AAS Course Offerings


You can print a copy of the course flier here.


AAS 100-002 (same as HIS 100): Introduction to African Studies
Instructor: Shauna Morgan.     MWF 2:00-2:50 and online
Part of term hybrid course (Oct 19-Dec 18)

This course provides a basic overview of African histories, cultures and societies.

AAS 200-001:  Introduction to African American Studies
Instructor:  Regina Hamilton     TR 11:00-12:15pm
Introduction to African American Studies is an interdisciplinary course, which establishes the intellectual context for an examination of the African American experience through time. It introduces students to the various approaches scholars use to analyze that experience. This course focuses on issues reflecting the diversity and richness of the African American experience across time and geographic boundaries. 

AAS 235-001 (same as SOC 235): Inequalities in Society
Instructor:  Cameron McAlister TR 3:00-5:00pm (Part of term:  Oct 20- Dec 17)

This course seeks to promote and understanding of inequalities in American society by considering them in the context of the social origins, development, and persistence of inequalities in the United States and other societies. Bases of inequality that may be considered include race/ethnicity, class/status, gender/sexuality, age, political and regional differences as these relates to politics, social justice, community engagement, and/or public policy. 

AAS 254-001 (same as HIS 254): History of Colonial and Postcolonial Africa
Instructor: Francis Musoni        TR 9:30-10:45am

The western media coverage of developments in Africa usually present the ugly aspects of life in the continent—such as poverty, disease epidemics, wars, dictatorships, and so forth—often without analyzing their histories. This course will help students to develop a better understanding of current developments in Africa by exploring the history of the continent from the 1880s to the present. Among other themes, the course materials, lectures, discussions and assignments will examine the reasons behind the European conquest of Africa in the late 19th century; how Africans responded to the European invasion; the challenges and opportunities that came with European colonial rule; the rise of African nationalism and anti-colonial movements; as well as the challenges and opportunities for development in post-colonial Africa. In exploring these themes, the course will provide students the opportunity to engage with the “African perspective” that is largely missing from western accounts of the continent. 

AAS 260-001 (same as HIS 260):  African American History to 1865
Instructor:  Vanessa Holden      TR 12:30-1:45pm

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 264 (same as ENG 260):  Introduction to Black Writers
Section 001:  Instructor: Jake Ferrington           MWF 1:00-1:50PM
Section 002:  Instructor:  Jake Ferrrington         MWF 2:00-2:50PM

An introduction to written and oral works by Black authors of Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. The course includes writers such as Chinua Achebe (Africa), Wilson Harris (Caribbean), and Toni Morrison (USA), as well as others from the diverse field of literature written by African-American authors and authors of color worldwide. Attention will be paid to student writing, particularly to devising a thesis, crafting an argument, and learning how to use supporting evidence.

AAS 301-001:  Introduction to the African Diaspora
Instructor:  Kamahra Ewing       TR 9:00-10:45AM

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 400-002 (same as GWS 301-003) Special Topics in AAAS: Black and Latina Women in U.S. Politics
Instructor:  Frances Henderson MWF 1:00-1:50PM

This course examines Black and Latina women’s participation in American politics as citizens, voters, activists, and elites. Central to this course are the meaning and nature of gender equality and the ways that gender intersects with race, ethnicity and class. Throughout the course, we will interrogate ideas about citizenship and participation through the lens of Black and Latina women. Politics will be broadly conceived to account for the various ways in which women of color participate both inside and on the margins of formal politics and political processes in the US. Thus, topics will likely include: analysis of the mobilization of women of color around reproductive justice, the carceral state, immigration and education, in addition to Black and Latina women’s mobilization into politics through the suffrage movement and the modern women’s movement. The course will also analyze the role of gender and race in shaping public opinion and electoral behavior; public opinion and electoral behavior on gender issues; women’s activities within the political parties. Throughout the semester, we will be following the role of Black and Latina women and gender issues in the 2020 election. This course will provide students with a limited introduction to the study of gender and U.S. politics including some central questions, concepts, and debates in the field. Students will develop intersectional theoretical frameworks and analytical tools for studying gender and politics in the United States.

AAS 400-003 (same as A-H 304-001):  Special Topics in AAAS:  African Arts and Its Global Impact
Instructor:  Monica Visona        TR 11:00-12:15PM

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 specific African art works that have shaped European and American cultural histories, and created a global modernity. The earliest examples include ancient rock art, and the most recent are comprised of installations and digital works made by African artists working abroad.

