AFH: Africana Studies/Humanities

AFH 520: The Caribbean and the Literary Imagination

An examination of the literary representation of the Caribbean through an extensive study of selected fictional and theoretical writings. This seminar will include an examination of the representations of the Caribbean by African American as well as Caribbean writers.

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

AFH 524: Contemporary African Diasporic Literature and Film

Contemporary African American Diasporic Literature and Film offers a comparative analysis of twentieth and twenty-first century African Diasporic writers and filmmakers and their explorations of race, class, and gender. To establish the shifting nature of African Diasporic intellectual thought, we shall consider how each successive generation of writers and filmmakers builds upon discussions of racial identity, black sexuality, and social mobility. To demonstrate how discussions of race have evolved over time texts will be read in conjunction with each other. So for example, Fanon's seminal test Black Skin White Masks, a text that seeks to explain the racialization of society, the double consciousness of black people, and the superiority complex of white people will be read against Paul Gilroy's Against Race, a text arguing for the deconstruction and recognition of race as a cultural construct. Other topics for discussion focus on how "newer" writers delve into questions of sexuality from a fresh perspective. Comparing Morrison's Sula with Cheryl West's play Before it Hits Home, for example, demonstrates that writers are now exploring questions of sexuality in more provocative ways. West's uncovering of the "downlow" life-style lived by Black men, and the health concerns related and the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Permission from advisor required.

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

AFH 528: Contemporary Black Literature and Cultural Criticism

This course introduces students to some of the major contemporary literary and cultural theorists from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (Fanon, Baker, Christian, Gilroy, Mercer, Morrison, Gates, Patterson, CLR James, etc). Earlier scholars from the nineteenth century such as Anna Julia Cooper or Du Bois will also be referenced. Through an examination of major literary and cultural movements such as Negritude, the Caribbean Artists Movement, The Black Arts Movement, and the Post- Black Artists Movement, students will gain insight into how black scholars both critique and contribute to the artistic, political, and social discourse of the day. An application of Postcolonial, Feminist/Womanist, and Cultural Criticism will aid the students in their reading of the critical materials.


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

AFH 564: Seminar in Francophone Literature

Close examination of the literature written in French of the Francophone world outside of France, with special emphasis on the literature of the Caribbean and Africa. This course will pose and explore questions such as: What is Francophone literature and what are the implications of a literature considered as "Francophone"? What are the functions of writing in French in a "postcolonial" context? Permission of advisor required.

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

AFH 585: Independent Studies

Specialized in-depth exploration of topics related to Africana Studies core themes based on a contractual relationship between individual student and faculty. Student must gain permission of selected faculty to enroll in their section of this course. The course can be taken only twice in fulfillment of requirements for the M.A.

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

AFH 599: Thesis

This course is intended to prepare students in developing a sustained and mature (nuanced) argument for their M.A. thesis. The class is for credit with flexible attendance requirements. The student must have an AFS faculty sponsor (thesis director) who will be responsible for assigning a course grade. The class is available beginning in the second term of a student's enrollment in the M.A. program and in the summer upon approval of the Director of Graduate Studies.

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