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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 T. McCready, Jamie Monson, Melinda Russell

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 faculty and administrative 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:

AFAM 113 Introduction to African/African American Studies

DANC 114 Black Dance: An Historical Survey Through Movement, Composition, Readings and Guest Lecture-Performa (not offered in 2006-2007)

ENGL 117 African American Literature

HIST 220 African American History I

HIST 221 African American History II

MUSC 130 The History of Jazz

MUSC 137 Spiritual Hymns and Gospel Music: Aspects of African-American Music Traditions (not offered in 2006-2007)

MUSC 245 Music of Africa (not offered in 2006-2007)

RELG 122 Introduction to Islam (not offered in 2006-2007)

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:

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

ENGL 230 African American Autobiography

ENGL 238 African Literature in English (not offered in 2006-2007)

ENGL 339 Contemporary American Playwrights of Color

FREN 235 Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean

THEA 242 Twentieth Century American Drama (not offered in 2006-2007)


HIST 110 African Life Histories

HIST 221 African American History II

HIST 283 Farm and Forest: African Environmental History

HIST 284 Colonial West Africa (not offered in 2006-2007)

HIST 322 The Civil Rights Movement in America (not offered in 2006-2007)

HIST 381 History, Memory and Black Atlantic: Ghana and the United States (not offered in 2006-2007)

HIST 382 History, Memory and Black Atlantic: On-Site in Ghana and Revisited (not offered in 2006-2007)

Social Sciences

EDUC 238 Multicultural Education

POSC 207 Urban Politics (not offered in 2006-2007)

POSC 266 Urban Political Economy (not offered in 2006-2007)

POSC 308 Poverty and Public Policy* (not offered in 2006-2007)

POSC 320 Government and Politics of Africa* (not offered in 2006-2007)

POSC 351 Political Theory of Martin Luther King, Jr.*

POSC 366 Urban Political Economy* (not offered in 2006-2007)

POSC 367 Suburbanization in America (not offered in 2006-2007)

PSYC 384 Psychology of Prejudice

SOAN 256 Ethnography of Africa

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)

ENGL 395 Toni Morrison: Nobel Laureate

VI. Comprehensive Exercise (6 credits). Each student should have a faculty adviser 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

AFAM 113. Introduction to African/African American Studies We will read essays (by Du Bois, Achebe, Ngugi, and Karenga), novels (by Baldwin and Aidoo), a play (by Hansberry) and a memoir (by Obama), and discuss some of the seminal ideas that inform African/African American Studies. 6 cr., AL, RAD, SpringK. Owusu

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 cr., AL, RAD, Not offered in 2006-2007.

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

Other Courses Pertinent to African/African American Studies

DANC 301 Contemporary Styles and Techniques: African Dance

ECON 240 Microeconomics of Development

EDUC 353 Schooling and Opportunity in American Society (not offered in 2006-2007)

FREN 395 The Mande of West Africa: A Culture in Transition

HIST 120 Rethinking the American Experience: American Social History, 1607-1865

HIST 121 Rethinking the American Experience: American Social History, 1865-1945

POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality

RELG 227 Liberation Theologies

SOAN 226 Anthropology of Gender

WGST 110 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies