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), Mia Mask (Film), Ismail Rashid (History and Africana Studies); Assistant Professors: Eve Dunbar (English), Sarita Gregory (Political Science), Jonathan Khan (Religion), Kiese Laymon (English), Candice Lowe (Anthropology), Quincy Mills (History), Tyrone Simpson (English), Laura Yow (English); Adjunct Assistant Professor: Dennis Reid; Visiting Assistant Professor: Mootacem Mhiriab; Adjunct 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 229, 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 the 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.

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.

Not offered in 2008/09.

105a. Issues in Africana Studies (1)

Topic for 2008/09: The Idea of Freedom in the African and Diasporic Experience. The quest for freedom has been one of humanity’s greatest endeavors. In enduring and ultimately combating the injustices of slavery, colonialism, Apartheid and Jim Crow, peoples of African descent, perhaps more than any other group, have contributed to the articulation of more expansive notion of freedom. From Africa’s antiquity to its golden age, and from the Euro-African encounter in the fifteenth century to the civil rights and anticolonial movements of the twentieth century, the course looks at the historical, social, moral and ethical foundations for African and African-American ideas of freedom. Using a selection of philosophical tracts, poems, and novels, the course examines African contributions to definitions and expression of freedom. Mr. Rashid.

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

Topic for 2008/09a: Religion and the Civil Rights Movement. (Same as Religion 105a) Mr. Mamiya, Mr. Kahn.

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 2008/09.

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 theories 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.

II. Intermediate

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.

[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 2008/09.

207a/208b. Intermediate Arabic (1)

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

[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 2008/09.

[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 2008/09.

212a/b. Arabic Literature and Culture (1)

This course covers the rise and development of modern literary genres written in verse and prose and studies some of the great figures and texts. It touches on the following focuses on analytical readings of poetry, stories, novels, articles, and plays. The students gain insights into Arabic culture including religions, customs, media, and music, in addition to the Arabic woman rights and her role in society. Tagreed Haddad

The course is open to any student who has taken Arabic 207 or 208.

215b. Plays of the Black Diaspora/Performing the Black Diaspora (1)

(Same as Drama 215).

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

(Same as English 218a and Women’s Studies 218a) 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 2008/09a: 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. The Harlem Renaissance and its Precursors (1)

(Same as English 227) This course places the Harlem Renaissance in literary historical perspective as it seeks to answer the following questions: In what ways was “The New Negro” new? How did African American writers of the Harlem Renaissance rework earlier literary forms from the sorrow songs to the sermon and the slave narrative? How do the debates that raged during this period over the contours of a black aesthetic trace their origins to the concerns that attended the entry of African Americans into the literary public sphere in the eighteenth century? Ms. Dunbar

228. African American Literature: “Vicious Modernism” and Beyond (1)

(Same as English 228) In the famous phrase of Amiri Baraka, “Harlem is vicious/Modernism.” Beginning with the modernist innovations of African American writers after the Harlem Renaissance, this course ranges from the social protest fiction of the 1940s through the Black Arts Movement to the postmodernist experiments of contemporary African American writers. Ms. Dunbar.

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 Vodou, Cuban Santería, 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.

232b. African American Cinema (1)

(Same as Film 232b) Ms. Mask

[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.

Not offered in 2008/09.

[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 2008/09.

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

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

[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.

Not offered in 2008/09.

[251. Topics in Black Literatures] (1)

This course considers Black literatures in all their richness and diversity. The focus changes from year to year, and may include study of a historical period, literary movement, or genre. The course may take a comparative, diasporic approach or may examine a single national or regional literature. Laura Yow.

Not offered in 2008/09.

252b. Writing the Diaspora: Verses/Versus (1)

(Same as English 252b) Black American cultural expression is anchored in rhetorical battles and verbal jousts that place one character against another. From sorrow songs to blues, black music has always been a primary means of cultural expression for African Americans, particularly during difficult social periods and transition. Black Americans have used music and particularly rhythmic verse to resist, express, and signify. Nowhere is this more evident than in hip hop culture generally and hip hop music specifically.

