AAS Course Offerings




AAS 100 (same as HIS 100):  Introduction to African Studies
Section 001:  TR 9:30-10:45, Francis Musoni
This course provides a basic overview of African histories, cultures and societies

AAS 200:  Introduction to African American Studies
Section 001:  TR 9:30-10:45, Derrick White
Section 002:  MW 3:00-4:15, Regina Hamilton
An interdisciplinary course which establishes the intellectual context for an examination of the AfricanAmerican experience; it introduces students to the various approaches scholars use to analyze that
experience. This course employs a topical framework which permits focus on issues reflecting the diversity and richness of African-American experience across geographic boundaries

AAS 260 (same as HIS 260):  African American History to 1865
Section 001:  TR 12:30-1:45, Vanessa Holden
A study of the Black experience in America through the Civil War. An examination of the African heritage, slavery, and the growth of Black institutions

AAS 301: Introduction to the African Diaspora
Section 001: TR 12:30-1:45, Bertin Louis (this section is same as ANT 352)  This section has been cancelled for the Fall 2021 semester. 
Section 002: TR 9:30-10:45, Kamahra Ewing

The course will explore the making of the African Diaspora in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds through a combination of historical and ethnographic studies. How did men and women of African descent come to populate and shape the cultures, economies, and politics of the Americas and South Asia? The course will begin with an examination of African cultures in the centuries leading up to European colonization of the Americas and the advent of the Atlantic slave trade. The spread of Islam and Christianity and the growth of empires in East and West Africa will be discussed as part of understanding the traditions and practices which Africans brought with them to the Americas and throughout the Indian Ocean world. We will look at the development of the African Diaspora in the Middle East and South Asia in order to more fully contextualize the western development of the diaspora. The course ends with an examination of African Americans in the United States.

AAS 326 (same as ANT 326):  Contemporary African Lives
Section 001: TR 3:30-4:45, Crystal Felima
Discussions on the diversity of contemporary African cultures, societies, and identities require a survey of topics including neoliberalism, development and humanitarian intervention, gender and sexuality, religion and belief systems, geography and ecology, and health and food security. In this course, we will explore these themes by drawing from African scholarship, local insights, and creative works. Importantly, we will examine and challenge popular media portrayals of Africa by considering local knowledge and local efforts and solutions by grassroots initiatives, community organizations, and social movements. This course will provide an interdisciplinary social science perspective to key issues and topics that shape cultures and societies, specifically across Sub-Saharan Africa.

AAS 360 (same as HIS 360):  Race and Sports
Section 001: TR 2:00-3:15, Derrick White
This reading seminar examines the history of race and sport in America

AAS 400 (same as HIS 351) Special Topics in AAAS: Black Women in America
Section 001: MWF 12:00-12:50, Nikki Brown
This course is an exploration of the major themes in the history of black women in America of the 20th century. There are many themes we will focus on in the course of the semester.  For example, we will talk about bi-raciality represented as pathology, the myth of the black superwoman and the issue of the black female-headed families, the image of black women in cinema throughout the 20th century, the impact of sexuality on the discussions of gender, and western notions of gender within a western African tradition.  We will take a cultural studies approach to this topic, as we incorporate popular music, various images of women of African descent, novels, and non-fiction into our discussion of gender and race. 

AAS 400 (same as HIS 351):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Civil Rights and Black Power
Section 002: MWF 12:00-12:50, Nikki Brown
We’ll look at the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movements as a whole, paying special attention to Kentucky's history of civil rights activism.  Often overlooked in the surveys of the modern Civil Rights Movement, Kentucky played a critical role in the struggle.  The commonwealth's rich heritage and its colorful cultural, political, and social history have made important contributions to the peak of the post-WWII Civil Rights movement and its evolution to Black Power in the late 1960s.  We'll examine the goals for the movement for racial equality across the nation and we'll conclude by exploring the influence on the Movement for Black Lives in the 21st century.   This course has been cancelled for the Fall 2021 semester. 

