AFS: Africana Studies/Social and Behavioral Sciences

AFS 500: Foundations in Africana Studies, I

Core course required of all students pursuing a master's degree in Africana Studies. The first of a two semester foundation sequence, the seminar will introduce students to the theoretical issues and historiography of the Africana Diaspora. The parameters of Africana Diaspora studies will cover the historical, literary, socio-political, cultural, and economic themes of the black experience. The course will provide critical examination of the global experience and promote an understanding of the Black Diaspora. The students will read the works of scholars who shaped the broad intellectual world. The required readings will emphasize cannons of Diaspora literature, including works by and about W.E.B. Du Bois, George Padmore, C.L.R. James, Marcus Garvey, and others.

Permission of advisor required.

Fall, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

AFS 501: Foundations in Africana Studies, II

Core course required of all students pursuing a master's degree in Africana Studies. The two-semester foundation courses will introduce students to the theoretical issues historiography of the Africana Diaspora. The parameters of Africana Diaspora studies will cover the historical, literary, socio-political, cultural, and economic themes of the black experience. The course will provide critical examination of the global experience and promote an understanding of the Black Diaspora focusing on scholarly works by Paul Gilroy, Chunua Achebe, Henry Louis Gates, Angela Davis, Walter Rodney, and others.

Permission of advisor required.

Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

AFS 502: Research Methods in Africana Studies

This course introduces students to basic concepts of research methodology, specifically as they pertain to studies of the African diaspora. Students will be exposed to a variety of critical approaches across such disciplines as history, literature, political science, and sociology in the context of Africana studies. Students will examine the ways in which theoretical, ideological, and philosophical assumptions about race, class, and gender shape the kinds of research questions we ask and the types of instruments we use to investigate and evaluate the experiences and contributions of people from the African diaspora.

Permission of advisor required.

Fall, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

AFS 504: Racialized Oppressions and the Idea of Humanity

When one reads accounts of slavery, genocide, the systematic denial of rights to a group because of a racial identity, the question always arises whether the oppressors view the racialized other as fully human? I want to explore this question and what it means to view an individual or group as "fully human". How have philosophical understandings of the moral importance and the moral meaning of "humanity" served to exacerbate, moderate or fight against racial oppression? How does racial and gender oppression compare in this respect? Is there a comparison to be made between racial oppression and the treatment accorded to disabled people with respect to the understanding of what it is to be human? Does shifting the ground from a biologically based concept such as ¿humanity¿ to a philosophical concept of "personhood" serve to justify or serve as a tool against these identity-based oppressions? Does shifting the ground justify the analogy of racism with the abuse of animals, as in the idea of "speciesism"? We will explore as many of these questions as interest dictates and time permits. Permission from advisor required.

Fall, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

AFS 507: African Music

This is a selective introduction to African music, and the music of the African Diaspora. We will read from major scholars in the field of African music studies such as Simha Arom, Christopher Waterman, Gerhard Kubik, Michele Kisliuk, Ruth Stone, Kofi Agawu, and others. Students will get a broad overview of the music of the major regional subdivisions of Africa (for instance North Africa, Central Africa, South Africa, etc.), as well as a historical perspective on the musicological issues that have been central to Africanist musicology and ethno musicology. There will be regular reading, listening, and short writing assignments, occasional quizzes, a book review, and a final research project of 16-18 pp. For the book review, students will write about a monograph on African Music such as John Miller Chernoff¿s African Rhythm and African Sensibility or Paul Berliner¿s The Soul of Mbira. Students will present their research to class towards the end of the term. Permission from course instructor required.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

AFS 530: Slavery and the Atlantic World

This course will examine the experiences of people of African descent as participants in a coerced migration that created African Diaspora. The transatlantic slave trade led to an enduring image of black men and women as transported commodities. Therefore, it has had the greatest impact on the construction of the African Diaspora giving rise to new communities of people across the globe.

Fall, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

AFS 533: Race Gender and Globalization

This seminar explores current issues and debates relating to the racialized and gendered effects of globalization. Topics include an overview of the sociology of globalization and theories of globalism/the global system, transnational migrations and the new global labor market, globalization and race/ethnicity, women and globalization, local-global linkages, and resistance to globalization.