This semester’s Writing the Diaspora class concerns itself with close textual analysis of hip hop texts. Is Imani Perry right in claiming that Hip Hop is Black American music, or diasporic music? In addition to close textual reading of lyrics, students are asked to create their own hip hop texts that speak to particular artists/texts and/or issues and styles raised. Mr. Laymon.

Prerequisites: one course in literature or Africana Studies.

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

(Same as Art 253b) 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.

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

(Same as Art 254a) 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.

[256. 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 2008/09.

259a. Human Rights and Politics (1)

(Same as Political Science 259a) 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.

262a. Literature of the Caribbean Diaspora (1)

Study of the work of writers of Caribbean origin in the United States and Great Britain, with special attention to their explorations of migration, colonial and post-colonial histories, race, and ethnic identity, and to their reception by readers and critics. Works studied are drawn from such authors as Julia Alvarez, Michelle Cliff, Edwidge Danticat, Cristina Garciá, Oscar Hijuelos, Andrea Levy, Audre Lorde, Paule Marshall, Claude McKay, V. S. Naipaul, Caryl Phillips, Jean Rhys, and Mary Seacole, among others.

[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.

Not offered in 2008/09.

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.

[265. African American History to 1865] (1)

(Same as History 265) Mr. Mills.

Not offered in 2008/09.

[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 2008/09.

[267. African American History, 1865-Present (1)

(Same as History 267) Mr. Mills.

[268. 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 2008/09.

[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 2008/09.

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.

273b. Development Economics (1)

(Same as Economics 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. Ms. Jones.

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.

276. Literature of the Caribbean Diaspora (1)

Study of the work of writers of Caribbean origin in the United States and Great Britain, with special attention to their explorations of migration, colonial and post-colonial histories, race, and ethnic identity, and to their reception by readers and critics. Works studied are drawn from such authors as Julia Alvarez, Michelle Cliff, Edwidge Danticat, Cristina García, Oscar Hijuelos, Andrea Levy, Audre Lorde, Paule Marshall, Claude McKay, V. S. Naipaul, Caryl Phillips, Jean Rhys, and Mary Seacole, among others. Ms. Paravisini-Gebert.

[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.

Not offered in 2008/09.

282b. Africa in the World Economy (1)

(same as Economics and International Studies 282b.)

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.

290a/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.

290a/b. Advanced Internship in 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.

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 2008/09.

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. Mr. Rashid and Ms. Marshall.

III. Advanced

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

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,SapphireSecrets and Lies, and excerpts from British television documentaries. 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. Ms. Haddad

310b. Politics and Religion: Tradition and Modernization in the (1)

Third World

(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.

319b. Race and Its Metaphors (1)

(Same as English 319b) 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. Dunbar.

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

(Same as Education 320a) 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.

[321. 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 2008/09.

[330. Black Metropolis: Caste and Class in Urban America (1)

(1800 to Present)]

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.

Not offered 2008/2009

[345. African American Migrations: Movement, Creativity, Struggle, (1)

and Change]

(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 2008/09.

352b. Seminar on Multiculturalism in Comparative Politics (1)

(Same as Political Science 352b) 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 354a) The Contemporary African Photography and Video. This seminar explores the development of contemporary photographic and video practices as they relate to Africa. Organized thematically, it focuses on the individual case studies, artists, and exhibitions that comprise the dynamic and international realm of contemporary photo and video by artists living inside and outside of the African continent. Emphasis is placed on the changing significance and role of photography within African and trans-African contexts. As a part of this process, we consider issues of representation; documentation, critiques, and re-framing of socio-political issues and global relations; the visual articulation of racial, ethnic, gendered and religious identities; as well as aesthetic ideas, performance and the role of varied audiences and reception. Ms. Brielmaier.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

One two-hour period.

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

(Same as History 365) Mr. Mills.

Not offered 2008/2009

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

(Same as Art 366b and Women’s Studies 366b) Topic for 2008/09: Vision and Critique in the Black Arts and Women’s Art 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 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.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

One 2-hour period.

[369. Major Third World Author] (1)

Ms. Yow.

Not offered 2008/2009.

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

(Same as History 374b) 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.

[392b. Diversity in Performance] (1⁄2)

(Same as Drama 392) Instructor to be announced.

Not offered in 2008/09.

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.