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African/African American Studies (AFAM)

Director: Associate Professor Kofi Owusu

Committee Members: Deborah Appleman, Elizabeth Ciner, Mary Easter, Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg, Richard A. Keiser, Cherif Keïta, Stephen K. Kelly, Jamie Monson, Robert B. Packer, Harry M. Williams

The program in African/African American Studies provides a cross-cultural and comparative framework for systematically studying the traditions and experiences of Africans in the New and Old Worlds. Students in this program are encouraged to develop their analytic, research and literary skills through a critical study of patterns of western and African Civilizations in their interwoven complexity. The program provides a forum for addressing topics such as cultural and artistic creativity, construction of self, marginality, responses to exclusion, and the conjunction of issues related to gender, class, race and ethnicity.

The African/African American Studies Committee is composed of student, faculty, and administration members. It acts as a focal point for the encouragement of African/African American Studies at Carleton by actively urging departments and faculty members to offer courses in this field, by preparing each year a list of available courses and faculty resources, and by supporting the hiring of specialists in the field by various departments.

Numerous courses taught at Carleton have a bearing on African/African American Studies, in addition to those offered by the program itself. Students majoring in African/African American Studies have been able to create programs, on an individual basis, out of the available Carleton offerings, independent study, and, in some cases, off-campus study. Students interested in majoring in the field should consult the Director of African/African American Studies before the end of their sophomore year.

Requirements for a Major:

I. Admission to the program will depend upon the acceptance, by the African/African American Studies Committee, of a written proposal outlining the student's program of study.

II. Survey Courses (18 credits). Students must take three of the following courses:

DANC 114 Black Dance: An Historical Survey

ENGL 117 African American Literature

MUSC 245 Music of Africa (Not offered in 2001-2002.)

HIST 180 An Historical Survey of East Africa and the Horn or

HIST 181 West African Societies in Historical Perspective (Not offered in 2001-2002.)

HIST 220 African American History I (Not offered in 2001-2002.) or

HIST 221 African American History II

III. Interdisciplinary Courses (At least 6 credits). Each student must complete at least one 200-level team-taught, interdisciplinary course which, in part, specifically discusses African/African American Studies as a discipline:

African/African American Studies 233 A Study of the Harlem Renaissance Through Literature, Music and Dance (Not offered in 2001-2002.)

IV. Distribution Courses (30 credits). Each student should take five courses that are essential to his or her major from the following groups:

Arts and Literature


Social Sciences

At least one course must be chosen from each of the three groups, and at least two of the total of five courses must be at the 300-level.

V. Senior Seminar in African/African American Studies (6 credits).

VI. Comprehensive Exercise (6 credits). Each student should have a faculty advisor in his or her area of focus who will direct the comprehensive and integrative project along with the program director. The research project will culminate in an oral examination in defense of the completed integrative essay.

Completion of the major stipulates, then, a minimum of 66 credits: three survey courses, at least one interdisciplinary course, five distribution courses, senior seminar, and the comprehensive exercise.

Students are urged to pursue off-campus study in a community setting in the U.S., Africa or the Caribbean. The Office of Off-Campus Studies provides information about such opportunities.

African/African American Studies Courses

AFAM 114. Black Dance: An Historical Survey Through Movement, Composition, Readings and Guest Lecture-Performa Cross-listed with DANC 114. A general survey of the dance modes of Black Americans and a tracing of the unique movement attitudes and their continuing significance in Black life from their African origins to the concert stage of the twentieth century. 6 credits cr., AL,RAD, SpringM. Easter

AFAM 117. African American Literature Cross-listed with ENGL 117,AMST 117. This course provides an overview of African American literature. We will pay particular attention to the tradition of African American literary expression and the individual talent that brings depth and diversity to that tradition. Authors to be read include Baldwin, Baraka, Brooks, Ed Bullins, Douglass, Du Bois, Dunbar, Nikki Giovanni, Hayden, Hughes, Weldon Johnson, Locke, McKay, Morrison, Toomer, Wheatley, and Wilson. Group IV. 6 credits cr., AL, SpringK. Owusu