AAS 400 (same as GWS 301):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Black Feminisms on Display
Section 003: TR 2:00-3:15, Aria Halliday
This course, “Blacks Feminisms on Display,” exposes students to Black feminist theory, activism, and art. As investigators and collaborators, students will explore genealogies of Black feminism(s) and womanism via canonical and contemporary work written by and about Black women. Students also examine theories of the body and the ways that Black women’s bodies have been used in organizing and visual arts since the 19th century. Exposed to Black feminisms in theory and culture, students will conclude the semester with digital “music videos” where they analyze a contemporary cultural production, using Black feminist concepts, and histories of Black women in the US and Anglophone Caribbean. 

AAS 400 (same as GWS 302):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Gender in Southern Africa
Section 004: MWF 1:00-1:50, Frances Henderson
Interdisciplinary, comparative and transnational examination of issues of gender focused on themes in Southern Africa. Thematic focus explicating gender which also illuminates questions of history and political economy in Southern African countries including Zimbabwe and South Africa among others. Introduces students to research and a variety of analytical questions in the field, as well as the interaction between locales/people and structural processes.  This course has been cancelled for the Fall 2021 semester.  

AAS 400 (same as A-H 304):  Special Topics in AAAS:  African Arts and Its Global Impact
Section 005: TR 11:00-12:15, Monica Visona
Throughout history, visual arts from the African continent (architecture, sculpture, painting, body arts, textiles, photography and performance) have inspired artists from around the world. This course examines a selection of artforms from the distant past that represent Africa’s cultural heritage, and more recent art that has shaped European and American cultural histories and created a global modernity. Students will be reading, critiquing, and editing portions of a textbook (A History of Art in Africa) in order to transform it into an open access, online resource.

AAS 400 (same as HIS 351):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Slavery in the Americas
Section 006: W 3:00-5:30, George Wright
This seminar is a comparative examination of slavery, starting with life in Africa prior to the coming of Europeans, to early contacts between European and African nations, to the Atlantic Slave Trade, to slavery in the “New World,” primarily in the West Indies and Caribbean, Brazil, and the British Colonies of North America, that eventually became the United States of America. We will review the economic benefits of slavery, first to the European and African nations involved in the Atlantic Slave Trade; then to a thorough examination of the varied ways the enslaved labored in the “New World.” As the course readings will clearly show, the enslaved Africans did not passively accept being held in bondage and resorted to force and other methods to end their enslavement. The class concludes with an examination of emancipation and the crucial role of the enslaved in bringing slavery to an end, and how the “freedwomen and men” moved forward in building institutions and organizations during the first decade of emancipation that sustained their race to the present.

AAS 400 (same as ANT  351):  Special Topics in AAAS:  African Diaspora Archaeology
Section 007: TR 11:00-12:15, Elena Sesma
This course surveys the histories and experiences of African descended people around the globe in the modern era through the lens of anthropological archaeology. We discuss the major theories, methods, and topical debates in the archaeology of the African Diaspora, drawing on global case studies from the beginning of the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the present. Addresses racialization, enslavement and resistance, emancipation, cultural transformation, households and community, religion, foodways, gender, heritage and collective memory.

AAS 400:  Special Topics in AAAS:  Black Digital Culture
Section 008: MWF 10:00-10:50, Kishonna Gray
One of the chief exports of American culture is Black popular culture. By focusing on the cultural production of Black mediated artefacts (both analog and digital), this class will explore the significant political, cultural, and social roles in defining Black popular culture. Using Stuart Hall’s prompt “What is the ‘Black’ in Black Popular Culture”, this class will also explore the appropriation and adoption of Black mediated cultures and technocultures as we explore the always evolving style, music, tools, etc. and the use of the body as a canvas of representation.

