Africana Studies Program

Director: Ismail Rashid (History and Africana Studies); Professors: Lawrence Mamiya (Africana Studies and Religion), (Acting Director) Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert (Hispanic Studies), Judith Weisenfeld (Religion); Associate Professors: Joyce Bickerstaff (Africana Studies and Education), Patricia Pia-Celerier (French), Lisa Collins (Art), Diane Harriford (Sociology), Timothy Longman (Africana Studies and Political Science), Ismail Rashid (History and Africana Studies); Assistant Professors: Eve Dunbar (English), Jonathan Khan (Religion), Kiese Laymon (English), Tiffany Lightbourn (Psychology), Candice Lowe (Anthropology), Mia Mask (Film), Quincy Mills (History), Tyrone Simpson (English), Laura Yow (English); Adjunct Assistant Professor: Dennis Reid; Visiting Assistant Professor: Mootacem MhiriabAdjunct Instructors: Randa Abdelrahman, Tagreed Haddad.

The Africana Studies program is the oldest multidisciplinary program at Vassar College. The program is concerned with the cultural, historical, political, economic, and psychological consequences of the dispersal of Africans from their ancestral continent to the diverse regions of the world. It comprises the focused and critical study of the people, cultures, and institutions of Africa and the African Diaspora through a generous offering of courses both originating in the program and cross-listed or approved from other departments. These courses span a majority of the standard disciplines: literature and the arts; area studies; history; social sciences; psychology.

In addition to a broad array of courses offered on the Vassar campus, the program also participates in several study away programs. Most notable of these is Vassar’s junior year abroad program at Mohammed V. University in Rabat, Morocco. Students may also study in the United States at one of four historically Black colleges—Fisk University; Howard University; Spelman College; or Morehouse College.

Requirements for concentration: 11 units are required for the major.

Basic requirements: a) At least one course at the 100-level not including foreign language courses; (b) Black Intellectual History (Africana Studies 229); (c) Africana Studies Research Methodologies (Africana Studies 299); (d) At least two units at the 300-level, and (e) a senior thesis.

Distribution of unit requirements: Students must also meet two distribution requirements. Apart from clearly specified courses, Africana Studies 299, Africana Studies 299 and senior thesis, the remaining 81/2 required units must include: (a) one course from each of the two divisions in the program, namely the 1) Arts and Humanities and 2) the Social Sciences, and (b) at least one course from each of the three regions of the African Diaspora, namely 1) Africa, 2) North America, and 3) Europe, the Caribbean, and South America. Note that one course (for example, African Religions) can meet the two distribution requirements (Africa\Humanities).

Students should normally take Africana Studies 229 and Africana Studies 299 before their junior year. A maximum of two units of language study can be counted toward the major, A maximum of one unit of fieldwork can be counted toward (he major, JYA credits normally accepted by the college will count towards the distribution requirements in consultation, with the program. NRO work may not be used to satisfy the requirements of the Africana Studies Program.

Advisers: Program director and program faculty.

Correlate Sequences

The Africana Studies Program offers two correlate sequences.

Correlate Sequence in Africana Studies: Students undertaking the correlate sequence must complete 6 units. All students must take Africana Studies 229, In addition, students must have a regional specialization, taking courses from Africana Studies or approved related disciplines focusing on one of the three regions of the African Diaspora (1) Africa, (2) the United States, and (3) the Caribbean. At least I unit must be at the 300-level.

Correlate in Arabic Language and Culture: Students need to complete 5 units of Arabic at the introductory, intermediate, and upper levels and on Arabic literature (Africana Studies 203 or 205) or another approved appropriate alternative course. Appropriate courses from the Study Away Program in Morocco can be counted toward the correlate sequence.

I. Introductory

102b. Introduction to Third-World Studies: A Comparative Approach to Africa and the African Diaspora (1)

This course acquaints students with the major concepts, themes, and approaches to the study of peoples of African descent. These concepts include history and the African past; slavery, forced migration, and the creation of the Diaspora; colonialism and conquest; race and identity; resistance and religion; and cultural transformation. Integrating the disciplines, the course uses a variety of texts, music and visual culture. Ms. Bickerstaff.

105a. Issues in Africana Studies (1)

(Same as Religion 105) Topic for 2007/08: Religion and the Civil Rights Movement. This course examines the ways in which religious beliefs, practices, and institutions helped to shape the modern Civil Rights Movement. Topics include theologies of non-violent resistance, spirituals and freedom songs, religion and gender in the movement, critiques of religious motivated activism, and of non-violent resistance. Ms. Weisenfeld.

Open to Freshmen only. Satisfies the Freshman Writing Seminar requirement.

106-107. Elementary Arabic (1)

Fundamentals of the language. Students learn to understand spoken Arabic, to express simple ideas both orally and in writing, and to read Arabic of average difficulty. Ms. Abdelrahman.

Open to all students.

Three 50-minute periods, plus one drill session per week.

