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AAS Course Offerings




AAS 100 (same as HIS 100):  Introduction to African Studies
Section 001:  MWF 10:00-10:50am, Steve Davis
This course provides a basic overview of African histories, cultures, and societies.  This course meets the UK Core requirement for Global Dynamics.

AAS 200:  Introduction to African American Studies
Section 001:  TR 12:30-1:45, Regina Hamilton
This is an interdisciplinary course. In my version of this course, we will use critical, textual analysis of fictional and non-fictional texts, film, video games, and music to establish the intellectual context for examining the African American experience over time. This course introduces students to the various approaches scholars use to analyze that experience. This course focuses on the diversity and richness of African Americans’ lives across time and geographic boundaries.  We will move through the assigned media in chronological order, starting with the period of American slavery and moving through to the contemporary moment."  This course meets the UK Core requirement for Community, Culture, and Citizenship in the US.

AAS 235 (same as SOC 235):  Inequalities in Society
Section 001:  MWF 1:00-1:50pm, Lisa Kistler
Section 201:  Online asynchronous, Rachel Davis
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.  This course meets the UK Core requirement for Community, Culture, and Citizenship in the US.

AAS 254 (same as HIS 254):  History of Colonial and Postcolonial Africa
Section 001:  MWF 11:00-11:50am, Francis Musoni
This course is a survey of the history of Africa from the onset of colonial rule in the 1880s to the present. Its main objective is to introduce students to some of the major socio-political and economic developments that made Africa what it is today. The course will explore themes such as the European conquest of Africa and Africans’ responses, African nationalism and struggles for independence, as well as post- colonial African politics and economic (under)development. This course meets UK Core: Global Dynamics or intellectual Inquiry in Humanities.

AAS 261 (same as HIS 261):  African American History 1865-Present
Section 001:  MWF 10:00-10:50am, Nikki Brown
Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. The rise of segregation and the ghetto and aspects of race relations are examined.  This course meets UK Core: Community, Culture and Citizenship in the U.S.

AAS 264 (same as ENG 260):  Intro to Black Writers
Section 001:  MWF 1:00-1:50pm, John Duncan
Section 002:  MWF 2:00-2:50pm, John Duncan

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. This course meets the UK Core requirement for Intellectual Inquiry in the Humanities.

AAS 301: Introduction to the African Diaspora.
Section 001: TR 11:00-12:15pm, Devyn Benson
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 328 (same as GEO 328):  Geography of the Middle East and North Africa
Section 001:  MWF 12:00-12:50pm, Osama Abdl-Haleem
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 (same as HIS 360):  Race and Sports in America
Section 001:  TR 12:30-1:45pm, Derrick White
This reading seminar examines the history of race and sport in America.

AAS 400 (same as ENG 570-001) Special Topics in AAAS: Contemporary African Literature
Section 002: TR 11:00-12:15pm, Peter Kalliney
The past fifteen years have seen a resurgence of anglophone African fiction circulating within and beyond the continent, including the recent Nobel Prize for Abdulrazak Gurnah, the first sub-Saharan recipient of the award since Wole Soyinka over three decades ago.  African writers continue to grapple with the legacies of racism, imperialism, and chronic misrule, as their predecessors did, but they also speak to more recent concerns such as ecological disaster, global migration, human trafficking, and neo-imperialism.  Reading work by Gurnah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Maaza Mengiste, Namwali Serpell, and possibly others, this course will ask if contemporary anglophone African literature shares a common aesthetic and political vocabulary, or if it is just a convenient marketing category such as World Music.

AAS 400 (same as ENG 480G):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Popular Africana Films
Section 003:  TR 11:00-12:15pm, Kamahra Ewing
 This course examines Africana films produced by Black directors by using the United States as a case study. The focus on African American directors will commence in the early 1900s to the present day. Students will gain an understanding of African American history, how to analyze films through textual analysis to explore visual representations of Africana identity from famous movie directors such as: Oscar Micheaux, Spencer Williams, Melvin Van Peebles, Gordan Parks, Haile Gerima, Julie Dash, and Spike Lee. We will discuss the different aesthetic forms and genres chosen by the filmmakers (i.e. race films, social realism, avant-gardism, etc.) and also look at the types of social critiques the films engage in as they tackle topics such as class, race, gender, migration, assimilation, acculturation, human rights, and modernity. The exploration of film studies, socio-cultural and historical narratives will extend globally through final individual research projects. The course will allow students to develop and creatively practice critical and analytical skills necessary for assessing visual media.

AAS 400 (same as ENG 338):  Special Topics in AAAS:  African Diaspora Identities
Section 004:  TR 12:30-1:45pm, Kamahra Ewing

AAS 400 (same as ANT 352-001 & ANT 580-001):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Decolonizing Ecology
Section 005: TR 2:00-3:15pm, Crystal Felima
This course examines decolonial ecological practices and theory. This class features ecological knowledge and perspectives from Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color (BIPOC) to decolonize and deconstruct Western science pervading ecological and environmental debates. We will draw from various case studies and cultural realities to examine colonialist impacts of Eurocentric ecological thought. Ecological inequalities, as well as environmental activism and justice, will be highlighted. Additional topic areas include environmental racism, racial capitalism, eco-feminism, the environmentalism of the poor and the dispossessed, indigenous environmental movements, the ecological debt, climate justice, food sovereignty, land grabbing, and water justice. This courses surveys key socio-cultural theories and environmental concepts from Africana Studies, anthropology, geography, sociology, and feminist studies to examine differences in culture, power, and knowledge relating to ecology.   

AAS 400 (same as HIS 595 & HIS 351):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Constitutional Betrayal and Constitutional Redemption:  Civil Rights from 1865 to 1964
Section 006:  W 3:00-5:30pm, George Wright
The time period for this course is 1865 to 1964, a pivotal 100 years in the history of the United States that largely shaped what this country is today.   The 13th Amendment in December 1865 meant emancipation for more than four million enslaved African-Americans, and the next fifteen years witnessed the passing of additional legislation giving them rights enjoyed by all citizens, culminating with right to vote.  Yet, by the end of the 19th Century, Blacks had been stripped of these rights and were the victims of racial discrimination and violence at unparalleled levels.  Heroic efforts by such African--American leaders as Frederick Douglass and Ida Wells-Barnett challenging the rising racist tide were unsuccessful.   So too were the powerful dissents of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan, whose opinions would be influential in later generations.   This course also details the significant laws enacted in the mid 20 Century that led in 1964 to Black Americans having the same rights enjoyed by all Americans.

AAS 400 (same as ANT 352-002):  Special Topics in AAAS:  The African Diaspora
Section 007:  TR 9:30-10:45am, Bertin Louis
This course will take a critical look at the culture and history of the African Diaspora. Some of the topics we will cover are the making of the African Diaspora, race, gender, religion, transnationalism, and social justice. There will be a special emphasis placed on anthropological literature and the lives and experiences of people of African Descent in the Americas.

AAS 400 (same as ANT 350 & ANT 580-005):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Caribbean Cultures and Societies
Section 008:  TR 11:00-12:15pm, Bertin Louis
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 (same as WRD 410):  Special Topics in AAAS:  Rhetoric and Pop Culture: Black Lives Matter Movement
Section 009:  TR 2:00-3:15pm, Brandon Erby
Although the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter had its beginnings on social media newsfeeds, the “Black Lives Matter Movement” began after a coalition of activists, organizers, and supporters started engaging in grassroots struggles to protest the unjust (police) killings of Black Americans and bring attention to the ways systemic racism infiltrates public society and harms vulnerable citizens. What happens, however, when the actions of these coalitions are misrepresented or when the aims and values that they promote are repurposed and repackaged for mainstream audiences? This course seeks to understand the rhetoric of the Black Lives Matter Movement by addressing these questions. In doing so, we will consider the goals of Black Lives Matter as a social movement and explore how its messages are redistributed throughout popular culture. We will cover topics such as policing, mass incarceration, sports, politics, gender, and sexuality, and will examine essays, songs, music videos, podcasts, television shows, documentaries, and films.

AAS 401: Readings and Research in AAS
Section 001: W 2:00-4:30pm, Kishonna Gray-Denson
For African-American and Africana Studies majors and minors. The student pursues a course of reading and research under the guidance of a staff member and completes a major research project. A written contract defining the area of study is negotiated between student and instructor at the beginning of the course.

AAS 406 (same as HIS 406-001):  Black Women in US History
Section 001: MWF 1:00-1:50pm, Nikki Brown

As historian Deborah Gray White has noted, "The uniqueness of the African American female's situation is that she stands at the crossroads of two of the most well-developed ideologies in America, that regarding women and that regarding the Negro." In that regard, black women's history offers a lens into racism and sexism in America, but also resistance to such oppression. Covering a broad regional and chronological scope, this course is designed to introduce students to the major themes, debates, and developments in African-American women's history, especially as seen through the lives of individual women--some you've probably heard of, others you may not have. Much of the course readings and films will consist then of biography and autobiography.

AAS 500: African American Lives
Section 201:  Online asynchronous, Vanessa Holden
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 (same as EDC 550):  Education in Culturally Diverse Society
Section 201:  Online synchronous, R 5:00-7:30pm, Cheryl Matias
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. 

DIP 600-005:  Politics and Foreign Relations of the Global South
Section 005: R 10:00-12:30pm, Gregg Hall
This special topics graduate course surveys the political, economic, and social aspects of countries located in regions of the world collectively known as the Global South, or the “developing” world, which represents approximately two-thirds of humanity. This course begins with an examination of the socio-economic and political development experience of the various regions, to include topics such as race/ethnicity, religion, and domestic and regional affairs. The course then turns attention to the foreign affairs of the countries of these regions, with special emphasis on South-South and North-South dimensions.

HIS 650: Readings in Black Caribbean Studies
Section 001:  T 2:30-5:00, Devyn Benson
Like many regions in the Americas, the Caribbean has been continuously defined by the push and pull between global white supremacy and Black liberation, colonial and anti-colonial impulses, and the struggle for freedom against externally imposed economies and political systems. This graduate seminar examines new scholarship on the varied and contradictory histories of the region with a particular focus on Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and their transnational ties. Importantly, the course will explore the Caribbean as a racialized space and will not be afraid to name the ways whiteness and blackness work in the region. We will survey the field through the newest on-site, field work in Caribbean libraries, archives, homes, and streets that reflect local experiences and viewpoints of the “Caribbean from within.”