AAS Course Offerings


You can print a copy of the course flier here.

AAS 100 (also HIS 100): Introduction to African Studies
Instructor:  Steve Davis      MWF 1:00-1:50

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

AAS 168 (also ENG 168): Jazz and Democracy
Instructor: DaMaris Hill     Section 001: MWF 1:00-1:50     Section 002: MWF 3:00-3:50

This course is designed to be a hybrid cultural studies seminar and creative composition course that explores jazz theory as a philosophical artistic practice rooted in American democracy.  This course will explore jazz aesthetics as a literary, visual, and musical art form. It will also examine theories of jazz composition as philosophical statements that are in direct conversation with the principles of American democracy.  The course will also discuss the philosophical and aesthetic relationship that connects jazz literature to surrealist and existentialist artistic movements in modern and postmodern cultural contexts.   Artists, some of who may be considered marginalized citizens, to be discussed include James Baldwin, Harryette Mullen, and others. The theoretical aspects of this course will demonstrate how jazz has been a source of inspiration for a variety of twentieth/twenty-first century literatures and theoretical practices. The readings will be selections of fiction, poetry, drama, and essays with emphasis on jazz literary modes, creative trends, and political connotations specific to African American literature and culture. This class will be engaging in an ipad infusion format. Each student will be asked to bring an ipad daily and complete many of the course requirements using the ipad.

AAS 200-001:  Introduction to African American Studies
Instructor:  Nikki Brown     TR 2:00-3:15

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 (also SOC 235): Inequalities in Society
Instructor: TBD     MWF 1:00-1:50

This course seeks to promote an 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 261-001 (also HIS 261):  African American History 1865-Present
Instructor:  Nikki Brown     TR 11:00-12:15

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:  Introduction to Black Writers
Instructor:  Rynetta Davis     001: TR 9:30-10:45
Instructor:  Nazera Wright    002: TR 11:00-12:15

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 12:30-1:45

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 326-201 (also ANT 326): Contemporary African Lives
Instructor:  TBD     Distance Learning-online course (Part of term: March 9-May 8)

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.

AAS 328-001 (also GEO 328):  Geography of Middle East and North Africa
Instructor:  TBD     MWF 10:00-10:50

A comprehensive regional overview, emphasizing cultural adaptation to desert environments. The interrelationships among religions, cultures, and the physical environment will be examined, along with the region’s position and influence in the global system.

AAS 360-001 (also HIS 360):  Race and Sports in America
Instructor:  Gerald Smith     T 3:30-6:00

This reading seminar examines the history of race and sport in America. 

AAS 400-001 (also ENG 460G-001): Special Topics in AAAS: African American Speculative Fiction
Instructor:  Regina Hamilton     TR 11:00-12:15

In this course we will be engaging texts within the African American literary tradition that utilize speculative themes and characters as a means of social critique. One of the goals of this course is to consider the speculative within African American literature as more than a set of sporadic quirks or even a loosely constructed sub-genre at the edges of African American literature. Instead, we will consider the use of speculative elements within African American literature as an important tool for representing the realities and absurdities of black life in America. In addition, this course aims to reveal and interpret the important critical work twentieth-century authors of African American literature accomplish when they deploy speculative elements in their texts. We will cover fictional works by Pauline Hopkins, George Schuyler, Gloria Naylor, Octavia Butler, and Colson Whitehead. Contextualizing our discussion of these authors and their texts, we will also examine the different periods of African American literature, the intersection of race and gender, genre and its limitations, black feminist theory, and writing as a revolutionary act.

AAS 400-002 (also HIS 351-004): Special Topics in AAAS: History of the Hip Hop Generation
Instructor:  Derrick White     TR 9:30-10:45

The class examines African American History from the political, socio-economic, and cultural perspective of the Hip Hop Generation. The Hip Hop Generation, refers to the population that emerged from or born in wake of the violence of 1968. As Jay-Z said, "I arrived on the day Fred Hampton died." This post- Civil Rights generation experienced deindustrialization, endured a War on Drugs, witnessed the election of a Black president, and created global cultural movement - hip hop. This class analyzes the political, socio-economic, and cultural dynamics in the five decades after 1968.

AAS 400-003 (also ANT 352-002):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Caribbean Cultures and Societies
Instructor:  Bertin Louis     TR 12:30-1:45

This course will take a critical look at the history and culture of a region viewed as paradise by those living outside of it: the Caribbean. Some of the topics we will cover in the course are Religious Practice in the Caribbean, Tourism, Colonialism, Slavery, Diasporas and Transnationalism.  There will be a special emphasis placed on anthropological literature and the lives and experiences of people of African Descent as they pertain to the culture and history of the Caribbean.