AFAM 130. The History of Jazz Cross-listed with MUSC 130,AMST 130. A survey of jazz from its beginnings to the present day focusing on the performer/composers and their music. No prerequisite. 6 credits cr., AL,RAD, SpringS. Kelly

AFAM 131. From the Delta to Memphis Cross-listed with MUSC 131,AMST 131. A history of the Delta blues and its influence on later blues and popular music styles, tracing its movement from the Mississippi Delta in the 1920s to Elvis Presley and early rock and roll in the mid 1950s, including the classic blues singers of the 1920s, the development of the Chicago Blues and issues of authenticity and "ownership" of both the music and its cultural legacy. The course involves readings, listening assignments, and some transcriptions of early recorded blues. No prerequisite, although the ability to read music is helpful. 6 credits cr., AL,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 137. Spiritual Hymns and Gospel Music: Aspects of African-American Music Traditions Cross-listed with MUSC 137,AMST 137. The survey of African-American hymns, spirituals and gospel music in the worship service and on the concert stage. The course of study will place the music and its creators within the historical, social, and cultural contexts of life in the United States, from the earliest days to the present. This framework will provide an appreciation for how the music tells the story of African-Americans, how the music affects audiences throughout the world, and how the traditions influence other musical expressions. The approach of the study is performance based with particular attention to the simularities and differences of musical forms, styles and performance practices of western art music. No prerequisite. 6 credits cr., AL,RAD, WinterL. Burnett

AFAM 180. An Historical Survey of East Africa and the Horn Cross-listed with HIST 180. Cross-listed to AFAM 180. Linkages to the trade networks of the Indian Ocean and to the African interior provide excellent material for the study of the impact of long-distance trade on African social, political and economic development from the turn of the millennium to the present. Using case studies and primary documents, this course will survey the history of Eastern and Northeastern Africa from 1000 B.C. to the present. 6 credits cr., HU,RAD, WinterJ. Monson

AFAM 181. West African Societies in Historical Perspective Cross-listed with HIST 181. West Africa was the location of the earliest development of large-scale state formation south of the Sahara. Beginning with Ancient Ghana, this course will examine the political and economic history of West Africa with a focus on long-distance trade (both the Saharo-Sudanese and Atlantic trade networks) and political centralization. 6 credits cr., HU,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 182. A Survey of Southern African History Cross-listed with HIST 182. This course will review the history of southern Africa from the Late Neolithic period to the twentieth century. The development of a multiracial society; the impact of the mineral/industrial revolution in the nineteenth century; and the growth of African resistance and nationalism up to the present will be the focal points. 6 credits cr., HU,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 191. Karimba Ensemble Cross-listed with MUSC 191. This ensemble focuses on the 15-key Shona (Zimbabwe) karimba (sometimes called a "thumb piano"). Students learn the fundamentals of solo and group playing on the karimba and study selections from the instrument's traditional repertoire. No musical training or experience is necessary. 1 credit cr., S/CR/NC, ND, Fall,Winter,SpringM. Russell

AFAM 192. African Drum Ensemble Cross-listed with MUSC 192. The ensemble will use indigenous instruments and an African approach to musical training in order to learn and perform rhythms and songs from West Africa. Admission by audition or permission of the instructor. 1 credit cr., S/CR/NC, ND, Fall,Winter,SpringJ. Johnson

AFAM 193. Mbira Ensemble Cross-listed with MUSC 193. An ensemble of 22-key Shona (Zimbabwe) mbira dza vadzimu. Playing techniques, improvisational practices, and traditional repertoire will be taught. Prerequisite: Music 191. 1 credit cr., S/CR/NC, ND, SpringM. Russell

AFAM 199. African Drum Class Cross-listed with MUSC 199. Class instruction in basic techniques of African drumming. No musical training or experience is necessary. Special fee: $45. 1 credit cr., S/CR/NC, ND, Fall,Winter,SpringJ. Johnson

