students to handle various theories of underdevelopment and draws attention to specific case studies – such as Nigeria and South Africa – to discuss issues related to race, class, gender, trade, violence, and HIV/AIDS.

AAS 3500-2 - Black Fire: African America Artistic Expression, Black Studies, and the Struggle for Freedom (3)

Instructor: Claudrena Harold

Mon/Weds. 2:00-3:15PM

"My field is black studies. In that field, I’m trying to hoe the hard row of beautiful things. I try to study them and I also try to make them. Elizabeth Alexander says 'look for color everywhere.' For me, color + beauty = blackness which is not but nothing other than who, and deeper still, where I am." Fred Moten

Early in the spring of 1969, an Ad Hoc Committee of the Black Students for Freedom and the Black Academic Community at the University of Virginia submitted a fourteen page proposal to key University administrators, demanding the formation of an African-American Studies program. The Committee’s proposal placed an emphasis on five important areas: history, sociology, economics, politics, and the arts. In their discussion of the critical importance of the arts, black student leaders emphasized the necessity of offering courses on African Americans’ contributions to literature, music, theater, dance, sculpture and painting. Their demands bore the imprint of a historical moment in which African American artists, writers, and consumers raised several important questions about the politics of black art and its relationship to the black liberation struggle: If popular art informs public perception, then what type of images and messages should the politically engaged artist put for th in his or her cultural productions? To what extent should African American artists subscribe to a black aesthetic, and who has the power to define the social, political, and cultural parameters of that aesthetic?

Throughout the fall semester, the course, “Black Fire” will engage these and other important questions by looking at various artists and cultural productions that have been instrumental in shaping the texture of social and cultural life in contemporary America. Significant attention will be given to the ways in which black women and men have relied on art as a vehicle for community building, political organizing, economic uplift, and of course, individual expression. On a related note, our class will engage the ways in which African American students at UVA—under the leadership and guidance of BSA and OAAA— have historically sought to integrate these artistic developments into the curriculum of African American Studies and the broader University life. The purpose here is to provide students with a sense of the local and national dimensions of the black arts movement.

For this broad course, topics of extensive discussion include but are not limited to the cultural politics of BSA’s 1970s “Black Culture Week” series; representations of black urban realism in 1970s African American music, particularly soul, funk, and fusion jazz; the poetics and politics of the Black Arts movement; the anti-penological discourses pervading the music of Gil-Scott Heron during the 1970s and early 1980s; Michael Jordan, Nike, and the global commodification of black style; The Cosby Show, A Different World and the expansion of the black bourgeoisie; the Native Tongues movement, Afrocentricity and the Golden Age of Hip-Hop; OutKast, Jason Moran, and the search for a Southern black Aesthetic; Prince, Meshell Ndegeogello, and the politics of black sexuality; and the influence of the Neo-Soul movement in black music and film. Possible readings for the course include Angela Davis’ “Art on the Frontline: Mandate for a People’s Culture,” Herman S. Gray’s Cultural Moves: African Americans and the Politics of Representation and Watching Race: Television and the Struggle for Blackness; The Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader; Christine Acham: Revolution Televised: Prime Time and the Struggle for Black Power; and Portia Maultsby’s African American Music: An Introduction.

AAS 3500-3 Women Writing Africa (3)

Instructor: Barbara Boswell

Tues./Thurs. 9:30-10:45

This survey course serves as an introduction to the literature of African women writers. It aims to situate African women’s literary production within the political and historical contexts in which these works are produced, and broadly examine the issues selected African women writers have chosen to highlight in their fiction. Particular attention will be paid to constructions and critiques of gender relations within each text. Novels include Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions (1989), Nawal El Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero (1975), Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter (1989), Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), Lauretta Ngcobo’s And They Didn’t Die (1989), Ama Ata Aidoo’s Changes (1991), Buchi Emecheta’s The Joy’s of Motherhood (1979), Bessie Head’s Maru (1971), Rayda Jacobs’s The Slave Book (2000), and Yvonne Vera’s The Stone Virgins (2002).

