Course Descriptions

Spring 2023 Course Descriptions

102 Introduction to Comparative US Ethnic and American Indian Studies

MW 2:25-3:15pm

Ifatunji

Introduction to comparative ethnic studies, examining race, ethnicity, and indigeneity within the United States. Includes perspectives from African American, American Indian, Asian American, and Chican@ and Latin@ studies.

154 Hip-Hop and Contemporary American Society

TR 1:20-2:10

Shashko

This course is about the world that hip-hop made and the world that made hip-hop. It tells the story of hip-hop’s origins in Jamaica and the Bronx, its evolution across North America, and its emergence as a global phenomenon. It explores the various themes, ideas and debates that emerged both within the world of hip-hop culture, and the broader historical events that contributed to hip-hop’s evolution from the 1970s to the present. Musical styles covered in this course include New York hip-hop, California gangsta rap, Southern hip-hop, the Detroit and Chicago scenes, and contemporary rhythm & blues.

156 Black Music and American Cultural History

TR 9:30-10:45

Shashko

This course is the story of how black music became one of the world’s dominant cultural forces, and how it shaped the musical, social and political landscape of the United States from the end of World War II until the present. It considers how black music articulates survival, redemption and reinvention, how those themes reflect the African-American experience in postwar 20th and

21st-century America, and how those themes can be heard in the music we hear today. Musical styles covered in the course include the blues, gospel, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, disco, and hip-hop.

225 Introduction to Afro-American Literature

MW 4:00-5:15 pm

Johnson

Introduction to the history of African American theater and major African American playwrights and actors.

227 Intro to Masterpieces of Afro American Lit

MW 9:55-10:45

Edmonds

This course will introduce students to works of literary satire in the African American tradition. Because de jure social and political subordination of Black people offered the first contexts for Black literary expression and artistic ambition, Black authors were understandably reluctant to fully embrace satire or adopt a narrative persona and voice that might too closely resemble widely circulated caricatures of Black people as foolish, unlettered, and unserious. This cultural backdrop energized Black artists to reimagine the form and to use satire as not only a source for expressing political critique but also a means for uniquely capturing Black thought and feeling in an antagonistic world. Students will read texts by Charles Chesnutt, Langston Hughes, George Schulyer, Fran Ross, Colson Whitehead, and Percival Everett. We will also briefly look at black comics by Charles Johnson and Aaron McGruder.

272 Race and American Politics from the New Deal to the New Right

TR 11:00-12:15

Shashko

The history and legacy of the African-American freedom struggle in the 20th and 21st century is the subject of this course. It surveys both African-American activism and the broader context of American history during this tumultuous period, and considers the legacy of that activism for contemporary America. Subjects covered in the course include Reconstruction and Jim Crow segregation; the Great Migration, Great Depression, and New Deal; the Long Civil Rights Movement from the 1930s through the 1960s; the Black Power movement; and race relations from the 1990s to the present.

337 The Harlem Renaissance

MW 3:00-4:15

Adell

This course takes a close look at the writers, artists, and intellectuals who helped define a major movement in early twentieth-century African American creative expression. The people who promoted what critics call the Harlem Renaissance believed that the arts, and especially literature, could play an important role in breaking down racial barriers and combating negative representations of black people in popular culture. It was a period of artistic experimentation. Most of the young black writers and artists who benefitted from the patronage of wealthy whites and mentoring by intellectuals like W.E.B. Du Bois, Jessie Fauset, Alain Locke, and James Weldon Johnson, were modernists. They participated in the modernist movement and engaged with the literary avant-garde as they practiced their craft and developed their unique styles, voices, and aesthetic standards. We will therefore take into account modernism, the avant-garde, primitivism and the important role music, especially jazz, and African sculpture played in the development of modernism in the visual, and performing arts, and in literature.

625 Gender, Race, and the Civil Rights Movement

R 2:25-5:25

Greene

This course engages some of the scholarship on the post-World War II struggle for Black freedom, more commonly known as the “civil rights movement,” and the degree to which this work considers questions of gender. We will examine the role of African American women and men, as well as white allies of the movement; and we will explore how racialized conceptions of gender and sexuality shaped activists’ participation in the movement. Course readings will also address class differences and the social construction of race, masculinity and femininity. And finally, we will consider what difference gender makes in our understanding of what is arguably the most important, if still unfinished, social justice movement in America.

671 Slavery and Emancipation

 M 2:25-5:25

 Clark-Pujara

This course is a historical survey of slavery and emancipation in British North American colonies and the United States. We will pay close attention to the diversity of experiences among enslaved and free Black people, as well as how historians “write” history. Special attention will be paid the origins of slavery in British and French colonial North America, the effects of American Revolution, the expansion of slavery during antebellum period, and finally the dismantlement of slavery in American Civil War and Reconstruction.

672 Selected Topics in African American Literature

Critical and Theoretical Issues

 W 2:25-5:25

 Edmonds

This seminar examines the politics of black satire as a performative medium, and it traces a genealogy of black comedic performance practices in the tradition of African-American satire and politically insurgent humor.  Course participants will explore multiple modes of satirical performance in relation to critical aesthetic movements and historical periods from the 19th century to the present day. Special emphasis will be placed on interrogating the politics of African-American blackface minstrelsy as satire.  The seminar will also emphasize an examination of post-Civil Rights black satire in theatre, films, sketch comedy programs, visual art, political cartoons, novels, and popular music culture. Course participants will place theories of humor and signifying (by Ellison, Gates, Watkins, Freud and others) in conversation with the performances of Williams and Walker, Nina Simone, Richard Pryor, Kara Walker, Paul Beatty, Suzan-Lori Parks, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and others.

Fall 2022 Course Descriptions

154 Hip-Hop and Contemporary American Society

TR 1:20-2:10

Shashko

This course is about the world that hip-hop made and the world that made hip-hop. It tells the story of hip-hop’s origins in Jamaica and the Bronx, its evolution across North America, and its emergence as a global phenomenon. It explores the various themes, ideas and debates that emerged both within the world of hip-hop culture, and the broader historical events that contributed to hip-hop’s evolution from the 1970s to the present. Musical styles covered in this course include New York hip-hop, California gangsta rap, Southern hip-hop, the Detroit and Chicago scenes, and contemporary rhythm & blues.

156 Black Music and American Cultural History

TR 9:30-10:45

Shashko

This course is the story of how black music became one of the world’s dominant cultural forces, and how it shaped the musical, social and political landscape of the United States from the end of World War II until the present. It considers how black music articulates survival, redemption and reinvention, how those themes reflect the African-American experience in postwar 20th and

21st-century America, and how those themes can be heard in the music we hear today. Musical styles covered in the course include the blues, gospel, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, disco, and hip-hop.

