_____________________ COURSES _____________________
What Will I Study?
As an interdisciplinary minor, you will take a range of courses covering all aspects of issues relating to people of African descent. In order to insure that you complete a well-rounded curriculum, there are certain required courses as well as a large range of electives. As you progress through the curriculum you will develop an understanding of the history, culture, and experiences of peoples of color from Africa, to the Americas and beyond.
Note: Presently the majority of courses are at the 300/400 level, thus students enrolling in the Minor will generally be at the sophomore credit level or higher.
Minority Studies (3 hours):
These classes are designed to help students with strong foundation in Minority issues before progressing onto other areas. These courses thus provide students with a general understanding of diversity, and the psychology of race.
The classes do not only cover those of African descent, rather they deal with the entire experience of Minorities often
from a global perspective.
Psychology 242: Psychology of the Black Experience – STEPHENS/COTHRAN – Fall semesters : Covers the impact of cultural differences from a psychological perspective. Topics include intelligence, racial identity, and psycholinguistics.
Sociology 305: Minorities in American Life – STAFF – Fall and Spring Semesters : The course covers the character and role of racial, religious, and ethnic minorities in the US; the interplay of historical and current sociocultural processes on attitudes and behavior for both dominant and minority groups; and minority-related social problems and their possibilities of solution.
Sociology 345: Social Inequality – MEDLEY/ BUCHANAN – Fall & Spring semesters : An introduction to the study of inequality focusing on the distribution of resources in the US, and the social barriers that keep groups and individuals apart.
Criminal Justice 317: Minorities and Criminal Justice – BUMPHUS/ ILES – Fall, Spring, & Summer Semesters : This course involves a critical analysis of multicultural, intergroup relations in the United States. It is intended to help students gain increased understanding of how race, ethnicity, gender, social status, age, occupation, etc., are related to the myriad of problems confronting social relations and the workings of the criminal justice system.
Political Science 322: Civil Liberties – FOWLER – Spring Semesters : Case studies of key Supreme Court decisions affecting the rights and freedoms of the individual in American society.
African Studies(3 hours):
No Africana curriculum would be complete without a beginning. These courses are intended to introduce students to the study of the Africa continent in all its wonder and complexities. The courses taken here are intended to force students to rethink some of the ingrained cultural stereotypes about the African continent, both in history and in the contemporary world. Students will be able to choose from a range of classes that include history, culture, literature, and film.
Anthropology 332: Peoples and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa – Every fourth semester : Social and ethnological study of peoples and cultures of Africa. Traditions and modernization analyzed in light of the contract with Western cultures. Similarities and differences among societies in Africa. African cultures compared and contrasted with the West.
English 316: African Literature, KIZZA – Fall or Spring alternate years : A study of selections from the literature of Africa. Emphasis on historical fiction and the oral traditions.
History 371: Sub-Saharan Africa to 1880, STAFF – Fall Semesters : The partition of Africa; ideological underpinnings of imperialism; growth of colonial systems and the African reaction; colonial development and independence; apartheid; the European colonial legacy; response of traditional African social and political structures to technological modernity; nature of African cultural trends and developments.
History 372: Sub-Saharan Africa since 1880, STAFF – Spring Semesters : A study of the development of Modern Africa from the its partition; ideological underpinnings of imperialism; growth of colonial systems and the African reaction; colonial devolution and independence; apartheid; the European colonial legacy; response of traditional African social and political structures to technological modernity, nature of modern African cultural trends and developments.
University Honors 219: Africa through Its Literature, KIZZA – Fall or Spring once a year (limited to University Honors Program students; others with approval of instructor.) : A study of the sociocultural, historical, and political dynamics of the continent and its peoples through reading, discussion, and analysis of African literary works by and about Africans.
Hopefully students will complete the curriculum in the order suggested. This will allow students to enter these additional classes with a firm foundation in cultural studies, allowing for a better understanding of the courses that will complete their studies. The courses in this category will also allow students to find a distinct path through the Minor, whether they are interested in cultural studies, or race and gender, or even Latin American Studies.
Communications 324: Race, Gender, and the Media, GAILEY – Fall, and Spring semesters : An upper-level course in which students investigate how the mass media helps construct popular notions about race and gender in American society.
