Catalog


African American Studies

Professors Fra-Molinero (Spanish) and Nero (Rhetoric, Film, and Screen Studies); Associate Professors Beasley (African American Studies and American Studies), Chapman (Music), Eames (Anthropology), Houchins (African American Studies), Jensen (History), and Pickens (English, chair); Assistant Professors Baker (History) and Otim (History); Lecturer Rubin (Anthropology)

African American studies is an interdisciplinary program designed to enrich knowledge of the experience of African Americans from the past to the present, both within and beyond the United States. Attention is given to "race" as a critical tool of analysis for explaining the allocation of economic resources, the formation of personal and group identity, and the changing nature of political behavior. Study of African American experiences provides insight into secular cultural practices, intellectual traditions, religious doctrines and practices, and social institutions with attention to issues of class, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

The chair of African American studies provides a list of courses offered each year. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program, students should 1) consult regularly with the chair or a faculty advisor in African American studies to ensure that their program has both breadth and depth and 2) devise programs of study approved by the chair or a faculty advisor by the fall semester of the junior year.

Thesis advisors are chosen by each student, in consultation with the chair, according to the subject matter of the thesis.

More information on the African American studies program is available on the website (bates.edu/african-american).

Major Requirements. Students must complete eleven courses and a thesis. Courses taken for the major must include:
a) at least one course that has an experiential component;
b) at least one course that emphasizes feminist histories and analyses;
c) at least one course that focuses on black diasporic life outside the United States.
Within the major, students may develop a concentration in literature or the arts (music, theater, dance, fine art), film studies, environmental studies, gender studies, politics, public policy, anthropology, economics, education, sociology, psychology, history, philosophy, race and science, or may focus on a particular world region (e.g., the Caribbean, Africa, Latin America).

Courses for the major include:

1) Required Courses:
AAS 100. Introduction to African American Studies.
INDS 250. Interdisciplinary Studies: Methods and Modes of Inquiry.

2) One history course, including but not limited to:
AA/HI 280. Health and Healing in Africa.
AA/HI 301E. African Slavery in the Americas.
INDS 257. African American Women's History and Social Movements

3) One junior-senior seminar, including but not limited to:
AA/HI 301E. African Slavery in the Americas.
INDS 302. Black Feminist Activist and Intellectual Traditions.
INDS 321. Afroambiente:Writing a Black Environment.
INDS 342. Performance, Narrative, and the Body.
INDS 390. The Afro-Latin Americans.

4) Eight other courses offered by the African American studies program or cross-listed in African American studies, or from the following list of electives offered by other departments and programs:
AM/AV 288. Visualizing Race.
ANTH s10. Encountering Community: Ethnographic Fieldwork and Community-Engaged Learning.
ED/SO 242. Race, Cultural Pluralism, and Equality in American Education.
HIST 301W. The Civil Rights Movement.
HIST 301P. Prelude to the Civil Rights Movement.
MUS 247. History of Jazz.
REL 247. City upon the Hill.
REL 255. African American Religious Traditions.
SOC 205. Research Methods for Sociology.

4) AAS 457 or 458. Senior Thesis.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.

Minor. A minor in African American studies allows students to develop a basic foundation in the field and to complement the perspective and modes of analysis offered in their major area of study. The program has established the following requirements for a minor in African American studies:

1) AAS 100. Introduction to African American Studies.
2) AA/GS 201. Race, Ethnicity, and Feminist Thought.
3) Four additional courses, of which one should focus on black diasporic life outside the United States, of which one should be at the 300 level.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the minor.

Courses

AAS 100. Introduction to African American Studies.

This course examines African American history and culture through four themes: fragmentation, exclusion, resistance, and community. Particular attention is given to the diversity of cultures in the African diaspora in the Americas. Enrollment limited to 39. Normally offered every year. Staff.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AA/EN 114. Introduction to African American Literature I: 1600–1910.

This introductory course traces the development of a distinct African American literary tradition from the Atlantic Slave Trade to 1910. Students examine music, oratory, letters, poems, essays, slave narratives, autobiographies, fiction, and plays by Americans of African descent. The essential questions that shape this course include: What is the role of African American literature in the cultural identity and collective struggle of black people, and what should that role be? What themes, tropes, and forms connect these texts, authors, and movements into a coherent living tradition? Enrollment limited to 49. (Race, Ethnicity, or Diasporic Literature.) T. Pickens.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/EN 115. Introduction to African American Literature II: 1910–Present.