222 Introduction to Black Women Writers

MW 2:30-3:45 pm

Edmonds

This introductory course introduces students to past and contemporary expressions of black feminist thought. Through readings of works of visual culture, literature, music, and theoretical texts, we will explore how black feminist writers, artists, scholars, and activists address and represent interlocking constructions of race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexuality and citizenship. Our course texts range from the 19th century to the 21st century, offering students a chance to trace the evolution of the political and philosophical preoccupations that bound black women’s writing and to note the formal innovations black writers and artists introduce in their chosen cultural fields and objects.

231 Introduction to Afro-American History

TR 9:55-10:45

Clark-Pujara

Why does race matter? Why is there such tension, division and disparities among racial groups in the United States of America? How and why did blackness and slavery become synonymous in the Americas? How and why did a nation founded upon liberty and freedom perpetuate human bondage? What are the legacies of race-based slavery and discrimination in America? We will explore these questions throughout the semester.

This course is a social history of West Africans and African Americans from the trans-Atlantic slave trade through the modern civil rights movement. The following topics will receive special attention: the institution of slavery (1619-1865), emancipation and reconstruction (1861-1877), and the long civil rights movement (1877-1968). This course has three major themes. First, the varied experiences of slavery and the roles Black people played in maintaining and sustaining the North American mainland colonies while resisting their bondage. Second, how African Americans helped to create the new nation, became free people and fought for liberty. Third, the challenges, successes and shortcomings of emancipation, reconstruction, and the long civil rights movement.

326 Race and Gender in Post-World War II U.S. Society

TR 11:00-12:15

Greene

This course will focus on the ways in which race and gender (as well as other social variables including socio-economic status/class, sexuality, region, religion, etc.) shaped the experiences and possibilities for African Americans, in post-W.W. II U.S. society. Course materials will explore some of the major themes and events in African American history from World War II to the present including Black migration, racial violence and Black resistance during W. W. II; race, suburbanization and Cold War politics; the emergence of the civil rights and Black Power movements; race and masculinity; the War on Poverty; Black feminism(s); the rise of conservatism, “welfare reform,” and the re-segregation of public schools; housing insecurity, the “war on drugs,” and mass incarceration in the “post-civil rights” neo-liberal state. Finally, we will assess America’s still unfinished journey toward racial, gender and economic justice.

628 History of Civil Rights Movement

TR 11:00-12:15

Plummer

This course focuses on the civil rights movement led by African Americans in the United States.  It treats the historical background to movement emergence, including industrial and demographic transition, agricultural change in the South, the rise of the liberal coalition, and the impact of World War II and the Cold War on race relations.  It examines civil rights litigation and the key events and consequences of movement insurgency.  It explores black radicalism, as well as civil rights in the urban North, the policies of the federal government, gender, and the impact of world affairs.  The course considers the activities and life stories of some individual participants as well as broad historical forces.  Students will learn how the events and issues of this social and political movement changed the face of contemporary America.

AAS 671 Criminalizing Blackness: Race, Policing & Imprisonment in U.S. History  

R 2:25-4:55

Greene

The U.S. currently has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with African Americans disproportionately imprisoned, on parole or on probation. How did we get to what some have called a “carceral state” decades after the achievements of the 1950s-1960s civil rights/Black Power movements?  What historical factors — including changing conceptions of race, crime, punishment, and the role of the state — helped to create this contemporary phenomenon? How do race, gender, sexuality, and poverty figure into the debates over crime,  punishment, harm, accountability, and safety, both historically and in contemporary society? What forms of resistance and what kinds of solutions have emerged to address racial criminalization and mass incarceration? These are just some of the questions we will examine throughout this course. While the focus of the course is historical, we will also read works by social scientists, legal scholars, journalists, and activists. 

Summer 2022 Course Descriptions

156 Black Music and American Cultural History

Asynchronous

Shashko

This course is the story of how black music became one of the world’s dominant cultural forces, and how it shaped the musical, social and political landscape of the United States from the end of World War II until the present. It considers how black music articulates survival, redemption and reinvention, how those themes reflect the African-American experience in postwar 20th and

21st-century America, and how those themes can be heard in the music we hear today. Musical styles covered in the course include the blues, gospel, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, disco, and hip-hop.

242 Introduction to Afro-American Art

TWR 9:00-12:00 pm

Herzog

AAS/AH 242: Introduction to Afro-American Art is a survey course in which we will investigate the history of African American art and visual culture from the colonial era to our current time, with a particular focus on twentieth century art. With attention to various art historical perspectives and methods, and to the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality that impact the lives and work of African American artists and their audiences, we will analyze various art forms including painting, sculpture, photography, folk art, conceptual and performance art, and art as social practice. As we consider art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, we will examine works of art that manifest the theories and politics of movements such as Black Liberation, Feminism, and Postmodernism. Our goal is to understand how African American art acted, and continues to act, as a form of self-expression and collective empowerment and as a means of resistance against various forms of marginalization.

Spring 2022 Course Descriptions

151 Introduction to Contemporary Afro-American Society

MW 4:00-5:15 pm

Ifatunji

Introduction to Race and Racism in the United States

Race, ethnicity, and racism are foundational to the formation of the United States. However, while most people have some familiarity with these concepts, there is surprisingly little agreement on how to define these terms and their relative importance in American society. The instructor has designed this course to provide students with an introductory understanding of these and related topics so the course will be most useful for students that have not yet taken a similar course. While the course is introductory, it goes beyond the social commentary and public opinion that we often find in newspapers and on social media and reaches toward social scientific theory and observation. After completing the course, students will have an introductory understanding of the conceptual nuances and complexities of race, ethnicity, and racism. The reading for the course is mostly from a textbook. Class meetings are focused on lectures and discussions that build on and go beyond what is presented in the textbook.

154 Hip-Hop and Contemporary American Society

TR 1:20-2:10

Shashko

This course is about the world that hip-hop made and the world that made hip-hop. It tells the story of hip-hop’s origins in Jamaica and the Bronx, its evolution across North America, and its emergence as a global phenomenon. It explores the various themes, ideas and debates that emerged both within the world of hip-hop culture, and the broader historical events that contributed to hip-hop’s evolution from the 1970s to the present. Musical styles covered in this course include New York hip-hop, California gangsta rap, Southern hip-hop, the Detroit and Chicago scenes, and contemporary rhythm & blues.

156 Black Music and American Cultural History

TR 9:30-10:45

Shashko

This course is the story of how black music became one of the world’s dominant cultural forces, and how it shaped the musical, social and political landscape of the United States from the end of World War II until the present. It considers how black music articulates survival, redemption and reinvention, how those themes reflect the African-American experience in postwar 20th and

21st-century America, and how those themes can be heard in the music we hear today. Musical styles covered in the course include the blues, gospel, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, disco, and hip-hop.

