Department of African American Studies

African American Studies, a comprehensive study of the African American people’s experience, combines the approaches of the humanities and the social sciences. Students may take African American Studies to enhance their knowledge and/or pursue it as a major to provide a well-rounded approach to understanding problems through the African American example. The major also imparts skills in critical thinking, research methods, theory building, analysis, and written and oral expression.

Training in African American Studies is useful for graduate work in literature, American studies, law, history, sociology, social work, government, business, journalism, and employment in the public sphere.

Distinction

To be considered for Departmental Distinction, students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.25/4.00, a GPA of 3.50/4.00 in all African American Studies courses, and meet all course requirements for a major in African American Studies.

To be eligible for High or Highest Distinction, the student must have a grade point average of 3.75/4.00 in all African American Studies courses. In addition, eligible students must submit a final project for departmental review that demonstrates excellent work and must make a seminar presentation on this project to a session of African American Studies majors and faculty. The determination of high or highest distinction will be made by the faculty on the basis of the grade point average, the project, and the presentation.

Courses

AAST 100. Introduction to African American Studies. 3 hours.

The African American experience, focusing on African and African American culture, the slave trade, slavery and emancipation in the Americas, Twentieth Century social relations, and struggles for civil rights. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion and one Lecture. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

AAST 103. African American Politics and Culture. 3 hours.

A survey of African American political and cultural activism from the Black Convention Movement of the 1830s to contemporary times. Course Information: Same as POLS 112. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

AAST 104. Race, Place, and Schooling: African Americans and Education. 3 hours.

Examination of the social, political, cultural, and economic factors shaping African Americans' educational experiences in the United States historically and currently. Course Information: Same as EDPS 104. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

AAST 105. African Americans in Film, 1900 - Present: Images, Individuals and Ideas on Screen. 3 hours.

Examination of the history of African Americans in film from the silent era to the present. The careers of African American filmmakers and actors and the evolution of images, themes, and ideas in films by and about African Americans. Course Information: Same as COMM 105 and MOVI 105. Creative Arts course, and US Society course.

AAST 110. Introduction to African American Literature, 1760-1910. 3 hours.

Comprehensive survey, 1760-1910, from earliest folk roots to formal literary tradition. Course Information: Same as ENGL 118. Creative Arts course, and US Society course.

AAST 111. Introduction to African American Literature Since 1910. 3 hours.

Comprehensive survey of African American literature from 1910 to the present. Course Information: Same as ENGL 119. Creative Arts course, and US Society course.

AAST 125. African American Religious Traditions. 3 hours.

Introduction to the significance of religion and religious institutions in African American history. Examination of Christian and non-Christian traditions, mainstream and sectarian. Course Information: Same as RELS 125. Previously listed as AAST 120. Past course, and US Society course.

AAST 191. African and Caribbean Francophone Literature in Translation. 3 hours.

An introduction to the Francophone literature of Africa and the Caribbean and to its historical and cultural contexts. Course Information: Same as FR 191. Creative Arts course, and World Cultures course.

AAST 200. History of Race Relations in America. 3 hours.

An examination of American racial thought and racial discrimination to determine how the content and function of both have changed over time. Course Information: Same as HIST 251 and LALS 251.

AAST 201. The Psychology of African Americans. 3 hours.

Historical analysis of various psychological approaches to the African American experience and identity. Special attention to development of African American psychology as a disciplinary orientation. Course Information: Same as PSCH 201. Prerequisite(s): AAST 100 or PSCH 100 or consent of the instructor. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

AAST 202. African American Behavioral Patterns. 3 hours.

Formal theories on personality in terms of interdependence between personal characteristics, African American culture, and oppression; social-psychological aspects of black identity and interpersonal behavior. Course Information: Same as PSCH 202. Prerequisite(s) PSCH 100 or consent of the instructor. Recommended background: Credit in AAST 201 or PSCH 201. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

AAST 203. The African American Family in the United States. 3 hours.

Examination of the structure and functioning of the African American family. Historical and contemporary analyses. Course Information: Same as SOC 203. Prerequisite(s): AAST 100 or SOC 100 or consent of the instructor. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

AAST 206. Interdisciplinary Research Methods in African American Studies. 3 hours.

