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Undergraduate Bulletin 2009-2010

Courses in Africana Studies

A AAS 110 The Black Theatre in America (3)
Study of the historic background of Black  involvement in the American theatre and of the role and functioning of the Black theatre in contemporary American society.

A AAS 142 African/African-American Literature (3)
Survey of Black authors from diverse cultures and an analysis of their relationship to Black thought.

A AAS 150 Life in the Third World (3)
Introduction to cultural variation and fragmentation among third-world developing communities. Some lectures and discussions are led by third-world graduate students. Whenever possible, distinguished visitors from third-world countries are also involved in the course.

A AAS 209 (= A MUS 209) Black American Music (3)
An introduction to Black American Music. Study will include music from West Africa as well as musical/social influences throughout American history. Musical styles will include spirituals, gospel, blues, jazz and classical. Only one version of A AAS 209 may be taken for credit.

A AAS 213 History of Civil Rights Movement (3)
This course is designed to introduce the student to the historical development and maturation of the movement for civil rights in the United States. It will examine the development of resistance movements and the philosophies of those involved within the movements during the antebellum, post Civil War and contemporary times.

A AAS 219/219Z Introduction to African/African-American History (3)
Survey of the cultural and historical background of African-American from their African heritage to their present role in American society. Only one version of A AAS 219 may be taken for credit.

A AAS 220/220Z Black and White in America (3)
In America Blacks and Whites have been organically connected by the space of national geography and centuries of time. With current events an ever-present concern, this course explores the cultural significance and the social meaning of the long and ever-changing relations between black and white Americans and its import for the national welfare. Only one version of A AAS 220 may be taken for credit.

A AAS 221 The Economic Structure of the Black Community (3)
Analysis of old and contemporary models of Black entrepreneurship and formal economic organization and its effect in the community.

A AAS 224 Cities as People (3)
Survey of the human aspects of the urban environment, historically and in practical terms today, with an emphasis upon the central city’s opportunity for field research in urban life.

A AAS 240/240Z (= A LCS 240/240Z & A WSS 240/240Z) Classism, Racism and Sexism: Issues (3)
Analyzes the connections between and among classism, racism and sexism, their mutually reinforcing nature, and the tensions arising from their interrelations. Particular attention will be given to the ideological and personal aspects of these phenomena, as well as to their institutional guises in American society. Only one version of A AAS 240 may be taken for credit.

A AAS 269 (= A ANT 269 & A LCS 269) The Caribbean: Peoples, History, and Cultures (3)
Peoples, history and cultures of the 20th century. Special emphasis will be placed on responses to colonialism and nationalism. Only one version of A AAS 269 may be taken for credit.

A AAS270 (= A GOG 270) Geography of Africa (3)
Geographic analysis of the continent of Africa. The diversity of the African continent is stressed by examining its physical environment; resources; social, cultural, economic and political systems. Emphasizes the demographic as well as spatial planning aspects of geography. Only one version of A AAS 270 may be taken for credit.

A AAS 286 (= A HIS 286) African Civilizations (3)
Africa from prehistoric times to 1800 with emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa, the development of indigenous states and their response to Western and Eastern contacts. Only one version of A AAS 286 may be taken for credit.

A AAS 287 (= A HIS 287) Africa in the Modern World (3)
Africa since 1800: exploration, the end of the slave trade, the development of interior states, European partition, the colonial period, and the rise of independent Africa. Only one version of A AAS 287 or T AAS 287 may be taken for credit.

T AAS 287 (= T HIS 287) Africa in the Modern World (3)
T AAS 287 is the Honors College version of A AAS 287; only one version of A AAS 287 or T AAS 287 may be taken for credit.

A AAS 311 History of Slavery in the Western Hemisphere (3)
The institution of slavery and its effects in the Western Hemisphere, its origins, bases of continuance, and contemporary residuals. Prerequisite(s): A HIS 100 and 101.

A AAS 320 Black Nationalism: Political Perspective in Africa (3)
Examination of selected freedom movements in Black Africa with a focus upon one-party politics and the continuing tensions between socialism and democracy. Prerequisite(s): A AAS 219.

A AAS 322 Developing African Nations (3)
Systems analysis of the contemporary social, political, cultural, and economic institutions crucial to the economic maturation of developing African nations. Prerequisite(s): A AAS 219; A AAS 286 and 287 recommended.

A AAS 325 Introduction to Research Methods (3)
An introduction to paradigms, theories and models on research and the Black community. Emphasis will be placed on methodological concerns of validity, reliability, instrument development, data collection, data analysis and reporting of research outcomes. The ethics of research on people of African descent will be discussed.

A AAS 331 The African/African-American Family (3)
In-depth study of the African/African-American family as an institution, the dynamics of intra-family relations and the effects of social institutions on Black family life. Prerequisite(s): A SOC 115.

A AAS 333 The Black Community: Continuity & Change (3)
Overview of the socio-historic factors which impact upon the current conditions of the African-American community. Prerequisite(s): A AAS 219 or permission of instructor.

A AAS 340 The Black Essay (3)
Essays written by Black American writers in the 19th and 20th centuries. Prerequisite(s): A AAS 142.