[108a. Introduction to the African Literary Traditions] (1)

Examines the works of a number of African writers, both orally transmitted texts—such as folklore and poetry—and written genres, and their cultural influence and impact upon European concepts about Africans before and during the Renaissance, including the period of the 800 years of Moorish/Muslim rule of Iberia. It also investigates how contemporary African writers have tried to revive a sense of the African cultural continuum in old and new literary works. Writers include: Horus, St. Augustine, Ibn Khaldun, Achebe, Ba, Ngugi, Neto, Abrahams, Mazrui, and Salih.

Not offered in 2007/08.

160b. Books, Children, and Culture (1)

(Same as Education 160) This course examines select classical works from the oral tradition and contemporary works of children’s fiction and non-fiction. The course addresses juvenile literature as a sociological phenomenon as well as a literary and artistic one (illustrative content). The course traces the socio-historical development of American children’s literature from Western and non-Western societies. Social, psychoanalytic, and educational theory provide a conceptual basis and methodological framework for the cultural analysis of fairy tale and modern fantasy in cross-cultural perspective. Socialization issues include: ideals of democracy; moral character; race and class; politicalization; and the human relationship to the natural environment. Ms. Bickerstaff.

[177a/b. Major Author: James Baldwin] ( 1/2)

(Same as English 177) Second six weeks. Mr. Laymon.

Not offered in 2007/08.

II. Intermediate

200a/b. Internship at Green Haven and Otisville Prisons ( 1/2)

This course combines field visits to the Green Haven maximum security prison, the Otisville medium security prison, and class meetings on campus. The program at the prison features student-inmate dialogue groups on topics such as: Domestic Violence, Family Issues; Communication Skills; Group Transitional Preparation (issues that prepare men for transition to their communities) in English and Spanish. The on-campus class meetings include group discussion, readings, and films on the prison experience in America. Mr. Mamiya.

Prison visits on Fridays 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Class meetings one Sunday per month 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

201a/b. Advanced Internship on the Prison Experience in America ( 1/2)

A continued exploration of the criminal justice system and the prison experience in America. Field visits to local prisons and more extensive readings and research. Mr. Mamiya.

Prison visits on Fridays 11:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Class meetings one Sunday per month 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

202b. Black Music (1)

(Same as Music 202) An analytical exploration of the music of certain African and European cultures and their adaptive influences in North America. The course examines the traditional African and European views of music performance practices while exploring their influences in shaping the music of African Americans from the spiritual to modern times. Mr. Reid.

[203b. The Origins and Development of Islamic Literature] (1)

(Same as Religion 203) This course surveys the development of Arabic and Islamic literature from its pre-Islamic beginnings in the Arabian Peninsula, through the “golden age” of Islamic civilization, to the contemporary period. The readings cover an array of themes reflecting the ever present and intertwining concerns for the sacred and temporal in this rich and diverse cultural tradition. We read and discuss canonical pre-Islamic poetry, excerpts from Quran and Hadith along with fantastic fairy tales, travel narratives, fiction, and autobiography. We also watch feature and documentary films and read some critical literature to deepen our understanding of the literary texts and gain further insight into their cultural context. Mr. Mhiri.

Prerequisite: one course in Religion or Africana Studies.

Not offered in 2007/08.

[205b. Arab American Literature] (1)

(Same as American Culture 205b) This course examines issues related to identity formation, such as ethnicity, gender, religion, and biculturalism among at least four generations of American writers, intellectuals, and journalists of Arab descent. Students also read accounts by Arab travelers in the U.S., autobiographies, novels, short stories, and poetry spanning the twentieth century, as well as articles, and book chapters about the immigration and cultural history of Arab Americans. The authors studied include: Khalil Bigran, Elia Abu Madi, Mikhail Naimy, Joseph Geha, Diana Abu Jaber, Naomi Shihab Nye and Suheir Hammad. Mr. Mhiri.

Not offered in 2007/08.

206b. Social Change in the Black Community (1)

(Same as Sociology 206) An examination of social issues in the Black community: poverty and welfare, segregated housing, drug addiction, unemployment and underemployment, and the prison system. Social change strategies from community organization techniques and poor people’s protest movements to more radical urban responses are analyzed. Mr. Mamiya.

207a/208b. Intermediate Arabic (1, 1)

Continued study of the Arabic language. Students continue their study of spoken, and written Arabic. Ms. Abdelrahman.

[209b. The African Novel] (1)

This course examines works of fiction as well as autobiographies from different parts of Africa. Starting from literature produced during the period of Negritude movement to more recent works of prose, this course explores how African societies and cultures are represented by African writers. We study mainly how the African novel captures the diversity of African communities and deconstruct assumptions of a homogeneous African experience. Readings include works by Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Aye Kwei Armah, Ben Okri, Ama Ata Aidoo, Mariama Ba, and Tsitsi Dangaremba.

Not offered in 2007/08.