227 Intro to Masterpieces of Afro American Lit

MW 9:55-10:45

Edmonds

This course will introduce students to works of literary satire in the African American tradition. Because de jure social and political subordination of Black people offered the first contexts for Black literary expression and artistic ambition, Black authors were understandably reluctant to fully embrace satire or adopt a narrative persona and voice that might too closely resemble widely circulated caricatures of Black people as foolish, unlettered, and unserious. This cultural backdrop energized Black artists to reimagine the form and to use satire as not only a source for expressing political critique but also a means for uniquely capturing Black thought and feeling in an antagonistic world. Students will read texts by Charles Chesnutt, Langston Hughes, George Schulyer, Fran Ross, Colson Whitehead, and Percival Everett. We will also briefly look at black comics by Charles Johnson and Aaron McGruder.

231 Introduction to Afro-American History

TR 9:55-10:45

Clark-Pujara

Why does race matter? Why is there such tension, division and disparities among racial groups in the United States of America? How and why did blackness and slavery become synonymous in the Americas? How and why did a nation founded upon liberty and freedom perpetuate human bondage? What are the legacies of race-based slavery and discrimination in America? We will explore these questions throughout the semester.

This course is a social history of West Africans and African Americans from the trans-Atlantic slave trade through the modern civil rights movement. The following topics will receive special attention: the institution of slavery (1619-1865), emancipation and reconstruction (1861-1877), and the long civil rights movement (1877-1968). This course has three major themes. First, the varied experiences of slavery and the roles Black people played in maintaining and sustaining the North American mainland colonies while resisting their bondage. Second, how African Americans helped to create the new nation, became free people and fought for liberty. Third, the challenges, successes and shortcomings of emancipation, reconstruction, and the long civil rights movement.

242 Introduction to Afro-American Art

TR 1:00-2:15

Herzog

AAS/AH 242: This survey course is an introduction to the history of African American art and visual culture from the colonial era to our current time, with a particular focus on twentieth century art. With attention to various art historical perspectives and methods, and to the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality that impact the lives and work of African American artists and their audiences, we will investigate various art forms including painting, sculpture, photography, folk art, conceptual and performance art, and art as social practice. As we consider art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, we will examine works of art that manifest the theories and politics of movements such as Black Liberation, Feminism, and Postmodernism. Our goal is to understand how African American art acted, and continues to act, as a form of self-expression and collective empowerment and as a means of resistance against various forms of marginalization.

267 Artistic/Cultural Images of Black Women

TR 9:30-10:45

Herzog

This course is an introduction to the creative work of African American women in the visual arts from the colonial era to the present. As we investigate works of art made by Black women artists, we will consider the historical, social, and cultural circumstances of Black women’s artistic production, social constructs of race and gender, and ideas about art and artists at particular historical moments that have had an impact on images by, and of, Black women. Throughout this course, we will attend to how intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality have shaped the lives and artistic practices of Black women artists. We will also look at ways in which African American women artists have engaged, affirmed, and resisted representations of Black women in American art and popular culture.

271 Selected Topics in African American Culture

African Americans Abroad

MW 8:00-9:15

Whitmire

This course examines the experiences of African Americans in the 19th, 20th, and 21stcenturies through their autobiographical writing. We will examine the sociological, historical and psychological impact of being an African American in the United States. Pay particular attention to the seven types of otherness: race/ethnicity, gender, age, ability (mental and physical), religion, and sexuality.

272 Race and American Politics from the New Deal to the New Right

TR 11:00-12:15

Shashko

The history and legacy of the African-American freedom struggle in the 20th and 21st century is the subject of this course. It surveys both African-American activism and the broader context of American history during this tumultuous period, and considers the legacy of that activism for contemporary America. Subjects covered in the course include Reconstruction and Jim Crow segregation; the Great Migration, Great Depression, and New Deal; the Long Civil Rights Movement from the 1930s through the 1960s; the Black Power movement; and race relations from the 1990s to the present.

321 History Since 1900

TR 11:00-12:15

Plummer

This course examines twentieth century African-American history, beginning with its roots in rural society at the turn of the twentieth century. The African American experience encompasses the survival strategies of black people as they moved from country to town and city. It includes the cultural innovations made in response to changing conditions. The critical events studied include world wars, the development of an urban culture, the evolution of music and art, politics and protest, and the impact of African-American life and thought on modernity in the United States. Students will become acquainted with the momentous developments of the last century, including industrial and demographic transition, agricultural change in the South, the impact of world wars and the Cold War, and key events and issues of a long era of civil rights insurgency. Black radicalism is explored, as well as the policies of the federal government, the impact of world affairs, and the role of gender. The activities and life stories of individual participants and broad historical forces are considered. Students will further develop their analytical skills as they familiarize themselves with this history, a powerful tool for understanding the totality of American life. Course requirements are two short papers, a midterm, and a final examination.

326 Race and Gender in Post-World War II U.S. Society

TR 11:00-12:15

Greene

This course will focus on the ways in which race and gender (as well as other social variables including socio-economic status/class, sexuality, region, religion, etc.) shaped the experiences and possibilities for African Americans, in post-W.W. II U.S. society. Course materials will explore some of the major themes and events in African American history from World War II to the present including Black migration, racial violence and Black resistance during W. W. II; race, suburbanization and Cold War politics; the emergence of the civil rights and Black Power movements; race and masculinity; the War on Poverty; Black feminism(s); the rise of conservatism, “welfare reform,” and the re-segregation of public schools; housing insecurity, the “war on drugs,” and mass incarceration in the “post-civil rights” neo-liberal state. Finally, we will assess America’s still unfinished journey toward racial, gender and economic justice.

337 The Harlem Renaissance

MW 3:00-4:15

Adell

This course takes a close look at the writers, artists, and intellectuals who helped define a major movement in early twentieth-century African American creative expression. The people who promoted what critics call the Harlem Renaissance believed that the arts, and especially literature, could play an important role in breaking down racial barriers and combating negative representations of black people in popular culture. It was a period of artistic experimentation. Most of the young black writers and artists who benefitted from the patronage of wealthy whites and mentoring by intellectuals like W.E.B. Du Bois, Jessie Fauset, Alain Locke, and James Weldon Johnson, were modernists. They participated in the modernist movement and engaged with the literary avant-garde as they practiced their craft and developed their unique styles, voices, and aesthetic standards. We will therefore take into account modernism, the avant-garde, primitivism and the important role music, especially jazz, and African sculpture played in the development of modernism in the visual, and performing arts, and in literature.

