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African and African American Studies Minor

Sociology/Anthropology
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate free-standing minor
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2017
  • Required credits in this minor: 18 to 20
The African American and African studies minor is an interdisciplinary program designed to promote a vigorous understanding of the worldwide historical and current experience of African Americans and people of African descent. Through its pedagogical offerings, research activities, advocacy, and community and civic engagements, the program aims to promote awareness and the advancement of the cultures and institutions of African American and African cultural communities at the local, state, national, and international levels. The courses are structured to provide a vast array of interdisciplinary, intellectual, and academic approaches to research, interpretation, and the dissemination of the multifaceted experiences and realities of the total Black global experience. The program leads initiatives to develop a seamless and tightly woven cross-disciplinary pedagogical and scholastic structure focusing on the study of African American, African, and Caribbean community life and development in the United States and the world at-large. The program, through courses, advising, seminars, lectures, and presentations, supports the academic and intellectual growth of students in an ever increasing multicultural and diverse world.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
Required Courses (6 cr)
AAAS 1103 - Introduction to Africa [GLOBAL PER] (3.0 cr)
AAAS 1104 - Introduction to Black America [CDIVERSITY] (3.0 cr)
AAAS Elective (3 cr)
AAAS 1101 - Introduction to Black Caribbean Studies [LE CAT6, LEIP CAT06] (3.0 cr)
or AAAS 1102 - Introduction to Atlantic Slave Trade [LE CAT7, LECD CAT07, CDIVERSITY] (3.0 cr)
Other Electives (9-11 cr)
Take 9 - 11 credit(s) from the following:
· AAAS 3091 - Independent Study (1.0-3.0 cr)
· AAAS 3095 - Special Topics: (Various Titles to be Assigned) (3.0 cr)
· AAAS 3201 - The African American Family (3.0 cr)
· AAAS 3202 - African Story-Telling and Folklore (3.0 cr)
· AAAS 3203 - Rap & Hip Hop Music Cultures: A Sociological Perspective (3.0 cr)
· AAAS 3305 - African American Cinema (3.0 cr)
· AAAS 3306 - Cities in Africa (3.0 cr)
· CRIM 4340 - Race, Crime and Justice (3.0 cr)
· ENGL 1583 - Introductory Study of Major Topics in Contemporary African Literature [LE CAT9, LEIP CAT09, HUMANITIES, GLOBAL PER] (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 3573 - Survey of African American Literature [HUMANITIES, CDIVERSITY] (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 3574 - Reconstituting the Past in African Diaspora Literature (4.0 cr)
· FORS 3000 - AAAS 3000 Kenyan Experience (6.0 cr)
· HIST 2515 - Precolonial Africa [LE CAT7, LECD CAT07, HUMANITIES] (4.0 cr)
· HIST 3318 - Slavery, Lincoln and the Civil War (4.0 cr)
· HIST 3615 - Modern Africa (4.0 cr)
· HIST 3616 - Society and Culture in 20th-Century Africa (4.0 cr)
· MU 1005 - Jazz Studies [LE CAT9, LECD CAT09, FINE ARTS, CDIVERSITY] (3.0 cr)
· MU 2001 - Ethnic and Folk Music of the World [LE CAT9, LEIP CAT09, FINE ARTS] (3.0 cr)
· MU 2005 - African Roots of American Music [LE CAT9, LECD CAT09, FINE ARTS] (3.0 cr)
· PHIL 3025 - Philosophy of Race and Racism (4.0 cr)
· POL 3525 - African Politics (3.0 cr)
· SOC 3330 - The American Civil Rights Movement [SOC SCI, CDIVERSITY] (3.0 cr)
· SOC 4949 - Race and Ethnic Relations (3.0 cr)
· SOC 4981 - Social Movements, Protest and Change (4.0 cr)
· WS 2101 - Women, Race, and Class [LE CAT8, LECD CAT08, SOC SCI, CDIVERSITY] (3.0 cr)
· WS 3750 - Voices of African Women [GLOBAL PER] (3.0 cr)
 
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AAAS 1103 - Introduction to Africa (GLOBAL PER)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02172 - AAAS 1103/EDUC 1103
Prerequisites: Credit will not be granted if already received for AAAS 1100.