AAS 3559 - African American Health Professionals (3)

Instructor: Preston Reynolds

Tues. 3:30-6:00

This course addresses important issues of race and health disparities, as well as offering students an introduction to the understudied history of black medical professionals. Over the past three centuries, African American physicians, dentists, nurses and public health professionals have made major contributions to eliminating health disparities, offering, in many instances, the only source of medical and dental care available. Many of our majors consider a career in medicine--either as physicians, nurses or public health workers--and this course will surely be relevant for them. Students will also have the valuable experience of examing an array of primary documents pertaining to African American health care professionals in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the South.

AAS 3652 - African-American History Since 1865 (3)

Instructor: Claudrena Harold

Tues/Thurs. 11:00-12:15

Combined with HIUS 3652

This course surveys the major political, economic, and cultural developments in black America from the end of the Civil War to the present. Through an engagement with a wide range of primary and secondary texts, along with multimedia, students will examine African Americans’ endeavors to build strong families and communities, create vibrant and socially meaningful artistic productions, and establish a robust political infrastructure capable of bringing into existence a more just and humane world. Some of the questions that this course will explore include but are not limited to: How does an engagement with African American history broaden our understanding of such concepts as “freedom,” “democracy,” "race," and “nation.” How have African American leaders sought to shape U.S. public policy in ways that would enhance the quality of life for laboring people, particularly the working poor? What were the major philosophical and tactical points of disagreement among black freedom fighters during the Civil Rights and Black Power eras? And lastly, how have African Americans relied on artistic expression, i.e., music, television, film, and the visual arts, to strengthen their movements for social justice?

AAS 4070 - Directed Reading and Research (3)

Students in the DMP enroll under this number for thesis writing.

AAS 4500-1 - Fictions of Black Identity (3)

Instructor: Lisa Woolfork

Tues./Thurs. 11:00-12:15

Combined with ENAM 4500

This advanced undergraduate seminar will explore the dual meaning of its title “Fictions of Black Identity.” The first implication suggests the literary inventions (novels, essays, critical works) that address the meanings of blackness in an American context. The second meaning is heavily invested in the first: that Black identity is a fiction, not necessarily in the sense of falsity, but in its highly mediated, flexible, and variable condition. Questions to consider include: how does one make and measure Black identity? Can one be phenotypically White and still be Black? What is the value of racial masquerade? What does it mean to be legitimately Black? Readings include, but are not limited to, Percival Everett’s Erasure, Rebecca Walker’s Black, White, and Jewish, Paul Beatty’s White Boy Shuffle, and a range of critical essays. Mandatory assignments include critical essays, leading class discussion, midterm and final exams. This class is restricted to online waitlist and/or instructor permission. It is designed for students majoring in English, African American Studies, and/or American Studies.

AAS 4500-2 - Race in American Places (3)

Instructor: K. Ian Grandison

Weds. 6:30-9:00

Combined with ENCR 4500

How do assumptions about race operate when we consider the idea of an “American Place?” This interdisciplinary seminar interrogates this question by exploring place in America within the context of the “Culture Wars,” especially as these are catalyzed by the notion of race. We consider, for instance, how place is embroiled in the ideological work of distinguishing people according to identity and, then, of fixing identity groups within unyielding hierarchies. Consider, for example, how the seemingly innocuous story of The Three Little Pigs leads us to assume racial attributes of each pig based on materials and architectural styles. Thus, it seems so natural, so correct to identify groups of people as “primitive” and “destitute” versus “civilized” and “successful” based on assumptions about their housing. What are the implications of our culture’s insistence on promoting the notion that “Africans,” say, live in huts of mud or straw. We are interested in how such assumptions linking race and place are reinforced by planning, design, and preservation concepts and practice. How does the increasing popularity of Homeowners’ Associations maintain racial territories against the spirit of legal desegregation? Does the concurrency of homelessness and home-owners-associations in American society suggest anything about prevailing assumptions about a relationship between the right to privacy and racial and class identity? We study these questions with the help of targeted discussion of readings, required field trips to places around Charlottesville, informal workshops especially to develop the ability to interpret maps, plans, and other graphic representations of places, and student delivered presentations in class. Requirements include three informal small group exercises, an individual site-visit comment paper, a mid-term and final exam, and a group research project. The last requirement is presented in a symposium that represents the culmination of the semester.

