AAS Course Offerings

AAAS Fall 2018 Courses:  

You can print a copy of the course flier here.

AAS 100:  Introduction to African Studies: This course provides a basic overview of African histories, cultures and societies. Instructor:  Francis Musoni, TR 9:30-10:45am.

AAS 200: Introduction to African American Studies: An interdisciplinary course which establishes the intellectual context for an examination of the African-American 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 200-001:  Ray Block, MWF 10:00-10:50am.
AAS 200-002 & 003: Christina Haynes, MWF 1:00-1:50pm.

AAS 235 (also SOC 235): Inequalities in Society:  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. Sections:
AAS 235-001:  Henry Zonio, TR 3:00-5:00pm
AAS 235-002: TBD, MWF 12:00-12:50pm

AAS 253-001:  History of Pre-Colonial Africa: This course examines the early history of Africa, from human evolution to colonization by European powers in the late 19th century. Topics include: the development of states from kinship based forms of political organization, the political, cultural, and social transformations that accompanied African conversion to Islam, a close examination of oral epic poetry as a window into medieval empire-building in the Sahel, an extended conversation about the role of Africa in the transatlantic slave trade, and a discussion of the dilemmas faced by African rulers in the era of partition on conquest by European powers. Successful students will gain a thorough introduction to the major developments in the early history of Africa, which will serve as a solid foundation for further coursework in African history and other African studies courses. Instructor:  Steven Davis, TR 3:30-4:45pm

AAS 260-001:  African American History to 1865: African American history has many beginnings. In this course, students will be exposed to narratives of African American history that begin around the Atlantic World. They will then focus their attention on the development of African American history the United States. The development of race as an ideology in Early American history will be central to course readings. Students will learn to use race, class, and gender as categories of analysis to engage primary and secondary source material. This reading intensive course is designed to challenge each student's critical thinking skills while enriching his or her understanding African American history before and during the American Civil War.  Instructor: Vanessa Holden, TR 11:00-12:15pm

AAS 264 (also ENG 260): Introduction to Black Writers:  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. Sections
AAS 264-001:  Matthew Godbey, MWF 10:00-10:50am
AAS 264-002:  TBD, TR 11:00-12:15pm
AAS 264-003:  TBD, TR 12:30-1:45pm

AAS 328-001:  Geography of Middle East and North Africa: 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.  Instructor:  Osama Abdi-Haleem, TR 12:30-1:45pm.

AAS 400-001:  Special Topics in AAAS: Chocolate Cities: Black Urban Histories in the United States:  This course takes a historical perspective in evaluating African Americans’ lives in several major American cities. We will examine the formation of black communities in such cities as Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Oakland, plus Lexington, Kentucky.  We will consider the political and economic structures that have constrained those communities and evaluate how black urban dwellers have tested and resisted those constraints. This discussion-intensive course will require considerable reading, including Leslie Harris, In The Shadow of Slavery; Tera Hunter, To ‘Joy My Freedom; Kali Gross, Colored Amazons, and Robert Self, American Babylon, as well as numerous primary source documents. Instructor:  Anastasia Curwood, MW 11:00-12:15pm

AAS 400-002:  Special Topics in AAAS:  Slave Rebellions:  In this course students will learn about slave resistance and rebellion during the period of Atlantic slavery. People of African descent subverted, resisted, and rebelled against oppressive slave regimes throughout the Atlantic World. From the African interior to slave castles along the West African Coast, from slave ships to plantations, from South America to the United States, enslaved people sought to shape their own lives and define freedom for themselves. This is a reading intensive course that will engage how enslaved people in the United States and the African diaspora actively shaped the world around them. Students will be required to use both race and gender to critically analyze historical sources. While course content will significantly engage the American slave experience, students will be challenged to think comparatively about slavery, enslaved people, and slave revolt across diasporic contexts. Instructor: Vanessa Holden, TR 3:30-4:45pm