Offered

Fall and Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

AFS 540: The Black Power Movement

This course examines the Black Power Movement. Stokely Carmichael's call for "Black Power!" broke through commotion of everyday politics during 1966's Meredith March Against Fear. Soon after, and for the next decade, Black Power Galvanized African American politics, engendering radical movements for social, political, and cultural transformation that impacted blacks in the United States and beyond. An emerging historiography traces the roots of Black Power in the postwar black freedom movement, finding cultural and political touchstones for future Black Power activism among civil rights renegade, trade unionists, and black nationalists. We will examine works produced during the Black Power era and this new scholarship to analyze the Black Power Movement's legacy in the politics and culture of African Americans. Permission of advisor is required. This course is offered as both HIS 540 and AFS 540.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

AFS 541: Music and Race: Black Music (Cross Cultural Study & Music)

This seminar will examine how certain widely held conceptualizations about race (and in some instances ethnicity) are articulated, reinforced, or challenged in music making and consumption, on the one hand, and in scholarship about music on the other. Writings on race and music have tended to be about "black" culture(s). In this course we will critique this focus and the construct of black music in great detail. The course requires extensive readings on these topics; listening to musical examples (in-depth knowledge of music theory is not necessary); vigorous class discussion and written reaction papers; a final research paper and class presentation. Students may choose to explore other aspects of music and race besides black music in their final papers (for example, how Orientalism has been constituted in music and musical criticism and scholarship). Permission of advisor required.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

AFS 542: Caribbean Transnational Identity in the US

This course seeks to examine the strategies some immigrants from the caribbean utilize to live their lives simultaneously in the US and the country of origin. To do so, it sheds light on the ways in which the US construction of race and ethnicity influences the immigrants' search for an identity in the United States.

Prerequisite: Enrollment in the Graduate Certificate Program

Fall, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

AFS 550: Women of Color in The Modern World; Shifting Identities and Feminist Visions

This course explores the various ways in which gender, race, and class, along with other aspects of identity, shape the lives and experiences of women of color in the United States and globally. It presents the ongoing debates concerning the interconnections of gender, race and shifting identities. It will examine the relationships between the construction of personal identities, identity statuses, cultural and ideological meaning systems, and the search for alternative images. Permission from advisor required.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

AFS 555: Sociology of Gender and Development

The 1960's marked a transition in global economic relations from one characterized by colonial extraction and exploitation, to sustainable development emphasizing economic growth and the alleviation of poverty. It was quickly discovered, however, that the effects of development were beneficial for some but devastating for others, especially poor women. The discovery led many scholars and practitoners, especially those who embrace feminist ideologies, to demand that development agencies and policies be sensitive to gender issues. This seminar will focus on gender and development, in theory and practice, in the global South. It will promote students understanding of the central role that gender plays in the success and assessment of development strategies.

Offered

Fall or Spring, 3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

AFS 570: The Black Radical Tradition

This course examines the black radical tradition from slavery to the present, paying particular attention of twentieth century social movements and the intersection between trade unionism, black nationalism, internationalism, and Marxism. Black radicalism has a long history in the United States and beyond. At its core, this tradition has housed diverse, at times conflicting, ideological strains, personalities, and organizations ranging from black feminists, Marxists, socialists, liberals, trade unionists, artists, and intellectuals. In the process this tradition has run afoul of more mainstream expressions of Black protest (although in certain eras' such as during the Black Power Movement - it as represented the mainstream), the black radicals are often marginalized as wild-eye dreams, naive to the ways of the world.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)

AFS 616: Twentieth Cenury African Political History

This seminar is an extensive exploration of African Political history in the twentieth century. It examines the major themes that have shaped the formation and the decline of the modern African state since the imposition of colonial rule in the late nineteenth century. Drawing from monographs and journal articles on twentieth century African social and political history, and the recent scholarship on state/society relations, the seminar will explore the interactions between state institutions and `structures of society¿ in colonial and post-colonial Africa. The seminar is broadly structured around key themes which are presented in chronological order. These themes are divided into three major sections. The first section which deals with the colonial period will examine the following themes: partition and conquest; African resistance to early colonialism; the historical processes of state formation in Africa; the colonial economy; and the interaction between the world religion (Christianity and Islam) and colonial rule. The second section on the postcolonial era examines the following themes: the historical processes of state formation in Africa; communal identities and social change since decolonization; the patriarchal society and the crisis of the state; and the new debates on democratization and civil society in the post-Cold War era. The final section examines the international politics of African states from both theoretically and historical perspectives. The relevant themes here include the impact of the major powers on African subregions in the Cold War and post-containment eras; the impact of multilateral agencies on African political, economic and social developments; regional organizations and African states. The structure of the course is intended to be coherent but flexible, so that we can identify some basic trends in the reading assignment and construct consistent themes on the interplay of political transformation in the twentieth century. Permission of advisor is required.

3 credits, Letter graded (A, A-, B+, etc.)