This introductory course traces the development of a distinct African American literary tradition from 1910 to the present. Students examine music, oratory, letters, poems, essays, slave narratives, autobiographies, fiction, and plays by Americans of African descent. The essential questions that shape this course include: What is the role of African American literature in the cultural identity and collective struggle of black people, and what should that role be? What themes, tropes, and forms connect these texts, authors, and movements into a coherent living tradition? This course is a continuation of African American Literature I, which considers literary production before 1910. Recommended background: AA/EN 114. Enrollment limited to 49. (Race, Ethnicity, or Diasporic Literature.) (Post-1800.) T. Pickens.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/AM 119. Cultural Politics.

This course examines the relationship of culture to politics. It introduces the study of struggles to acquire, maintain, or resist power and gives particular attention to the role culture plays in reproducing and contesting social divisions of class, race, gender, and sexuality. Lectures and discussion incorporate film, music, and fiction in order to evaluate the connection between cultural practices and politics. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/AC 119. Enrollment limited to 39. Normally offered every year. M. Beasley.
Concentrations

AA/RF 159. Cinema in Black and White: African American Presence and Absence in American Film.

The influence of African Americans in U.S. cinema has been profound, though most often is hidden in the shadows of discrimination. This course reconsiders the history of U.S. film by placing African Americans at the center instead of on the margins. Films include major Hollywood releases (Hallelujah, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner) as well as works by independent producers and directors (Oscar Micheaux, Spike Lee). Not open to students who have received credit for AA/RH 159. Enrollment limited to 39. C. Nero.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/RF 162. White Redemption: Cinema and the Co-optation of African American History.

Since its origins in the early twentieth century, film has debated how to represent black suffering. This course examines one aspect of that debate: the persistent themes of white goodness, innocence, and blamelessness in films that are allegedly about black history and culture. Historical and cultural topics examined in film include the enslavement of Africans, Reconstruction, and the civil rights movement. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/RH 162. C. Nero.
Concentrations

AA/GS 201. Race, Ethnicity, and Feminist Thought.

While all courses in the gender and sexuality studies program examine gender in relation to other critical categories of social identity and experience, this course focuses on race, ethnicity, and national power at their intersections with gender. Using perspectives from the social sciences, the humanities, and critical-race, womanist, feminist, and queer theories, students examine feminist efforts at self-definition and self-sufficiency as well as feminist contributions to knowledge, social and political activism, and theorizing. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/WS 201. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 29. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. L. Hill.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/RF 202. Coming of Age While Black.

This course proceeds from the premise that coming of age while black is fraught with the dangers created by a system of anti-black surveillance. Students examine the "coming-of-age" film in American and international cinema that began during the era of the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1950s. Typically, the films in this subgenre feature a young black protagonist, often a teen, navigating, sometimes successfully but not always, a world defined by intersecting oppressions created by race, class, gender, sexuality, and/or (post)colonial identity. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: AA/EN 114, 115; AA/RF 162; AAS 100; or PSYC 372. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/RH 202. Enrollment limited to 39. C. Nero.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/EN 223. Survey of Literatures of the Caribbean.

This course examines the literatures of the African diaspora in the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Some texts are drawn from Anglophone authors such as Lamming, Anthony, Walcott, Brodber, Danticat, Lovelace, Brathwaite, NourBese (Philip), Hopkinson, and Denis Williams; others, from Francophone and Hispanophone writers, including Guillen, Carpentier, Condé, Chamoiseau, Depestre, Ferré, Santos-Febres, and Morejón. The course places each work in its historical, political, and anthropological contexts. Students are introduced to a number of critical theories and methodologies with which to analyze the works, including poststructural, Marxist, Pan-African, postcolonial, and feminist. Recommended background: one 100-level English course or the introduction to African American studies. Enrollment limited to 49. (Race, Ethnicity, or Diasporic Literature.) S. Houchins.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/RE 233. Literary Representations of the Africana Religions.