625 Gender, Race, and the Civil Rights Movement

R 2:25-5:25

Greene

This course engages some of the scholarship on the post-World War II struggle for Black freedom, more commonly known as the “civil rights movement,” and the degree to which this work considers questions of gender. We will examine the role of African American women and men, as well as white allies of the movement; and we will explore how racialized conceptions of gender and sexuality shaped activists’ participation in the movement. Course readings will also address class differences and the social construction of race, masculinity and femininity. And finally, we will consider what difference gender makes in our understanding of what is arguably the most important, if still unfinished, social justice movement in America.

672 Selected Topics in African American Literature

Critical and Theoretical Issues

 W 2:25-5:25

 Edmonds

This seminar examines the politics of black satire as a performative medium, and it traces a genealogy of black comedic performance practices in the tradition of African-American satire and politically insurgent humor.  Course participants will explore multiple modes of satirical performance in relation to critical aesthetic movements and historical periods from the 19th century to the present day. Special emphasis will be placed on interrogating the politics of African-American blackface minstrelsy as satire.  The seminar will also emphasize an examination of post-Civil Rights black satire in theatre, films, sketch comedy programs, visual art, political cartoons, novels, and popular music culture. Course participants will place theories of humor and signifying (by Ellison, Gates, Watkins, Freud and others) in conversation with the performances of Williams and Walker, Nina Simone, Richard Pryor, Kara Walker, Paul Beatty, Suzan-Lori Parks, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle and others.

677 Perspectives Black Women Writers

W 5:00-7:30

Adell

This course focuses on African American women playwrights, their plays and productions and the problems they confront as they try to work in a field that by its nature is collaborative, but male-dominated. Our readings will introduce us to the work of theater artists—for example, how they take a script and make it the live (and hopefully believable) event we pay money to see— and the extent to which issues of race and gender affect what they do and the way they do it. Our readings will include articles, essays, and interviews with African American women playwrights. Of particular interest and concern will be how they engage with feminism within the larger context of theater production. Among the questions we will consider is whether there is a black feminist aesthetic in theater. That is, are Black women theater artists—for example, lighting, sound and set designers—guided by an ideology that can be called feminist? Are their artistic sensibilities different from those of their male colleagues? Do the playwrights whose work we will read write out of a consciously feminist aesthetic? Why do some black women theater artists refuse to define themselves or their work as “feminist?” Equally important is the work of theater scholars and critics and the critical and theoretical tools they use to write about theater.

Fall 2021 Course Descriptions

151 Introduction to Contemporary Afro-American Society

MW 4:00-5:15 pm

Ifatunji

Introduction to Race and Racism in the United States

Race, ethnicity, and racism are foundational to the formation of the United States. However, while most people have some familiarity with these concepts, there is surprisingly little agreement on how to define these terms and their relative importance in American society. The instructor has designed this course to provide students with an introductory understanding of these and related topics so the course will be most useful for students that have not yet taken a similar course. While the course is introductory, it goes beyond the social commentary and public opinion that we often find in newspapers and on social media and reaches toward social scientific theory and observation. After completing the course, students will have an introductory understanding of the conceptual nuances and complexities of race, ethnicity, and racism. The reading for the course is mostly from a textbook. Class meetings are focused on lectures and discussions that build on and go beyond what is presented in the textbook.

154 Hip-Hop and Contemporary American Society

TR 1:20-2:10

Shashko

This course is about the world that hip-hop made and the world that made hip-hop. It tells the story of hip-hop’s origins in Jamaica and the Bronx, its evolution across North America, and its emergence as a global phenomenon. It explores the various themes, ideas and debates that emerged both within the world of hip-hop culture, and the broader historical events that contributed to hip-hop’s evolution from the 1970s to the present. Musical styles covered in this course include New York hip-hop, California gangsta rap, Southern hip-hop, the Detroit and Chicago scenes, and contemporary rhythm & blues.

156 Black Music and American Cultural History

TR 9:30-10:45

Shashko

This course is the story of how black music became one of the world’s dominant cultural forces, and how it shaped the musical, social and political landscape of the United States from the end of World War II until the present. It considers how black music articulates survival, redemption and reinvention, how those themes reflect the African-American experience in postwar 20th and

21st-century America, and how those themes can be heard in the music we hear today. Musical styles covered in the course include the blues, gospel, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, disco, and hip-hop.

222 Introduction to Black Women Writers

MW 2:30-3:45 pm

Edmonds

This introductory course introduces students to past and contemporary expressions of black feminist thought. Through readings of works of visual culture, literature, music, and theoretical texts, we will explore how black feminist writers, artists, scholars, and activists address and represent interlocking constructions of race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexuality and citizenship. Our course texts range from the 19th century to the 21st century, offering students a chance to trace the evolution of the political and philosophical preoccupations that bound black women’s writing and to note the formal innovations black writers and artists introduce in their chosen cultural fields and objects.

227 Intro to Masterpieces of Afro American Lit

MW 2:25-3:15

Adelle

This is a survey course open to freshmen and sophomores only. Our readings will include fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays. Our approach will be mainly thematic, but students will also be introduced to African American literary criticism and theory.

231 Introduction to Afro-American History

TR 9:55-10:45

Clark-Pujara

Why does race matter? Why is there such tension, division and disparities among racial groups in the United States of America? How and why did blackness and slavery become synonymous in the Americas? How and why did a nation founded upon liberty and freedom perpetuate human bondage? What are the legacies of race-based slavery and discrimination in America? We will explore these questions throughout the semester.

This course is a social history of West Africans and African Americans from the trans-Atlantic slave trade through the modern civil rights movement. The following topics will receive special attention: the institution of slavery (1619-1865), emancipation and reconstruction (1861-1877), and the long civil rights movement (1877-1968). This course has three major themes. First, the varied experiences of slavery and the roles Black people played in maintaining and sustaining the North American mainland colonies while resisting their bondage. Second, how African Americans helped to create the new nation, became free people and fought for liberty. Third, the challenges, successes and shortcomings of emancipation, reconstruction, and the long civil rights movement.

242 Introduction to Afro-American Art

TR 9:30-10:45

AAS/AH 242: Introduction to Afro-American Art is a survey course in which we will investigate the history of African American art and visual culture from the colonial era to our current time, with a particular focus on twentieth century art. With attention to various art historical perspectives and methods, and to the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality that impact the lives and work of African American artists and their audiences, we will analyze various art forms including painting, sculpture, photography, folk art, conceptual and performance art, and art as social practice. As we consider art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, we will examine works of art that manifest the theories and politics of movements such as Black Liberation, Feminism, and Postmodernism. Our goal is to understand how African American art acted, and continues to act, as a form of self-expression and collective empowerment and as a means of resistance against various forms of marginalization.

