African American & African Studies Master Course List

21:014:111,112 Introduction to African-American and African Studies (3,3)
Examination of the historical experiences of Africa and the African diaspora. Based in the social sciences and using multimedia; comparative study of other world cultures is included.
A two-semester course required of all African American and African studies majors and minors. Designed primarily for first-year students and sophomores.

21:014:113 Introduction to Caribbean Studies (3)
The Caribbean--crossroads of the world--is more than a tropical region filled with palm trees, exotic people, and resorts. This discussion-based, interactive course will explore the history of the Caribbean, its geography, literary and cultural productions (music/film//food/religion), and its intellectual traditions. It reflects on major issues including: colonialism; economic intra- and interdependence; culture and language; regional, national, and ethnic identity; and independence and sovereignty. It also connects the events of the past to current events to help explain the political, social, and economic status of the countries of the Caribbean and their relationship to and with the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Emphasis will be given to understanding contributions of Caribbean studies to the exploration of contemporary issues in our interconnected world.

21:014:220 Black Political Thought (3)
Focuses on the writings of recent political thinkers such as Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Fanon, Castro, Nkrumah, and Sekou Toure, in an attempt to draw forth ideas of universal political relevance; examines ways in which ideas from each of the black areas represented differ according to their own political situations.

21:014:255 Race and Gender in American Film (3)
Analyzes the ways in which ethnic identity is represented in American film over the past 10 years and to what particular effect. Although this course will focus particularly on the traditional interlocked representations of African Americans and European Americans in classic American films, it will also analyze the representation of other ethnic groups.

21:014:258 Philosophy and the Black Experience (3)
Philosophical analysis of issues arising from the African diaspora, e.g., freedom and slavery, racial integration, racial separatism, racism, and the philosophies and values of cultures of the African diaspora.

21:014:301 African Cultural Retentions in the Americas (3)
Reviews the cultural and adaptation process made by blacks in the Americas from the era of the Atlantic slave trade to the present, using an interdisciplinary base of history, anthropology, literature, and music; introductory focus on traditional African culture; identification and importance of Africanisms, which have helped to shape both the historic and contemporary identities of blacks in the United States, Brazil, Haiti, Surinam, and the West Indies.

21:014:302 Special Topics in Black Studies (3)
Selected topics are offered each semester and chosen to represent a wide range of disciplines. African-American and African subject areas include economic development, women's roles, film history, literary genres, social institutions, and urbanization.

21:014:305 Black Women in the United States (3)
Roles of black women in family life, the workplace, politics, literary and artistic achievement, education, and the struggle for women's rights; incorporates both fictional and nonfictional works to chronologically illuminate the major themes in black women's history and contemporary issues.

21:014:306 Comparative Race Relations: South Africa and the United States (3)
Chronological and interdisciplinary study of the major themes in the history of race relations in South Africa and the United States; systematic comparisons of slavery, frontier expansion, and the roots of enduring racism, with assessments of their long-term effects on social relations in both countries. Examines, comparatively, black rights struggles against apartheid, Jim Crow segregation, and impediments to full democracy.

21:014:356 Minority Politics and Public Policy (3)
Study of political power and its impact on minorities; identification of the central theme of minority politics; analysis of the historical basis of the political situation of black Americans as a minority group; social and economic factors that affect the black minority.

21:014:358 Comparative Literature of Africa and the Caribbean (3)
This course compares the literature of Africa and the Caribbean. It assumes that, in the African and Caribbean context, "literature" must by necessity, encompass both the written and the oral narrative. Through a variety of literary and expressive media--written and spoken-word poetry, films, novels, music--it explores the common themes, histories and cultural influences that link these two areas of the world. Central themes include colonization and decolonization, as well as the conflict between, and the blending of, the traditional and modern cultures of African and Caribbean societies.
Not open to first-year students.

21:014:360 African Diaspora Sexualites (3)
Examines the role and representation of sexuality, particularly LGBT sexuality, in the African diaspora. It provides an historical dimension to representations of African diaspora sexualities, and problematizes the view that contemporary African diaspora sexual identities are shaped in and by the West. Course materials include fiction, film, legal rulings, and critical analysis.

21:014:364 Education and Social Change among African Americans (3)
Education and social change in the African-American community; issues as they affect the content, function, and impact of education: pedagogy, pedagogical styles, busing, accountability, community control, and alternative school systems.

21:014:370 Women's Literature of the African Diaspora (3)
Focuses on intersecting issues of gender and race in the novels of black women from across the African global community--known as the "diaspora." Some of the founding questions shall be: Is there such a thing as "diaspora literature," particularly in the case of black writers of various nationalities and cultures? Moreover, is there an identifiable tradition of black women's literature, distinctly different from black men's literature? What are the ramifications--literary, political, or otherwise--of conclusions either way? Readings will necessarily encompass an analysis of contemporary issues in feminist and black nationalist discourses.

21:014:375 Africa in Literature and Film (3)
Explores representations of Africa and Africans from both African and non-African (or western) perspectives. Utilizing a variety of narratives, we will investigate why Africa remains a fraught symbol of racial, political and gendered relationships in Western discourses. Course material will include film, poetry, novels, and critical essays. Topics for discussion will include race and coloniality; depictions of African nationalism and its gender/sexual politics.  

21:014:371 Internship (3)
Prepares students for careers in the United States and abroad that require a comprehensive understanding of people of African descent gained through work experience in an organization or company.

21:014:388 Survey of Black Political Economy (3)
Exploration of political initiatives that impact on the economic status of the black community; responses developed by the community to economic problems. Analyses of approaches to black economic development: black capitalism, ghetto industries, and community-owned businesses.
Not open to first-year students.

21:014:389 Psychology and Values of the African American (3)
Background information of various theories, concepts, and psychological definitions; emphasis on the black experience viewed in a historical context, with consideration given to the formation of self-concepts and sources of strength in the survival of the black psyche.

21:014:390 Islam in the African-American Experience (3)
Analyzes the way in which Islam and black identity have been interpreted, internalized, and lived by American-born Muslims of African descent. Looks at the origins of the African Muslim presence in the West, but focuses on the 19th- and 20th-century Muslim-American experience.

21:014:396 The African-American Community (3)
Patterns of development that characterize African-American communities in large urban areas of the United States; structure and organization of these communities in terms of their responses to the larger culture; distinctive problems affecting black communities and initiatives adopted to overcome them.

21:014:412 Senior Seminar (3)
Interdisciplinary study highlights both the methodological and theoretical approaches supporting research in the field.
Prerequisite: Senior status or permission of instructor. One-semester culminating experience for African American and African studies majors.

21:014:495,496 Individual Study in Black Studies (3,3)
Independent reading or research under the direction of a faculty member.