Introduction to the use of interdisciplinary research methods as a means of studying the African American experience. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Credit or concurrent registration in AAST 100; or consent of the instructor. For African American Studies majors and minors only.

AAST 210. The Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt. 3 hours.

Ancient Egypt from 6000 BC-400 AD. Architecture, sculpture and painting in their social and historical contexts. Course Information: Same as AH 210, and ARST 210. Prerequisite(s): Sophomore standing. Creative Arts course, and Past course.

AAST 212. Techniques of African-American Creative Writing. 3 hours.

Exploration of the relationship between African-American culture and literary styles. Specific emphasis on Dunbar, Hughes, Toomer, Brown, Ellison, Baldwin, Brooks, Morrison, and Jones. Course Information: Prerequisite(s):AAST 100 or ENGL 160.

AAST 221. The Atlantic Slave Trade. 3 hours.

Thematic social, cultural and economic history tracing rise and fall of Atlantic slave trade from African supply systems to New world consumption 1550-1880 with focus on slave experiences. Course Information: Same as HIST 221. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 161. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Lecture and one Discussion. Past course, and World Cultures course.

AAST 225. Racial and Ethnic Groups. 3 hours.

Sociological and social-psychological analysis of racial, religious, and other ethnic groups; consideration of historical and current social problems arising from their relationships in society. Course Information: Same as LALS 225 and SOC 225. Prerequisite(s): SOC 100; or consent of the instructor. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

AAST 229. Africa and its Diasporas. 3 hours.

Critical analysis of the cultural, economic, geographic, and historical implications of population movements from Africa from the 15th century to the present. Course Information: Same as HIST 229. Prerequisite(s): AAST 100 or AAST 241 or HIST 241 or AAST 242 or HIST 242 or AAST 247 or HIST 247 or AAST 248 or HIST 248. Past course, and World Cultures course.

AAST 241. Precolonial Africa in World History. 3 hours.

The history of African societies in the period before 1850 through the rise of kingdoms and territorial states, migration of peoples, the spread and impact of Islam, and west African trading networks. Course Information: Same as HIST 241. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 161; or consent of the instructor. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion/Recitation and one Lecture-Discussion. Past course, and World Cultures course.

AAST 242. History of Modern Africa. 3 hours.

The effect of European partition and colonialism; African military and political resistance; economic imperialism; the rise of nationalism; the problems of independence. Course Information: Same as HIST 242. Prerequisite(s): ENGL 161; or consent of the instructor. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion/Recitation and one Lecture-Discussion. Past course, and World Cultures course.

AAST 245. Politics and Government of Africa. 3 hours.

Contemporary political systems of selected African countries with emphasis on political leadership, nationalism, ideological trends, and economic development. Course Information: Same as POLS 245. Prerequisite(s): POLS 130 or POLS 190 or AAST 100; or consent of the instructor. World Cultures course.

AAST 247. African American History to 1877. 3 hours.

Survey of major social, economic, political, and cultural developments in African American history from the rise of the Atlantic Slave Trade to Reconstruction. Course Information: Same as HIST 247. Prerequisite(s): One course in African American studies or history, or consent of the instructor. Past course, and US Society course.

AAST 248. African American History since 1877. 3 hours.

Survey of major social, economic, and political developments in African American history since Reconstruction. Topics include Jim Crow, black leadership, migration, civil rights and nationalism. Course Information: Same as HIST 248. Prerequisite(s): One course in African American studies or history, or consent of the instructor. Past course, and US Society course.

AAST 249. Black Freedom Movements in the U.S. 3 hours.

A survey of African American resistance and social change movements from the 1900's through the 1970's; the political ideologies and practices of various leaders and organizations that have had an impact on African American politics. Past course, and US Society course.

AAST 250. Comparative Black Literatures. 3 hours.

The study and analysis of selected works of literature and criticism in the context of the African diaspora. Course Information: Same as ENGL 260. Creative Arts course, and US Society course.