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Summer
Examination of the histories, cultures, and peoples of Africa. Pre-colonization Africa societies. Colonial and postcolonial contacts with Europe. Brief survey of major social, cultural, economic, and political institutions of Africa and their roles in socioeconomic and political development. Issues facing contemporary African societies. Programs and policies to address Africa's problems. Africa and the world. Positioning Africa and its peoples in world affairs. prereq: Credit will not be granted if already received for AAAS 1100.
AAAS 1104 - Introduction to Black America (CDIVERSITY)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Examination of black America in historical and contemporary periods to the post Obama era. African roots in the formation of black American society; genesis of slavery; impact of slavery on black America; contestation of slavery; black oppression; powerlessness and marginality. Black agitation for civil and economics rights; African American social, cultural, economic, and political thoughts; the persistency of structural racial inequities on blacks; closing the gap of inequality; future of black America. prereq: credit will not be granted if already received for AAAS 1100
AAAS 1101 - Introduction to Black Caribbean Studies (LE CAT6, LEIP CAT06)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Study of the peoples and cultures of the Black Caribbean; impact of colonization; the evolution, form and content of Black Caribbean cultures, societies and institutions. A survey of the socioeconomic and political development and transformation of the nation-states of the Black Caribbean. Cultural reproductions of Caribbean racial and ethnic identities. Survey of the Caribbean diaspora; Caribbean social and political thought. Relationship with the United States, Britain, and Canada. Inter-Caribbean geopolitical relationship.
AAAS 1102 - Introduction to Atlantic Slave Trade (LE CAT7, LECD CAT07, CDIVERSITY)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Genesis of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, survey of the Middle Passage along with historical formations of the slave trade. Examination of roles of the European powers and African nations with the creation of slave communities, identities, and cultures in the new world the political economy of the slave trade. Analysis of cultural and historical legacies of slavery, the abolitionist movement, and resistance to the abolitionist movement including modern day forms of slavery.
AAAS 3091 - Independent Study
Credits: 1.0 -3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Independent research with a faculty member. prereq: instructor consent
AAAS 3095 - Special Topics: (Various Titles to be Assigned)
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Various topics in African and African American Studies
AAAS 3201 - The African American Family
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course is about the past and current structure of the African American family. It traces the development and formation of the African American family beginning from the period of slavery through emancipation, reconstruction, and the post-Obama modern era. The course will feature the patterns and trends in African American family formation, marriage, family life, single parenthood, issues affecting black children and youth, the roles of matriarchs, relationships between black men and women, and the impact of economic and political forces on urban and rural black family life. Attention is given to class and the socioeconomic dynamics of African American life, the rise of the black middle class, the persistence of the urban underclass and the implications for America. The negotiation of bi-racial and multiracial black family identities is stressed, including the current formation of African American diaspora families. prereq: minimum 60 credits
AAAS 3202 - African Story-Telling and Folklore
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02173 - AAAS 3202/EDUC 3202
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course is about the importance of story-telling and folklore in diverse African societies. It will examine the social context of the types, forms, and genres of story-telling in African societies and the folklores associated with story-telling. It traces the history of story-telling in African societies before and after colonization, the cultural expressions and meanings of folklore, uses and applications of story-telling and folklore, and the role of community in defining the boundaries of story-telling and folkloric culture.
AAAS 3203 - Rap & Hip Hop Music Cultures: A Sociological Perspective
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Music is a major institutional fabric of every social system. This course is about rap and hip hop musical forms. It seeks to bring a sociological perspective to elucidate the multiple genres of rap and hip hop musical genres; to show its growth and development; material and nonmaterial cultural features; and assess its overall impact on American and global musical cultures.