[210b. Comparative Perspectives on African Literature] (1)

African literatures written in English and in French have tended to be considered as separate entities. The purpose of this course is to question that divide by studying specific novels, ranging from 1953-2004, in dialogue with one another. Related films are shown and discussed. Works studied are Chinua Achege’s (Nigeria) Things Fall Apart (1958), Ahmadou Kourouma’s (Ivory Coast) The Suns of Independence (1968, trad. 1981), Camara Laye’s (Guinea) The Dark Child: Autobiography of an African Boy (1953, trad. 1954), Wole Soyinka’s (Nigeria) Ake: The Years of Childhood (1981), Mongo Beti’s (Cameroon) Perpetua and the Habit of Unhappiness (1953, trad. 1978), Ayi Kewi Armah’s (Ghana) The Beautiful One Are Not Yet Born (1988), Aminata Sow Fall’s (Senegal) The Beggars Strike (1981), Helon Habila’s (Nigeria) Waiting for an Angel (2004), Buddhi Emecheta’s (Nigeria/England) The New Tribe (2000) and Calixthe Beyala’s (Cameroon/France) Loukoum: The Little Prince of Belleville (1992, trad. 1998). Ms. Celerier.

Not offered in 2007/08.

[211a. Religions of the Oppressed and Third-World Liberation Movements] (1)

(Same as Religion 211) A comparative socio-historical analysis of the dialectical relationship between religion and the conditions of oppressed people. The role of religion in both suppression and liberation is considered. Case studies include the cult of Jonestown (Guyana), the Iranian revolution, South Africa, slave religion, and aspects of feminist theology. Mr. Mamiya.

Not offered in 2007/08.

218a. Literature, Gender, and Sexuality (1)

(Same as English 218) The course considers matters of gender and sexuality in literary texts, criticism, and theory. The focus varies from year to year, and may include study of a historical period, literary movement, or genre; constructions of masculinity and femininity; sexual identities; or representations of gender in relation to race and class.

Topic for 2007/08: Black Feminism. This course examines the development and history of black feminism in the United States. Through reading works of fiction, memoir, and theory, we explore the central concerns of the black feminist movement, and consider black feminism’s response to Civil Rights, Black Nationalism, and white feminism. Authors may include Anna Julia Cooper, Angela Davis, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison and others. Ms. Dunbar.

227a. African American Literature, Origins to 1946 (1)

(Same as English 227) This course examines the origins of black literature in America. Our exploration begins with West African and African American oral texts: chants, sorrow songs, hymns, sermons, folk tales. Particular attention is paid to lyricism of Phyllis Wheatley and the political discourse of such figures as Ida B. Wells, Maria Stewart and David Walker. We also examine the textured autobiographies of writers like Frederick Douglas, Harriet Wilson and Harriet Jacobs before grounding ourselves in the early African American novel. In the works of writers like Charles Chesnutt, James Weldon Johnson, and Jessie Fauset we hope to understand how these written texts created their own aesthetic principles while interacting with dominate literary traditions of the day. Mr. Whalan.

[228b. African American Literature, 1946 to Present] (1)

(Same as English 228) Beginning with the literature of social realism, we cover almost sixty years of African American Literature, including some of the major critical discourses (modernism, protest fiction, the black arts movement, postmodernism) that have guided its development over the past century. This course seeks to identify literary characteristics that have evolved out of the culture and contemporary experience of black people in America. One of our goals is to better understand how black literature created its own aesthetic principles in its interaction with the dominant literary traditions of the day. Ms. Dunbar.

Not offered in 2007/08.

229b. Black Intellectual History (1)

(Same as Sociology 229) This course provides an overview of black intellectual thought and an introduction to critical race theory. It offers approaches to the ways in which black thinkers from a variety of nations and periods from the nineteenth century up to black modernity engage their intellectual traditions. How have their perceptions been shaped by a variety of places? How have their traditions, histories and cultures theorized race? Critics may include Aimé Césaire, Anna Julia Cooper, W.E.B. DuBois, Frantz Fanon, Paul Gilroy, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Ida B. Wells, and Patricia Williams. Ms. Harriford.

230b. Creole Religions of the Caribbean (1)

(Same as Religion 230) The Africa-derived religions of the Caribbean region—Haitian Voodoo, Cuban Santeria, Jamaican Obeah, Rastafarianism, and others—are foundational elements in the cultural development of the islands of the region. This course examines their histories, systems of belief, liturgical practices, and pantheons of spirits, as well as their impact on the history, literature, and music of the region. Ms. Paravisini-Gebert.

235a. The Civil Rights Movement in the United States (1)

In this interdisciplinary course, we examine the origins, dynamics, and consequences of the modern Civil Rights movement. We explore how the southern based struggles for racial equality and full citizenship in the U.S. worked both to dismantle entrenched systems of discrimination—segregation, disfranchisement, and economic exploitation—and to challenge American society to live up to its professed democratic ideals. Ms. Collins.