265 African American Autobiography

MW 2:30-3:45 pm

Whitmire

This course examines the experiences of African Americans in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries through their autobiographical writing. We will examine the sociological, historical, and psychological impact of being an African American in the United States. Previous autobiographies taught in the course included:

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

Men We Reaped: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward

271 Selected Topics in African American Culture

Black Masculinities in Literature

TR 11:00-12:15

Davis

272 Race and American Politics from the New Deal to the New Right

TR 11:00-12:15

Shashko

The history and legacy of the African-American freedom struggle in the 20th and 21st century is the subject of this course. It surveys both African-American activism and the broader context of American history during this tumultuous period, and considers the legacy of that activism for contemporary America. Subjects covered in the course include Reconstruction and Jim Crow segregation; the Great Migration, Great Depression, and New Deal; the Long Civil Rights Movement from the 1930s through the 1960s; the Black Power movement; and race relations from the 1990s to the present.

326 Race and Gender in Post-World War II U.S. Society

TR 11:00-12:15

Greene

This course will focus on the ways in which race and gender (as well as other social variables including socio-economic status/class, sexuality, region, religion, etc.) shaped the experiences and possibilities for African Americans, in post-W.W. II U.S. society. Course materials will explore some of the major themes and events in African American history from World War II to the present including Black migration, racial violence and Black resistance during W. W. II; race, suburbanization and Cold War politics; the emergence of the civil rights and Black Power movements; race and masculinity; the War on Poverty; Black feminism(s); the rise of conservatism, “welfare reform,” and the re-segregation of public schools; housing insecurity, the “war on drugs,” and mass incarceration in the “post-civil rights” neo-liberal state. Finally, we will assess America’s still unfinished journey toward racial, gender and economic justice.

338 The Black Arts Movement

W 4:30-7:05

Adelle

 

624 African American Women’s Activism (19th & 20th Centuries)

TR 11:00-12:15

Davis

 

628 History of Civil Rights Movement

TR 11:00-12:15

Plummer

This course focuses on the civil rights movement led by African Americans in the United States.  It treats the historical background to movement emergence, including industrial and demographic transition, agricultural change in the South, the rise of the liberal coalition, and the impact of World War II and the Cold War on race relations.  It examines civil rights litigation and the key events and consequences of movement insurgency.  It explores black radicalism, as well as civil rights in the urban North, the policies of the federal government, gender, and the impact of world affairs.  The course considers the activities and life stories of some individual participants as well as broad historical forces.  Students will learn how the events and issues of this social and political movement changed the face of contemporary America.

671 Slavery and Emancipation

 T 2:25-5:00

 Clark-Pujara

This course is a historical survey of slavery and emancipation in British North American colonies and the United States. We will pay close attention to the diversity of experiences among enslaved and free Black people, as well as how historians “write” history. Special attention will be paid the origins of slavery in British and French colonial North America, the effects of American Revolution, the expansion of slavery during antebellum period, and finally the dismantlement of slavery in American Civil War and Reconstruction.

671 Criminalizing Blackness

 R 2:25-4:55

 Greene

 

677 Critical Issues in Black Women Writers

 MW 8:00-9:30

 Edmonds

This interdisciplinary seminar introduces students to past and contemporary expressions of black feminist thought. Through readings of works of visual culture, literature, music and theoretical texts from a variety of disciplines, we will explore how black feminist writers, artists, scholars and activists address and represent interlocking constructions of race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexuality and citizenship. Course texts include Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Ida B. Wells’ Southern Horrors,  Gayle Jones’ Corregidora, Sherley Anne Williams’ Dessa Rose,  Suzan-Lori Parks’ Venus alongside screenings of the Monster’s Ball, Girl 6,  Watermelon WomanWithout You I’m Nothing and clips from Gone with the Wind. Students will also engage with music and visual texts by Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Cassandra Wilson, Kara Walker, Deana Lawson, and Beyoncé, among others. Students will be expected to attend all screenings and/or arrange to view required films on their own time.

Summer 2021 Course Descriptions

156 Black Music and American Cultural History

Asynchronous

Shashko

This course is the story of how black music became one of the world’s dominant cultural forces, and how it shaped the musical, social and political landscape of the United States from the end of World War II until the present. It considers how black music articulates survival, redemption and reinvention, how those themes reflect the African-American experience in postwar 20th and

21st-century America, and how those themes can be heard in the music we hear today. Musical styles covered in the course include the blues, gospel, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, disco, and hip-hop.

242 Introduction to Afro-American Art

MTWR 8:55-11:30

AAS/AH 242: Introduction to Afro-American Art is a survey course in which we will investigate the history of African American art and visual culture from the colonial era to our current time, with a particular focus on twentieth century art. With attention to various art historical perspectives and methods, and to the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality that impact the lives and work of African American artists and their audiences, we will analyze various art forms including painting, sculpture, photography, folk art, conceptual and performance art, and art as social practice. As we consider art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, we will examine works of art that manifest the theories and politics of movements such as Black Liberation, Feminism, and Postmodernism. Our goal is to understand how African American art acted, and continues to act, as a form of self-expression and collective empowerment and as a means of resistance against various forms of marginalization.

This online course meets synchronously during our scheduled class meeting time. Students are also expected to devote about three hours outside of class for every class period to course learning activities that include reading, writing, viewing presentations prepared by the course instructor, participating in online discussions, online museum visits, and course-related research. The course syllabus will include more information about course activities and expectations for student work.

Spring 2021 Course Descriptions

151 Introduction to Contemporary Afro-American Society

Introduction to Race and Racism in the United States

MW 5:30-6:45 

Ifatunji

Race, ethnicity, and racism are foundational to the formation of the United States. However, while most people have some familiarity with these concepts, there is surprisingly little agreement on how to define these terms and their relative importance in American society. The instructor has designed this course to provide students with an introductory understanding of these and related topics so the course will be most useful for students that have not yet taken a similar course. While the course is introductory, it goes beyond the social commentary and public opinion that we often find in newspapers and on social media and reaches toward social scientific theory and observation. After completing the course, students will have an introductory understanding of the conceptual nuances and complexities of race, ethnicity, and racism. The reading for the course is mostly from a textbook. Class meetings are focused on lectures and discussions that build on and go beyond what is presented in the textbook.

154 Hip-Hop and Contemporary American Society

TR 1:20-2:10

Shashko

This course is about the world that hip-hop made and the world that made hip-hop. It tells the story of hip-hop’s origins in Jamaica and the Bronx, its evolution across North America, and its emergence as a global phenomenon. It explores the various themes, ideas and debates that emerged both within the world of hip-hop culture, and the broader historical events that contributed to hip-hop’s evolution from the 1970s to the present. Musical styles covered in this course include New York hip-hop, California gangsta rap, Southern hip-hop, the Detroit and Chicago scenes, and contemporary rhythm & blues.