AAS 400-004 (same as LIN 517-001):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Intro to Creole Languages
Instructor:  Fabiola Henri          MWF 12:00-12:50PM

This introduction to creole studies proposes to explore the unique socio-historical contexts and theoretical approaches to the emergence of creole languages. We will address important questions such as why does a particular creole look and sound the way it does? where do its linguistic properties come from? what are the original populations and languages that contributed to its genesis?. The course will provide a typological survey of (pidgins and) creoles spoken around the world with different lexifier languages. An important aspect of the course will be the hands-on examination of particular (pidgins and) creoles. 

AAS 400-005 (same as ANT 580/770-002):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Human Rights
Instructor:  Bertin Louis            M 11:00-1:30PM

This course critically addresses the multiple dimensions of human rights from an anthropological perspective. In addition to the history and development of human rights ideas and legal instruments, we will also study the unfolding relationship between anthropology and human rights in theory and practice. There will be a special emphasis placed on anthropological literature and the lives and experiences of people of African descent.

AAS 400-006 (same as GEO 365-002):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Carceral State
Instructor:  Lydia Pelot-Hobbs   TR 3:30-4:45PM

The prison is one of the defining institutions of the US nation-state. Since the founding of the United States, carceral logics and practices have been used to manage periods of political, economic, and social crisis from above and below. In this course, we will examine how the geographic prototype of the plantation and colonial enclosures continue to shape the material configurations of the US carceral state. We will give particular attention to how the spatialization of criminalization produces and is a product of power relations of race, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship and empire. Together we will explore questions such as: How does policing and imprisonment regulate and manage public and private space? How has the carceral state changed over time in response to the shifting imperatives of racial capitalism? What is the relationship of punitive power to other state projects? And, what are the conditions of possibility for materializing new geographies of freedom?  This course will no longer be offered in Fall 2020. 

AAS 400-007 (same as A-H 528/628):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Women and the Modern Art of Africa (1945-1995)
Instructor:  Monica Visona        TR 2:00-3:15PM

African women were engaged with Modernism as artists, educators, critics and entrepreneurs during the 20th century.  They were joined by women from other continents who worked in Africa to support and shape Modern Art. This course reviews the current literature on women and African modernism, and identifies topics for further study. Students should be prepared to read and critique a variety of publications, and final research projects will prepared for presentation as an online resource.  While there are no pre-requisites for the course, some prior knowledge of African history and geography will be an asset, as will any previous courses on the arts of the 20th century.

AAS 400-401 (same as HIS 351):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Black Power in Film and History
Instructor:  Nikki Brown                        MW 6:00-7:15PM

This course examines the history of the Black Power movement and the ways in which American cinema represented Black Power in the 1970s.  At its height, the political and cultural influence of Black Power was reflected in popular black urban cinema, also known as Blaxploitation films.  However, Black Power remains one of the most complex and misunderstood political movements of the twentieth century.  As part of the Civil Rights Movement (CRM), Black Power is a study in contrasts.  Like the non-violent Civil Rights Movement, Black Power sought greater political and economic empowerment for African Americans.  Unlike the non-violent CRM, Black Power advocated gun ownership, self-determination, and black nationalism.  We will explore many themes this semester: crime and criminal justice, women’s empowerment, conspiracy theories, the global African diaspora, education and the future of black culture, satire, and documentary film-making. 

AAS 433-001 (same as SOC 435):  Topics in Social Inequalities: Masculinities
Instructor:  Edward Morris        TR 9:30-10:45AM

What does it mean to be a man? How does “manning up” have consequences for men and women? How and why do men control the majority of world’s resources and institutions? Is any of this changing? This course seeks to answer these questions through an introduction to the sociology of masculinity. While the majority of scholarship in gender has focused on women, this course will critically interrogate masculinity and the location of men within the gender order.

AAS 469-001:  The Kentucky African American Experience
Instructor:  Gerald Smith          T 3:30-6:00PM

AAS 550-001 (same as EDC 550): Education in Culturally Diverse Society
Instructor:  TBD                        R 5:00-7:30PM

This course assists future educators in developing strategies to create an equitable teaching/learning environment where all students are validated, stimulated, and nurtured. Course participants explore the rationale for their current belief systems and perceptions of other cultures; investigate how and why their personal attitudes, behaviors, and expectations affect the academic and social development of children and youth, and examine contemporary educational issues.  