AAS 4570-1 The Phenomenon of Oprah's Book Club (3)

Instructor: Dennis Tyler

Thurs. 3:30-6:30PM

Since its inception in September 1996, Oprah’s Book Club has transformed the literary landscape in a variety of profound ways—from ushering in a new wave of enthusiastic readers and spiking the sale of books around the globe to reshaping the advertising and marketing of fiction and offering readers a popular way of engaging literature. This level of success has allowed Oprah to accomplish her ultimate goal: to make her book club “the biggest book club in the world and get people reading again.”

Oprah’s mission—while extraordinary and spectacular in its scope—could not have been accomplished without, to some extent, drawing attention away from her selected texts and their formal and aesthetic qualities. Indeed, the scale and production of Oprah’s Book Club have raised a number of critical questions regarding both the advantages and drawbacks of a televised book club that are worthy of further exploration. For instance, what methods does the book club employ to make literature accessible to a mass televisual audience, and why does an extended discussion of literary form, content, and genre often get condensed in order to reach and maintain such a large following? How does the book club serve as a litmus test for the ongoing debates between highbrow and lowbrow literary cultures? In what way does the book club figure Oprah as the arbiter of literary taste, and what kind of backlash does she receive by assuming this role? How does Oprah use her book club to popularize and deify her selected authors? And, finally, in what way should U.S. public culture interpret the book club’s logo: Should it be understood as an innocuous seal of approval, as a symbol of sheer consumerism and corporatization in the global literary marketplace, or as something more complex and elaborate? We will explore these matters and questions as we engage the literature of Toni Morrison, Edwidge Danticat, Ernest Gaines, and Jonathan Franzen (among others).

A twenty-page research paper is required for the course.

AAS 4570-2 The Black Body in Transnational Translation (3)

Instructor: Barbara Boswell

Mon. 3:30-6:00

This interdisciplinary course has a strong emphasis on visual culture, and examines the way in which the figure of the “black body’ is discursively and visually constructed as it migrates globally and through history. The course aims to impart to students the ability to deconstruct the way the black body has been configured throughout history and in contemporary visual culture. Paying attention to the ways bodies are racialized, gendered, and sexualized in global cultural production, students will learn how to read the black body as “text” on which the dominant ideologies of its time are inscribed. The course starts by examining the body of the slave, reading texts on scientific racism, and unpacking the role of scientific racism in providing a rationale for slavery. Next, students examine the sexualized black female body through a reading of the life of Saartjie Baartman, the so-called South African “Hottentot Venus” who was brought to Europe in 1810 and put on display. Participants expand this theme by looking at the construction of the black male body as hypersexualized and dangerous, through the work of Ghanaian feminist filmmaker Yaba Badoe in her path-breaking documentary, “I Want Your Sex” (1990), and by viewing excerpts from films such as “Birth of a Nation” (1915). Students conclude this session on the black gendered body by critically reviewing contemporary film and music videos produced in the USA.

 

The second part of this course examines the ways in which black artists and writers in Africa and throughout the diaspora have chosen to represent race. Drawing on my published scholarship on the work of writer Doreen Baingana and filmmaker Yaba Badoe, this section examines the art of, amongst others, Bernie Searle, a South African visual artist, Ugandan writer Doreen Baingana, and African American visual artist Kara Walker. This section of the course aims to explore art as a mode of resistance to stereotypical racial images of the black body. Texts include excerpts from Amina Mama’s Beyond the Masks: Black Women and Subjectivity (1991), Kwesi Kwa Prah’s Discourses on Difference, Discourses on Oppression (2002), Dorothy Roberts’s Killing the Black Body (1997), and Doreen Baingana’s Tropical Fish: Stories out of Entebbe (2005).