Using the literatures of African and African-descended peoples, this course examines the religions—traditional/indigenous, Christian, Islamic, and so-called "syncretic"—from the continent and the diaspora. The selected works may represent the religious traditions, rituals, and practices of the Yoruba, Shona, Asante, Tswana, Kondo of African Independent Churches, as well as Rastafari, and followers of Vodun, Santería, Candomblé, and related religions. Students approach texts—novels, short stories, dramas, films and poems—as literary productions and not just media to convey information about the religions they represent. This course is also attentive to contexts; students examine the religious symbol systems represented as well as the historical era depicted and the literary traditions and cultures that produce them. Recommended background: course work in African American studies or religious studies. S. Houchins.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/RF 242. Passing/Trespassing.

This course examines the rhetoric of containing black bodies in cinematic and literary narratives. In passing narratives light-skinned people move across racial lines supposedly fixed by biology, custom, and law. In trespassing narratives black persons enter spaces denoted as white by law or custom. This course calls attention to fear, fantasy, punishment, and resistance as ongoing dimensions of race and white supremacy. Recommended background: at least one course with race as a central topic. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/RH 242. C. Nero.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/MU 249. African American Popular Music.

The history of the twentieth century can be understood in terms of the increasing African-Americanization of music in the West. The rapid emergence and dissemination of African American music made possible through recording technologies has helped to bring about radical cultural change: it has subverted received wisdoms about race, gender, and sexuality, and has fundamentally altered our relationship to time, to our bodies, to our most basic cultural priorities. This course explores some crucial moments in the history of this African-Americanization of popular music and helps students develop an understanding of the relationship between musical sound and cultural practice. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 39. D. Chapman.
Concentrations

INDC 250. Interdisciplinary Studies: Methods and Modes of Inquiry.

Interdisciplinarity involves more than a meeting of disciplines. Practitioners stretch methodological norms and reach across disciplinary boundaries. Through examination of a single topic, this course introduces students to interdisciplinary methods of analysis. Students examine what practitioners actually do and work to become practitioners themselves. Cross-listed in African American studies, American studies, and gender and sexuality studies. Prerequisite(s): AAS 100, AMST 200, or GSS 100, and one other course in African American studies, American studies, or gender and sexuality studies. Enrollment limited to 39. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AA/DN 252. Contemporary Issues in Dance.

This course focuses on current dance works and some of the issues that inform contemporary dance practices. Discussions include the ways in which choreographers, performers, and societies confront matters of political climate, cultural diversity, entertainment, globalization, and the politicized human body in dance. Open to first-year students. [W2] C. Dilley, Staff.
Concentrations

AA/EN 253. The African American Novel.

An examination of the African American novel from its beginnings in the mid-1800s to the present. Issues addressed include a consideration of folk influences on the genre, its roots in the slave narrative tradition, its relation to Euro-American texts and culture, and the "difference" that gender as well as race makes in determining narrative form. Readings include narratives selected from among the works of such writers as Douglass, Jacobs, Wilson, Delany, Hopkins, Harper, Chesnutt, Johnson, Toomer, Larsen, Hurston, Wright, Petry, Ellison, Baldwin, Walker, Morrison, Marshall, and Reed. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. (Race, Ethnicity, or Diasporic Literature.) (Post-1800.) Staff.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDC 257. African American Women's History and Social Transformation.

This course examines the political, social, and cultural traditions African American women have created from slavery to the current moment, notably the influence of African American women on the major social movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including abolition, woman's suffrage, the club movement, women's liberation, the black arts movement, the civil rights movement, and Black Power. Through novels, plays, autobiography, music, and nonfiction produced by and about African American women, students explore a range of intellectual and cultural traditions. Recommended background: one course in gender and sexuality studies and/or one course in African American studies. Cross-listed in African American studies, gender and sexuality studies, history, and politics. Enrollment limited to 30. (Identities and Interests.) (Institutional Politics.) M. Plastas.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AA/EN 259. Contemporary African American Literature.

This course introduces students to contemporary African American literature. They explore literature written after 1975, considering a range of patterns and literary techniques as well as consistent themes and motifs. Students read a mix of canonical and less well-known authors. This course requires a nuanced, complicated discussion about what encompasses the contemporary African American literary tradition. Prerequisites(s): one 100-level English course. Recommended background: course work in American studies, African American studies, or English. Not open to students who have received credit for INDS s37. Enrollment limited to 25. (Race, Ethnicity, or Diasporic Literature.) (Post-1800.) Normally offered every year. T. Pickens.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/EN 265. The Writings of Toni Morrison.

