The Africana Studies minor offers students an interdisciplinary perspective on African, African American, and Afro-Latin American history, culture, literature, and politics. Now housed in the Department of History, the Africana Studies minor draws faculty from academic programs across the university—including English, Sociology, Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Political Science, Music, and Communications.
The program develops students’ awareness of the social, political, and cultural issues related to the Africana experience from its historical beginnings to the present day. The Africana Studies minor develops and exposes students to multiple components of the Africana experience, tracing the history and legacies of African diaspora and exploring the broad arenas of black cultural expression. In doing so, the minor prepares students for life beyond UTC, for graduate programs, and for an increasingly global and diverse workforce.
For more information on the minor, please contact Professor Julia Cummiskey ([email protected]).
Follow UTC Africana Studies on Instagram @utc_africanastudies!
Africana Studies Classes Spring 2024
The following classes count towards the Africana Studies minor (you may need to have your advisor complete a petition). All the classes below (unless otherwise indicated) fulfill the "minority studies" and/or "elective" portions of the minor curriculum. Classes marked with *fulfill the "African studies" portion of the minor. If you have any questions about the classes listed here, please contact the instructor. If you have other questions or want more information about the Africana Studies minor, our program, or our curriculum, please contact [email protected].
*ART 2140: The History of Art from Prehistory to 1400CE, taught by Prof. Bart Pushaw
- This course surveys the art and architecture of global civilizations between 40,000 BCE and 1400 CE. Beginning with prehistoric human production and concluding with the emergence of transatlantic trade and colonialism, the course examines important achievements in sculpture, architecture, painting, and material culture as defined by current art historical and archaeological scholarship. The course emphasizes transregional dialogues and influences between such cultures as ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Japan, Byzantium, Africa, North and South America, and medieval Europe. Focus is divided between visual study and critical interpretation, with an emphasis placed on how works of art fit into their historical, religious, socio-political, and cultural contexts. This course is designed to heighten perception, appreciation, and enjoyment of the visual arts, and introduce foundational ideas such as the formal elements, design principles, and other significant technical factors.
ENGL 2520: African-American Literature, taught by Prof. Earl Braggs
- Readings will be largely fiction with supportive critical works and some poetry and drama to examine the development of African-American literature from the 1850s to the present. Figures may include Harper, Chestnutt, Washington, DuBois, Hurston, Wright, Ellison, Brooks, Baldwin, Walker, and Morrison. Spring semester. May be registered as HUM 2520. Credit not allowed in both ENGL 2520 and HUM 2520.
ENGL 3510: The Harlem Renaissance, taught by Prof. Aaron Shaheen
- An in-depth study of the African American literature produced mainly in Harlem in the 1920s and 30s. The course focuses on the literary, historical, social, and political impact of this movement. Major figures of study may include James Weldon Johnson, Alain Locke, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Nella Larsen, Claude McKay, and Marita Bonner.
ENGL 4870R: African American Rhetorics, taught by Prof. Heather Palmer
- An intensive seminar on a focused issue in rhetoric.
HIST 2480: African American History, taught by Prof. Mark Johnson
- This course provides an exploration of the trials and triumphs that African Americans have experienced from colonial times to the present era; topics include the slave trade, the development of slave societies, the master-slave relationship, Black culture, community, and resistance, the promises and shortcomings of emancipation, Jim Crow, the Great Migration, and the Civil Rights Movement.
*HIST 2510: History of Epidemics and Society, taught by Prof. Julia Cummiskey
- A survey of the history of epidemics in world history, from the ancient world to the present. The course will explore the ways different epidemic diseases reflected social, political, and cultural aspects of human society; how different knowledge, values, and belief systems shaped human responses to epidemic disease; and how epidemic diseases reshaped human society. Topics may include the plague, smallpox, yellow fever, tuberculosis, malaria, cholera, HIV, Zika forest virus, Ebola, and COVID-19. This semester, there will be an extra emphasis on epidemics in African history so the course taken in Spring 2024 will count for the African Studies component of the Africana Studies minor.
LTAM 2200: Afro-Latino Voices: The Caribbean and Beyond, taught by Prof. Carmen Jimenez
- This course is a survey of primary and secondary texts written by, and/or about Spanish speaking people of African heritage. This course is taught in English. Main topics will include identity, gender, race, resistance, and representations.
MUS 3170: Survey of Jazz, taught by Prof. Erika Schafer
- A introductory survey course in jazz from its ethnic origins, through its chronological development, to its current styles. Emphasis placed on the relationship of the music to the individuals who create this form of human expression
PSPS 3320: Civil Liberties, taught by Prof. Michelle Deardorff
- Case studies of key Supreme Court decisions affecting the rights and freedoms of the individual in American society.
PSY 2420: Psychology of Black Experience, taught by Prof. Dorthy Stephens
- Impact of cultural differences from a psychological perspective. Principles, theories, and research in psychology applied to black experience. Differences in socialization, personality, and social processes. Topics include intelligence, racial identity, and psycholinguistics.
REL 3340: Religion in Southern Culture, taught by Prof. Donna Ray
- Examination of the role of religion in Southern culture, past and present. Attention to the evangelical influence, African-American religion, mountain religion, Southern-based sects, the Pentecostal experience, and the cultural impact of religion in the South.
SOC 3050: Race and Ethnicity, taught by Prof. Chandra Ward
- This course explores how race and ethnicity are socially constructed, focusing primarily on its iterations in the United States. Students will understand how race and ethnicity are linked to social power and inequality, and discuss issues such as immigration, identity formation, and inter-group relations (including racism).
UHON 3640R: Sociology of the Black Community, taught by Prof. Lori Waite and Prof. Darrell Walsh
- This course will examine Sociological studies of Black community life in the United States. The focus will be on social institutions such as the family, education, religion, economy, media, government, and the military. The course will also examine the ways in which social movements in the United States have impacted the structure of Black communities. The course will primarily, but not exclusively, use the scholarship of Black Sociologists. Because the course is sociohistorical, it has interdisciplinary implications.