AAS 400-003:  Special Topics in AAAS:  Slavery in the Atlantic World:  Over a roughly 400-year period (1492-1888), no fewer than twelve million African slaves crossed the Atlantic, eventually populating virtually every corner of the North and South American continents and the Caribbean. They came from a dizzying variety of social and cultural backgrounds and the conditions they encountered in the Americas varied greatly across time and space. In this course, we will examine the diversity of slave systems and slave experiences in the Americas, Europe, and Africa (the “Atlantic world”) from the 1450 to 1888. Through primary and secondary source readings, students will learn to examine slavery in comparative context, asking continuously how slavery changed from one century to the next and how it stayed the same; how it differed from place to place and what qualities remained constant across geography and jurisdiction. In course discussions, we will apply comparative approaches to a range of issues, including ethnicity and identity, gender and family, and resistance and abolition. By the end of the course, students will be able to trace how different slave systems contributed to the development of modern racial politics in the disparate political and linguistic regions of the Atlantic world. Instructor:  J.M.H. Clark, TR 2:00-3:15pm

AAS 400-004 (also HIS 351-001): Special Topics in AAAS: Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Instructor: Gerald Smith, W 3:30-6:00pm.

AAS 400-005 (also HIS 351-003): Special Topics in AAAS:  Kentucky African American Experience. This course offers a general history of the African American experience in Kentucky. Students will visit historic sites as well as study the social, political, economic, and cultural dimensions of black life and culture in the state from the earliest settlement to the present. Instructor: Gerald Smith, T 3:30-6:00pm. 

AAS 432-001 (also SOC 432): Race & Ethnic Relations: Analysis of relationships between racial and ethnic groups and the behavioral products thereof:  sources and consequences of prejudice and discrimination; situation and prospects of minorities; strategies of change and tension reduction.   Instructor:   Ana Liberato, TR  3:30-4:45pm.

AAS 433-001 (also SOC 435): Topics in Social Inequalities: Masculinities:  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. This tack is crucial to understanding gender inequality because men as a group benefit from the gender order, and enactments of masculinity tend to reproduce power and dominance. At the same time, we will consider how intersections with other dimensions of inequality such as class, race, and sexuality complicate masculinities and position men differently in relationship to gender dividends. Instructor: Edward Morris, TR 12:30-1:45pm.

AAS 433-002 (also SOC 435): Topics in Social Inequalities: Latino Health:  Instructor:  Ana Liberato, TR 12:30-1:45pm.

AAS 471-001 (also PS 471):  Race, Ethnicity, and Politics: An examination of the role that race and ethnicity play in the political arena. Students will explore the nature of race, racism, and ethnocentrism, as well as their impact on political institutions and public policy. Particular attention will be given to elections, public opinion, mass media and social movements in the United States. Instructor: Ray Block, MWF 2:00-2:50pm.

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

A-H 528/A-H 628:  Topical Seminar in Art History and Visual Studies: History and Art of the Akan in West Africa:  Art historians who study the art and artists of the African continent draw upon the resoucres provided by many disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, religious studies, musicology, political science, lingusitics, and archaeology.  In this semester, students will work with sources written by historians as well as by art historians, exploring the contribution of both to the field of African Studies.  Research projects will focus on some aspect of the arts of the Akan peoples, whose ancestral lands are bisected by the modern border between Ghana and Ivory Coast, and whose histories have been partially recorded by outside observers for four hundred years.  Students in Visual Studies will be able to conduct reearch on contempoary artists, or on the visual culture of urban centers in the two countries.  Instructor: Monica Visona, TR 3:30-4:45.  

A-H 308 Studies in African Arts: 5000 Years of Egyptian Art:  The sands of Egypt's deserts have preserved art works created over a vast time span, allowing us to trace an art history that is longer than that of any other African civilization.  Furthermore, this corner of the African continent has served as a crossroads for African, Asian and European travelers, and its monuments have influenced the art of distant peoples throughout the millennia.  Yet this course will survey the historical development of art in Egypt itself.  It thus presents the art of ancient Kemet as a precursor for the Graeco-Roman art of the Ptolemies, the Byzantine art of the Copts, the Islamic art of the Fatimids, Mameluks, and Ottomans, and the modern nation of Egypt.  The course will end with an examination of contemporary Egyptian artists before, during and after the January 2011 uprising.  Instructor:  Monica Visona, TR 11:00-12:15.


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