 

AAS 4993 - Independent Study (1-3)

Allows students to work on an individual research project. Students must propose a topic to an appropriate faculty member, submit a written proposal for approval, prepare an extensive annotated bibliography on relevant readings comparable to the reading list of a regular upper-level course, and complete a research paper of at least 20 pages.

Department of Drama

DRAM 3070 - African American Theatre (3)

Instructor: Theresa Davis

Tues./Thurs., 2:00-3:15PM

This course 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.

Department of English

ENAM 3130 - African-American Survey I (3)

Instructor: Deborah E. McDowell

Tues./Thurs. 2:00-3:15PM

This course surveys pivotal moments and texts in the history of African-American letters, from Briton Hammon's Narrative of Uncommon Sufferings (1860) to W. E. B. DuBois's The Souls of Black Folk (1903)Charles Chesnutt's The Marrow of Tradition (1901). Working our way through a variety of genres (elegy, drama, the captivity narrative, the slave narrative, the essay, public oratory, speeches, and novels), we will explore a number of matters pertinent to literary studies in general, as well as those with specific implications for African-American writing and writers. We will consider the circumstances of textual production and reception, ideas and ideologies of literary history and culture, aesthetics, authorship and audience. We will focus our attention immediately on the emergence of African-American writing under the regime of slavery and the questions it poses about "race," "authorship," "subjectivity," "self-mastery," and "freedom." We will consider the material and social conditions under which our selected texts were edited, published, marketed, and "authenticated," lingering especially on the role white abolitionists and editors played in the production and mediation of these texts for various reading publics. Our ultimate aim is to situate our selections within the broadest possible contexts of their time and ours. Other required texts include Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Frances Harper's Iola Leroy, William Wells Brown's Clotelle, Harriet Wilson's Our Nig and Charles Chesnutt's The Marrow of Tradition.

ENAM 3280 - Reading the Black College Campus (3)

Instructor: K. Ian Grandison

Tues. 6:30-9:00PM

Combined with AAS 3280

Historically Black Colleges and University campuses are records of the process of democratizing (extending to excluded social groups such as African-Americans) opportunities for higher education in America. Through landscapes, we trace this record, unearthing the politics of landscapes via direct experience as well as via interpretations of representations of landscapes in literature, visual arts, maps, plans, and photographs. For more details on this class, please visit the department website at http://www.engl.virginia.edu/courses.

ENAM 4500 - Fictions of Black Identity (3)

Instructor: Lisa Woolfork

Tues./Thurs. 11:00-12:15

Combined with AAS 4500

This advanced undergraduate seminar will explore the dual meaning of its title “Fictions of Black Identity.” The first implication suggests the literary inventions (novels, essays, critical works) that address the meanings of blackness in an American context. The second meaning is heavily invested in the first: that Black identity is a fiction, not necessarily in the sense of falsity, but in its highly mediated, flexible, and variable condition. Questions to consider include: how does one make and measure Black identity? Can one be phenotypically White and still be Black? What is the value of racial masquerade? What does it mean to be legitimately Black? Readings include, but are not limited to, Percival Everett’s Erasure, Rebecca Walker’s Black, White, and Jewish, Paul Beatty’s White Boy Shuffle, and a range of critical essays. Mandatory assignments include critical essays, leading class discussion, midterm and final exams. This class is restricted to online waitlist and/or instructor permission. It is designed for students majoring in English, African American Studies, and/or American Studies.

ENAM 4500 - Space and Time in Harlem (3)

Instructor: Sandhya Shukla

Tues. 3:30-6:00PM

ENCR 4500- Race in American Places (3)