AAAS 3305 - African American Cinema
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course will investigate how the imagery, poetics and politics of race have played out in the history of American film. Our focus will be African American cinema - which can be loosely defined as films written and/or directed by African Americans - but we will also consider the unique contours of its texts against the larger backdrop of Hollywood's representation of African Americans. In addition, we will explore the role of this medium in shaping social realities.
AAAS 3306 - Cities in Africa
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
This course is about Africa's burgeoning cities and metropolitan enclaves. The primary goal is to provide an understanding of the past and current factors leading to the growth in the sizes of African cities and an assessment of the consequences and sustainability of controlled and uncontrolled urbanization in Africa. prereq: minimum 90 credits or instructor consent
CRIM 4340 - Race, Crime and Justice
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Examines the intersection of race/ethnicity, gender, and class within the U.S. criminal justice system, with some attention given to global trends and international comparisons. Considers the racialized effects of crime control and criminal justice practices, including law enforcement, prosecution, sentencing, police-minority community relations, and the disproportionate representation of racial/ethnic groups in the prison system. Explores attitudes and perceptions of crime from the perspective of racial/ethnic minorities, and differential crime rates among majority/minority groups. prereq: 1301 or SOC 1101 or Anth 1604 or CSt 1101, 60 credits or grad student or instructor consent; credit will not be granted if already received for SOC 4340
ENGL 1583 - Introductory Study of Major Topics in Contemporary African Literature (LE CAT9, LEIP CAT09, HUMANITIES, GLOBAL PER)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Odd Year
Introductory study of the major topics in Contemporary African Literature. Draws on literary texts and films to broaden students' understanding of Africa's cultural, social, economic, and political challenges from colonization to globalization.
ENGL 3573 - Survey of African American Literature (HUMANITIES, CDIVERSITY)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Survey of African American literatures with an emphasis on cultural and historical contexts. Acritical reading, writing, and discussion of major themes such as slavery, freedom, race, gender, sexuality, class, violence, literacy, home, family, community, double-consciousness, Christianity, and language. Consideration of narrative strategies, literary tradition, and major genres such as songs, sermons, pamphlets, folktales, poetry, novels, drama, life writing, and film.
ENGL 3574 - Reconstituting the Past in African Diaspora Literature
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Examines how African Diaspora literature engages with the past, with attention to the debate about root vs. route as a foundation of Diasporic identity. Draws on various disciplines (literature, history, cultural studies, sociology, and music) to trace cultural and political imperatives of negotiating the past.
FORS 3000 - AAAS 3000 Kenyan Experience
Credits: 6.0 [max 6.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Summer
This course provides a critical study of Kenyan cultures and education. Taught on site in Kenyan, the course will richly enhance students' understanding of the social, economic, and political challenges influencing contemporary Kenya, from colonization to globalization. It will draw on education, folklores, women's lives, literature, ecoactivism, and ecocriticism in its attempt to promote diversity, global perspectives, and sustainability. prereq: Admission to an approved study abroad program requires consent from the International Education Office.
HIST 2515 - Precolonial Africa (LE CAT7, LECD CAT07, HUMANITIES)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Summer
Political, cultural, and socioeconomic developments in precolonial Africa to 1800. Emphasis on slave trade, Islamic revolution, and European commercial penetration.
HIST 3318 - Slavery, Lincoln and the Civil War
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Examines the Civil War and its causes, slavery, and the career of Abraham Lincoln.
HIST 3615 - Modern Africa
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Africa, 1800 to present. Colonial conquest and domination, African resistance, nationalism, and problems of independence. prereq: credit will not be granted if already received for HIST 3515
HIST 3616 - Society and Culture in 20th-Century Africa
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Generational, class, and gender conflicts in the wake of European occupation, impact of colonial and neocolonial domination, and African responses to that occupation and to the world economy in the 20th century; selected films and literary sources. prereq: credit will not be granted if already received for HIST 3516
MU 1005 - Jazz Studies (LE CAT9, LECD CAT09, FINE ARTS, CDIVERSITY)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Evolution of jazz: social problems in America that fostered its origin and continue to shape its development.
