Courses

  • AFAM 113: Introduction to African/African American Studies

    This core course employs interdisciplinary approaches to critically examine selected intellectual and cultural themes in African, African American, and Black Diaspora studies. The course combines lecture and discussion formats. Members of the faculty deliver guest lectures in their own areas of specialization. Themes may vary from year to year. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement; not offered 2014–2015
  • 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 2014–2015
  • 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 2014–2015
  • 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 2014–2015
  • 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: Senior African/African American Studies major or concentrator. 2 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015 · Staff
  • AFAM 400: Integrative Exercise

    6 credit; S/NC; Does not fulfill a distribution requirement; offered Winter 2015 · 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 a discipline:

AFAM 113 Introduction to African/African American Studies (not offered in 2014-2015)

AFAM 130 African American Social Movements (not offered in 2014-2015)

AFAM 182 Black Identity and Belonging (not offered in 2014-2015)

AFAM 194 The Black Middle Class (not offered in 2014-2015)

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

ARTH 140 African Art and Culture

ENGL 117 African American Literature (not offered in 2014-2015)

ENGL 238 African Literature in English

HIST 125 African American History I (not offered in 2014-2015)

HIST 126 African American History II

HIST 181 West Africa in the Era of the Slave Trade

HIST 182 Living in the Colonial Context: Africa, 1850-1950 (not offered in 2014-2015)

HIST 183 History of Early West Africa

HIST 184 Colonial West Africa (not offered in 2014-2015)

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. HIST 182 cannot double count as a survey course.

Arts and Literature

DANC 301 Contemporary Styles and Techniques: African Dance

ENGL 136 Twenty-first Century Black Voices

ENGL 238 African Literature in English

ENGL 243 Text and Film (not offered in 2014-2015)

ENGL 252 Caribbean Fiction (not offered in 2014-2015)

ENGL 258 Contemporary American Playwrights of Color

ENGL 350 The Postcolonial Novel: Forms and Contexts (not offered in 2014-2015)

FREN 235 Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean (not offered in 2014-2015)

FREN 245 Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean (not offered in 2014-2015)

FREN 250 Mali Program: Film and Society in Mali (not offered in 2014-2015)

FREN 251 Mali Program: Negotiating the Past: The Challenges of Nation-building in Mali (not offered in 2014-2015)

FREN 252 Mali Program: Literature and Society in Mali (not offered in 2014-2015)

FREN 308 France and the African Imagination (not offered in 2014-2015)

MUSC 130 The History of Jazz (not offered in 2014-2015)

MUSC 131 The Blues From the Delta to Chicago

MUSC 132 Golden Age of R and B (not offered in 2014-2015)

MUSC 141 Global Popular Music

MUSC 245 Music of Africa

MUSC 332 Motown (not offered in 2014-2015)

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 (not offered in 2014-2015)

HIST 219 Is Obama Black?: American Mixed Race History (not offered in 2014-2015)

HIST 276 The African Diaspora in Latin America (not offered in 2014-2015)

HIST 280 African in the Arab World

HIST 281 War in Modern Africa

HIST 282 Masquerades in Africa (not offered in 2014-2015)

HIST 286 Africans in the Arab World: On Site and Revisited (not offered in 2014-2015)

HIST 322 Civil Rights and Black Power (not offered in 2014-2015)

HIST 324 The Concord Intellectuals (not offered in 2014-2015)

HIST 381 U.S. Relations with Ghana

HIST 382 U.S. Relations with Ghana: The Field Trip and Beyond

RELG 227 Liberation Theologies (not offered in 2014-2015)

RELG 244 Hip Hop, Reggae, and Religion: Music and the Religio-Political Imagination of the Black Atlantic

RELG 247 RAP and Religion: Rhymes about God and the Good (not offered in 2014-2015)

RELG 262 Islamic Africa (not offered in 2014-2015)

Social Sciences

AFAM 130 African American Social Movements (not offered in 2014-2015)

AFAM 194 The Black Middle Class (not offered in 2014-2015)

EDUC 238 Multicultural Education: Race, Gender and Education

ENTS 264 Tanzania and Ethiopia Program: Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa (not offered in 2014-2015)

ENTS 280 Tanzania and Ethiopia Program: Research Projects on Conservation and Development (not offered in 2014-2015)

ENTS 284 Tanzania and Ethiopia Program: Cultural Studies (not offered in 2014-2015)

ENTS 285 Tanzania and Ethiopia Program: Wildlife Conservation and Livelihoods (not offered in 2014-2015)

POSC 207 Urban Politics in a Global Era

POSC 266 Urban Political Economy

POSC 306 How Race Matters in American Politics* (not offered in 2014-2015)

POSC 351 Political Theory of Martin Luther King, Jr. (not offered in 2014-2015)

POSC 366 Urban Political Economy*

PSYC 384 Psychology of Prejudice

SOAN 256 Transformations in African Ethnography

SOAN 272 Race and Ethnicity in the United States

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 192 West African Drum Ensemble

MUSC 193 Mbira Ensemble

MUSC 195 Jubilee Singers

MUSC 199 African Drum Class

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. The two-credit course is offered by the Director or another member of the program core faculty. If there are not enough students in a particular year to offer AFAM 398 as a course, it will be offered as a tutorial. Even in that case, if multiple students are completing their major or concentration in the same year, they will strive to take the tutorial simultaneously to facilitate common discussion of the main themes in African and African American Studies and how they are woven through the corpus of each student's undergraduate 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.