A AAS 341 African/African-American Religion (3)
Analysis of the relationship of the religion of Black people to Black culture. Prerequisite(s): A AAS 219.

A AAS 342 Sub-Saharan Africa: Peoples and Cultures (3)
Culture areas of Africa south of the Sahara. Historical and geographic background studies of selected societies. Culture change and contact during the colonial and postcolonial periods. Prerequisite(s): A AAS 286.

A AAS 345 The Black Novel: Black Perspectives (3)
Systematic study of the novel written by Black Americans from the Harlem Renaissance to the present. The novels studied express the cultural, political, and socio-historical consciousness of the writers to demonstrate their awareness of the struggle of Black people. Prerequisite(s): A AAS 142.

A AAS 355Z Introduction to African and African-American Poetry (3)
Intensive study of poetry drawn from the black experience. Emphasis on aesthetic forms, meanings, tone, diction, imagery, symbol, sentences, rhythm, rhyme, allusion, etc. Common characteristics of black poetry will also be discussed.

A AAS 370 The Psychology of the Black Experience (3)
In-depth examination of the extant psychological literature on blacks. Analyzes varying themes, theories, perspectives, and research that relate to the psychology of blacks. Focuses on the contemporary work of black behavioral scientists involved in the quest for scholarly self-determination and for redefinition of the psychological fabric of the black experience. Selected topics are identity, personality, motivation, achievement, and mental health. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.

A AAS 375 Black Popular Culture (3)
The course explores the historical and contemporary constructions of “blackness” within the popular realms of film, television, and popular music and the relationship of those constructs to the realities of African-American life and culture.

A AAS 386/386Z (= A HIS 386/386Z) Race and Conflict in South Africa (3)
Study of the historical origins and development of racial conflict in South Africa with a concentration on economic, political, social and religious change in the 20th century. Topics will include changing state structures and ideologies, the impact of industrialization, transformations of rural and urban life, African religious movements, political and religious connections with Black Americans, gender relations, and changing forms of popular resistance against white domination. Only one version of A AAS 386 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): 3 credits of A AAS or A HIS course work, or junior or senior standing.

A AAS 393/393Z Topics in African History (1-4)
Specific topics to be examined will be announced during advance registration. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing or 3 credits in history.

A AAS 400 The Law and African-America (3)
The central city as a center of dominance, inner city legal problems as an aspect of social control. Students examine selected central city agencies related to law enforcement. Alternate possibilities for reform and improvement are explored. Term project required.

A AAS 416 Contemporary Black Women and Their Fiction (3)
Evaluation of the style, technique, content, and nature of the discourse in which contemporary Black women writers are engaged. Readings include at least one work by Toni Cade Bambara, Gloria Naylor, Toni Morrison, Paule Marshall, Gayle Jones, and Alice Walker. Prerequisite(s): senior standing, at least one literature course, and permission of instructor.

A AAS 430 Black Social and Political Thought in the Americas (3)
Seminar on the social and political ideas and strategies of selected African/African-Americans from the late 18th century to the present. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.

A AAS 432 The African-American Woman: Contemporary Issues (3)
Socio-historic look at the American women of the African diaspora with particular attention to: (1) Black Liberation; (2) feminist movements; (3) sex role socialization; and (4) issues of sexism and racism. Prerequisite(s): A AAS 219, or permission of instructor.

A AAS 435 Blacks and the American Political Process (3)
An examination of the American political process as it impacts upon the Black community in the United States. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.

A AAS 446 (= A SPN 446) Literature and Human Rights (3)
A study of selected works of Spanish and Spanish-American literature that deal with the subject of human rights throughout history. Topics to be studies may include such things as social protest, censored texts, women’s writing, the literature of exile, minority portrayals, and slavery. Prerequisite(s): A SPN 312 and 316.

A AAS 451 (= A MUS 451) Jazz, Identity and the Human Spirit (3)
This course will explore issues of identity, spirituality, entrepreneurship, cultural transmission and politics viewed through the lens of the musical tradition called jazz. Topics will include saxophonist John Coltrane's musical-spiritual search, the musical-mythos of bandleader Sun Ra, musician-led organizations and movements with a focus on the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM), jazz and social protest, ideas about black experimentalist traditions and controversies about the use of electronics in the work of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock, the cultural roots of jazz and questions about the nature of musical genres and boundaries. The course will include lecture, listening, small group presentations and class discussion. Only one version of A AAS 451 may be taken for credit.

A AAS 490 Senior Seminar for African/African-American Studies Majors (3)
An extensive examination of critical issues involving the experiences of Africans and African Americans in historical, cultural, and social contexts. A central theme will be selected for each semester’s work. Students will synthesize and apply knowledge acquired in the major and will discuss their experiences. Attention will also be given to the interrelationships of the values and ideas indigenous to African/African-American Studies, with a discussion of these with a senior faculty member. Students will review basic research methodology and will evaluate their experiences in a 20-page research paper. Prerequisite(s): major in the department and completion of 18 credit hours in the major.

A AAS 498 Topics in African Studies (3)
Specific topics to be examined are announced during advance registration. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.

A AAS 499/499Z Topics in African-American Studies (3)
Specific topics to be examined are announced during advance registration. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.