Past Courses - Spring 2007
AAS 209/ENG 209
Introduction to African-American Literature: Harlem Renaissance to Present
Pamela E. Barnett; Lecture L01: 10:00 am - 10:50 am M W
During the Harlem Renaissance, the poet Countee Cullen famously asked "What is Africa to me?" and Langston Hughes wrote verse affirming, "I, too, am America" even as he critiqued the nation's oppression of its "darker brother. In this introductory course, we will analyze how these and other twentieth century African American writers have explored racial and national identity as defined by and negotiated in relation to the ideas of both America and Africa. To engage these questions, we will consider aesthetic forms and locate literary texts in social and political contexts.
DAN 211/AAS 211
The American Dance Experience and Africanist Dance Practices
(LA) No Audit
Dyane Harvey Salaam; Studio U01: 2:30 pm - 4:20 pm M W
A studio course introducing students to American dance aesthetics and practice, with a focus on how American dance has been influenced by African American choreographers and dancers. Ongoing study of movement practices from traditional African dances and those of the African diaspora. Work in American jazz dance, modern dance, and American ballet will be complemented by readings, video viewings, guest speakers, and dance studies.
AAS 340/ENG 367
Shades of Passing
Anne A. Cheng; Seminar S01: 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T
This course studies the trope of passing in 20th century American literary and cinematic narratives in an effort to re-examine the crisis of identity that both produces and confounds acts of passing. We will examine how American novelists and filmmakers have portrayed and responded to this social phenomenon, not as merely a social performance but as a profound intersubjective process embedded within history, law, and culture. We will focus on narratives of passing across axes of difference, invoking questions such as: To what extent does the act of passing reinforce or unhinge seemingly natural categories of race, gender, and sexuality?
ENG 336/AAS 341
The South in American Literature and Culture
Jennifer R. Greeson; Lecture L01: 10:00 am - 10:50 am M W
What is it that we talk about when we talk about the "South"? Sin in a nation of innocence; poverty in a land of plenty; race in a color-blind society? Chivalry and sexual deviance; strong family ties and incest; authentic folk culture and social retardation? This imaginative realm of trouble and paradox, so central to modern and postmodern American identity, has been the subject of some of the most breathtaking literary experimentation of the 20th century. We'll survey a range of extraordinary fiction, using images, film, and music clips in order to think about the literature of the South as part of a broader popular culture field.
AAS 345/ENG 368
Miriam J. Petty; Seminar S01: 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T
Combining film history with African American studies, this seminar explores the cinematic evolution of the mammy stereotype, a history that commences virtually with the birth of cinema itself. Defining the mammy as an ideological tool whose function has profound historical and contemporary cultural and political implications, the course moves from mammy's seminal appearances in early films through to problematic, potent visions and treatments of the figure in more recent motion pictures.
AAS 352/HIS 483
Black Protest in 20th Century America
(HA) No P/D/F
Noliwe M. Rooks; Seminar S01: 7:30 pm - 10:20 pm M
This course examines the evolution of African American political mobilization in the twentieth century. It explores the various ways that African Americans articulated their political demands and affirmed their citizenship, using worker's rights, the church, feminism, education, war, grassroots organizations, the federal bureaucracy, international allies, and the law as tools for political action. For example, how did World War One or the Vietnam war transform black radicalism in America? The readings for this course draw heavily from personal narratives, oral testimonies, and historical scholarship.
HIS 387/AAS 367
African American History from Reconstruction to the Present
(HA) No P/D/F
Sarah-Jane Mathieu; Lecture L01: 10:00 am - 10:50 am M W
This course explores African American history from 1865 to the present. It analyzes the social, political, legal, and cultural dimensions of the African American experience in the United States throughout critical historical moments such as Reconstruction, suffrage, the Great Migration, war, the Great Depression, the New Deal, the Civil Rights era, the black power movement, and contemporary racial politics.
AAS 368/REL 368
Topics in African American Religion: Black Religion and Black Political Thought
Melissa V. Harris-Lacewell; Seminar S01: 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm Th
Scholars of the African America experience have located the black church as the cultural, social, and political womb of the black community. This research tends to think of the church as a structure that brings actors into contact with one another; it has paid less attention to the church as a place that brings actors into contact with ideas. This course will use a variety of classic and contemporary texts about black political thought as an entry into investigating the connections between black religious ideas and political activism. The class links the work on religion to an intensive introduction to black political thought.
ART 373/AAS 373
History of African American Art
Rachael Z. DeLue; 11:00 am - 11:50 am T Th
This course introduces the history of African American art and visual culture from the colonial period to the present. Artists and works of art will be considered in terms of their social, intellectual, and historical contexts and students will be encouraged to consider artistic practices as they intersect with other cultural spheres, including science, politics, religion, and literature. Topics and readings will be drawn from the field of art history as well as from other areas of inquiry such as cultural studies, critical race theory, and the history of the Atlantic world.
AAS 383/HIS 487
The Black Atlantic World: Black Encounters with Europe, Asia, and the Americas
Sarah-Jane Mathieu; Seminar S01: 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm M
This course explores the experiences of African Americans overseas and examines how they led transnational lifestyles throughout the 20th century. We will investigate how African Americans established lives that defied borders and transformed national and local politics in North America, Europe, and Asia. How did African American soldiers and intellectuals in Paris shape the post-World War I Negritude movement? What role did the conception of blackness and 'negrophobia' play in Nazi Germany and Hitler's party in particular? How did W.E.B. Du Bois forge a partnership between African Americans and Japan during the Great Depression?
ENG 387/AAS 387
Topics in Black Literature: Toni Morrison
(LA) na, npdf
Valerie A. Smith; Seminar S01: 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm W
We will read Morrison's fiction (short story and children's books as well as novels) in relation to her cultural and literary criticism. We will consider how Morrison exposes the power of language to both fracture our sense of common humanity and bind us into a shareable existence.
AAS 391/SOC 391
Race, Class, and Intelligence in America
(EC) na, npdf
Howard F. Taylor; Lecture L01: 1:30 pm - 3:20 pm W
The course explores relationships among race, class, and intelligence measurements. The history of the measurement of intelligence is analyzed. Historical and contemporary conceptualizations of race, ethnicity, and social class in America, including gender inequality, are examined. The "nature versus nurture" IQ heritability controversy is given thorough examination, as are analyses of works such as The Bell Curve. Attention is given to the educational system in America, expectancy and labeling effects, stereotype threat effect, and to public policy.
LAS 402/HIS 471/AAS 402
Latin American Studies Seminar: Introduction to Caribbean Studies
(HA) na, npdf
Jorge L. Giovannetti; Seminar S01: 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T
An introduction to the Caribbean region through seminal texts and principal debates in Caribbean Studies, providing a general knowledge of the region's complex and diverse social history in its local, regional and global interconnections. The Caribbean is studied in relation to colonial and neo-colonial powers, and as a central -- and somehow contradictory -- part of the "West". The course examines how colonialism shaped the region's history and how socio-political developments in the region influenced metropolitan powers.
AAS 403/ANT 403
Race and Medicine
(EM) na, npdf
Carolyn M. Rouse; Seminar S01: 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm M
In 1998, then-President Clinton set a national goal that by the year 2010 race, ethnic, and gender disparities in six disease categories would be eliminated. While the agenda, called Healthy People 2010, is a noble goal there, is one major hurdle. No study has definitively determined the cause of health disparities. This course examines the role culture plays in reproducing health inequalities in the United States. For a final project, students will be asked to propose their own solutions for eliminating health disparities.
ENG 411/AAS 411
Major Author(s): August Wilson: African American Life in the 20th Century
Robert N. Sandberg; Seminar S01: 11:00 am - 12:20 pm T Th
August Wilson completed what many consider the most ambitious project of any American playwright. His cycle of ten plays, one for each decade, chronicles African American life in the 20th century. We will explore all ten plays as individual drama and depictions of history. We will see a number of productions to help us understand how the plays work dramatically, and we will read standard histories to gain background and context.
AAS 477/HIS 477
The Civil Rights Movement
Joshua B. Guild; Seminar S01: 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm Th
This course examines the evolution of African American political mobilization from 1945 to 1975. It explores the various ways that African Americans articulated their political demands and affirmed their citizenship, using worker' rights, the church, feminism, education, war, grassroots organizations, the federal bureaucracy, and the law as tools for political action. The readings for this course draw heavily from personal narratives, oral testimonies, and historical scholarship.
AAS 500/ENG 556
Introduction to African-American Intellectual Tradition: Studies in Black Feminism
Daphne A. Brooks, Valerie A. Smith
Seminar S01: 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T
This interdisciplinary seminar introduces graduate students from many departments to past and contemporary scholarship in black feminist thought. Through readings of works of literature and theoretical texts from a variety of disciplines, we will explore how black feminist writers, scholars and activists address and represent interlocking constructions of race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexuality and citizenship.