This course surveys the writing of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. Texts are selected from her novels, essays, children's literature, and drama and also include criticism written about her work by other scholars. Recommended background: one 100-level English course or AAS 100. (Race, Ethnicity, or Diasporic Literature.) (Post-1800.) S. Houchins.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDC 267. Blood, Genes, and American Culture.

Places recent popular and scientific discussions of human heredity and genetics in broader social, political, and historical context, focusing on shifting definitions of personhood. Topics include the ownership and exchange of human bodies and body parts, the development of assisted reproductive technologies, and the emergence of new forms of biological citizenship. Recommended background: course work in biology and/or gender and sexuality studies. Cross-listed in African American studies, American studies, and gender and sexuality studies. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 39. R. Herzig.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AA/EN 268. Survey of Literatures of Africa.

This course explores folklore, myths, and literary texts of the African continent. These include works written by Anglophone authors such as Achebe, Soyinka, Ngugi, Vera, Njau, Aidoo, Nwapa, Head, Cole, Mda, Abani, Okorafor, and Atta; those drawn from oral traditions of indigenous languages transcribed into English, such as The Mwindo Epic and The Sundiata; and those written by Lusophone and Francophone authors including Bâ, Senghor, Liking, Neto, Mahfouz, Ben Jelloun, and Kafunkeno. The course contextualizes each work historically, politically, and anthropologically. Students are introduced to a number of critical theories and methodologies with which to analyze the works, such as poststructural, Marxist, Pan-African, postcolonial, and feminist. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. S. Houchins.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/EN 269. Narrating Slavery.

This course examines selected autobiographical writings of ex-slaves; biographical accounts of the lives of former slaves written by abolitionists, relatives, or friends; the oral histories of ex-slaves collected in the early to mid-twentieth century; and the fiction, poems, and dramas about slaves and slavery (neo-slave narratives) of the last hundred years. Students consider these works as interventions in the discourses of freedom—religious, political, legal, and psychological—and as examples of a genre foundational to many literary works by descendants of Africans in diaspora. The course surveys early works written by slaves themselves, such as broadsides and books by Jupiter Hammond, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Jacobs; dictated biographies such as those by Esteban Montejo, Nat Turner, Mary Prince, and Sor Teresa Chicaba; and fictional works inspired by the narratives, such as works by Toni Morrison, Gayl Jones, Charles Johnson, Michelle Cliff, and Sherley Ann Williams. Recommended background: one 100-level English course or AAS 100. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/EN 267. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 29. (Race, Ethnicity, or Diasporic Literature.) S. Houchins.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/HI 280. Health and Healing in Africa.

A perception that Africa is a "diseased continent" has long persisted in the West, but this image, born of colonialism, ignores how Africans have sought to create and maintain healthy communities over time. This course begins by exploring how Africans have diagnosed and treated ailments in the precolonial era. It then examines the impact of colonial conquest and policies on the spread of diseases, and the emergence of missionary and colonial medicines. The course concludes by examining how state building, international development, and transnational capitalism have shaped healing practices. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 39. (Africa.) (Modern. ) Normally offered every year. P. Otim.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/RF 281. Black Pride and the 1970s.

This course focuses on the theme of black pride in artistic expression during the 1970s. Black pride enabled the creation of counter-publics that emerged after the civil rights movement defeated white supremacy laws. Particular attention is given to soul, disco, and funk as sonic movements that empowered young people, enabled gay culture formation, and popularized a modern southern blues; stage productions and literature that brought black feminism to mainstream attention; Broadway productions that fostered pride in black urban aesthetics and sensibilities; and television, radio, and cinema that validated the integrity of black history and culture. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/RH 281. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every year. C. Nero.
Concentrations

AA/HI 301E. African Slavery in the Americas.

Of the millions of immigrants who arrived in North and South America during the colonial period, the majority came not from Europe but from Africa. They came not for freedom but as human property, facing a lifetime of bondage for themselves and their offspring. Far from being the "peculiar institution" that whites in the U.S. South called it, slavery existed throughout the Americas before its abolition in the nineteenth century. By reading contemporary scholarship and examining such primary sources as music, letters, autobiographies, and material artifacts, students gain a sense of the ways Africans and African Americans survived and influenced an institution that sought to deny their humanity. Enrollment limited to 15. (Early Modern.) (United States.) [W2] J. Hall.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDC 302. Black Feminist Activist and Intellectual Traditions.