Instructor: K. Ian Grandison

Weds. 6:30-9:00PM

Combined with AAS 4500

How do assumptions about race operate when we consider the idea of an “American Place?” This interdisciplinary seminar interrogates this question by exploring place in America within the context of the “Culture Wars,” especially as these are catalyzed by the notion of race. We consider, for instance, how place is embroiled in the ideological work of distinguishing people according to identity and, then, of fixing identity groups within unyielding hierarchies. Consider, for example, how the seemingly innocuous story of The Three Little Pigs leads us to assume racial attributes of each pig based on materials and architectural styles. Thus, it seems so natural, so correct to identify groups of people as “primitive” and “destitute” versus “civilized” and “successful” based on assumptions about their housing. What are the implications of our culture’s insistence on promoting the notion that “Africans,” say, live in huts of mud or straw. We are interested in how such assumptions linking race and place are reinforced by planning, design, and preservation concepts and practice. How does the increasing popularity of Homeowners’ Associations maintain racial territories against the spirit of legal desegregation? Does the concurrency of homelessness and home-owners-associations in American society suggest anything about prevailing assumptions about a relationship between the right to privacy and racial and class identity? We study these questions with the help of targeted discussion of readings, required field trips to places around Charlottesville, informal workshops especially to develop the ability to interpret maps, plans, and other graphic representations of places, and student delivered presentations in class. Requirements include three informal small group exercises, an individual site-visit comment paper, a mid-term and final exam, and a group research project. The last requirement is presented in a symposium that represents the culmination of the semester.

Department of French Language & Literature

FREN 3046 - African Literatures and Cultures (3)

Instructor: Kandioura Drame

Tues./Thurs. 3:30-4:45PM

This course will explore aspects of African literatures and cultures. It will focus on selected issues of special resonance in contemporary African life. Oral literature and its continuing impact on all other art forms. Key issues in French colonial policy and its legacy in Africa: language, politics, education. The course will examine the image of the postcolonial state and society as found in contemporary arts, paintings, sculpture, music, and cinema. Selections from painters like Cheri Samba (Democratic Republic of Congo), Werewere Liking (Cameroun) and sculptors like Ousmane Sow, including such popular icons as Mamy Wata and forms such as Souwere glass painting; from musicians like Youssou Ndour (Senegal), Cheb Khaled (Algeria), Seigneur Rochereau, Tshala Muana (DRC), Salif Keita (Mali), and Cesaria Evora (Cape Verde); from Mande, Peul, and Kabyle oral literatures in French translation; from filmmakers D.D. Mambety, Moussa Sene Absa, and Ngangura Mweze. Visit to National Museum of African Arts depending on availability of funding. The final grade will be based on contributions to discussions, a mid-term exam, 2 papers, and a final exam.

Selections from the following texts will feature among the required reading list:
Wéréwéré Liking - Statues colons
A. Sow - La Femme, la Vache, la Foi
D.T. Niane - Soundjata ou l'épopée mandingue
Amadou Hampaté Ba - Koumen

FREN 3585 - Literature and Culture of North Africa (3)

Instructor: Majida Bargash

Tues./Thurs. 11:00-12:15PM

FREN 4743 Africa in Cinema (3)

Instructor: Kandioura Drame

Tues./Thurs. 12:30-1:45PM

 

Department of History

HIAF 2001 - Early African History through the Era of the Slave Trade (4)

Instructor: Joseph C. Miller

Tues./Thurs. 9:30-10:45AM

From the mists of the once-dark continent’s unwritten past Early African History draws out Africans’ distinctive strategies and achievements in culture, politics, and economics. Starting broadly at the dawn of history and continuing in detail from the millennium before the Present Era, HIAF 2001 follows the sometimes-surprising ways in which village elders, women, merchants, kings, cattle lords, and ordinary farmers pursued meaningful lives without the technologies that modern Americans take for granted. The last third of the course examines the ironic interplay of tragedy and ambition in a continent increasingly trapped in exiling its own people in slavery to Europeans, until the Atlantic slave trade began to wind down after about 1800. (A second semester of modern African history, HIAF 2002, taught in spring semester, follows subsequent events down through twentieth-century colonialism and the post-1960 era of independence and impoverishment.)

HIAF 2001 is an introductory lower-division survey. The instructor presents the major themes of the early history of the continent in twice-weekly lectures. Students meet additionally in discussion sections for reviews of readings, map quizzes, and preparation for written assignments. Requirements include short written responses to each class, weekly short map quizzes, a short paper reacting to assigned readings, and a take-home final exercise. The course belongs to the Afro-American and African Studies curriculum, qualifies for the minor in African Studies, meets the “non-western/non-modern” requirement for the major in History, counts as an adjunct course for Studies in Women and Gender, and qualifies for the College area requirements in “non-western perspectives” and “historical perspective”.

