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

Spring 2022 Undergraduate Courses

Course Descriptions

AFRICAN AMERICAN AND AFRICAN STUDIES PROGRAM

AAS 1020 Introduction to African American and African Studies II

Ashon Crawley TuTh 12:30-1:45

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.

Fulfills: 1020 requirements

AAS 2224-001 Black Feminities and Masculinities in the US Media

Lisa Shutt Tu 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 medium 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.

[Fulfills: Humanities; SSH]

AAS 2224-002 Black Feminities and Masculinities in the US Media

Lisa Shutt We 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 medium 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.

[Fulfills: Humanities; SSH]

AAS 2500-001

Kevin Gaines MoWe 2:00-3:15

AAS 2500-002 – Race, Class, Politics & the Environment

Kimberly Fields We 6:00-8:30

This course explores the relationships between 'race', socio-economic status, interest group politics and environmental policy. We will address and contend with debates surrounding the claims that racialized and poor communities disproportionately shoulder society's negative environmental burdens. Particular regard will be paid to the political and decision-making processes through which environmental issues are channeled, evaluated and addressed. Through a variety of analytical and contextual lenses, we will examine fundamental environmental problems faced by individuals and communities of color and the policies and initiatives designed to address them. Attention will also be given to the political and economic responses of community, business, and political stakeholders towards perceived environmental inequities. Additionally, stakeholder responses to existing environmental justice policies and initiatives will also be considered. Furthermore, we will discuss arguments concerning political elites' and interest groups' perceived failures to provide a politically viable vision and remedial strategy to address environmental injustice. Through selected case studies, we will examine a number of topics and questions. Some key topics to be considered include: theories of racism and justice, the conceptual history and definitions of environmental racism, the historical development and goals of the environmental justice movement, the social, political, economic and environmental advantages and drawbacks of current systems of production and consumption, stakeholder responses to environmental inequities, the impact of environmental justice policies on environmental inequities as well as their impact on subsequent political behavior, pollution in developing nations and, indigenous peoples. Additionally, the possible causes for patterns of injustice will be examined. Recent proposals to address the problem of environmental racism and injustice will be discussed and analyzed.

[Fulfills: Race & Pol; SSH]

AAS 2500-003 

Staff TuTh 8:00-9:15am

AAS 2559 The Souls of Black Folk

Sabrina Pendergrass TuTh 11:00-12:15

In this course, we will examine the social organization of African American communities. The intellectual context for the issues we will study come from the foundational work of sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois, anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, and others. We will discuss African Americans’ social status and experiences at the intersections of class, color, gender, and sexuality. We also will study institutions within the community, and we will consider social issues that African Americans face today and will face in the future

AAS 2740 Peoples and Cultures of Africa

Lisa Shutt Th 2:00-4:30

In this course, students will gain an understanding of the richness and variety of African life. While no course of this kind can hope to give more than a broad overview of the continent, students will learn which intellectual tools and fundamental principles are necessary for approaching the study of the hundreds of cultural worlds that exist today on the African continent. Drawing from ethnographic texts, literary works and documentary and feature films, specific examples of the lives people are living on the African continent will be examined in order to sample the cultural richness and diversity of the African continent

Fulfills: Africa; Social Science/History

AAS 3200 Martin, Malcolm and America 

Mark Hadley TuTh 9:30-10:45am

An intensive examination of African American social criticism centered upon, but not limited to, the life and thought of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. We will come to grips with the American legacy of racial hatred and oppression systematized in the institutions of antebellum chattel slavery and post-bellum racial segregation and analyze the array of critical responses to, and social struggles against, this legacy.

Fulfills: Humanities

AAS 3300 Social Sciences in African American and African Studies

Sabrina Pendergrass TuTh 2:00-3:15

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.

Fulfills: Social Science or History

AAS 3500 – 001 African American Health Professionals

Pamela Reynolds Mo 6:00-8:30

This course will explore race and its impact on health disparities from the 19th century to the present, focusing on the history of African American doctors, dentists, nurses, lay midwives, and public health professionals.  Students will learn about the role and importance of the Black hospital system, barriers to professional training and service experienced by African American health professionals and their efforts to overcome racism in providing medical, dental, nursing and midwifery care.  The movement to end discrimination in medicine and health professions education will be explored as students investigate the persistence of health disparities today.

Fulfills: Social Science or History

AAS 3500 – 002

James Parker TuTh 3:30-4:45

‘Development and the Environment in Modern Africa’ will allow students to explore ideologies of economic development towards Africa, and the localized responses of rural communities across the continent. Fusing histories of imperialism and capitalism alongside works of literature, philosophy, and activism, the class explores how the global economy has sought to exploit the natural resources of Sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, we will grow to understand the multiple social and ecological consequences of development doctrines, showing how race, economy, and environment are deeply intertwined. By foregrounding the experiences of rural communities and activists, the class offers an insight into how the exigencies of global capitalism have affected populations and clashed with diverse ecological understandings of the environment. Finally, we will explore a diverse number of continental environmental justice movements and their intersections with global environmental movements. Rather than treating modern Africa as separate from global economic networks, or as somehow environmentally deficient and in need of developing, the class above all else will highlight the myriad alternative ways of understanding development and the environment that lay outside the western and extractivist mindset.