156 Black Music and American Cultural History

TR 9:30-10:45

Shashko

This course is the story of how black music became one of the world’s dominant cultural forces, and how it shaped the musical, social and political landscape of the United States from the end of World War II until the present. It considers how black music articulates survival, redemption and reinvention, how those themes reflect the African-American experience in postwar 20th and

21st-century America, and how those themes can be heard in the music we hear today. Musical styles covered in the course include the blues, gospel, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, disco, and hip-hop.

222 Introduction to Black Women Writers

MW 2:30-3:45 pm

Edmonds

 This introductory course introduces students to past and contemporary expressions of black feminist thought. Through readings of works of visual culture, literature, music, and theoretical texts, we will explore how black feminist writers, artists, scholars, and activists address and represent interlocking constructions of race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexuality and citizenship. Our course texts range from the 19th century to the 21st century, offering students a chance to trace the evolution of the political and philosophical preoccupations that bound black women’s writing and to note the formal innovations black writers and artists introduce in their chosen cultural fields and objects.

231 Introduction to Afro-American History

TR 9:55-10:45

Clark-Pujara

Why does race matter? Why is there such tension, division and disparities among racial groups in the United States of America? How and why did blackness and slavery become synonymous in the Americas? How and why did a nation founded upon liberty and freedom perpetuate human bondage? What are the legacies of race-based slavery and discrimination in America? These are some of the questions that we will explore this semester.

This course is a social history of African Americans from the trans-Atlantic slave trade through the modern civil rights movement. The following topics will receive special attention: slavery (1619-1865), emancipation and reconstruction (1861-1877), and the long civil rights movement (1877-1968). This course has three major themes. First, the varied experiences of slavery and the roles black people played in maintaining and sustaining the North American mainland colonies.

Second, how African Americans helped to create the new nation and became free people. Third, the successes and shortcomings of emancipation, reconstruction, and the long civil rights movement.

242 Introduction to Afro-American Art

TR 9:30-10:45

Herzog

AAS/AH 242: Introduction to Afro-American Art is a survey course in which we will investigate the history of African American art and visual culture from the colonial era to our current time, with a particular focus on twentieth century art. With attention to various art historical perspectives and methods, and to the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality that impact the lives and work of African American artists and their audiences, we will analyze various art forms including painting, sculpture, photography, folk art, conceptual and performance art, and art as social practice. As we consider art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, we will examine works of art that manifest the theories and politics of movements such as Black Liberation, Feminism, and Postmodernism. Our goal is to understand how African American art acted, and continues to act, as a form of self-expression and collective empowerment and as a means of resistance against various forms of marginalization.

This online course meets synchronously during our scheduled class meeting time. Students are also expected to devote about three hours outside of class for every class period to course learning activities that include reading, writing, viewing presentations prepared by the course instructor, participating in online discussions, online museum visits, and course-related research. The course syllabus will include more information about course activities and expectations for student work.

271 Selected Topics in African American Culture

African Americans Abroad

MW 8:00-9:15 am

Whitmire

This course examines the experiences of African Americans in the 19th, 20th, and 21stcenturies through their autobiographical writing. We will examine the sociological, historical and psychological impact of being an African American in the United States. Pay particular attention to the seven types of otherness: race/ethnicity, gender, age, ability (mental and physical), religion, and sexuality.

 

271 Selected Topics in African American Culture

Black Masculinities in Literature

TR 2:30-3:45

Davis

272 Race and American Politics from the New Deal to the New Right

TR 11:00-12:15

Shashko

The history and legacy of the African-American freedom struggle in the 20th and 21st century is the subject of this course. It surveys both African-American activism and the broader context of American history during this tumultuous period, and considers the legacy of that activism for contemporary America. Subjects covered in the course include Reconstruction and Jim Crow segregation; the Great Migration, Great Depression, and New Deal; the Long Civil Rights Movement from the 1930s through the 1960s; the Black Power movement; and race relations from the 1990s to the present.

321 Afro-American History Since 1900

TR 11:00-12:15

Plummer

This course examines twentieth century African-American history, beginning with its roots in rural society at the turn of the twentieth century. The African American experience encompasses the survival strategies of black people as they moved from country to town and city. It includes the cultural innovations made in response to changing conditions. The critical events studied include world wars, the development of an urban culture, the evolution of music and art, politics and protest, and the impact of African-American life and thought on modernity in the United States. Students will become acquainted with the momentous developments of the last century, including industrial and demographic transition, agricultural change in the South, the impact of world wars and the Cold War, and key events and issues of a long era of civil rights insurgency. Black radicalism is explored, as well as the policies of the federal government, the impact of world affairs, and the role of gender. The activities and life stories of individual participants and broad historical forces are considered. Students will further develop their analytical skills as they familiarize themselves with this history, a powerful tool for understanding the totality of American life. Course requirements are two short papers, a midterm, and a final examination.

326 Race and Gender in Post-World War II U.S. Society

TR 11:00-12:15

Greene

This course will focus on the ways in which race and gender (as well as other social variables including socio-economic status/class, sexuality, region, religion, etc.) shaped the experiences and possibilities for African Americans, in post-W.W. II U.S. society. Course materials will explore some of the major themes and events in African American history from World War II to the present including Black migration, racial violence and Black resistance during W. W. II; race, suburbanization and Cold War politics; the emergence of the civil rights and Black Power movements; race and masculinity; the War on Poverty; Black feminism(s); the rise of conservatism, “welfare reform,” and the re-segregation of public schools; housing insecurity, the “war on drugs,” and mass incarceration in the “post-civil rights” neo-liberal state. Finally, we will assess America’s still unfinished journey toward racial, gender and economic justice.

337 The Harlem Renaissance

W 5:30-8:00

Adell

 

525 Major Authors

MW 3:00-4:15

Adell

 

624 African American Women’s Activism (19th & 20th Centuries)

TR 11:00-12:15

Davis

 

625 Gender, Race, and the Civil Rights Movement

R 2:25-4:55

Greene

This course will focus on the ways in which race and gender (as well as other social variables including socio-economic status/class, sexuality, region, religion, etc.) shaped the experiences and possibilities for African Americans in post-W.W. II U.S. society.  Course materials will explore some of the major themes and events in African American history from World War II to the present including Black migration, white supremacist violence and Black resistance; race, suburbanization and Cold War politics; the emergence of the civil rights and Black Power movements; the War on Poverty; Black feminism(s); the rise of conservatism, “welfare reform,” and the re-segregation of public schools; housing insecurity; mass incarceration and capital punishment in the “post-civil rights” neo-liberal state; and the Black Lives Matter Movement. Finally, we will assess America’s still unfinished journey toward racial, gender and economic justice.