[236b. African Cinema: A Continental Survey] (1)

(Same as Film 236) African national cinemas reflect the rich, complex history of the continent. These films from lands as diverse as Chad, Senegal and South Africa reveal the various ways filmmakers have challenged the representation of Africa and Africans while simultaneously revising conventional cinematic syntax. This survey course examines the internal gaze of African-born auteurs like Ousmane Sembene (Le Nor de Z, Xala, Mandabi), Djbril Diop Mambety (Hyenes), Desire Ecare (Faces of Women), Manthia Diawara (Conakry Kas), and Mahmat-Saleh Haroun (Bye-Bye Africa). It places these films alongside the external gaze of practitioners Euzan Palcy (A Dry White Season), Jean-Jacques Annaud (Noir et Blancs en Couleur) and Raoul Peck (Lummba). The films of documentary filmmakers Anne Laure Folly, Ngozi Onwurah and Pratibah Parmaar are also examined. This course utilizes the post-colonial film theory and scholarship of Imruh Bakari, Mbye Cham, Nwachukwu Frank Ukadike and Manthia Diawara. Screenings, readings and papers required. Ms. Mask.

Not offered in 2007/08.

[237a. The Music and Literary Traditions of Five Caribbean Islands: Colonialism into the Twenty-First Century] (1)

(Same as Music 237) The Caribbean is fast becoming an influential international voice. Through the eyes of its writers and musicians, past and present, this course examines the complex and sometimes fractious relationship between the Caribbean and Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Mr. Reid.

Not offered in 2007/08.

[242. Brazil, Society, Culture, and Environment in Portuguese America] (1)

(Same as Geography 242 and Latin American and Latino/a Studies 242)

Not offered in 2007/08.

[246a. African-American Politics] (1)

(Same as Political Science 246) This course analyzes the diverse ways in which African Americans have engaged in politics in the United States. After briefly considering challenges facing the African American community, the course looks at approaches to politics including active engagement in the political system, Pan-Africanism and Black nationalism, accommodation and assimilation, class-based struggle, and everyday forms of resistance. The course concludes with a consideration of possible policy alternatives advocated by various African-American leaders. Writers studied may include W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Booker T. Washington, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., William Julius Wilson, bell hooks, Manning Marable, Robin Kelley, Angela Davis, and Patricia Williams. Mr. Longman.

Not offered in 2007/08.

250b. African Politics (1)

(Same as Political Science 250) This course introduces students to the great diversity of peoples, ideas, cultures, and political practices found on the African continent. The course first investigates the causes of the contemporary social, economic, and political challenges facing African states, then analyzes the ways in which African populations have responded to foreign domination, authoritarian government, unfavorable economic conditions, and social divisions. The course uses case studies of African countries to explore political issues within specific contexts and pays particular attention to international involvement in Africa. Mr. Longman.

[251a. The Black Woman as Novelist] (1)

(Same as English 251) An examination of the novels of black women writing in English. Particular consideration is given to literary forms, cultural approaches to novelistic expression, and the roles of black women in fiction and society. Authors may include: Toni Morrison, Ann Petry, Gloria Naylor, Buchi Emecheta, Jamaica Kincaid, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Zora Neale Hurston and others. Ms. Yow.

Prerequisite: 1 unit of 100-level work or by special permission of the director.

Not offered in 2007/08.

252b. Writing the Diaspora (1)

(Same as English 252) This course focuses on writers of the modern African Diaspora and on creative writing. How can the narratives of the Diaspora aid a young writer in writing through complexity? What are the intricacies of undesired movement and place? What are the creative limitations within the narrative form, and how can we push those limitations while creating our own stories and essays? This course focuses on the writing and close reading of innovative Diasporic short fiction and creative nonfiction. The course may include the writers: Charles Johnson, Mari Evans, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Harriet Wilson, Aminata Sow Fall, Ken Mufuka, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, and Sam Selvon, as well as some film and music. In a workshop setting, students explore the possibilities of narrative voice, the range available to the narrative “I,” the rounding of secondary characters, and the pressures of fictively representing one’s race, gender, tribe or group. Mr. Laymon.

Prerequisites: one course in literature or Africana Studies.

253b. The Arts of Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa (1)

(Same as Art 253) This course explores the ways in which sculpture, textiles, painting, drawing, and photography function both historically and currently in relationship to particular themes such as religion, trade, and diaspora (both Atlantic and Indian Ocean), political power and healing. We also consider the visual arts in relationship to issues of improvisation, identity and self-representation, and forms of resistance.

Pre-requisites: Art 105-106, or one 200-level course in Africana Studies or by permission of the instructor.

254a. The Arts of Western and Northern Africa (1)

(Same as Art 254) This course is organized thematically and examines the ways in which sculpture, architecture, painting, and photography function both historically and currently in relationship to broader cultural issues. Within this context, this course explores performance and masquerade in relationship to gender, social, and political power. We also consider the connections between the visual arts and cosmology, Islam, identity, ideas of diaspora, colonialism and post-colonialism, as well as the representation of “Self” and the “Other.”

Prerequisites: Art 105-106, or one 200-level course in Africana Studies, or by permission of the instructor.