AFAM 207. Urban Politics Cross-listed with POSC 207,AMST 207. An introduction to the politics of large cities with a focus on one or a few specific cities. We will examine the functional logic and electoral success of machine politics as well as successful and coopted attempts at reform in machine cities. We will also examine how race and class have created new cleavages in the partisan structure of urban politics. Finally, we will study the fiscal problems of contemporary cities and examine the intergovernmental constraints on cities 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 220. African American History I Cross-listed with HIST 220,AMST 220. The transition of the slave from an African to an African-American either directly or indirectly through the institution of slavery until 1865. Special attention will be given to individuals, organizations, and philosophies proposing solutions to the African- and Euro-American dilemma. Previous knowledge of American history is desirable. 6 credits cr., HU, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 221. African American History II Cross-listed with HIST 221,AMST 221. The transition of the African-American from slave to citizen through the development of freedom in industrial and post-industrial America since 1865. Special attention will be given to individuals, organizations and philosophies proposing solutions to the African- and Euro-American dilemma. Previous knowledge of American history is desirable. 6 credits cr., HU, SpringH. Williams

AFAM 230. African American Autobiography Cross-listed with ENGL 230,AMST 230. The African American slave narrative chronicles remarkable transformations: how a (wo)man was made a slave and how a slave was made a (wo)man. The ex-slave's affirmation of selfhood found expression in first-person narratives that launched a literary tradition. We will place this emerging tradition in its historical context, discuss its defining characteristics, and trace its development in twentieth-century African American autobiography. Our definition of "the literary" will not be divorced from relevant cultural codes and historical context. We will read classic slave narratives by Equiano, Douglass, and Jacobs; and twentieth-century autobiography by Washington, Hurston, Wright, Malcolm X, Angelou, Brooks, and Njeri. Group IV. 6 credits cr., AL,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 233. A Study of the Harlem Renaissance through Literature, Music and Dance This course offers an interpretation of the Harlem Renaissance through literature, music, and dance. We will look at representative works of the artists of the renaissance. We will also read novels and short stories and discuss them as virtuoso performances by writers who capture, in theme and form, the improvisational spirit and energy of the renaissance. By examining landmark musicals like "Shuffle Along," for example, we will be able to assess the impact, flowering, and acceptance of African American music and dance in this period. Prerequisite: writing requirement. 6 credits cr., AL,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 235. Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean Cross-listed with FREN 235. Reading and discussion of literary works, with analysis of social, historical and political issues. Conducted in English. 6 credits cr., AL,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 244. Music of Africa Cross-listed with MUSC 245. An introduction to the music of sub-Saharan Africa, including music of the Manding, Yoruba, Ashanti, Mbuti, and Shona. Traditional and popular styles will be explored. The relationships of music and society are examined with particular attention to ethnic identity, political life, religion, and gender roles. Prerequisite: Previous Carleton music course or permission of instructor. 6 credits cr., AL,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 245. Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean Cross-listed with FREN 245,FRST 245. Reading and discussion of literary works, with analysis of social, historical and political issues. Conducted in French. Prerequisite: French 204 or equivalent. 6 credits cr., AL,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 247. African Cinema: In Search of Identity and Self Definition Cross-listed with FREN 248,MEDA 247. This course will introduce students (who are not expected to have an extensive knowledge of African history and culture) to films that engage the socio-political issues central to an emerging African cultural identity. The course will focus on work by African filmmakers such as Souleymane Cissé (whose The Brightness won the Prix du Jury at Cannes in 1987), but it will also touch on the cinemas of the diaspora—particularly in the Caribbean. In contrast, we will also consider colonial and post-colonial "definitions" of Africa from Hollywood in the ‘30s (where "the natives" are the ones with the spears) to France in the ‘70s (Jean-Jacques Arnaud's Oscar-winning Black and White in Color Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 256. Ethnography of Africa Cross-listed with SOAN 256,FRST 256. This course emphasizes the study of several sub-Saharan African societies so as to deal with themes that have concerned anthropologists working in Africa. The types of questions anthropologists have posed about African societies, and the role Africa has played in the development of anthropological theory is explored. Texts include two classics, The Nuer and Chisungu, as well as contemporary re-studies and ethnographic case studies by both African and Western scholars to address issues affecting the entire continent, including colonialism, gender, local-state relations, the role of history, and debates about cultural identities. Prerequisite: Sociology/Anthropology 110 or 111 or permission of the instructor. 6 credits cr., SS,RAD, FallP. Feldman-Savelsberg