673  Selected Topics in Afro-American Society

Advanced Studies in Race and Racism

W 2:25-5:00

Ifatunji

The study of race and ethnicity is a core feature of the social sciences. It also continues to be one of the least understood research subfields. Many investigators are not adequately trained in the particulars of studying race and ethnicity and instead draw their understanding of these topics from public discourse. This course will develop expert thinkers in this key area of social science. After completing the course, students will be able to reckon with the conceptual nuance and complexity of race and ethnicity. The course begins by reviewing the state-of-the-art for racial and ethnic ontologies and offering a new ontology for the study of race and ethnicity in the social sciences – i.e., ‘ethnoraciality.’ Next, the course reviews current thinking on racism and prejudice and offers a revised theorization of how White supremacy structures ethnoraciality and the political economies of Western societies. Finally, the course develops the concept of ethnoracial orders and examine how these orders develop. The core reading for the course includes about a book a week, which will either be an actual book or a collection of articles and book chapters that might require the same investment in reading time and energy. The class meetings include a brief overview and synthesis of the weekly readings but are mostly focused on engaged discussions. It is strongly recommended that students who enroll in this course have had at least one other course on race and ethnicity and at least one course in the social sciences.

Spring 2020 Course Descriptions

151 Introduction to Contemporary Afro-American Society

MW 11:00-12:15

Thornton

This course is an introductory survey to a sociological study of US life over the past 20 years. It will:

1-introduce students to concepts used in sociological analysis in studying the dynamics of US life (e.g., social class, race, gender and institutions);

2-analyze through course material and working with local community agencies the social forces and trends that affect the quality of life for all Americans;

3-evaluate theories/assumptions used to explain life chances for all Americans; and

4-examine how race, class and gender influence what housing Americans can afford

While typically viewed as a “racial minority thing”, race actually affects the lives of all Americans. This is not a course about culture, per se. If that is what you want, take another course offered by the department. This class is about life chances and how they are linked to “racial” heritage, social class, gender and American institutions. I do not think any course on human life can be objective. Thus this class presents one varied perspective on a complex set of issues, and, as is true for any course, it=s contents reflect the instructor: I am a person of color from a working class family. The course speaks to the concerns of both groups.

This is a SERVICE-LEARNING (S-L) course. S-L is an experience in which students receive credit for serving in an organized service activity meeting needs that the community identifies. In addition, reflecting on service activities by using course concepts/discussions, gives students a deeper sense of the course material and an enhanced awareness of civic responsibility. The service is as vital as lectures, readings and papers. You are evaluated not on the work you do at the placement sites, but on how well you use course concepts to understand and interpret that work. It is a form of learning that facilitates understanding course concepts thru doing. It is commonly the MOST bracing part of the course because it links you as a person to the outside world, one that most of you only “see” as contorted visions of your own reality.

NOTE: You are required to give 25 hours of service during the course of the semester, about 2.5 hours per week.

154 Hip-Hop and Contemporary American Society

TR 1:20-2:10

Shashko

This course is about the world that hip-hop made and the world that made hip-hop. It tells the story of hip-hop’s origins in Jamaica and the Bronx, its evolution across North America, and its emergence as a global phenomenon. It explores the various themes, ideas and debates that emerged both within the world of hip-hop culture, and the broader historical events that contributed to hip-hop’s evolution from the 1970s to the present. Musical styles covered in this course include New York hip-hop, California gangsta rap, Southern hip-hop, the Detroit and Chicago scenes, and contemporary rhythm & blues.

156 Black Music and American Cultural History

TR 9:30-10:45

Shashko

This course is the story of how black music became one of the world’s dominant cultural forces, and how it shaped the musical, social and political landscape of the United States from the end of World War II until the present. It considers how black music articulates survival, redemption and reinvention, how those themes reflect the African-American experience in postwar 20th and 21st-century America, and how those themes can be heard in the music we hear today. Musical styles covered in the course include the blues, gospel, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, soul, funk, disco, and hip-hop.

221 Introduction to Black Women’s Studies

TR 2:30-3:45

Whitmire

This course provides students with an overview of the field of Black Women’s Studies.

227 Masterpieces of African American Literature

MW 2:30-3:45

Adell

This is a survey course open to freshmen and sophomores only. Our readings will include fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays. Our approach will be mainly thematic, but students will also be introduced to African American literary criticism and theory.

 231 Introduction to Afro-American History

TR 9:55-10:45

Clark-Pujara

 Why does race matter? Why is there such tension, division and disparities among racial groups in the United States of America? How and why did blackness and slavery become synonymous in the Americas? How and why did a nation founded upon liberty and freedom perpetuate human bondage? What are the legacies of race-based slavery and discrimination in America? These are some of the questions that we will explore this semester.

This course is a social history of African Americans from the trans-Atlantic slave trade through the modern civil rights movement. The following topics will receive special attention: slavery (1619-1865), emancipation and reconstruction (1861-1877), and the long civil rights movement (1877-1968). This course has three major themes. First, the varied experiences of slavery and the roles black people played in maintaining and sustaining the North American mainland colonies. Second, how African Americans helped to create the new nation and became free people. Third, the successes and shortcomings of emancipation, reconstruction, and the long civil right movement.

 242 Introduction to Afro-American Art

TR 9:30-10:45

Black

 Introduction to Afro-American Art is a survey course where we will investigate the history of African-American Art from the colonial era to contemporary art historical periods, with a particular focus on 20th Century art. We will analyze various art forms ranging from painting, sculpture, photography, folk art, print and new media, as well as conceptual and performance art. Our goal is to understand how African-American art acted, and continues to act, as both a form self-expression as well an act of resistance against various forms of marginalization. Because of the profound intermixing of cultures (African, European, Anglo-American among others) indicative of African diaspora communities, we will also study non-African-American art in order to illuminate the many layers of influence that characterize African-American art. Finally, we will examine works developed within the theories and politics of movements such as liberation, Feminism, Postmodernism as well as various engagements focused on issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality.

265 African-American Autobiography

TR 11:00-12:15

Whitmire

 This course examines the experiences of African Americans in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries through their autobiographical writing. We will examine the sociological, historical and psychological impact of being an African American in the United States. Pay particular attention to the seven types of otherness: race/ethnicity, gender, age, ability (mental and physical), religion, and sexuality.

271 Selected Topics in African American Culture

Intro Race and Ethnicity

TR 2:30-3:45

Morrison

 Race, ethnicity, and racism are foundational to the formation of the United States. However, while most people have some familiarity with these concepts, there is surprisingly little agreement on how to define these terms and their relative importance in American society. The instructor has designed this course to provide students with an introductory understanding of these and related topics so the course will be most useful for students that have not yet taken similar courses. While the course is introductory, it goes beyond the social commentary and public opinion that we often find in newspapers and on social media and reaches toward social scientific theory and observation. After completing the course, students will have an introductory understanding of the of the conceptual nuances and complexities of race, ethnicity, and racism.