256b. Environment and Culture in the Caribbean (1)

(Same as Environmental Studies 256) The ecology of the islands of the Caribbean has undergone profound changes since the arrival of Europeans to the region in 1492. This course traces the history of the relationship between ecology and culture from pre-Columbian civilizations to the economies of tourism. Among the specific topics of discussion are Arawak and Carib notions of nature and conservation of natural resources; the impact of deforestation and changes in climate; the plantation economy as an ecological revolution; the political implications of the tensions between the economy of the plot and that of the plantation; the development of environmental conservation and its impacts on notions of nationhood; the ecological impact of resort tourism; and the development of eco-tourism. These topics are examined through a variety of materials: historical documents, essays, art, literature, music and film. Ms. Paravisini-Gebert.

[258a. Race and Ethnicity] (1)

(Same as Sociology 258) Ms. Harriford.

Not offered in 2007/08.

[259b. Human Rights and Politics] (1)

(Same as Political Science 259) This course examines the growing international influence of human rights principles, documents, and organizations on politics. We study how human rights discourse has emerged as a major factor in modern politics and review the documents that serve as a basis drawn from Africa and the United States to explores issues such as universality versus cultural specificity of human rights discourses, civil and political rights versus cultural versus economic, social, and cultural rights, individual versus group rights, the crime of genocide, efforts to expand human rights law to include rights for children, women, gays, and lesbians and others, and the activities of national and international human rights organizations. Mr. Longman.

Not offered in 2007/08.

263b. Words of Fire: African American Orators and Their Orations (1)

Like their African counterparts, African Americans have an urgent concern with the intellectual and emotive force of the word in the appropriate socio-political context. Sound, meaning, and manner of speaking the language undergirds the structure of human relationships in oratory within and outside the African American community, from its African origins through slavery, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow Era, Civil Rights up through the period of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Congressional Black Caucus. The oral traditions of African Americans is a vernacular art form experienced from the preacher pulpit, the political stump, the legislative halls, the street corner, and the theatrical stage. Ms. Bickerstaff.

264b. African American Women’s History (1)

(Same as Women’s Studies 264) In this interdisciplinary course, we explore the roles of black women in the U.S. as thinkers, activists, and creators during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing on the intellectual work, social activism, and cultural expression of a diverse group of African American women, we examine how they have understood their lives, resisted oppression, constructed emancipatory vision, and struggles to change society. Ms. Collins.

265a. African American History to 1865 (1)

(Same as History 265a) Mr. Mills.

[266b. African American Arts and Artifacts] (1)

(Same as Art 266) An introduction to the artistic and material production of African Americans in the U.S. from the colonial period to the present day. We examine multiple influences on (African, European, American, diasporic, etc.) and uses for black creative expression. Working with an expansive conception of art, we pay close attention to the work of formally and non-formally trained artists in relation to their social, cultural, aesthetic, and historical contexts. Ms. Collins.

Prerequisites: Art 105-106 or by permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2007/08.

[268b. Sociology of Black Religion] (1)

(Same as Religion 268 and Sociology 268) A sociological analysis of a pivotal sector of the Black community, namely the Black churches, sects, and cults. Topics include slave religion, the founding of independent Black churches, the Black musical heritage, Voodoo, the Rastafarians, and the legacies of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Mr. Mamiya.

Not offered in 2007/08.

270b. The Harlem Renaissance (1)

(Same as English 270) A critical analysis of the outpouring of serious creative effort in poetry and prose in Harlem during the early 1900s to 1930s by writers whose works were influenced by an emergent sense of nationalism, cultural awakening, self-awareness, and by an affirmation of the African past. The vigor and versatility of the period is expressed in the works of such writers as W. E. B. DuBois, Claude McKay, Alain Locke, Countee Cullen, James Weldon Johnson, and Jean Toomer. Ms. Dunbar.

[271a. Perspectives on the African Past: Africa Before 1800] (1)

(Same as History 271) A survey of traditional African history with an emphasis on the Nile Valley civilizations, Ethiopia, the Sudan Kingdoms, the advent of Islam, the Swahili city-states of Southeast Africa, and the early society of central and southern Africa prior to 1800. This course examines the dramatic post-World War II issues and trends in the historiography relating to pre-colonial Africa. Mr. Rashid.

Not offered in 2007/08.

[272b. Modern African History] (1)

(Same as History 272) A study of the major political, economic, social, and intellectual developments in the unfolding of the African experience from the early nineteenth century to the present time. Attention is directed to the broad spectrum of contacts of Africa with the outside world in trade, diplomacy, etc., prior to the nineteenth century. The course focuses on the rise of the Pan-African movement, African nationalism, the decolonization process, the emergence of independent African states, and the dilemmas of post-colonialism: neocolonialism, development issues and post-independence politics. Mr. Rashid.

Not offered in 2007/08.

273b. Economic Development in Less Developed Countries (1)

(Same as Economics 273 and Asian Studies 273) A survey of central issues in the field of Development Economics, this course examines current conditions in less developed countries using both macroeconomic and microeconomic analysis. Macroeconomic topics include theories of growth and development, development strategies (including export-led growth in Asia), and problems of structural transformation and transition. Household decision-making under uncertainty serves as the primary model for analyzing microeconomic topics such as the adoption of new technology in peasant agriculture, migration and urban unemployment, fertility, and the impact of development on the environment. Examples and case studies from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and transition economies provide the context for these topics.

