Africana Studies Program

Director: Ismail Rashid (History and Africana Studies); Professors: Lawrence Mamiya (Africana Studies and Religion), Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert (Hispanic Studies); 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), Judith Weisenfeld (Religion); Assistant Professors: Eve Dunbar (English), Kiese Laymon (English), Tiffany Lightbourn (Psychology), Mia Mask (Film), Tyrone Simpson (English), Laura Yow (English); Adjunct Assistant Professor: Dennis Reid; Visiting Assistant Professor: Mootacem Mhiri.

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. Students must take courses that fall into the three following areas of study: (1) Intellectual History and Social Thought (black critical thinking and conceptual structures); (2) Migration Studies and Area Studies (population movements and geographic areas); and (3) Arts, Culture, and Media (literature, art, film, drama). There are no specific required courses, but a list of courses that fall into each area is available each semester.

Distribution of unit requirements: (a) Two courses from each of the three required areas (6 units); (b) a minimum of 3 additional units in any one of the three required areas listed above; (c) at least 1 unit at the 100-level; (d) at least 2 units at the 300-level, excluding the thesis; (e) the thesis preparation course (Africana Studies 299), which must be taken in the fall of the senior year (1/2 unit); (f) a thesis, to be written only following the successful completion of Africana Studies 299, in the spring of the senior year (1 unit). No more than 1 unit of field work and/or reading courses may count toward the major. NRO work may not be used to satisfy the major requirements for the program in Africana Studies.

Advisers: Program director and program faculty.

Correlate Sequence in Africana Studies: Coursework in the correlate sequence is organized to give students a coherent and related body of work. Students undertaking the correlate sequence take 2 units in each of the following areas: (a) Intellectual History and Social Thought; (b) Migration Studies and Area Studies; and (c) Arts, Culture, and Media; a total of 6 units. A list of courses that fall into each area is available each semester. There are no required courses for the correlate sequence, but at least 1 unit must be at the 300-level.

I. Introductory

A. Intellectual History and Social Thought

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.

B. Migration Studies and Area Studies

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. Mr. Mhiri.

Open to all students.

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

C. Arts, Culture, and Media

[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 2006/07.

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.

D. Other or Variable

105a. Issues in Africana Studies (1)

Topic for 2006/07: The African Diaspora and the Caribbean. This course offers an overview of the pivotal role played by the forced migration of enslaved Africans on the development of the societies and cultures of the Caribbean region. We examine the economic, political, and social development of the region with a focus on the lasting legacy of slavery and the plantation. Among the topics covered are colonialism, race and class, ethnicity, post-colonialism, migration, trans-nationalism, popular culture, and religion. Ms. Paravisini-Gebert.

Open to Freshmen only. Satisfies requirement for a Freshman Course.

II. Intermediate

A. Intellectual History and Social Thought

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.

[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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

[258a. Race and Ethnicity] (1)

(Same as Sociology 258) Ms. Harriford.

Not offered in 2006/07.

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.

B. Migration Studies and Area Studies

200a/b. 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 on alternate Sundays 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

201a/b. 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 on alternate Sundays 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

204a. Islam in America (1)

(Same as Religion 204) This course examines the historical and social development of Islam in the U.S. from enslaved African Muslims to the present. Topics include African Muslims; rice cultivation in the South, and slave rebellions; the rise of proto-Islamic movements such as the Nation of Islam; the growth and influence of African American and immigrant Muslims; Islam and Women; Islam in Prisons; Islam and Architecture and the American war on terror. Mr. Mamiya and Ms. Lemming.

Pre-requisites: Any one of the following: Religion 150 or 152; Africana Studies 102 or 105; or permission of the instructors.

[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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

207a/208b. Intermediate Arabic (1, 1)

Continued study of the Arabic language. Students continue their study of spoken, and written Arabic. Mr. Mhiri.

[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, disenfranchisement, and economic exploitation—and to challenge American society to live up to its professed democratic ideals. Ms. Collins.

Not offered in 2006/07.

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

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

[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 2006/07.

250a. 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.

[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.

Not offered in 2006/07

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.

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.

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.

C. Arts, Culture, and Media

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 2006/07.

205b. Arab American Literature (1)

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.

[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 2006/07.

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.

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 2006/07: 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. Ms. Dunbar.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

253a. 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. Ms. Brielmaier.

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

254b. 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.” Ms. Brielmaier.

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

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.

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.

[270a. 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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

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.

D. Others or Variable

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.

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.

E. 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 2006/07.

297.09b. African Religions ( 1/2)

Mr. Mamiya.

III. Advanced

A. Intellectual History and Social Thought

[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 2006/07.

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.

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.

B. Migration Studies and Area Studies

[320b. 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.

Not offered in 2006/07.

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.

352b. Seminar on Multiculturism in Comparative Perspective (1)

(Same as Political Science 352) This seminar explores the political significance of cultural diversity. Based on the comparative analysis of the United States and other multicultural states, the course examines how and why racial, ethnic, linguistic, and religious identities become grounds for political action. The course examines the formation of identity groups and considers the origins of prejudice, racism, and discrimination. The course also considers peaceful means that governments can use to accommodate cultural diversity. In addition to the United States, countries studied may include South Africa, Rwanda, India, and Yugoslavia. Mr. Longman.

Prerequisite: by permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period.

[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.

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.

301a. Black Britain in Literature and Film (1)

Black people have lived in Britain since the sixteenth century, yet their presence has been ignored in the past and contested in the present. The course examines the past and current situations of black people in Britain as described in literature and film. Issues concern notions of “home” and citizenship, immigration, sexuality and intermarriage, and the recent Stephen Lawrence murder case. Readings begin with the major black writers of the eighteenth century, such as Olaudah Equiano and Ignatius Sancho, and end with contemporary writers such as Caryl Phillips, S.I. Martin, and Zadie Smith. Films include Mona Lisa, Sapphire, Secrets and Lies, and excerpts from British television documentaries. Mr. Reid.

C. Arts, Culture, and Media

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.

[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.” Ms. Brielmaier.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period.

Not offered in 2006/07.

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

(Same as Art 366 and Women’s Studies 366) Topic: Vision and Critique in the Black Arts and Women’s Arts Movements. Focusing on the relationships between visual culture and social movements in the U. S., this seminar examines the arts, institutions, and ideas of the Black Arts movement and Women’s Art movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Analyzing paintings, photographs, posters, quilts, collages, murals, manifestos, mixed-media works, installations, films, performances, and various systems of creation, collaboration, and display, we explore connections between art, politics, and society. Ms. Collins.

Not offered in 2006/07.

392b. Diversity in Performance ( 1/2)

(Same as Drama 392) Instructor to be announced.

D. Other or Variable

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

[369a. Major Third World Author] (1)

Studies of African or African American literary themes or a major author. Subject matter varies from year to year. Open primarily to Juniors and Seniors. Instructor to be announced.

Not offered in 2006/07.

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:

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.