AAST 258. Race and Urban Life. 3 hours.

Examines the experiences of Blacks in urban areas since the 1900's. Course Information: Same as SOC 258.

AAST 261. Reading Black Women Writing. 3 hours.

Examines inscriptions of race, gender, class, and sexuality as they shape the literary and critical practices of nineteenth- and twentieth-century black women writers. Course Information: Same as GWS 261 and ENGL 261. Previously listed as AAST 470. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better in AAST 100 or Grade of C or better in AAST 110 or Grade of C or better in AAST 111 or Grade of C or better in ENGL 118 or Grade of C or better in ENGL 119 or Grade of C or better in ENGL 240; or consent of the instructor.

AAST 262. Black Cultural Studies. 3 hours.

Introduction to approaches, methods, and key debates in the study of black culture in a transnational and diasporic context. Course Information: Same as ENGL 262. Prerequisite(s): AAST 100. Creative Arts course, and US Society course.

AAST 263. African American Intellectual History. 3 hours.

Introduction to key figures, developments, and debates in African American intellectual history. Course Information: Same as HIST 263. Prerequisite(s): AAST 100. Individual and Society course, and Past course.

AAST 264. African American Art. 3 hours.

Interdisciplinary survey of the artistic production of African American artists from the nineteenth century to the present. Course Information: Same as AH 264. Creative Arts course, and World Cultures course.

AAST 265. The Harlem Renaissance. 3 hours.

The intellectual, cultural, and artistic expressions among African Americans from 1912 to 1933, with an emphasis on the literary texts and social history. Course Information: Same as ENGL 265. Previously listed as AAST 350. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better in AAST 100; and Grade of C or better in AAST 110 or Grade of C or better in AAST 111; or Grade of C or better in ENGL 240 and Grade of C or better in ENGL 243; or consent of the instructor. Past course, and US Society course.

AAST 266. Topics in African Literature. 3 hours.

The study and analysis of selected works of African literature, history, and criticism. Course Information: Same as ENGL 266. May be repeated. Creative Arts course, and World Cultures course.

AAST 270. African Art. 3 hours.

Survey of the arts of the major tribal cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa. Course Information: Same as AH 270. Prerequisite(s): 3 hours of art history at the 100 level or consent of the instructor. Creative Arts course, and World Cultures course.

AAST 271. African Americans and the Politics of Incarceration. 3 hours.

Examination of the status of African Americans as offenders, victims, and personnel within the criminal justice system. Course Information: Same as CLJ 271 and SOC 271. Previously listed as AAST 371. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better or concurrent registration in AAST 100 or Grade of C or better or concurrent registration in SOC 101. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

AAST 272. Race, Gender, and Sexuality. 3 hours.

The course will focus on the various ways that African American Studies has conceptualized issues of gender and sexuality. Course Information: Same as GWS 272. Prerequisite(s): Credit or concurrent registration in ENGL 161. Individual and Society course, and US Society course.

AAST 294. Topics in African American Studies. 3 hours.

Selected topics. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): Junior standing or consent of the instructor.

AAST 306. Black Politics in the United States. 3 hours.

Historical analysis of Black electoral politics in the U.S., including traditional political party participation and movement politics. Course Information: Same as POLS 311. Prerequisite(s): Three courses in political science, history or sociology, or consent of the instructor.

AAST 340. Advanced Interdisciplinary Seminar in African American Studies. 3 hours.

Provides a theoretical and critical examination of contemporary issues in African American Studies from an interdisciplinary framework. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Junior standing and declared major in African American studies, or consent of the instructor.

AAST 351. Topics in Black Art and Literature. 3 hours.

Study of literature and the other arts in the context of the African diaspora. Topics vary. Course Information: Same as ENGL 351. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better in AAST 100; and Grade of C or better in AAST 110 or Grade of C or better in AAST 111; or Grade of C or better in ENGL 240 and Grade of C or better in ENGL 243.

AAST 356. Constitutional Law: Women, Gender and Privacy. 3 hours.

