The Carter G. Woodson Institute, U.Va.

The Carter G. Woodson Institute

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

Spring 2022 Undergraduate Courses

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:1010/1020 requirements]

AAS 2224-001 Black Femininities 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]

AAS 2224-002 Black Femininities 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]

AAS 2500-001 Music, Politics, and Social Movements

Kevin Gaines MoWe 2:00-3:15

The course introduces students to the history of the United States over most of the twentieth century through a focus on the cultural soundscape of popular music.  Lectures and discussions (please bring your questions) will emphasize the social and cultural contexts for popular music, including Jim Crow segregation in the South, the Cold War, urbanization, racial and ethnic identities, the popular music industry, radio, television and other mass media, labor and class relations, politics, race relations, the 1960s youth counterculture and its legacy, feminism and gay liberation movements.  Special attention will be paid to the relation of rock and popular music to the social movements of the postwar U.S. and to the global circulation and influence of American popular music and culture.  We will also examine the broader social and cultural significance of various genres of popular music, including blues, folk music, jazz, gospel, country, rhythm and blues, soul, fusion, disco, funk, reggae, punk, and hip hop.  Students will gain a basic knowledge of the main social political, and intellectual issues, concepts, and transformations of twentieth century U.S. history.  The required readings will include both primary and secondary sources and contain concepts and content that will be examined in the quizzes and midterm and final exams. 

[Fulfills: SSH]

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 2500-004 Stories in Swahili

Anne Rotich MoWeFr  10:00-10:50am

Lower-level topics course: 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.

AAS 2500-005 The Souls of Black Folks

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

[Fulfills: SSH]

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; Humanities]

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: Race & Pol; SSH]

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: SSH]

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/History]

AAS 3500-002 Development and the Environment in Modern Africa

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.

[Fulfills: Africa;SSH]

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.

[Fulfills: Humanities; Africa]

AAS 3500-004 Race and Medicine in America from 1960-present

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. 

[Fulfills: SSH; Race &Pol]

AAS 4109 Civil Rights Movement and the Media

Aniko Bodroghkozy  Mo 5:00-7:30

This Course examines the crucial relationship between Civil Rights Movement and Mass media form 1950s through early 1970s, looking at a variety of media forms:  Hollywood cinema, network television, mainstream newspapers, photojournalism, the black press, and the news as primary documents that can tell us something about American race relations during this period and how the nation responded to the challenges posed by a powerful social change movement.

AAS 4570-003 Race, Nation and Popular Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

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 4570-004 Race-ing Gender: Black Theories of Sex, Race and Queerness

Alexandria Smith TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

Is gender imposed on Black people, or is it denied them? Black writers and cultural producers have long been attentive to the ways that Blackness as a socially produced and experienced identity is also informed by sex, gender, and sexuality. U.S. Black feminist scholarship traces a long tradition of writing by Black women, in particular, who articulated the ways that they understood the implications of being socialized as women as inextricable from being marked as Black. Outside of the U.S., Black scholars and scholars of color have paid attention to the impacts that slavery and (settler)colonialism have had on imposing and violently enforcing Western gender logics. In this course we will examine a range of texts which will illuminate the ways that Blackness and gender, as both concepts and experiences, interact. Some of the questions which will guide our reading, thinking, and discussions in this seminar are: What difference does race make for gender? What difference does gender make for race? Are the concepts of manhood, womanhood, and gender relevant for Black people? Have they ever been? Are the concepts of manhood and womanhood worth saving for Black people? Who is interested in saving, revising, or abolishing these concepts?

[Fulfills: Humanities; 4000-level research]

AAS 7000 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

SWAHILI

SWAH 1020 Introductory Swahili II

Anne Rotich  MoWeFr 11:00-11:50

This course is a continuation of SWAH 1010. The course is designed to advance your knowledge of Swahili from the SWAH 1010. It is expected that you will build your Swahili lexicon and Swahili grammar to enable you to adequately contribute to basic conversations with Swahili speakers. You will be able to talk more deeply about your work, studies, country and your preferences, needs, and interests following the correct grammar rules. You will learn how to handle basic social conversations at the market, in the hospital, and also talk about a variety of topics of common interest. You will also learn about more cultural aspects of everyday culture in East Africa from class and from engaging virtually the Swahili community in Charlottesville.