Prerequisites: Economics 100 and 101.

[275b. Caribbean Discourse] (1)

(Same as English 275) Study of the work of artists and intellectuals from the Caribbean. Analysis of fiction, non-fiction, and popular cultural forms such as calypso and reggae within their historical contexts. Attention to cultural strategies of resistance to colonial domination and to questions of community formation in the post-colonial era. May include some discussion of post-colonial literary theory and cultural studies. Ms. Yow.

Not offered in 2007/08.

277b. Sea-Changes: Caribbean Rewritings of the British Canon (1)

From William Shakespeare’s The Tempest to James Joyce’s Ulysses, the classic texts of the British literary canon have served as points of departure for Caribbean writers seeking to establish a dialogue between a colonial literary tradition and post-colonial national literatures. This course addresses the many re-writings of British texts by Caribbean authors from Roberto Fernandez Retamar’s Caliban to Jamaica Kincaid’s The Autobiography of My Mother. Among the texts to be discussed are Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, V.S. Naipaul’s Guerillas, Micelle Cliff’s Abeng and No Telephone to Heaven, Maryse Conde’s Windward Heights, and Riosario Ferre’s Sweet Diamond Dust. Ms. Yow.

280b. Plays of the Black Diaspora/Performing the Black Diaspora (1)

Through comedy, tragedy, and satire, playwrights from Africa, Europe, United Kingdom, and the Caribbean have dramatized the rich heritage and vibrant cultures of the Black Diaspora. The course explores the forms and themes of black theater. It examines the evolution of the black theatre from the African Grove, to urban “chitlin” circuits, and contemporary Black theater. It discusses how playwrights of the black Diaspora have dealt with issues like myth, identity, gender, spirituality, love, and ownership. Works studied include plays by Wole Soyinka, August Wilson, Derek Walcott, Susan Lori Parks, Alice Childress, Pearl Cleage, Ed Bullins, Athol Fugard, Lorraine Hansbury, Lynn Nottage, Dipo Agboluage and Errol Hill. Mr. Reid.

288b. Black Political Thought (1)

(Same as Political Science 288b) Ms. Gregory.

290a or b. Field Work ( 1/2 or 1)

Individual or group field projects or internships. The department.

Unscheduled. May be selected during the academic year or during the summer.

Reading Courses

Note: prerequisites for all sections of 297, permission of instructor.

297.04b. Psychology of Black Experience in White America ( 1/2)

Mr. Mamiya.

297.05a. Multi-Ethnic Literature for Young Children: From Aesop to Zemach ( 1/2)

Ms. Bickerstaff.

[297.08a/b. Caribbean Politics] ( 1/2)

Mr. Longman.

Not offered in 2007/08.

297.09b. African Religions ( 1/2)

Mr. Mamiya.

298a or b. Independent Work ( 1/2 or 1)

Individual or group project of reading or research. The department.

Unscheduled. May be selected during the academic year or during the summer.

299a. Research Methods ( 1/2)

An introduction to the research methods used in the disciplines represented by Africana Studies. Through a variety of individual projects, students learn the approaches necessary to design projects, collect data, analyze results, and write research reports. The course includes some field trips to sites relevant to student projects. The emphasis is on technology and archival research, using the Library’s new facilities in these areas. Required of majors and correlates, but open to students in all disciplines. Program faculty and Ms. Kurosman.

III. Advanced

300a or b. Senior Essay or Project (1)

301b. Music and Literature of 5 Carribean Islands (1)

(Same as Music 301) The Caribbean is fast becoming an influential international voice. Through the eyes of its writers and musicians, past and present, this course examines the complex and sometimes fractious relationship between the Caribbean and Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Mr. Reid.

307a/b. Upper-Intermediate Arabic (1)

Advanced intermediate study of Arabic based on reading comprehension of authentic texts from the Arab multi- and print media, and accessible literary masterpieces; in addition to a review of basic grammar and introduction of more complex structures. Strong emphasis is placed on developing students’ written and oral expression. Instructor to be announced.

[310b. Politics and Religion: Tradition and Modernization in the Third World] (1)

(Same as Religion 310) An examination of the central problem facing all Third World and developing countries, the confrontation between the process of modernization and religious tradition and custom. Along with the social, economic, and political aspects, the course focuses on the problems of cultural identity and crises of meaning raised by the modernizing process. Selected case studies are drawn from Africa and Asia. Mr. Mamiya.

Prerequisite: Sociology/Religion 261 or Africana Studies 268, or 2 units in Religion or Africana Studies at the 200-level, or by permission of instructor.

Not offered in 2007/08.

315a. Religion and American Culture: Black Women and Religion (1)

(Same as Religion 315 and American Culture 315) In this seminar we examine the religious beliefs, experiences, and practices of black women in various historical periods in the United States. Using personal narratives, historical studies, fiction, and film, we devote particular attention to: the ways in which American gender and racial constructions have shaped women’s religious lives, shaped black women’s religious activism, and shaped their religiously-grounded cultural and intellectual expressions. Ms. Weisenfeld.

[319a. Race and Its Metaphors] (1)

(Same as English 319) This course reexamines the canonical literature in order to discover how race is either explicitly addressed or implicitly enabling to the texts. Does racial difference, whether or not overtly expressed, prove a useful literary tool. The focus of this course varies from year to year. Ms. Yow.

Not offered in 2007/08.

320a. Up From Slavery: Schooling and Socialization of Blacks in America (1)

(Same as Education 320) This course is devoted to both theoretical and empirical issues in the schooling of Black America from primary through post-secondary levels—eighteenth century to the present in the rural and urban environment. Students become familiar with major sociological themes in the study of education: socialization and learning; social and cultural determinants of academic performance; relationships between families and schools; inequality; the “culture’’ of the school and problems of change; institutional racism; and politicalization and social policy. Ms. Bickerstaff.

Prerequisite: 2 units of Education or Africana Studies or by permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period.

[321a. Cross-Cultural Studies in Education: Policy, Politics, Power] (1)

(Same as Education 321) A comparative study of education and schooling in selected contemporary societies—United States, Africa, Asia, South America. Through the case-study method, this seminar examines formal educational institutions from preschool to post-secondary education. Educational ideology and practice as reflected in curriculum and school organization are reviewed. Within the United States, the schooling of culturally different populations is studied. Among them are: Appalachian, Native American, black urban (north and south), and elite white independent schools. Ms. Bickerstaff.

Prerequisite: 2 units of coursework from the social science division, Africana Studies, or by permission of instructor.

Not offered in 2007/08.

330b. Black Metropolis: Caste and Class in Urban America (1800 to Present) (1)

The migration of African Americans from the rural south to the urban North in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century America was one of the most significant internal mass movements in modern urban history. This seminar traces the historical antecedents of the great migration and examines the social, cultural, economic, and political dynamics and consequences of this extraordinary demographic shift within black communities and the larger society. Using the case study method, selected cities are drawn from urban centers in the south and the north. Themes and locations vary from year to year. Ms. Bickerstaff.

[345b. African American Migrations: Movement, Creativity, Struggle, and Change] (1)

(Same as Urban Studies 345) In this interdisciplinary seminar, we examine the Great Migration (1916-1930) and the second Great Migration (1940-1970), the twentieth-century search by millions of black southerners for opportunity, safety, and full citizenship in the cities of the Northeast, Midwest, and West. Focusing on the actions, expressions, and thoughts of migrants, we explore how migrants experienced their lives, expressed their desires, and understood society. By analyzing things such as the organizing of factory and domestic workers, the blues sung by black women, the creation of urban legends and lore, and the investigative journalism of African American newspapers and civil rights organizations, we study links between movement, creativity, struggle, and change. Ms. Collins.

Not offered in 2007/08.

352b. Comparative Identity Politics (1)

(Same as Political Science 352) This seminar explores the political significance of social diversity in comparative perspective. Drawing on a range of cases, the course investigates the sources of identity-based social and political conflicts, focusing in particular on racial, ethnic, and national identities. The course also studies possible means of accommodating diversity and promoting reconciliation through public policies such as affirmative action, economic development, constitutional reform, memorials and commemorations, truth commissions, and trials. After looking at theories of identity politics and accommodation of diversity, the course focuses on country case studies. Countries studied may include the United States, South Africa, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, Somalia, Brazil, and India. Mr. Longman.

Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period.

[354a. Seminar in African Art] (1)

(Same as Art 354) The Contemporary Arts of Africa. This seminar focuses on the content and form of contemporary visual production in Africa, considering the ways in which African artists across the continent negotiated various themes. Exploring sculpture, painting and photography, emphasis is placed on the changing meanings of art within African contexts. As a part of this process, the tension between the “tribal” or “traditional” and the “contemporary” or “(post) modern” is examined with respect to the ways that the advent of “national” culture as well as outside factors (colonialism, Christianity, European art education, international tourism) simultaneously presented the artist with new problems and new venues for visual production. We also consider issues concerning the representation of the “other” within African contexts as well as issues of “authenticity.”

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period.

Not offered in 2007/08.

365b. Race and the History of Jim Crow Segregation (1)

(Same as History 365) Mr. Mills.

366a. Seminar in African American Art and Cultural History (1)

Topic for 2007/08: Creativity and Politics during the Jazz Age and the Great Depression. Focusing on the experiences and representations of African Americans in the U.S., this seminar examines the arts, institutions, and ideas of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and New Deal projects of the 1930s and 1940s. Analyzing painting, sculptures, photographs, novels, “folk art,” murals, illustrations, manifestos, films, performances, and various systems of patronage, we explore relationships between art, politics, and society. Ms. Collins.

369a. Major Third World Author (1)

Topic for 2007/08: Frantz Fanon. Frantz Fanon was not only one of the foremost theoreticians of the Algerian revolution, he was a central figure in the elaboration of radical philosophies of liberation in the era of decolonization. This course provides the opportunity for an in-depth consideration of Fanon’s major texts: Black Skin, White Masks, Toward the African Revolution, The Wretched of the Earth, and A Dying Colonialism. We consider Fanon not only in the context of revolutionary anti- colonial politics, but in relationship to emergent discourses of race and psychoanalysis. Contemporary feminist, postcolonial and cultural critical engagements with Fanon’s work are central to our discussion of his enduring intellectual legacy. Films include Isaac Julien’s Black Skin, White Mask and Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers. Ms. Yow.

[373b. Slavery and Abolition in Africa] (1)

(Same as History 373) The Trans-Saharan and the Atlantic slave trade transformed African communities, social structures, and cultures. The seminar explores the development, abolition, and impact of slavery in Africa from the earliest times to the twentieth century. The major conceptual and historiographical themes include indigenous servitude, female enslavement, family strategies, slave resistance, abolition, and culture. The seminar uses specific case studies as well as a comparative framework to understand slavery in Africa. Mr. Rashid.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[374b. the African Diaspora and the Making of the Pan-African Movement 1900-2000] (1)

(Same as History 374) This seminar investigates the social origins, philosophical and cultural ideas, and the political forms of Pan-Africanism from the late nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century. It explores how disaffection and resistance against slavery, racism and colonial domination in the Americas, Caribbean, Europe, and Africa led to the development of a global movement for the emancipation of peoples of African descent from 1900 onwards. The seminar examines the different ideological, cultural, and organizational manifestations of Pan-Africanism as well as the scholarly debates on development of the movement. Readings include the ideas and works of Edward Blyden, Alexander Crummel, W. E. B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, Amy Garvey, C.L.R. James, and Kwame Nkmmah. Mr. Rashid.

Special permission.

Not offered in 2007/08.

[388b. Prejudice, Racism and Social Policy] (1)

(Same as Psychology 388 and Urban Studies 388) Prejudice and racism is one of the most enduring and widespread social problems facing the world today. This course tackles prejudice and racism from a social psychological perspective, and aims to give students an understanding of the theoretical causes, consequences, and “cures” of this pervasive phenomenon. We review the empirical work on stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination and then explore real-world examples of these principles in action in the policy realm. In particular we examine historical and contemporary cases that relate to affirmative action, segregation/desegregation, bilingual education, urban policy, U.S. immigration policy, U.S. foreign policy in Rwanda and Yugoslavia. This course is intended to help upper-level students acquire the theoretical tools with which to analyze prejudice and racism research and the development of public policies. Ms. Lightbourn.

Not offered in 2007/08.

392b. Diversity in Performance ( 1/2)

(Same as Drama 392) Instructor to be announced.

399a or b. Senior Independent Work ( 1/2 or 1)

Senior independent study program to be worked out in consultation with an instructor. The department.

Vassar JYA Morocco Program

The Africana Studies Program has initiated an academic semester-abroad program with Mohammed V. University in Rabat, Morocco. Part of the program includes an historical study tour. Prerequisites for participation include 1) area studies, 2) two years French/or one year Arabic, and 3) intensive summer four-week classical Arabic language study in Rabat. Program coordinator: Ms. Correll. The following courses are offered:

120a. Elementary Modern Standard Moroccan Arabic and Culture (1)

Fundamentals of the language. Students learn to understand spoken Arabic, to express simple ideas both orally and in writing, and to begin reading Arabic.

Four hours per class, five times a week; one 2-hour seminar per week on Moroccan culture

121a. Introduction to Modern Standard and Moroccan Arabic (1)

The objective of this intensive course is to enable the students to acquire a basic knowledge of Modern Standard and Moroccan Arabic. The course contains four hours classical Arabic per week and four hours Moroccan Arabic per week. Classes are two hours each and include language labs. These sessions refine knowledge of the phonology of Modern Standard Arabic and cover the basics of the grammar and syntax of Modern Standard and Moroccan Arabic; there are graded practice exercises.

220a. Anthropology of the Middle East and the Maghreb (1)

The objective of this course is to introduce the students to Middle Eastern and Maghrebian cultures and societies, focusing on the major issues relevant to the area. The course covers cultural commonalities and diversities in the Middle East and the Maghreb. Issues such as political systems, kinship, gender, and social change are covered and examined. Examples are drawn from the Machrek, the Maghreb, and Morocco.

221a. Cultural Ecology of Moroccan Landscapes (1)

This cultural geography course provides an introduction for the understanding of patterns and processes of human interaction with the physical environment in Morocco. Landscapes are a register of human history; they express the social and cultural values of the people who have built them. The landscapes of Morocco afford an opportunity to use the methods of cultural geography to examine the social, environmental technological, and historical factors that shaped past and present Moroccan cultural ecology. This course includes a one week excursion to the Atlas Mountains and the desert at the end of the program.

222a. Issues in the Contemporary History of Morocco and North Africa (1)

This course examines the development of the Moroccan state within the context of the larger Maghreb (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia). The course examines the religious, political and economic changes in Morocco’s history. The phenomena of colonialism, nationalism, and independence are examined.

223a. Independent Elective Study in English, Arabic or French (1)

This course may be chosen as a substitute for either 220a, 221a or 222a.