This junior-senior seminar examines the intersections of gender with black racial and ethnic identities as they have been and are constructed, expressed, and lived throughout the African/black diaspora. Special attention is given to the United States but substantial consideration is given to Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Canada, Europe, and Australia. The course combines approaches and methodologies employed in the humanities, social sciences, and arts to structure interdisciplinary analyses. Using black feminist (womanist), critical-race, and queer theories, students examine African-descended women’s histories, activism, resistance, and contributions to culture, knowledge, and theorizing. Prerequisite(s): one course in African American studies, American studies, or gender and sexuality studies. Crosslisted in African American studies, American studies, and gender and sexuality studies. Enrollment limited to 15. S. Houchins.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 305. Art, Power, and Politics.

An anthropological examination of the relationship among art, power, and politics. What can the artistic works of various societies say about their worlds that other creations cannot? What claims can art make about the workings of power, and what artistic techniques does power itself employ? Students consider these and other questions from a number of different perspectives, including the politics of perception, the place of art in modern life, the artistry of terror, the art of protest and propaganda, and the dream of building a beautiful regime. Recommended background: familiarity with classical social theory, especially Marx, is encouraged but not necessary. Cross-listed in African American studies, American studies, and anthropology. Enrollment limited to 15. J. Rubin.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

INDC 321. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.

This course studies the response of black writers and intellectuals of the Spanish-speaking world to issues related to the natural environment. In three countries, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, and Equatorial Guinea, modernity has brought serious challenges to notions of economic progress, human rights, and national sovereignty, as well as individual and communal identity. Course materials include written texts from local newspapers and magazines as well as other sources of information such as Internet sites that discuss issues related to the environment and the arts. All readings are in English. Cross-listed in African American studies, environmental studies, Latin American studies, and Spanish. Only open to juniors and seniors. Enrollment limited to 15. B. Fra-Molinero.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 325. Black Feminist Literary Theory and Practice.

This seminar examines literary theories that address the representation and construction of race, gender, and sexuality, particularly, but not exclusively, theories formulated and articulated by Afra-diasporic women such as Spillers, Ogunyemi, Henderson, Carby, Christian, Cobham, Valerie Smith, McDowell, Busia, Lubiano, and Davies. Students not only analyze theoretical essays but also use the theories as lenses through which to explore literary productions of women writers of Africa and the African diaspora in Europe and in the Americas, including Philip, Dangarembga, Morrison, Herron, Gayl Jones, Head, Condé, Brodber, Brand, Merle Collins, and Harriet Wilson. Cross-listed in African American studies, English, and gender and sexuality studies. Strongly recommended: at least one literature course. Enrollment limited to 15. S. Houchins.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 342. Performance, Narrative, and the Body.

This course examines the politics of the body through the inter/transdisciplinary frames of the narrative and performance, including the specific ways performance and narrative theories of the body and cultural practices operate in everyday life and social formations. Students examine how the "body" is performed and how narrative is constructed in a variety of different contexts such as race, gender, disease, sexuality, and culture. The course places narrative and performance at the center (rather than the margins) of inquiry, asking how far and how deeply performativity reaches into our lives and how performances construct our identities, differences, and our bodies: who we are and who we can become. Cross-listed in African American studies, anthropology, and gender and sexuality studies. Prerequisite(s): GSS 100. Recommended background: course work in African American studies, American studies, anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, politics, or sociology. Enrollment limited to 15. M. Beasley.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 352. Preserving the Vibration: Digitizing the Legacy of Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor.

This course introduces public and digital humanities through the life and work of noted journalist, food anthropologist, and public broadcaster Vertamae Grosvenor. Public humanities is concerned with expanding academic discourse beyond academia and facilitating conversations on topics of humanistic inquiry with the community at large. Digital studies provide a plethora of unconventional ways to engage community in public dialogues for the greater good. Drawing from books, operas, NPR audio segments, interviews, cookbooks, and other artifacts of Grosvenor, students create and curate a digital archive. Themes include Gullah culture, African American migration, foodways, memoir, public memory, and monuments. Leading theories and methods of black feminism, material culture, race, food studies, new media and digital humanities are foregrounded. Cross-listed in African American studies, American studies, digital and computational studies, and gender and sexuality studies. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: AA/AM 119; AA/HI 243; AAS 100; AMST 200; AM/AV 340; AM/EN 395B; AV/GS 287; GSS 100; INDS 250 or 267; REL 255 or 270. Enrollment limited to 15. M. Beasley.
Interdisciplinary Programs

AAS 360. Independent Study.

Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

INDC 390. The Afro-Latin Americans.

The 500-year presence of Africans and their descendants in the Spanish-speaking world has produced a significant body of literature by blacks and about blacks. Spanish America was the main destination of the African diaspora. Afro-Hispanic writers attest to the struggle for freedom and the abolition of slavery. Their literature shows how the participation of blacks in the wars of Latin American independence was a struggle for their emancipation. Afro-Hispanic writers in Spain, the Americas, and Africa use their art and ideas to address the postnational migrations of the twenty-first century, a diaspora that has not ceased. Recommended background: AAS 100. Cross-listed in African American studies, Latin American studies, and Spanish. Taught in English. Only open to juniors and seniors. Not open to students who have received credit for INDS 290. Enrollment limited to 15. B. Fra-Molinero.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AA/EN 395T. African American Literary Issues and Criticism.

This seminar takes as its premise that black literature engages with and reflects parts of the world in which it is produced. In this course, students sort through the various conversations authors and critics have with each other. They read canonical authors and less well-known figures in an effort to tease out the nuance present in this body of work. Each text is paired with another in a form of dialogue. These exchanges are not set, so it is up to students to understand how the texts speak to each other. Literary criticism requires us to think through privilege, citizenship, capitalism, intraracial dynamics, gender and sexual dynamics, and political movements. The course theme may vary from year to year (e.g., disability, literature of the left, black queer studies). Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Race, Ethnicity, or Diasporic Literature.) [W2] T. Pickens.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AAS 457. Senior Thesis.

The research and writing of an extended essay or report, or the completion of a creative project, under the supervision of a faculty member. Students register for AAS 457 in the fall semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both AAS 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

AAS 458. Senior Thesis.

The research and writing of an extended essay or report, or the completion of a creative project, under the supervision of a faculty member. Students register for AAS 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both AAS 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

Short Term Courses

AA/AM s16. The Wire: The City and Race in Popular Culture.

This course focuses on the HBO series The Wire. Students discuss the episodes in terms of their narrative structure and content as well as cinematic techniques including shot sequence, lighting, camera angle, editing, and transitional devices. They also explore some of the sociopolitical issues this series examines: poverty, unemployment, the drug trade, public education, the decline of newspapers, and public housing. The intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and class serves as the lens through which they scrutinize these topics. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/AC s16. Enrollment limited to 19. S. Houchins.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/EN s23. Black Poetry.

How does the African American poetic tradition specifically contribute to the literary canon of African American literature and larger conceptions of American and global literature? This course is both an introduction to black poetics and a deep exploration. The course considers so-called basic questions (e.g., What are black poetics?) and more sophisticated questions (e.g., How do black poetics transform the literary and cultural landscape?). Students read a variety of authors who maneuver between intra- and inter-racial politics, including such canonical authors as Langston Hughes and Nikki Giovanni, and less well-known authors such as Jayne Cortez and LL Cool J. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/EN 255. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 29. T. Pickens.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

AA/AM s31. Broad/Turns: Print, Protest, Performance.

This course explores art and social protest in the context of U.S. history. Grounded in cultural theory of Benjamin and Fanon, who articulated the power of the arts to produce revolutions, the course specifically engages in American cultural politics through the production and dissemination of political posters. Students examine the poster (broadside) from multiple rhetorical dimensions and interrogate the proliferation of the printed political broadside and contemporary movements between analog and digital media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, blogs) and platforms. They consider the utilitarian status of the printed poster with the immediacy of digital social platforms. They work with distinguished printmakers, make posters, and curate a show. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: AA/AM 119; AA/HI 243; AAS 100; AMST 200; AM/AV 340; AM/EN 395B; AV/GS 287; GSS 100; INDS 250 or 267; or REL 255 or 270. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/AC s31. Enrollment limited to 10. M. Beasley.
Concentrations

AAS s50. Independent Study.

Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every year. Staff.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)