SWAH 2020 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.

AMERICAN STUDIES

AMST 3222 Hands-on Public History II: Reconstruction, the Black Church & the Black Press

Lisa Goff Tu 3:30-6:00pm

This course investigates how the history of slavery and Reconstruction in central Virginia are presented to the public at historic sites, museums, archives, and on digital platforms. In the fall semester, we collaborated with our community partner, One Shared Story, to critique historic sites of enslavement in the Charlottesville area and to produce digital “story maps” that filled in some of the gaps in the public history of slavery in Fluvanna County, Virginia—contributing, in some small way, to a more just and comprehensive public history. This spring we will continue our study of white supremacy by focusing on Reconstruction. In addition to the brutal realities of that historical period we will also focus on three areas of Black achievement and empowerment during that era: politics, religion, and media. We will continue our work with One Shared Story, contributing specifically to two of their initiatives: georeferencing and documenting African American cemeteries at Black churches in central Virginia; and assisting community members conducting genealogical research. This is designed as a year-long course, but you are welcome to join us in the spring as long as you're willing to do a little catching up re: using Ancestry.com, and StoryMaps. You can see the work students have done in previous classes here: https://hoph-2020-f-oss.hub.arcgis.com/. 

[Fulfills: SSH]

AMST 3559-001 The Education of Blacks in America

Maurice Adkins MoWe 3:30-4:45

AMST 3559-002 Afro-Caribbean Latinx Histories in American

Staff TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

AMST 3750 Cultures of Hip-Hip

Jack Hamilton TuTh 3:30-4:45pm

This course explores the origins and impacts of American hip-hop as a cultural form in the last forty years, and maps the ways that a local subculture born of an urban underclass has risen to become arguably the dominant form of 21st-century global popular culture . While primarily focused on music, we will also explore how forms such as dance, visual art, film, and literature have influenced and been influenced by hip-hop style and culture.

[Fulfills: Humanities]

AMST 4500.002. Race in American Places.

Ian Grandison Th 5:00-7:30pm

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. 

[Fulfills: Humanities; Race & Pol; 4000]

AMST 4559.003 James Baldwin

Marlon Ross Tu 5:00-7:30pm

Fulfills: Humanities; 4000

AMST 4559.001 Racial Geographies, Environmental Crises

Kong-Chow Tu Th 11:00-12:15pm

DRAMA

DRAM 3070 African American Theater

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.

[Fulfills: Humanities]

 

ENGLISH

ENGL 4500 Sally Hemings’ University

Lisa Woolfork We 5:30-8:00pm

This course is “Sally Hemings University.” Its objective is to prepare students to examine and reconfigure the status quo. This course seeks to help students appreciate the shift from euphemisms (“racially-charged” or “racially-tinged”) to vocabularies of consequence (“racist” or “white supremacist”), to foster a facility for talking capably and comfortably about “uncomfortable” topics such as systems of domination and their influence upon university and daily life. “Sally Hemings University” is a site where the adverse effects of overt and subtle forms of white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism and other systems of dominance are scrutinized. As a course, “Sally Hemings University” explores questions generated by re-framing “Mr. Jefferson’s University” (and universities generally) as a site that destabilizes the dominant narrative of the university as Jefferson’s primary property and by extension that of similarly entitled white men. Fulfills: Humanities; 4000 with instructor permission.

ENGL 4570 Seminar in American Literature: James Baldwin

Marlon Ross Tu 5:00-7:30pm

[Fulfills: Humanities; 4000]

HISTORY

HIUS 2053 American Slavery

Justene Hill Edwards. MoWe 12:00-12:50

This course will introduce students to the history of slavery in the United Sates.

[Fulfills: SSH]

HIUS 3654 Black Fire

Claudrena Harold TuTh 9:30-10:45am

This course examines the history and contemporary experiences of African Americans at the University of Virginia from the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the present era. Fulfills: SSH

RELIGION

RELG 3200 Martin, Malcolm and America

Mark Hadley TuTh 9:30-10:45 

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: Race & Pol; SSH]

Sociology

SOC 3410 Race and Ethnic Relations. 

Milton Vickerman MoWe 4:00-5:15pm

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.

[Fulfills: SSH]

 

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