AAS 400-004 (also HIS 595-001):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Global Black Freedom Struggle
Instructor: George Wright     W 3:00-5:30

This seminar will cover the period from the 1870s to the present.   The last decades of the 1800s witnessed the end of slavery and the determination by whites, in the United States, Brazil, and Africa, to create a new racial order with black people, indeed, all “people of color,”  remaining at the bottom of society. Racial discrimination, in virtually every area of society,  became a reality.  Also, racial violence occurred with the primary goal of ensuring that black people clearly understood “their place.”  Yet, significantly, by the early 1900s, in various places in the world, the struggle for racial equality and justice had started.  The seminar will examine a number of key leaders:  courageous women such as Ida Wells Barnett, Frederick Douglass, Marcus Garvey and  W. E. B. Du Bois, and several leaders whose actions continued for much of the 20th Century: Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, Jr.  The seminar concludes by examining where significant changes have occurred  and where aspects of the racist past still remain firmly entrenched.

AAS 400-005 (also ENG 460G-002):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Black Liberation in Intellectual Thought, Art, & Literature
Instructor:  Shauna Morgan     TR 2:00-3:15

This course will explore the ideas and practices of Black artists and thinkers who engage questions of freedom, and it will examine the myriad ways in which ideas of freedom have been expressed and reconfigured. Utilizing a transdisciplinary approach to contemplate what it means to be free while mediating notions of power, resistance, and identity, we will critically explore and analyze a range of cultural productions particularly in literature, film, music, visual art, and critical thought with attention to the global linkages and disjunctions which emerge near or alongside social movements and independence struggles from slave insurrections to anti-apartheid fights to the freedom movements of the current era.

AAS 400-006 (also HIS 355-002): Special Topics in AAAS:  Slavery, Piracy, and Rebellion in the Caribbean
Instructor:  Joseph Clark     TR 2:00-3:15

From Columbus to Castro, the Caribbean has witnessed conquests, migrations, and revolutions that have changed the course of world history. It was in the Caribbean that Arawak caciques first encountered wayward European voyagers and set in motion the largest and most consequential transfer of plants, germs, and cultures in human history. In the proceeding five centuries, the Caribbean has been the epicenter of American plantation slavery, the testing ground of industrial-scale agriculture, and home to both the only successful slave revolution in world history and the first free country in the Western world. This course examines Caribbean history from Columbus’s first voyage through climate crisis of the 21st century. In readings on slavery and resistance, piracy and smuggling, and rebellion and revolution, students study both to the qualities that make the Caribbean dynamic and distinctive, and the many ways its history, politics, and culture have affected life throughout the world.

AAS 401-001: Reading/Research in AAAS: Race and Racism
Instructor:  Bertin Louis     TR 9:30-10:45
This course will take a critical look at the concepts and lived realities of race and racism. There will be a focus on the African diaspora and the anthropological discipline’s centrality to the formation of scientific racism. The course will also cover Haitian and African-American vindicationist interventions in the anthropological past, anthropological pioneers of the critical study of race and racism, theories of race and racism, a sampling of approaches to the study of race in anthropological subdisciplines, as well as contemporary studies of race and racism. There will be a special emphasis placed on anthropological literature and on understanding race and understanding racism in local, national and international contexts.

AAS 433 (also SOC 435):  Topics in Social Inequalities
Instructor:  Nora Moosnick     MW 3:00-4:15

A sociological study of topics relevant to social inequalities and stratification

AAS 500-201: African American Lives
Instructor:  Vanessa Holden     Online/Distance Learning
Part of term:  Jan 15-March 11

This course will introduce students to the study of African American life, culture, and history as well as interdisciplinary modes of inquiry that engage the arts, history, literature, and social science. Major topics covered will be the history of race in America, the long Black freedom struggle, and African American epistemologies and methodologies.

AAS 550-001 (also EDC 550): Education in Culturally Diverse Society
Instructor:  Jeanette Groth     R 5:00-7:30

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 616-001 (also EDP 616):  Multicultural Psychology
Instructor:  Danelle Stevens-Watkins     M 12:30-3:30

This course is designed to increase one’s sensitivity to and respect for individual differences. Models, frameworks, techniques and experiential exercises are presented to increase one’s skill level in working with persons from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds.

AAS 654-001(same as HIS 654):  Readings in Modern African American History
Instructor:  Anastasia Curwood     W 3:00-5:30

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.

ENG 368: Contemporary African American Voices
Instructor:  Crystal Wilkinson
This course examines black culture, literature, music, and film from mid-20th century to the present. Exploring an array of genres and forms, we will explore aesthetic, critical and political issues related to the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, the Third Renaissance of the 1980s and 90s, the Me Too Movement and others. This course examines how folklore and work songs, the blues, jazz, and rap, all shape cultural and literary production. Authors may include Toni Morrison, Ernest Gaines, Gloria Naylor, Boots Riley, Keise Layman, Walter Mosley, India Arie, The Coup, Nikky Finney, The Carolina Chocolate Drops and others.



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