HIAF 3021 - History of Southern Africa (3)

Instructor: John Edwin Mason

Tues/Thurs, 9:30-10:45AM

HIAF 3021 is a lecture and discussion course on the history of southern Africa during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The emphasis is on South Africa.

The course begins with a look at the pre-colonial African societies of the region, before moving on to a study of conquest, colonialism, the rise and fall of apartheid, and the recent rebirth of African independence.

By the end of the nineteenth century, all of the African peoples of southern Africa had been conquered by European powers and incorporated into Dutch, British, Portuguese, and German colonial empires. Conquest had not come easily. Every society in the region resisted European domination fiercely, sometimes for many decades before being finally defeated. Colonialism and African responses to it dramatically reshaped societies in southern African, transforming political and economic systems, gender and class relations, even religious beliefs.

Resistance to colonialism assumed new forms in the twentieth century, as Africans began to bridge ethnic divisions to create multi-ethnic trade unions, churches, political parties, and liberation movements. Particularly in South Africa, African nationalism was influenced by nonracialism, uniting blacks and progressive whites in the ultimately successful struggle against apartheid.

Course materials include biographies, memoirs, fiction, music, and films, as well as academic studies. Students will take periodic quizzes on the readings and write two blue-book exams, a mid-term and a final.

HIAF 4511 - Colloquium in African History: Color and Culture in South Africa and the United States (4)

Instructor: John Edwin Mason

Thurs. 3:30-4:45PM

HIAF 4511 is a small, research-oriented course that explores the histories of South Africa and the United States in comparative perspective.

South Africa and the American South are cousins: instantly recognizable as members of the same family, but with distinctively different personalities. Both countries owe much of their early economic development to slavery. In both complex systems of racial domination shaped society for generations before and after the emancipation of the slaves. And in both the interracial struggle against racial domination gave rise to some of the most important people and events in their histories.

At the same time, the differences between the two countries cannot be ignored. In South Africa blacks constitute the overwhelming majority of the population, and the descendants of European immigrants are a small minority. In the United States, of course, the reverse is true. Both white supremacy and the struggle against it were more violent in South Africa than in the United States. And, since 1994, a democratic political system has ensured that black South Africans have enjoyed a degree of political power that black Americans have never experienced.

The course holds the similarities and differences between the two countries in a creative tension. Through biography, autobiography, music, photography, and scholarship, we will look at the ways in which race shaped the lives of South Africans and Americans, both black and white.

HIAF 4511 is designed primarily, but not exclusively, for history majors and fulfills the history department's seminar/colloquium requirement. Students enrolling in the course must have taken at least one course in African history, preferably South Africa, and two courses in American history.

HIST 4591 - The Transatlantic Slave Trade (3-4)

Instructor: Roquinaldo Ferreira

Thurs. 3:30-6:00PM

HIUS 3652 - African-American History Since 1865 (3)

Instructor: Claudrena Harold

Tues/Thurs. 11:00-12:15

Combined with AAS 3652

This course surveys the major political, economic, and cultural developments in black America from the end of the Civil War to the present. Through an engagement with a wide range of primary and secondary texts, along with multimedia, students will examine African Americans’ endeavors to build strong families and communities, create vibrant and socially meaningful artistic productions, and establish a robust political infrastructure capable of bringing into existence a more just and humane world. Some of the questions that this course will explore include but are not limited to: How does an engagement with African American history broaden our understanding of such concepts as “freedom,” “democracy,” "race," and “nation.” How have African American leaders sought to shape U.S. public policy in ways that would enhance the quality of life for laboring people, particularly the working poor? What were the major philosophical and tactical points of disagreement among black freedom fighters during the Civil Rights and Black Power eras? And lastly, how have African Americans relied on artistic expression, i.e., music, television, film, and the visual arts, to strengthen their movements for social justice?

HIUS 3671 - History of the Civil Rights Movement (3)

Instructor: Julian Bond

Tues. 3:30-5:30PM

This course will examine the origins, philosophies, tactics, events, personalities and consequences of the southern civil rights movement from 1900 to the mid-‘1960s. The movement, largely composed of grass-roots unknowns, was based on a culture of resistance instilled by racially restrictive laws and customs institutionalized by the resistant white South following the demise of Reconstruction. By employing a variety of tactics, at the end of the ‘60s decade, it had won impressive victories against state-sanctioned discrimination. Readings, lectures and videos will be the basis for the final examination. Students will be required to write two short papers. The final grade will be determined on the basis of the two papers (25% each), the final examination (30%), and discussion section participation (20%).

Texts required: Bond, Julian and Andrew Lewis, Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table, Thompson Learning Custom Publishing; Forman, James, The Making of Black Revolutionaries, University of Washington Press; Wilkins, Roy with Tom Matthews, Standing Fast, Da Capo.

Department of Music

MUEN 2690,3090,4690- Performance in Africa (4)

Instructor: Michelle Kisliuk

Tues./Thurs 5:15-7:15PM

By audition first day of class, no experience expected; A practical, hands-on course focusing on the singing, drumming, and dance from West Africa (Ewe Ghana/Togo) and Central African Republic (BaAka).

Department of Politics

PLAP 3340 - Race, Ethnicity and Immigration in American Politics (3)

Instructor: Vesla Weaver

Tues./Thurs. 3:30-6:00PM

PLCP 2120 Politics of Developing Areas (3)

Instructor: Robert Fatton

Mon./Weds. 9:00-9:50AM

PLCP 4810 - The Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa (3)

Instructor: Robert Fatton

Mon. 3:30-6:00PM

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; not open to students who have taken PLCP 381.

Department of Psychology

PSYC 4870 - The Minority Family (3)

Instructor: Melvin Wilson

Mon. 9:00-11:30AM

Examines the current state of research on minority families, focusing on the black family. Emphasizes comparing 'deficit' and 'strength' research paradigms. Prerequisite: PSYC 306 and at least one course from each of the following groups: PSYC 210, 215 or 230, and PSYC 240, 250 or 260, and students in the Afro-American and African studies or studies in women and gender programs.

Department of Religious Studies

RELA 3900/RELI 3900 - Islam in Africa (3)

Instructor: Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton

Tues/Thurs. 12:30-1:45PM

This course offers an historical and topical introduction to Islam in Africa. After a brief overview of the central features of the Muslim faith, our chronological survey begins with the introduction of Islam to North Africa in the 7th century. We will trace the transmission of Islam via traders, clerics, and jihads to West Africa. We shall consider the medieval Muslim kingdoms; the development of Islamic scholarship and the reform tradition; the growth of Sufi brotherhoods; and the impact of colonization and de-colonization upon Islam. Our overview of the history of Islam in East Africa will cover: the early Arab and Asian mercantile settlements; the flowering of classical Swahili courtly culture; the Omani sultanates and present-day Swahili society as well as recent "Islamist" movements in the Sudan and other parts of the East African interior.
Readings and classroom discussions provide a more in-depth exploration of topics encountered in our historical survey. Through the use of ethnographical and literary materials, we will explore questions such as the translation and transmission of the Qur'an, indigenization and religious pluralism; the role of women in African Islam; and African Islamic spirituality. Midterm, final, short paper, participation in discussion.

RELC 2559 - Pentecostalism (3)

Instructor: Valerie Cooper

Mon./Weds. 2:00-3:15

This course will study the history, theology, and practices of Pentecostalism, the fastest growing Christian movement in the world, from its origins among poor whites and recently freed African Americans to its phenomenal expansion in places like South America, Asia, and Africa. We will explore Pentecostalism’s theological and historical relationship to the Methodist, Holiness, Apostolic, and Charismatic movements, as well as Pentecostal belief in phenomena like speaking in tongues, healings, miracles, and prophecy. During the course of the semester, we will ask how Pentecostalism has come to encompass one in every four Christians worldwide in the space of little over a century. Finally, the course will use race, class, and gender analysis to evaluate the cultural influences and future trajectory of Pentecostalism in the US and elsewhere in the world.