AFAM 266. Urban Political Economy Cross-listed with POSC 266. . An examination of the power of capital in cities. Focus on goals and impact of urban renewal, downtown development, and competition with suburbs, other states and other countries. Is the local state a countervailing force to the interests of business and developers? Can citizen groups make a difference in development decisions? Are markets the best allocative mechanism for decisions about development priorities? Student research on local development issues, e.g., the Mall of America, sports stadia, and new airport proposals will be encouraged. 6 credits cr., SS, WinterR. Keiser

AFAM 280. Women and Work in African History Cross-listed with HIST 280,WGST 280. African women have frequently been termed the "invisible workers" of their societies. Using the theoretical concepts of gender, class and patriarchy, this course will analyze the productive and reproductive roles of women in African history, in order to improve their "visibility." 6 credits cr., HU,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 283. Africa Before the Europeans: The Dark Continent? Cross-listed with HIST 283. Through epics, origin myths, praise songs, poetry, ethnographic materials, historical works and novels, this seminar will explore Africa's rich pre-colonial past, paying particular attention to material and social change and the ways in which both ruling elites and "ordinary" men and women—farmers, herders, traders, slaves—helped to shape their worlds. The course challenges Western depictions of Africa as the "dark continent" by showing that African peoples had vibrant cultures and sophisticated technologies, participated in far-reaching commercial and political networks, and maintained dynamic (and internally differentiated) social systems for centuries before the arrival of Europeans on African shores. 6 credits cr., HU,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 306. Urban Racial and Ethnic Politics* Cross-listed with POSC 306,AMST 306. Exploration of similarities and differences in political struggle of Irish, Italian and other white ethnic groups with African Americans and Latinos. What are the strategies for political empowerment? What are the benefits of empowerment? How is pan-ethnic (e.g., Latino, Asian-American) identity created? 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 308. Poverty and Public Policy* Cross-listed with POSC 308,AMST 308. This course will focus on the causes of urban poverty in the United States and the public policy strategies at the state and federal levels for reducing poverty. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 315. Paul Robeson and American Culture Cross-listed with AMST 315. This seminar examines the twentieth century through the eyes of Paul Robeson, the dramatically multi-talented African-American genius who flourished through the middle of the century. We will explore Robeson's life and times, his cultural and political philosophies as well as the political, cultural and personal forces that impacted and shaped his life (1898-1976), both in the United States and around the world. The approach is multi-disciplinary - delving into music, language, African and African-American history, Asian philosophy, as well as some European history and culture, the politics of McCarthyism, and the birth of American theater and film. 6 credits cr., RAD,ND, FallS. Robeson

