Courses

  • AFAM 115: An Introduction to African American Culture, Practice, and Religion

    This course introduces students to a complex array of concerns facing African Americans from slavery to our contemporary moment. Engaging in close readings of texts from a variety of genres that capture the dynamics of African American experiences, several questions will guide our efforts as we attempt to make sense of African American praxis today. Examples are: What does agency look like in conditions of bondage and systematic disenfranchisement? What does the adjective, Black, mean when we talk about black culture or the Black Church? 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2015–2016
  • AFAM 125: New African Migrations

    African societies have long been shaped by migration--including quests for new knowledge, land, and livelihoods as well as the coercive migrations of slavery and refugee flight. Recent transformations in global political-economies and local conditions have made migration a central feature of contemporary African life. This course introduces students to African and African diaspora studies through an examination of new African migrations. Starting with the formation of "domestic diasporas" through rural-urban migration within African countries, we will explore connections and ruptures created by south-south international migrations within the African continent, and transnational migrations to the United States and Europe. 6 credit; Writing Requirement, Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Winter 2016 · P. Feldman-Savelsberg
  • AFAM 130: African American Social Movements

    Social movements have played a critical role in African American communities, as both struggles for freedom and liberation as well as struggles for identity and recognition. This course examines several specific social movements, including the Civil Rights Movement, Black Power movement, and Black Feminism, among others, from multiple disciplinary perspectives. We will examine these movements comparatively through the disciplinary lenses of history, sociology, political science, and communication studies, and consider their trajectory through the contexts within which they emerge and develop. We will also evaluate these movements in terms of participants' social identities as well as movements' varying ideologies. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2015–2016
  • AFAM 182: Black Identity and Belonging

    In his essay "Of Our Spiritual Strivings," W.E.B. Du Bois famously asked "how does it feel to be a problem?" Referring to the socio-cultural contradictions that plagued black American life at the turn of the twentieth century, Du Bois' question has sparked debates on black identity and belonging in both international and domestic contexts. This course surveys the writings of people of African descent as they have historically grappled with the question of what it means to be black. We insert black intellectual voices into important sociological, anthropological, and philosophical debates on issues of race, gender, diaspora, and national belonging. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2015–2016
  • AFAM 194: The Black Middle Class

    Since the 1960s, the black middle class has been an object of debate and interest, both among scholars and in society. In this course, we will examine the black middle class from an interdisciplinary perspective, specifically considering questions and problems posed in economics, sociology, history and literature. Among other topics, we will examine when and how the black middle class emerged, its distinctiveness from its white and working-class counterparts, and its implications and larger meaning in popular culture and public discourse about race, class, and American society. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2015–2016
  • AFAM 398: African and African American Studies Capstone

    What relationships can you draw among your varied coursework and papers in African and African American Studies? How does interdisciplinarity affect your thinking about the study of the African continent and its numerous diasporas? In this two-credit course students will create a portfolio of their work in African and African American studies and write a 5-10 page reflective essay tying these papers together. Guided by a faculty member, this course gives students an opportunity to reflect seriously about the courses they have taken and the work they have produced within the major or concentration, and to draw connections among them. Prerequisites: African/African American Studies Senior major or concentrator. 2 credit; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2016 · P. Feldman-Savelsberg
  • AFAM 400: Integrative Exercise

    6 credit; S/NC; offered Winter 2016 · Staff

Major Requirements

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. Interdisciplinary Course (6 credits). Each student must complete one interdisciplinary 6-credit course which, in part, specifically discusses African/African American Studies as an interdisciplinary field:

AFAM 115 An Introduction to African American Culture, Practice, and Religion (not offered in 2015-2016)

AFAM 125 New African Migrations

AFAM 130 African American Social Movements (not offered in 2015-2016)

AFAM 182 Black Identity and Belonging (not offered in 2015-2016)

AFAM 194 The Black Middle Class (not offered in 2015-2016)

RELG 210 Prophecy and Social Criticism in America

III. Survey Courses (18 credits). Each student must take three of the following 6-credit courses:

ARTH 140 African Art and Culture (not offered in 2015-2016)

ENGL 117 African American Literature

ENGL 238 African Literature in English

HIST 125 African American History I

HIST 126 African American History II (not offered in 2015-2016)

HIST 181 West Africa in the Era of the Slave Trade

HIST 182 Living in the Colonial Context: Africa, 1850-1950 (not offered in 2015-2016)

HIST 183 History of Early West Africa (not offered in 2015-2016)

HIST 184 Colonial West Africa

IV. Distribution Courses (30 credits). Each student should take 30 credits of distribution that are essential to African and African-American Studies. Among these distribution courses, students must choose at least one 6-credit course each from among the three disciplinary groups: humanities, social sciences and arts and literature; at least four of the distribution courses must be at the 200-level or above and at least one at the 300-level. The 300-level course should be completed in one of the two disciplines in which the student writes his/her comprehensive exercise; in this course the student must produce a substantial paper or project in African and/or African American Studies. In addition, majors are highly encouraged to take the AMST 345 junior methods course, WGST 200, or a methods course in one of the academic disciplines that contribute to African and African American Studies. HIST 182 cannot double count as a survey course.