AAS 400 (same as GEO 365 & ENS 300):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Race, Food, and Environment
Section 009: TR 12:30-1:45, Priscilla McCutcheon
This course is meant to serve as a critical analysis of the intersection between “race,” space, and food/agriculture.  Food is something that all of us have a relationship with, but this relationship is colored by our distinct experiences in racialized bodies.  We will discuss the ways in which food (production, preparation and consumption) is tied to both race and ethnicity.  We will talk, for example, about the early experiences of African Americans as food producers during slavery, but also how they repackaged the food that they grew and consumed into an identifiable cuisine.  In our discussion of consumption, we will discuss the ways in which food is related to not only physical health but emotional and spiritual health.  We will also envision Black food futures, using the work of Afrofuturism to imagine a better and sustainable food system for Black people and other BIPOC communities.  

AAS 400 (same as HIS 355):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Digital History and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Section 010: TR 11:00-12:15, Stephen Davis
This course explores archival evidence of human rights abuses that occurred in South Africa during apartheid using the methodologies and technologies that collectively comprise the field of digital history.  Specifically we will examine the history of politically motivated killings and injury captured in materials produced by South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).  We will examine transcripts of public hearings using technologies that permit computational analysis of large corpora of machine readable text.  To prepare for this, you will read three books that provide a basic understanding of South Africa’s past, and then move on to describing the origins, functions and and dilemmas of the TRC.  Our discussions will focus on the relevant ethical, political and historiographical ramifications of this unprecedented experiment in truth-seeking and national reconciliation.  We will put our discussions to work by creating an innovative digital history project that employs a variety of tools to answer relevant intellectual questions and promote the accessibility of these records to the public.

AAS 401:  Readings and Research in AAS
Section 001: TR 11:00-12:15, Lydia Pelot-Hobbs
This course will examine current approaches and debates in the interdisciplinary field of Black Studies. We will both consider how Black Studies emerged as a fundamentally politically engaged field of inquiry committed to transforming power relations of race, gender, capital, and colonialism in addition to exploring recent scholarship in areas such as racial capitalism; sound studies; and mass criminalization, and climate change. Through this course, students will gain a greater understanding of the multiple methodologies employed in Black Studies while also having an opportunity to locate themselves in the field through completing an independent research paper on a topic of their choosing over the course of the semester.  

AAS 550 (same as EDC 550):  Education in Culturally Diverse Society
Section 001:  Cheryl Matias
Hybrid, part of term course:  Please see course catalog for specific meeting dates and times

COURSE OVERVIEW:  Education is a complex institution described as both participating in colonial, dehumanizing, and racist projects (e.g. Native American boarding schools, white supremacist educational policies, etc.) while also providing emancipatory, decolonizing, antiracist, and socially just projects. In advocating for a more just educational system the question then becomes, “What social structures influence education and how can I advocate for a more humanizing and just educational system?”

This interactive course deeply examines the intersectionality of race (and whiteness) to gender, sexuality, class, and multiple abilities that manifest in both society and education. Students will learn larger social systems of power that structures education, especially with respect to race, racism, whiteness, and white supremacy. Using racially just theories like Critical Race Theory, Black Feminism, Critical Whiteness Studies, and other critical theories on race, student will understand the complex relationship between diverse societies and schools and learn strategies of how to advocate on behalf of them. Or, more poignantly, invest in racially just educational practices for society. Using periodic mandatory Zoom sessions, interactive online activities, course readings, individual and group assignments, video clips, and social media, students come away understanding the complexities underlying education in a culturally diverse society. 

AAS 654 (same as HIS 654):  Readings in Modern African American History
Section 001: F 3:00-5:30pm, Nikki Brown
The scholarly field of African-American History is distinguished by its rendering of black historical actors as full participants, and by centering the perspectives of those historical actors, along with blunt analysis of power relationships within the United States and investigation into the workings of other aspects of identity (gender, class, sexuality) as they mediate the experiences of black Americans. This course takes up those topics in the period since the Civil War.





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