AFAM 320. Government and Politics of Africa* Cross-listed with POSC 320. This course examines politics and economics in Sub-Saharan Africa. Topics will include the different kinds of government in the region, the relationship between economic development and political change, and the social cleavages that shape the political process. 6 credits cr., SS, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 322. The Civil Rights Movement in America, 1942-1965 Cross-listed with HIST 322,AMST 322. This course will examine the development of the Civil Rights movement from the formation of CORE (the Congress of Racial Equality) to the Voting Rights Act. It will focus upon significant individuals, groups, and campaigns in an effort to assess the impact of the movement on both African-American and American cultures. 6 credits cr., HU, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 330. Jazz History Seminar Cross-listed with MUSC 330,AMST 328. A research seminar in jazz history, this course will introduce students to the basic bibliographic tools, historical artifacts, and critical tradition of the field. Students will present short oral and written reports on selected examples of this material in preparation for a major research paper on a topic chosen in consultation with the instructor. Prerequisites: Music 110, 130 or permission of the instructor. 6 credits cr., AL, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 337. African American Novelists in Context Cross-listed with ENGL 337,AMST 333. This course will discuss Baldwin, Hurston, Ellison, Charles Johnson, Paule Marshall, Morrison, Naylor, Wideman, and Wright as formal technicians and wordsmiths, and assess these writers' contribution—individually and collectively—to the novelistic tradition in the twentieth century. We will read and discuss novels from the 1930s (Their Eyes were Watching God), 1940s (Native Son), 1950s (Invisible Man and Go Tell It On the Mountain), 1960s (The Chosen Place, The Timeless People), 1970s (Song of Solomon), 1980s (Mama Day), and the 1990s (Middle Passage and Philadelphia Fire). Prerequisite: One of the following courses: ENGL/AFAM/AMST 117; ENGL/AMST 112, or with instructor's permission. Group IV. 6 credits cr., AL,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 338. Multicultural Education Cross-listed with EDUC 338,AMST 338. This course focuses on the respect for human diversity and personal rights, especially as these relate to various racial, cultural and economic groups, and to women. It includes lectures and discussions intended to aid students in relating to a wide variety of persons, cultures, and life styles. 6 credits cr., S/CR/NC, SS,RAD, FallJ. Landsman

AFAM 339. Rereading the African American Novel Cross-listed with ENGL 338,AMST 339,WGST 338. Commenting on the scant attention accorded Brooks' Maud Martha and the overwhelming response of the academic community to Ellison's Invisible Man, Mary Helen Washington notes that "the real 'invisible man'...[is] the black woman." By granting high visibility to Nella Larsen, Zora Hurston, Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor and Alice Walker, this course contributes to ongoing efforts to address and redress an imbalance in the criticism of the African-American novel. It will be suggested that Hurston, Morrison and Walker, in particular, extend the boundaries of African-American literary expression through their daring experimentation with the language and form of fiction. Prerequisite: One of the following courses: English 112, 117, 230 or with instructor's permission. Group IV. 6 credits cr., AL,RAD, Not offered in 2001-2002.

AFAM 351. Political Theory of Martin Luther King* Cross-listed with POSC 351,AMST 351. This seminar will examine the speeches, writings, and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will study King as an example of the responsible citizen envisioned by the theory expressed in The Federalist, as a contributor to the discourse of civil religion, and as a figure in recent American social history. Prerequisites: Political Science 122 or introductory history course. 6 credits cr., SS,RAD, FallB. Allen

AFAM 381. History, Memory and Black Atlantic: Ghana and the United States Cross-listed with HIST 381. This course is an interdisciplinary, comparative, and international seminar. It asks: Did Ghanaians participate in the Atlantic slave trade as equal partners, or were they the victims of European power and greed? How have Ghanaians and black Americans remembered and recorded the Atlantic slave trade, colonialism and independence? Was Nkrumah's real mentor Garvey or duBois? Why during the Nkrumah years was Ghana the African American Camelot? Permission of the instructor is required. 6 credits cr., HU,RAD, FallH. Williams

AFAM 382. History, Memory and Black Atlantic: On-Site in Ghana and Revisted Cross-listed with HIST 382. The first part of the course consists of a two-week field trip in late November-early December to Ghana. The field trip begins in Accra, continues to Kumasi, and ends in Cape Coast. The seminar will conclude on campus, meeting once a week for ten weeks to enable students to complete and give oral presentations on topics chosen during the fall term and researched during the two-week field trip. Prerequisite: History/African American Studies 381 and permission of the instructor. 6 credits cr., HU,RAD, WinterH. Williams

AFAM 384. Psychology of Prejudice Cross-listed with PSYC 384,AMST 394. This seminar introduces students to major psychological theories and research on the development, perpetuation and reduction of prejudice. A sociological and historical approach to race, culture, ethnicity and race relations will provide a backdrop for examining psychological theory and research on prejudice formation and reduction. Major areas to be discussed are cognitive social learning, group conflict and contact hypothesis. Prerequisites: Psychology 110 or permission of instructor. Psychology 256 or 258 recommended. 6 credits cr., SS,RAD, SpringS. Akimoto