MU 2001 - Ethnic and Folk Music of the World (LE CAT9, LEIP CAT09, FINE ARTS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Survey of music of selected world cultures.
MU 2005 - African Roots of American Music (LE CAT9, LECD CAT09, FINE ARTS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Traditional African music and culture and their influence on American musical styles.
PHIL 3025 - Philosophy of Race and Racism
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
This course will examine the origins, current causes, and consequences of racism but only after addressing these more fundamental questions: Is race a biological phenomenon? What is it if it is not biological? Is race nothing at all? Given the real facts about race, how should we approach questions about racism? It will examine various metaphysical positions that have been offered to explain race - realist, constructivist, relativist, and nihilist - and the moral/political ramifications of each of these types of theories. prereq: minimum 30 credits or instructor consent
POL 3525 - African Politics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
A survey of politics in Africa, with an emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. Includes discussions of pre-colonial history, colonialism and its effects, the politics of independence movements, contemporary political systems, and the forces influencing politics on the continent. prereq: 1050 or 1500, 45 cr including 8 social science credits or instructor consent
SOC 3330 - The American Civil Rights Movement (SOC SCI, CDIVERSITY)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Examination of theories and research relating to the American civil rights movement, including precursors and influence on subsequent social movements. Role of organization, resources, leadership, recruitment, ideology and consciousness, gender, social control, and counter-movements.
SOC 4949 - Race and Ethnic Relations
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Overview of race and ethnic relations in America; conditions of major racial and ethnic minorities; formation of racial/ethnic identities, sources of prejudice, discrimination; intergroup conflict; assimilation, persistence of ethnicity; intergroup diversity; major racial and ethnic groups; the new immigrants. prereq: 1101 or CRIM 1301 or CSt 1101 or Anth 1604, 60 cr, or instructor consent
SOC 4981 - Social Movements, Protest and Change
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course provides a study of collective behavior and social movements. The course includes a survey of theories and phenomenon making up the "collective behavior" paradigm from which early studies of social movement were conducted. Here, the focus is on: fads, crazes, panics, riots, rumors, and mass hysterias. The bulk of the course is dedicated to the study of the emergence, structure, and dynamics of contemporary social movements and political protest. The range of their investigation extends from research on the dynamics of recruitment within social movements to the study of protest tactics to the policing of protests and counter-insurgency. prereq: 60 cr or grad student or instructor consent
WS 2101 - Women, Race, and Class (LE CAT8, LECD CAT08, SOC SCI, CDIVERSITY)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Racism, sexism, and classism are major factors which have influenced human relations from past to present. This course examines how the social-historical construction of race, class and gender continues to affect the experience of all people in particular people of color. This course seeks to enable students to understand the processes through which these social oppressions are created, normalized, internalized, maintained and perpetuated. A core element to this course is provoking students to recognize their own contribution in perpetuating oppressive systems, and their responsibility creatively to develop individual and collective acts of resistance to all of the "isms" and to societal transformation towards the just society.
WS 3750 - Voices of African Women (GLOBAL PER)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
This course critically examines African women's daily-lived experiences. It explores the impact of global, historic, economic, and political forces, such as colonialism, neocolonialism, and current globalization impacts on their lives. This course studies the challenges of universalizing Western feminism, as a panacea to Africa women's problems. Using African eyes through African voices in texts, novels films photograph and living history, African women will be studies as knowing subject, social actors, and change agents but not as universal victims. Differences between women on the basis of class, ethnicity, religion, age sexuality, rural/urban residence, levels of education and marital status will be examined. The course will explore the rich diversity of African cultures, peoples, and natural resources. It will answer such important question as Why are African women portrayed as the poorest of the poor, victims of their cultures, traditions and African male sexism?