Arts and Literature

ENGL 238 African Literature in English

ENGL 252 Caribbean Fiction (not offered in 2015-2016)

ENGL 258 Contemporary American Playwrights of Color

ENGL 350 The Postcolonial Novel: Forms and Contexts

ENGL 352 Toni Morrison: Novelist

FREN 245 Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean (not offered in 2015-2016)

FREN 308 France and the African Imagination

MUSC 126 America's Music

MUSC 130 The History of Jazz

MUSC 131 The Blues From the Delta to Chicago (not offered in 2015-2016)

MUSC 132 Golden Age of R and B

MUSC 141 Global Popular Music (not offered in 2015-2016)

MUSC 245 Music of Africa

MUSC 332 Motown (not offered in 2015-2016)

Humanities

HIST 100 American Antebellum Slavery: History and Historians

HIST 181 West Africa in the Era of the Slave Trade

HIST 184 Colonial West Africa

HIST 219 Is Obama Black?: American Mixed Race History

HIST 228 History of U.S. Civil Rights and Black Power (not offered in 2015-2016)

HIST 276 The African Diaspora in Latin America (not offered in 2015-2016)

HIST 280 African in the Arab World

HIST 281 War in Modern Africa (not offered in 2015-2016)

HIST 286 Africans in the Arab World: On Site and Revisited (not offered in 2015-2016)

HIST 324 The Concord Intellectuals (not offered in 2015-2016)

HIST 381 U.S. Relations with Ghana (not offered in 2015-2016)

HIST 382 U.S. Relations with Ghana: The Field Trip and Beyond (not offered in 2015-2016)

RELG 210 Prophecy and Social Criticism in America

RELG 227 Liberation Theologies

RELG 244 Hip Hop, Reggae, and Religion: Music and the Religion-Political Imagination of the Black Atlantic (not offered in 2015-2016)

RELG 262 Islamic Africa

Social Sciences

AFAM 130 African American Social Movements (not offered in 2015-2016)

AFAM 194 The Black Middle Class (not offered in 2015-2016)

EDUC 225 Issues in Urban Education

EDUC 245 The History of American School Reform

ENTS 264 Ethiopia and Tanzania Program: Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa (not offered in 2015-2016)

ENTS 280 Ethiopia and Tanzania Program: Research Projects on Conservation and Development

ENTS 284 Ethiopia and Tanzania Program: Cultural Studies

POSC 207 Urban Politics in a Global Era (not offered in 2015-2016)

POSC 218 Schools, Scholarship and Policy in the United States (not offered in 2015-2016)

POSC 266 Urban Political Economy

POSC 351 Political Theory of Martin Luther King, Jr. (not offered in 2015-2016)

POSC 366 Urban Political Economy* (not offered in 2015-2016)

PSYC 384 Psychology of Prejudice

SOAN 115 Inequality in American Society (not offered in 2015-2016)

SOAN 139 Society and Social Problems (not offered in 2015-2016)

SOAN 225 Social Movements

SOAN 256 Africa: Representation and Conflict (not offered in 2015-2016)

SOAN 272 Race and Ethnicity in the United States (not offered in 2015-2016)

SOAN 395 Ethnography of Reproduction

Additional Distribution Electives: Arts Practice

DANC 301 Contemporary Styles and Techniques: African Dance

MUSC 183J Ethnic Drumming Instruction (Juried)

MUSC 191 African Karimba Ensemble (not offered in 2015-2016)

MUSC 192 West African Drum Ensemble

MUSC 193 Mbira Ensemble (not offered in 2015-2016)

MUSC 195 Jubilee Singers

MUSC 199 Fundamentals of African Drumming

MUSC 283J Ethnic Drumming Instruction (Juried)

V. Senior Seminar/Capstone Experience (2 credits)

The capstone experience consists of AFAM 398, a two-credit course in which the student creates a portfolio of their work in African and African American studies and writes a 5-10 page reflective essay tying these papers together. This course gives students an opportunity to seriously reflect about the courses they have taken and the work they have produced within the major, and to draw connections among them. By bringing together African and African American Studies majors and concentrators, this two-credit course facilitates common discussion of the main themes in African and African American Studies and how they are woven through the corpus of each student's underguaduate opus.

VI. Comprehensive Exercise (6 credits): AFAM 400

The comprehensive exercise is a substantial (approximately 34-40 page) research paper on a topic within African, African American, and/or African Diaspora studies, grounded in two complementary disciplines, advised by two faculty members chosen from these two disciplines. The student should have completed a 300-level course in one of these two disciplines. The comps process begins with a proposal in fall term of the senior year, and ends with a final written thesis and oral presentation early in spring term.