AAS 587-001:  Civil Rights Movement in U.S. Since 1930
Instructor:  Derrick White         MWF 1:00-1:50PM

A survey of the African-American struggle for full citizenship and human rights. Students will study black leaders; their organizations; and the legal strategies, mainstream protest movements, and alternative (or radical) approaches they applied to solving the dilemmas of chronic discrimination and racism in 20th-century America. The course will provide a detailed examination individuals, organizations, motivations, and ideology of the Civil Rights Movement. We will explore a multitude of factors that were involved in the largest mass movement in American history. We will look at how the movement shaped and was shaped by the social, economic, and political systems. The course will focus on the post-1945 period but will look at events and organizations that precede this period which were influential on the Movement. In addition, we will explore the transition and impact from Civil Rights to Black Power, as well as 21st century America.

AAS 656-001(same as ENG 656):  Black American Literature (Race, Humanity, and Humanness)
Instructor:  Regina Hamilton     R 4:00-6:30PM

In the introduction to his 2014 book, Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human, Alexander Weheliye argues that “since bare life and biopolitics discourse largely occludes race as a critical category of analysis, as do many other current articulations of critical theory, it cannot provide the methodological instruments for diagnosing the tight bonds between humanity and racializing assemblages in the modern era” (8). While diagnosing might be beyond us, in Race, Humanity, and Humanness we will use African American literature, critical race theory, and queer theory to delve into these “tight bonds” between humanity and race. One goal of this course is to consider how race might be foundational to biopolitics, and to our understandings of humanness, more generally. A second goal of this course is to unpack a posthumanism that also ignores the connections between race and the humanism it tries to eschew. In this course, we will cover fictional and non-fictional texts by authors including, but not limited to, Saidiya Hartman, Jasbir K. Puar, Sylvia Wynter, Katherine McKittrick, Octavia Butler, Colson Whitehead, and Alexander Weheliye.

A&S 103-002:  Basic Language I: Intro to Swahili
Instructor: Alexandre Muzaliwa                        MWF 2:00-2:50PM
This course is an introduction to Swahili, emphasizing on oral communication, listening, and writing skills. Students learn basic structures in a structured environment; they practice idioms and situational vocabulary used in conversations. The course is also an introduction to Swahili culture. The goal is to provide an interactive environment in which you can immerse yourself in Swahili while gaining competency in the language and its culture. Swahili is spoken throughout Eastern Africa and Africa of Great Lakes by more than 100 hundred thousand people. As a first language, it is spoken only on the offshore islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Lamu, and for the most part, only along the East African coast. As a second language, it is spoken in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, DR. Congo, Burundi and Rwanda. Swahili has been voted for to become the official language of the Africa Union. Swahili will become a language associated with IT and technology and, as a result, arts, culture and tourism. Like Arabic, Chinese, Japanese has the potential to become a global language, and this is why anyone looking to Africa should pay attention to it now.  In case you would like to visit Mt. Kilimandjaro, Masai-Mara parc, Serengeti and Ngorongoro parcs in East Africa, Parc Virunga and Kahuzi Biega in Eastern DR. Congo, you have all interest to learn Swahili.



AAS 261-010 (same as HIS 261):  African American History 1865-present
Instructor:  Jillean McCommons            MTWRF 10-12pm (June 10-July 8)

This course traces the Black experience from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. The rise of segregation and the ghetto and aspects of race relations are examined. 

AAS 264-229 (Same as ENG 260):  Intro to Black Writers
Instructor:  Mary Beth Diener McGavran           May 12-Aug 6

An introduction to written and oral works by Black authors of Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. The course includes writers such as Chinua Achebe (Africa), Wilson Harris (Caribbean), and Toni Morrison (USA), as well as others from the diverse field of literature written by African-American authors and authors of color worldwide. Attention will be paid to student writing, particularly to devising a thesis, crafting an argument, and learning how to use supporting evidence. 

AAS 326-210 (same as ANT 326): Contemporary African Lives
Instructor: TBD             Online/Distance Learning (June 25-Aug 6)

What do you think when you hear AFRICA? This course goes beyond the words, images and stereotypes that we typically learn from western news reports, popular media and mainstream descriptions of issues on the continent. Our goal will be to examine, and challenge, many of the popular portrayals of Africa, and thus build a more realistic and grounded understanding of the region. We will consider issues of geography, social organization and family life, health and food security, economy and ecology, and politics and identity. But our examination will draw from African sources and people living on the continent, as well as media built on long term engagement with the multitude of African nations. We will investigate how social, economic and global systems come together to produce the diversity of lives across the vast region. We will also discover positive, hopeful and sustainable aspects of African life with attention to local people?s solutions and efforts to build the lives they want. Ultimately, we will come away with both better understanding of the complex reality of ?Africa?, and with analytical tools for examining other complex, but often stereotyped, issues in society more broadly.


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