AFAM 395. Nationalism Cross-listed with HIST 395,AMST 395. In the first half of the course, students will acquaint themselves with the recent literature on nationalism, including both theoretical and historical works. In the second half, they will prepare and present research papers on nationalism in a given historical context. Previous work in history required. 6 credits cr., HU, WinterA. Khalid

AFAM 395. Topics in African American History Cross-listed with HIST 395,AMST 395. Black Conservatism: Uncle Toms or Black Messiahs? This seminar will investigate Black Conservatism as a response to the crisis of liberalism in Afro-America. We will discuss the works of influential black intellectual conservatives including Booker T. Washington, George S. Schuyler, and Shelby Steele, among others. 6 credits cr., HU, FallH. Williams

AFAM 395. Fascism Cross-listed with HIST 395,AMST 395. An historical analysis of the twentieth-century phenomenon of fascism in Germany, France and Italy, with special emphasis on the sources, methods, and practice of National Socialism in Germany. A two-credit reading course (395) during the summer break, set up in consultation with the instructor at the end of the spring term, is required. History 141 is recommended, but not required, as useful background. Consent of the instructor is required. 6 credits (2 credit summer rea cr., HU, FallD. Prowe

AFAM 395. City and Countryside in Medieval Europe Cross-listed with HIST 395,AMST 395. This research seminar will focus on questions of settlement and community, including the built environment, city/country relations, and urban and rural life as it was experienced by various groups, genders, or classes in the period ca.400-ca.1600. The group readings will introduce problems, definitions, and methods that will be of use in the students' individual research papers. We will also spend time talking about the craft of research. Other research interests can be accommodated. 6 credits cr., HU, FallV. Morse

AFAM 395. The Early Republic Cross-listed with HIST 395,AMST 395. From 1787 to 1848, the early American republic underwent enormous shifts in race, gender, and class relations. This is an advanced research seminar in which students will write a 25-30 page paper based on original research. Possible topics include rights of citizenship for women as well as men, the aftermath of the American Revolution and the Constitution, the paradoxes of Jeffersonian ideology, Native American removals, and the reform movements of the Second Great Religious Awakening. Participation in the seminar will also include some common readings about the major themes of this period, and extensive peer reviews of research papers. 6 credits cr., HU, SpringS. Zabin

AFAM 395. Topics in East Asian History Cross-listed with HIST 395,AMST 395. Designed for advanced students who wish to pursue independent research in histories of China, Japan, and/or Korea, from ancient times to the present. Students will be introduced to major historiography in the field, key documentary collections, and important research aids. Students will write and present a major research paper. Open primarily to juniors with some background in East Asian history, but open to others as well. Prerequisite: History 110, 150, 151, 152, 153, 258, or with the instructor's permission. 6 credits cr., HU,RAD, SpringS. Yoon

AFAM 400. Integrative Exercise 6 credits cr., S/NC, ND, Fall,Winter,SpringStaff

Pertinent Courses:

ECON 232: American Economic History (Not offered in 2001-2002.)

ECON 240: Economics of Developing Countries

EDUC 353: Schooling and Opportunity in American Society

ENGL 339: Contemporary American Playwrights of Color

HIST 110: Life Histories of African Women

HIST 120: American Social History to 1865

HIST 121: American Social History Since 1865

HIST 229: Gender and Work in U.S. History (Not offered in 2001-2002.)

HIST 274: Brazil from Colonial to Modern Times (Not offered in 2001-2002.)

MUSC 140: Introduction to World Music I

POSC 100: Civil Rights: Martin and Malcolm

POSC 122: Politics in America: Liberty and Equality

POSC 272: American Constitutional Law II

RELG 122: Introduction to Islam

RELG 227: Liberation Theologies

RELG 235: Women and Islamic Constructions of Gender

RELG 330: Islamic Aesthetics

SOAN 130: Population and Food in the Global System

SOAN 220: Class, Power, and Inequality in America (Not offered in 2001-2002.)

SOAN 312: Actors and Issues in Contemporary Third World "Development"

WGST 110: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies