Africana Studies Courses

AFRS 135 African-American History

4 hours

This course is a survey of African-American history from the 15th century to the present. Eras and topics include the trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery in the Americas, the Civil War and Emancipation, segregation, the Great Migration, the Great Depression and World War II, the modern black freedom struggle, and the post-civil rights era. The class emphasizes how African Americans constructed individual and collective selves, created livelihoods, formed families, communities, and institutions, fashioned cultures, defined citizenship, and consistently defied notions of a monolithic "black community." Centering African Americans' words, actions, and artistic creations and the ways they interacted with other cultures and peoples within the Americas and abroad, this course investigates how African Americans shaped and were shaped by the many worlds they traversed.(Same as HIST 135) (HB, Hist, Intcl)

AFRS 139, 239, 339, 439 Special Topics

Credit arr.

AFRS 147 Literature of the African Peoples

4 hours

Modern African writers are some of the most dynamic and innovative writers as they draw from and respond to different literary traditions, such as their own oral and written traditions, as well as European models. This course serves as an introduction to the various themes and styles of written literature of the 20th century. Central to discussion will be an analysis of gender within various African cultural contexts. Understanding constructions of masculinity and femininity, dominant female and male roles in society, and the ways in which the works challenge traditional norms of gender will be priorities within applied theoretical approaches. Prerequisite: PAID 111. (Same as ENG 147 and WGST 147) (HEPT, Hist, Intcl, E)

AFRS 171 History of Africa to 1880

4 hours

Survey of African history from the earliest times to roughly about 1880. The course begins with the historical development of Africa's still-vital cultural, linguistic, social, and economic systems and moves on to examine the Islamic and Christian impact on these systems through the era of the Atlantic slave trade. The course concludes by discussing the ways in which early European colonialism affected the African past. (Same as HIST 171) (HB, Hist)

AFRS 172 History of Modern Africa

4 hours

This course surveys the history of sub-Saharan Africa from the 1880s to the present. The course examines African life under European colonial domination (from about 1880 to about 1960) and under independent states which succeeded colonial governments after 1960. A primary aim of this course is to explore the diversity of human experience in Africa during the colonial and post-colonial periods. The course makes use of several primary documents to portray ways in which men and women have dealt with the challenges of living in 20th- and 21st-century Africa. (Same as HIST 172.) (HB, Hist, Intcl)

AFRS 185 First-year Seminar

4 hours

A variety of seminars for first-year students offered each January term.

AFRS 221 Anthropology in East Africa: Culture Change Among the Maasai

4 hours

The Maasai pastoralists of Tanzania and Kenya are experiencing rapid culture change in response to global, national, and local forces. In this course we will study "traditional" Maasai culture and examine the ways in which the Maasai of northern Tanzania are adapting to changing social, political, economic, and environmental conditions. Topics to be explored include the shift from herding to agropastoralism; the tension between traditional and formal modes of education; the adoption of Christianity in place of or alongside traditional religion; changes in coming-of-age rituals; cultural dimensions of health, illness, and healing; challenges to traditional gender ideology; the Maasai relationship to their environment; and the impacts of ecotourism, cultural tourism, and wildlife conservation programs on the pastoral way of life. From bases near the city of Arusha and the small town of Monduli students will interact with Maasai people in urban and rural marketplaces; in schools, medical facilities, and places of worship; and at Maasai bomas (family compounds) in the bush. We will also visit the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation area and the Oldoinyo Lengai volcano and pilgrimage routes in order to explore the tension between pastoralism, wildlife conservation programs, and tourism. Offered January term. (Same as ANTH 221) (HBSSM, Intcl)

AFRS 235 Destiny or Deliverance? Civil Rights and Black Power in the United States

4 hours

In this course, we will ask whether the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Era were America's destiny (toward which it has always been headed), a deliverance rescuing America from its racist past, or something altogether different. Did the end of Jim Crow change American life or did it actually hide fundamental, on-going racial strife in American society? In an attempt to answer these questions, we will cover the mass protests of the 1930s and '40s, the direct action campaigns of the 1050s and '60s, and black liberation struggles that stretched into the '70s. We will do this by analyzing media such as speeches, music, film, television, oral histories, and photography. (Same as HIST 235) (HB, Hist)

AFRS 240 Africana Women's Writing

4 hours

A study of writing by selected Africana women writers from Africa, the Caribbean, the United States, and elsewhere in the African diaspora. Topics may vary by geographic region or theme. Prerequisite: PAID 111 or transfer equivalent. (Same as ENG 240 and WGST 240) (HEPT, Intcl)

AFRS 247 History of Jazz

4 hours

A survey of the history and development of jazz, from the 1890s to the present. Includes origins and early jazz through the modern jazz era. Listening activities focus on the major figures of each historical period. Offered alternate years. (Same as MUS 247.) (HEPT, Hist, Intcl)

AFRS 251 African-American Literature

4 hours

A survey of African-American literature. Primary emphasis will be on literature written since 1920 when the Harlem Renaissance began. Includes authors such as Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison and gives attention to theories of race and culture formation. Prerequisite: PAID 111. (Same as ENG 251 and WGST 251) (HEPT, Intcl, E, W)

AFRS 271 African Diaspora

4 hours

This course explores the global experiences of people of African descent. Students will study the human experiences of Africans in the Indian Ocean World, the Trans-Saharan trade, and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Geographical areas include Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Particular attention will be given to the web of interrelated histories, social dynamics, political, and economic processes affecting and reflecting world cultures and histories. (Same as HIST 271) (HBSSM, Hist, Intcl)

AFRS 285/295 Directed Study

2, 4 hours

An opportunity to pursue individualized or experiential learning with a faculty member, at the sophomore level or above, either within or outside the major. AFRS 285 can be taken only during January Term, AFRS 295 can be taken during the fall, spring, or summer terms.

AFRS 337 Pan-Africanism

4 hours

An introduction to the ideas and movements that developed in efforts to unite African people spread throughout the world by the slave trade The course examines key African and Diasporic African intellectual and ideological responses to enslavement and colonization, and subsequently to economic, social, and political marginalization. The course starts with an exploration of African-American separatist discourse during the Americans' Revolutionary periods, moves through New World emancipation of slaves, colonization in Africa, and concludes with national movements and liberation struggles in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Prerequisite: PAID 112 or equivalent. (Same as HIST 337) (HB, HEPT, Hist, Intcl)

AFRS 338 Slavery and Emancipation in the Americas: A Comparative History

4 hours

Slavery has often been a feature of human societies across the earth. But slavery as it existed in the Western Hemisphere between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries occupies a prominent and important place in the institution's long and sordid history. Focusing on North America, the Caribbean and Brazil, the course explicitly compares the reasons why slavery developed in these different places, the growing prominence of racial categories, the work that slaves performed, slave culture, slave control and slave resistance, the lives of free black people in these various societies, and finally, the different means and mechanisms by which slavery came to an end. Prerequisite: PAID 112 or equivalent. (Same as HIST 338) (HBSSM, Hist)

AFRS 371 Topics in African History

4 hours

In-depth study of a selected topic in African history. Instruction in this course will require students to read and assess monographs by African historians on the topic. Topics may include but are not limited to apartheid in South Africa and Zimbabwe, decolonization, nationalism, environmental history of sub-Saharan Africa. Prerequisite: PAID 112 or equivalent. (HBSSM, Hist)

AFRS 375 Directed Readings

l, 2, or 4 hours

AFRS 380 Internship

l, 2, or 4 hours

Course graded credit/no credit.

AFRS 381 Internship

l, 2, or 4 hours

Course graded A–F.

AFRS 395 Independent Study

l, 2, or 4 hours

AFRS 485 Junior/Senior Seminar

4 hours

AFRS 490 Senior Project

l, 2, or 4 hours

AFRS 493 Senior Honors Project

4 hours

A yearlong independent research project. Applications are completed on the Honors Program form available at the registrar's office, requiring the signatures of a faculty supervisor, the department head, the honors program director, and the registrar. Interdisciplinary projects require the signatures of two faculty supervisors. The project must be completed by the due date for senior projects. The completed project is evaluated by a review committee consisting of the faculty supervisor, another faculty member from the major department, and a faculty member from outside the major department. All projects must be presented publicly. Only projects awarded an "A-" or "A" qualify for "department honors" designation. The honors project fulfills the all-college senior project requirement. (R)