AAS 3500 – 003 – Cultures of African Cinema

Brian Smithson TuTh 2:00 – 3:15

What roles does cinema play in the lives of people in Africa and its diasporas? What does film mean to African audiences, and to the producers, funders, and superstar actors who make the movies these audiences watch? How do we define “African cinema,” and what are the political, racial, and cultural ramifications of our definitions? We will consider these questions by watching African movies from different production cultures, including art cinema, the melodramas of Nigeria’s Nollywood, and the big-budget blockbusters of “New Nollywood.” We will place these movies into their cultural context. In the process, we will touch on a broad range of topics, including African filmmakers’ struggles for artistic independence, African movies’ capacity to speak back to power, and the digital era’s Netflix-ization of African film.

AAS 3500 – 004 Race and Medicine in Post-19th Century America

Liana Richardson TuTh 9:30-10:45

In this course, we will examine the medical practices involved in the social construction of racial difference and the persistence of racial health inequities in the U.S. during the 20th and 21st centuries. Drawing from relevant scholarship in sociology, anthropology, and history, we will discuss the origins and consequences of medical racism, as well as the continued role of medicine in racial meaning-making. We will also consider why the medicalization of social issues—from collective violence to drug addiction—is often a racialized process, focusing especially on how contrasting schemas of medicalization and criminalization result in the differential labeling and treatment of racial groups as either victims or villains. Case studies and historical accounts about the racialization, medicalization, and/or criminalization of various health and social issues, including obesity, heart disease, drug addiction, and other “problem” behaviors, will be used as illustrative examples. Attention will also be given to the consequences of these phenomena for health equity, social justice, and human/civil rights. 

 

AAS 4570 – 001

Staff Mo 6:00-8:30

AAS 4570 – 002 

Staff Tu 6:00-8:30

AAS 4570 – 003

Nicole Ramsey TuTh 3:30-4:45

This course draws on interdisciplinary approaches to introduce students to a range of topics, methodologies and experiences that lay the foundation of Black study in Latin America and the Caribbean. We will closely examine the extensive and diverse histories, cultures, social and political movements of Black people in Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S through popular culture. By offering a multitudinous approach to understanding the relationship between race, national identity and the state, students will critically engage with and reconsider how blackness is articulated, performed and lived within Black Latin American and Caribbean national imaginaries. Fulfills: Humanities; 4000-level research.

AAS 5559 Introduction to Africana Studies

Robert Trent Vinson We 2:00-4:30

This is an introductory course that will survey key texts in the interdisciplinary fields of African American, African, and Caribbean Studies. By the end of the course, students will be prepared to identify and understand the major themes that have shaped the development of the discipline of Africana Studies. Assignments in the course will help students to develop an understanding of both the methodological and theoretical challenges that prevail in studies of the African Diaspora, such as learning to evaluate sources and to acquire an awareness of, as well as to question, the silences, repressions, omissions, and biases involved in interpreting writing both from and about the African diaspora. Some of the key terms that students will become familiar with are: ethnocentrism, white privilege, race, racism, hegemony, colonialism, imperialism, agency, diaspora, power, identity, modernity, nation, citizenship,sovereignty, and globalization, as well as how these concepts intersect with ideas of both gender and class.

For Graduate Students Only

AAS 7000

Staff We 2:00-4:30

SWAHILI

SWAH 1020 -001 Introductory Swahili II

Anne Rotich MoWeFr 10:00-10:50

Swahili, or Kiswahili is widely spoken in East Africa and worldwide. It is estimated that about 70 million people speak Kiswahili globally. It is also widely spoken in Africa especially in Tanzania and Kenya as a national language. It is also spoken in Uganda and the Comoros Islands, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, and Mozambique.  It is also spoken in some Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman.  The course is designed to help you learn enough about Swahili to enable you to handle your needs adequately in basic conversations with Swahili speakers. You will be able to talk about yourself and your preferences, needs, and interests in the past, present and future time. You will learn to greet others, introduce yourself, handle basic social conversations, and talk about a variety of topics of common interest. You will learn to read and write Swahili in past, present, and future time and how to understand written and spoken Swahili well enough to carry out routine tasks and engage in simple conversations. You will also learn about some aspects of everyday culture in East Africa.

SWAH 1020- 002 Introductory Swahili II

Anne Rotich MoWeFr 11:00-11:50

Swahili, or Kiswahili is widely spoken in East Africa and worldwide. It is estimated that about 70 million people speak Kiswahili globally. It is also widely spoken in Africa especially in Tanzania and Kenya as a national language. It is also spoken in Uganda and the Comoros Islands, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, and Mozambique.  It is also spoken in some Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Oman.  The course is designed to help you learn enough about Swahili to enable you to handle your needs adequately in basic conversations with Swahili speakers. You will be able to talk about yourself and your preferences, needs, and interests in the past, present and future time. You will learn to greet others, introduce yourself, handle basic social conversations, and talk about a variety of topics of common interest. You will learn to read and write Swahili in past, present, and future time and how to understand written and spoken Swahili well enough to carry out routine tasks and engage in simple conversations. You will also learn about some aspects of everyday culture in East Africa.

SWAH 2020-001 Intermediate Swahili II

Anne Rotich MoWeFr 12:00-12:50

Further develops skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, and awareness of the cultural diversity of the Swahili-speaking areas of East Africa.