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Course Listing

For the most recent information about course listings, consult the academic catalog for the College of Arts and Sciences.

AAM-2000: Introduction to African American Studies

Tuesday and Thursday, 2:15-3:30 p.m.
Instructor: Gbadegesin

This interdisciplinary survey course introduces the discipline of African American studies through the examination of the African diaspora and impact on the Americas. The course focuses on the movement, conditions and experiences that shaped the development of the African American society. This course can be used to fulfill the diversity in the U.S. requirement of the Arts and Sciences core curriculum. Satisfies a certificate requirement. (Crosslisted with Honors- AAM-2000-01H.)

AAM-2220: African American Art

Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Instructor: Gbadegesin

This course will discuss the visual arts (such as painting, sculpture and mixed media) created by African-American artists between the 1600s and the present-day. Together, we will read and talk about several important periods in African American art, including but not limited to colonial functionalism, the new negro movement, and black aestheticism. As we learn more about these moments in African-American art history, we will pause occasionally to take closer looks at specific artists, such as Aaron Douglass, Jeff Donaldson, and Kara Walker, and important artworks.

AAM-2500: Intergroup Dialogue

Wednesday, 2:10-4:40 p.m.
Instructor: Scott

Intergroup dialogue courses provide structured, sustained and facilitated face-to-face meetings for people from different and often conflicted social identity groups. These encounters are designed to offer an open and inclusive space where participants can foster a deeper understanding of diversity and social justice issues through experiential activities, pedagogical interventions, individual and small group reflections, and intergroup dialogues. Each IGD class meets once a week for three hours over the span of an entire semester. Each group will typically have 12-14 participants with equal identity dynamics. Students will spend the semester discussing, thinking, reading and writing about issues relating to gender. (Crosslisted with CMM293-01.)

AAM-2520: Intro to African Politics

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10-10:50 a.m.
Instructor: Uwalaka

Study of governments and political processes in Africa. Examines salient themes such as the nature of African traditional heritage; the colonial experience; nationalism and independence; the challenge of nation-building; African political parties; the role of the military and contributions of different theories to the understanding of African politics. (Crosslisted with POLA-252-01.)

AAM-2930: Race and Politics

Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Instructor: Laird

This course explores the dynamics of race and ethnicity in American political life. How has race shaped American political life? What role do political institutions play in constructing and maintaining racial categories? Can we use these institutions to overcome racial boundaries? This course can be used to fulfill the diversity in the U.S. requirement of the Arts and Sciences core curriculum.

AAM-2980: Independent Study

Program director permission required.

AAM-3350: African American Religious Traditions

Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m.-12-15 p.m.
Instructor: Witherspoon

Course content covers the history of African-American religious thought and the black churches of the United States, as well as contributions of black theologians in articulating African-American values and religious experience. This course can be used to fulfill the diversity in the U.S. requirement of the Arts and Sciences core curriculum. (Crosslisted with SOC-3840-01, THEO-3830-01.)

AAM-4200: History of African American Cinema

Tuesday, 4:20-6:50 p.m.
Instructor: Kushma

This course traces the history of African-Americans in the motion picture industry from the early stages of silent films to the Academy Awards. Topics of discussion will cover "black-face" minstrel stereotypes, wages, social and political opposition, organizing for representation, Blaxploitation era, inter-racial casting and subject matter, and documentary films. A comparative study of Hollywood versus the independent filmmaker will take a close look at "race movies" and the first African-American film companies. Students gain an understanding of how film and television mediums manipulate viewing audiences by creating one-dimensional characters of African-Americans, which leave lasting impressions whether negative or positive.

AAM-4330: Psychology of Oppression

Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Instructor: Harvey

The course teaches students how to understand the mechanisms that undermine the appreciation of multiculturalism and other forms of diversity in society. The perspective emphasizes how socially constructed definitions of various groups are used to distinguish sameness and difference among people. Topics include micro and macro level theories of oppression, the importance of ideology in oppressive systems and theories of social change and liberation. This course can be used to fulfill the diversity in the U.S. requirement of the Arts and Sciences core curriculum. (Crosslisted with PSYA-4330.)

AAM-4930: American Prophet: The Ethical and Theological Thought of MLK Jr.

Wednesday, 2:10-4:40 p.m.
Instructor: McKinnis

The civil rights movement was a major event in the history of the United States. While it is true the undertaking sought to challenge the American democratic ideal via an expansion of civil rights to African-Americans, at its core the civil rights movement, with Martin Luther King, Jr. as a central figure, offered a theological and ethical critique of the Judeo-Christian values of the nation. This course will analyze the theological and religious backdrop of the civil rights movement through the lens of MLK. We will seek to uncover the theological and philosophical assumptions that ground Key's vision of freedom, justice, race matters and the kingdom of God. (Crosslisted withTHEO-4930-01.)

AAM-4930: Race, Consciousness and Neo-Liberal Identity

Thursday, 6-8:30 p.m.
Instructor: Casmier

In the early 1970s, a group of African-American women — the National Black Feminist Organization — published "The Combahee River Collective Statement," a manifesto embracing a new position that they radically branded "identity politics" because: "We realize that the only people who care enough about us to work consistently for our liberation are us" (Combahee 267). Their statement embraced the idea of a radical consciousness with a deep history in Marxist thought, feminism and African-American literary and political traditions that exhibited a relentless intersectional positionality and hermeneutic of solidarity with the most wretched of the earth. Yet, today, the particularistic, commodified "identity politics" of self-esteem have deftly replaced internationalist consciousness transforming it into a vapid, consumerist multiculturalism of "identity" and surface difference. This course will use theoretical texts, literature and film to chart the evolution of the Marxist construction of "consciousness" to its current status as branded identity. The course will be taught as a seminar with students responsible for presenting weekly readings and leading class discussions. (Crosslisted withENGL-4830-6690.)

AAM-4930: Stereotyping and Bias/Mass Media

Tuesday and Thursday, 12:45-2 p.m.
Instructor: Johnson

This course examines debates over stereotyping and bias in the mass media. It considers the types of materials that have aroused charges of bias, and surveys the historical, economic, political, and sociological perspectives that help explain stereotyping as a cultural practice. The course will be divided into four sections: racism, gender and politics, Islamaphobia, and Palestinian/Israeli conflict. (Crosslisted with CMM-4350-01 and WSTD-4350-01.)

AAM-4960: Capstone

Wednesday, 4:20-6:50 p.m.
Instructor: Bradley

This course is required for students completing the certificate. This synthesizing course provides an opportunity to integrate key concepts of African American studies in a specific area of interest. Capstone projects are expected to demonstrate competence in critical thinking, inquiry skills and the synthesis of knowledge through original research, field service project or artistic endeavor. Permission of the program director is required.

AAM-4980: Advanced Independent Study: Research

Permission of program director required.