RELC 3559 - African-Americans and the Bible (3)

Instructor: Valerie Cooper

Tues. 3:30-6:00PM

RELG 2700 - Festivals of the Americas (3)

Instructor: Jalane Schmidt

Tues./Thurs. 9:30-10:45AM

Combined with AAS 2700

By reading case studies of various religious festivals in locations throughout the Caribbean and South, Central and North America, as well as theoretical literature drawn from social anthropology and religious studies, students will become familiar with significant features of contemporary religious life in the Americas, as well as with scholarly accounts of religious and cultural change. Students will become more critical readers of ethnographic and historical sources, as well as theories from the Study of Religion (Jonathan Z. Smith, Ronald Grimes, Lawrence Sullivan), and will increase their ability to theorize about ritual, festivity, sacred time, ritual space and ethnicity.

RELG 3360 - Religions in the New World(3)

Instructor: Jalane Schmidt

Tues./Thurs. 2:00-3:15

A history course which examines Latin American and Caribbean religions from the 1400s through the 1830s. We will proceed topically (in rough chronological order), studying religious encounters during the pre-Columbian era, the Spanish conquest and colonial eras, the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Latin American independence (1820s), and slave emancipation in the anglophone Caribbean (1830s). The class will focus primarily upon the signature religious episodes, devotions, personalities and institutions of indigenous, African, Afro-creole, and mestizo communities, since these "gente de color" constituted the majority population in the New World during this historical epoch. We will consider issues of historiography?specifically, the problem of interpreting (sometimes hostile) extant archival sources and the use of such primary material in the writing of secondary literature. Students will develop their abilities to evaluate primary sources (in translation), and to identify the interpretive choices which scholars make in the crafting of historical narratives

Department of Sociology

SOC 3410 - Race & Ethnic Relations (3)

Instructor: Milton Vickerman

Mon./Weds. 2:00-2:50PM

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 4100 - Sociology of the African American Community (3)

Instructor: Hephzibah Strmic-Pawl

Tues./Thurs. 2:00-3:15PM

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a clear more comprehensive understanding of the history, struggle and diversity of the AfricanAmerican community. Emphasis will be placed on salient contemporary public issues as well as on the historical role of the AfricanAmerican Community within urban society and on the need for students to obtain knowledge of their cultural history. The course will approach these topics from a framework of analysis with consideration for AfricanAmerican people sociological and historical relationship to the political and economic system in America. By means of discussions, lectures, videos, reading and class presentation as well as written assignments, this course will provide new insights and perspectives into the dynamic of the AfricanAmerican community.

SOC 4870 - Immigration (3)

Instructor: Milton Vickerman

Mon./Weds. 4:20-5:45PM

This course examines contemporary immigration into the United States from the point of view of key theoretical debates and historical circumstances that have shaped current American attitudes toward immigration.

Studies in Women and Gender

SWAG 2224 - Black Femininities and Masculinities in the Media (3)

Instructor: Lisa Shutt

Mon. 6:30-9:00PM

This course 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. We will explore how different media, including feature films, popular television, documentaries, popular fiction, television, and print news media create categories of race and gender in different ways for (different) Americans – each media encapsulating its own markers of legitimacy and expertise – each negotiating its own ideas of authorship and audience. We will concentrate on the particular ways various media produce, display, and disseminate information; in particular, we will be analyzing cultural texts, the cultural environment in which they have been produced, and the audience reception of those texts. Finally, we will ask what responsibilities those who create and circulate information have – and whether or not the consuming/viewing public shares in any sort of responsibility. This class will enable students to cultivate theoretical tools and critical perspectives to analyze and question the influence of the popular media that saturate our lives.

Semester: 
Year Offered: 
2011
Graduate/Undergraduate: 
Undergraduate Courses