English 219: African American Literature, BRAGGS – Fall, Spring, and Summer 1 semesters: An examination of the development of African American literature from the 1850s to the present.
English 335: African American Slave Narrative Tradition, KIZZA – Fall semesters: A study of slave narratives and the literature that influenced them.
History 346: Afro-American History, STAFF – Spring semesters : An historical survey of Black Americans with some attention to African backgrounds; emphasis on their reactions to experiences in the New World.
History 375: Colonial Latin America, ALTHOUSE – Fall, alternate years : Survey of Latin America beginning with contact with Spain in the 16th century until the movements for Latin American Independence in the first quarter of the 19th century.
History 376: Latin America from Independence to the Present, ALTHOUSE – Spring, alternate years: Survey of Latin American history from the movement for independence from Spain and Portugal until the present. Specific topics will include the colonial heritage of Latin America, and 20th century politics (particularly instances of dictatorship.)
History 417: History of the Blues, STAFF – Fall, alternate years : Origins of the blues in the US; emphasis on historical antecedents and the social as well as economic conditions which shaped the nature and content of the music; patterns of musical migration; emphasis on various styles including Delta, Piedmont, Texas, Chicago, and West Coast Blues.
History 423: Black Popular Culture, STAFF – Fall, alternate years : Presentation and inclusion of African Americans in mainstream (Anglo-American) popular culture from c1800 to present-day: emphasis on social purpose of racial stereotyping and its importance in transmitting attitudes and social values; and critical evaluation of progression of African Americans into mainstream culture.
Music 317: Survey of Jazz, BRELAND – Fall semesters : An introductory survey course in jazz from its ethnic origins, through its chronological development, to its current styles.
There are a number of courses taught at the university that are also appropriate for addition to the Minor but, for various reasons, are not yet listed. For a course to be considered for inclusion under the minor it must contain at least 1/3 African American content or 2/3 minority content. The intent of this rationale is to ensure that any courses included in the Minor provide an appropriate amount of material that supports the spirit of our aims as a program. Students wishing to take classes that are not ‘officially’ listed under the Minor will need to Petition the Records Department to have these courses added. Instructions for petitioning classes may be found at the following link:
Students wishing to take classes that are not ‘officially’ listed under the Minor will need to Petition the Records Department to have these courses added. Instructions for petitioning classes may be found at the following link:
Courses include (but are not limited to):
Archeology 328: The Archeology of Latin America – On Demand : This course is designed to familiarize students with the prehistory of their Latin American neighbors, highlighting some of the major cultural groups of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize, including the Olmec, Maya, Zapotec, and Aztec. It will provide the foundation needed to understand contemporary Latin America, highlighting continuities between the region’s prehistoric cultures and today’s indigenous groups.
Art 499: African American Art, LINDSAY – Fall semesters : The history of African-American art from the 17th century to the present will be the focus of the course. Select artists and themes in African-American Art, as well as different approaches scholars have taken on the subject will be considered. The cultural and historical circumstances surrounding the production of African-American art - traditional and contemporary art forms - will be introduced.
Geography 201: Geography of Africa, TYM – On Demand : A geographical survey of the continent of Africa by region 1) North Africa, the Sahara, and the Transition Zone; 2) West Africa; 3) Equatorial Africa; 4) East Africa; 5) Southern Africa. Physical geography (climate, landforms, biodiversity), political geography (tribal conflicts, dictators, kingdoms, colonialism), cultural and social geography (tribalism, population growth, slavery, AIDS0, economic geography (plantation agriculture, periodic markets, fossil fuel and mineral extraction) will be examined by region.
History 499r: Black Women’s History, STAFF – Fall, alternate years : An upper-level course, providing a foundation for understanding the central role of African American women in the history, culture and politics in the United States. We will focus on the major role that black women played in the foundation of America, through history, sociology, and popular culture.
Humanities 230: Contemporary Francophone Cinema, STEINBERG – On demand : An overview of recent African films from former French colonies with attention to issues of identity, heritage, and former colonial status.
Music 320: African American Music: An Introduction, CARTER – On demand : An overview of vocal and instrumental genres rooted in the African American experience, spotlighting African American contributions from slavery to the present.