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African/African American Studies (AFAM)

Director: Professor Kofi Owusu

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

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

      HIST 182 A Survey of Southern African History

      HIST 220 African American History I or

      HIST 221 African American History II (not offered in 2003­2004)

      MUSC 137 Spirituals Hymns and Gospel Music

      MUSC 245 Music of Africa (not offered in 2003­2004)

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:

      AFAM 233 A Study of the Harlem Renaissance Through Literature, Music and Dance (not offered in 2003­2004)

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 United States, Africa or the Caribbean. The Office of Off-Campus Studies provides information about such opportunities.

African/African American Studies Courses

Pertinent Courses:

      AMST 127: Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Studies

      ECON 232: American Economic History (not offered in 2003-2004)

      ECON 240: Economics of Developing Countries

      EDUC 353: Schooling and Opportunity in American Society

      ENGL 339: Contemporary American Playwrights of Color

      HIST 120: American Social History 1607-1865

      HIST 121: American Social History 1865-1945

      HIST 229: Gender and Work in U.S. History

      HIST 276: African Slavery in Latin America: From the Middle Passage to Abolition

      MUSC 140: Introduction to World Music I (not offered in 2003-2004)

      POSC 122: Politics in America: Liberty and Equality

      POSC 272: Constitutional Law II

      POSC 367: Suburbanization in America

      RELG 122: Introduction to Islam (not offered in 2003-2004)

      RELG 227: Liberation Theologies (not offered in 2003-2004)

      RELG 235: Women and Islamic Constructions of Gender (not offered in 2003-2004)

      SOAN 130: Population and Food in the Global System (not offered in 2003-2004)

      SOAN 220: Class, Power, and Inequality in America

      SOAN 312: Actors and Issues in Contemporary Third World "Development" (not offered in 2003­2004)

      WGST 110: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies