Fall 2014 Courses
Our roster of cross-listed courses is updated frequently; students should visit individual department sites for the most current listings.
This required course examines the past and present, the doings and the sufferings of Americans of African descent from a multidisciplinary perspective. It highlights the ways in which serious intellectual scrutiny of the agency of black people in the United States help redefine what it means to be American, new world, modern and post modern.
This interdisciplinary seminar utilizes the musical cultures of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba to reflect upon the aesthetic, migratory, and social histories of the Hispanophone Caribbean. Students will listen to the sounded legacies of conquest, slavery, colonialism, and U.S. intervention and occupation. The effects of transnational migration on music's performance and reception will also be one of the key themes in the course. We will not only consider the creative traditions and receptive worlds embedded in musical recordings, but will also pay attention to music's traces in literature, film, and other ephemera.
Explores the life-writing of American, African, and Asian women in the fashion industry as a launching point for thinking about race, gender, and class. How do ethnicity and femininity intersect? How are authenticity and difference commodified? How do women construct identities through narrative and negotiate their relationships to their bodies, families, and nations? This course will include guest lectures by fashion editors and models; discussions of contemporary television programs, global fashion, and cultural studies; and student self-narratives about their relationships with cultural standards of beauty, whether vexed or not.
As the demographics of Blacks in America change, we are compelled to rethink the dominant stories of who African Americans are, and from whence they come. In this seminar, we will explore the deep cultural, genealogical, national origin, regional, and class-based diversity of people of African descent in the United States. Materials for the course will include scholarly writings as well as memoirs and fiction. In addition to reading assignments, students will be expected to complete an ethnographic or oral history project based upon research conducted within a Black community in the U.S., and a music or visual art based presentation of work.
Fulfills AAS certificate core survey pre-20th century course requirement
Lecture L01: 11:00 am – 11:50 am TTh
Christopher M. Brown (Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
This introductory required core survey course focuses on texts from the mid-eighteenth century through the early 20th century; it will cover early texts such as poetry by Phillis Wheatley & Paul Laurence Dunbar; oratory by David Walker, Sojourner Truth; slave narratives by Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs; spirituals; black theatre by Pauline Hopkins, Bert Williams; fiction by Charles Chesnutt, James Weldon Johnson; & non-fiction by W.E.B. DuBois, Anna Julia Cooper, Booker T. Washington. The course explores how black literature engages with the politics of cultural identity formation, notions of freedom, citizenship, and aesthetic forms.
As articulated by Thelma Golden, postblack refers to the work of African American artists who emerged in the 1990s with ambitious, irreverent, and sassy work. Though hard to define, postblack suggested the emergence of a generation of artists removed from the long tradition of black affirmation of the Harlem Renaissance, black empowerment of the Black Arts movement, and identity politics of the 1980s and early 90s. This seminar provides an opportunity for a deep engagement with the work of African American artists of the past decade. It will involve critical and theoretical readings on multiculturalism, race, identity, and contemporary art.
In the context of de facto equality but persistent racial inequality, how do we identify race's role in public policy? This course addresses this question by drawing on a range of interdisciplinary texts. We begin by exploring different theoretical perspectives of race, seeking to define "the racial state" in historical and comparative terms. We then consider how race interacts with a variety of American political institutions, including the welfare state, immigration regulation, and the criminal justice state. We give particular attention to the complexities of racial construction and race's intersection with other forms of hierarchy.
Prejudice is one of the most contentious topics in modern American society. There is debate regarding its causes, pervasiveness, and impact. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the psychological research relevant to these questions. We will review theoretical perspectives on prejudice to develop an understanding of its cognitive, affective, and motivational underpinnings. We will also discuss how these psychological biases relate to evaluations of, and behavior toward, members of targeted groups. In addition, research-based strategies for reducing prejudice will be discussed.
The Harlem Renaissance is most often depicted as "the flowering of African American arts and literature." It can also be characterized as a period when diverse forms of African American religious expressions, ideologies, and institutions emerged. This course will explore the literature of the Harlem Renaissance as a means to understand the pivotal intersection of race and religion during this time of black cultural production.
CROSS LISTED BY AAS
ART/AAS/AFS 473 (LA)
Seminar S01: 7:30 pm – 10:20 pm T
Chika O. Okeke-Agulu
COM/AFS/AAS 239 (LA)
Introduction to African Literature and Film
Lecture L01: 3:00 pm - 4:20 pm TTh
Wendy L. Belcher
HIS 387/AAS 367 (HA)
African American History from Reconstruction to the Present
Fulfills AAS certificate core survey course requirement
Lecture L01: 11:00 am – 11:50 am TTh
Precept P99: TBA
HIS 402/AAS 402/AMS 412 (HA)
Princeton and Slavery
Seminar S01: 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm TTh
Craig B. Hollander
HIS 456/AAS 456 (HA)
History of New Orleans: Invention & Reinvention in an American City
Seminar S01: 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm T
Joshua B. Guild
REL 367/AAS 346 (HA)
The American Jeremiad and Social Criticism in the United States
Lecture L01: 1:30 pm – 2:20 pm MW
Precept P99: TBA
ENG 572/SPA 594/AAS 572
Introduction to the Critical Theory: Critical Latina/o Studies
Seminar S01: 9:00 am – 11:50 am Th
Alexandra T. Vazquez
Readings in African American History
Seminar S01: 1:30 pm – 4:20 pm W