272 Race and American Politics from the New Deal to the New Right

TR 11:00-12:15

Shashko

The history and legacy of the African-American freedom struggle in the 20th and 21st century is the subject of this course. It surveys both African-American activism and the broader context of American history during this tumultuous period, and considers the legacy of that activism for contemporary America. Subjects covered in the course include Reconstruction and Jim Crow segregation; the Great Migration, Great Depression, and New Deal; the Long Civil Rights Movement from the 1930s through the 1960s; the Black Power movement; and race relations from the 1990s to the present.

302 Undergraduate Studies in Afro-American History

Race and Documentary Film

W 2:25-5:25

Davis

This course explores early representations of various groups from the advent of documentary film when natives of Alaska and the West were being portrayed by anthropologists and on film as populations whose cultures would die off to the post-1960s when documentarians began producing important work on their own communities. We will see work on Native Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinx communities and African Americans.

321 Afro-American History Since 1900

9:30-10:45 TR

Plummer

This course examines twentieth century African-American history, beginning with its roots in rural society at the turn of the twentieth century. The African American experience encompasses the survival strategies of black people as they moved from country to town and city. It includes the cultural innovations made in response to changing conditions. The critical events studied include world wars, the development of an urban culture, the evolution of music and art, politics and protest, and the impact of African-American life and thought on modernity in the United States. Students will become acquainted with the momentous developments of the last century, including industrial and demographic transition, agricultural change in the South, the impact of world wars and the Cold War, and key events and issues of a long era of civil rights insurgency. Black radicalism is explored, as well as the policies of the federal government, the impact of world affairs, and the role of gender. The activities and life stories of individual participants and broad historical forces are considered. Students will further develop their analytical skills as they familiarize themselves with this history, a powerful tool for understanding the totality of American life.  Course requirements are two short papers, a midterm, and a final examination.

326 Race and Gender in Post-World War II U.S. Society

TR 11:00-12:15

Greene

This course will focus on the ways in which race and gender (as well as other social variables including socio-economic status/class, sexuality, region, religion, etc.) shaped the experiences and possibilities for African Americans, in post-W.W. II U.S. society.  Course materials will explore some of the major themes and events in African American history from World War II to the present including Black migration, racial violence and Black resistance during W. W. II; race, suburbanization and Cold War politics; the emergence of the civil rights and Black Power movements; race and masculinity; the War on Poverty; Black feminism(s); the rise of conservatism, “welfare reform,” and the re-segregation of public schools; housing insecurity,  the “war on drugs,” and mass incarceration in the “post-civil rights” neo-liberal state.  Finally, we will assess America’s still unfinished journey toward racial, gender and economic justice.

338 The Black Arts Movement

TR 1:00-2:15

Black

This course will examine the  Black Power Movement’s cultural wing, better known as the Black Arts Movement(BAM). During the late 1960s to mid 1970s, BAM produced a diverse group of African-American artists, writers, and musicians who were committed to creating politically charged and revolutionary art. We’ll examine the work of several BAM writers, poets, visual artists, and musicians and situate their work within the political, historical, and artistic context. During this course, we will investigate key questions relevant to artistic production: what is the relationship between art and politics? What is the role of the politically conscious artist?

631 Colloquium in Afro-American History

Migrations

TR 4:00-5:15

Brown

When the words “African Americans” and “social movement” are mentioned, many people, understandably, think of the Civil Rights Movement. Yet what about the actual physical movement of black Americans from one region to another? Migration has been an integral part of the lives of people of African descent in the United States since slavery. This course explores the many migrations that African Americans have undertaken. The Great Migration of the twentieth century forms our centerpiece. We will also examine the trials and triumphs associated with African Americans as they vacationed, fulfilled military duties, and pursued professional ambitions. We will study the social, cultural, political, and economic factors that have motivated African Americans to move within and beyond the borders of the U.S. We will analyze the theme of migration in African American letters. We will learn about the dynamic and reactionary responses to black migrants’ presences in new spaces, the communities and cultures that the newcomers created, and the broad impact that these intrepid individuals and groups made on the U.S. and the world.

671 Selected Topics in Afro-American History

Women and Slavery in the U.S.

TR 2:30-3:45

Clark-Pujara

This course is a social history of women and slavery in colonial North America and the United States. We will explore three major themes: the origins and development of the institution slavery, the varied experiences of and finally the social, political, and economic effects of race-based slave holding on the American Republic. Special attention will be paid to enslaved and slave holding women and their contested relationships. We will wrestle with the following questions: How and why was African race-based slavery established in the colonies that would became to North America? How did enslaved people experience slavery differently over time and space? What are the structural legacies of black bondage and white mastery?

672  Selected Topics in Afro-American Literature

Critical Innovations in African American Literature

MW 11:00-12:15

Davis

This course focuses on foundational works and interventions in African American Literature shaping the directions in work today. Authors to be read move from fiction by Charles Chesnutt (1890s) to Colson Whitehead, spoken word & theater works from the black arts movement, as well as Bill Gunn,  Adrienne Kennedy, Ntozake Shange, and Lydia Diamond, and major essays on literature from the Harlem Renaissance to the present.

673 Selected Topics in Afro-American Society

M 2:25-5:00

Thornton

This is a comparative survey course on the phenomenon of so-called mixed racial families. It examines “multiracial” populations, their histories, experiences and identities within various sociological and social psychological frameworks, with a particular focus on unions and offspring of people of color. This discussion takes place in a larger context in which multiracial populations experience life betwixt and between other so-called monoracially-identified communities of color (e.g., blacks, Native Americans and Asian Americans) and the larger white majority. Through the sociological method this course will illuminate how we begin to see this phenomenon as part of a struggle over the meaning of race, changing racial boundaries and the multiple aspects of racial experience in the 21th century. Given the nature of this undertaking, the course pulls from an eclectic set of material, primarily secondary data sources, recent research, personal experience and historical evidence.

There are four goals for this course:

1- to review research on intermarriage and multiracial heritage;

2- to evaluate theory, methods assumptions and conceptual paradigms applicable to this phenomenon;

3- to analyze cross-racial patterns of interaction in a social and historical context;

4- and to encourage systematic study by students of self-selected, specialized aspects of this phenomenon.

675 Selected Topics in Afro-American Culture

M 4:30-7:05

Adell

 This is an advanced course in theatre history and criticism. In addition to reading plays by selected women playwrights from Africa and the diaspora, we’ll read performance reviews and critical essays about women theatre directors, designers, and producers. Students are expected to have background in theatre history and literary studies.