A multidisciplinary examination of U.S. constitutional law and politics in shaping issues of gender, privacy, race, and sexual orientation; including reproduction, labor, sexual harassment, political participation, and women and crime. Course Information: Same as GWS 356, and POLS 356. Prerequisite(s): Grade of C or better in POLS 101 or grade of C or better in POLS 112 or grade of C or better in AAST 100 or grade of C or better in AAST 103 or grade of C or better in GWS 101; or consent of the instructor.

AAST 358. Constitutional Law: African-American Legal History. 3 hours.

Survey of the African-American constitutional experience from the 1600s to the present, focusing on landmark decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Course Information: Same as POLS 358.

AAST 390. Senior Seminar in African American Studies. 3 hours.

Facilitates completion of the final project in African American studies required of all majors. In a seminar setting, students will work on individual projects, give feedback to one another, and learn the key skills of academic writing. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): AAST 206 and junior standing or above or consent of the instructor.

AAST 398. Independent Study: Special Topics. 3 hours.

Selected topics for individual research. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 9 hours. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor and approval of the head of the department of African-American studies.

AAST 400. Blacks and South Asians in London. 6 hours.

A survey of the separate and overlapping politics, cultures, and histories of London's Black and South Asian communities since World War II. Course Information: Same as GLAS 400. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor.

AAST 405. Urban Ethnography. 3 or 4 hours.

The study of processes and meanings in African American communities in urban areas, interviews, participant observation, focus groups. Course Information: Same as SOC 406. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): AAST 100; and junior standing or above.

AAST 406. Politics of Race, Gender and Class. 3 or 4 hours.

Formation of social status categories, individual and collective identity construction, the mechanisms of group-based marginalization and stigmatization; relationship between social status categories. Course Information: Same as GWS 406. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): AAST 100 or GWS 102 or GWS 101; or graduate or professional standing; or consent of the instructor.

AAST 407. Seminar in Comparative Racialization. 3 or 4 hours.

Provides an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to the making and remaking of "race" and the resultant racialized experiences of different groups in the U.S. and globally. Course Information: Same as SOC 407. Prerequisite(s): AAST 247 or AAST 248 or AAST 340 or SOC 225; and senior standing or above; or consent of the instructor.

AAST 410. Seminar in Black Child Development. 3 or 4 hours.

Race, class and cultural theories of black child development. Examination of socialization process and developmental outcomes, with particular attention to social attitudes and behaviors. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): AAST 201 or PSCH 100 or consent of instructor.

AAST 431. The History and Politics of Africa on Film. 3 or 4 hours.

Key moments and issues in African history through the eyes of African film and documentary makers. Course Information: Same as MOVI 431. Prerequisite(s): Junior standing or above.

AAST 441. Topics in African History. 3 or 4 hours.

Specific topics are announced each term. Course Information: Same as HIST 441. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated. Prerequisite(s): 3 hours of African history, African American studies, or consent of the instructor.

AAST 445. History of Islam in the African World. 3 or 4 hours.

A comprehensive study of the history of Islam and its role among the people of African descent in sub-Saharan Africa and the United States. Course Information: Same as HIST 445. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor.

AAST 481. Topics in African and African American History. 3 or 4 hours.

African and/or African American history for students with significant background in the field. Topics vary. Course Information: Same as HIST 485. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated if topics vary. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): AAST 247 or AAST 248 or HIST 104 or HIST 247 or HIST 248 or consent of the instructor.

AAST 490. Topics in African American Literature. 3 or 4 hours.

African American literature and culture for students with significant background in the field. Topics vary. Course Information: Same as ENGL 473. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): AAST 357 or AAST 360 or ENGL 357; and senior standing or above; or consent of the instructor.

AAST 492. Topics in Social Science Research. 3 or 4 hours.

Inclusive examination of a selected specialized topic based on instructor's field. Topics are drawn from research in political science, psychology, sociology, and history. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated if topics vary. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): AAST 100 or consent of the instructor.

AAST 496. Topics in Race, Ethnic and Minority History. 3 or 4 hours.

Specific topics are announced each term. Course Information: Same as HIST 496. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated. Prerequisite(s): 3 hours of history or consent of the instructor.