Location: Bowdoin / Africana Studies / Courses / Fall 2009

Africana Studies

Fall 2009

010. Racism
H. Partridge T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Adams-114
Examines issues of racism in the United States, with attention to the social psychology of racism, its history, its relationship to social structure, and its ethical and moral implications. Note: This course counts toward the major and minor in gender and women’s studies.

011. Slavery and the Literary Imagination
Tess Chakkalakal T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Adams-114
Introduces students to the literature of slavery. Looks at eighteenth- and nineteenth-century slave narratives, antislavery/proslavery fiction and non-fiction, and visual representations of slavery in the form of photographs, paintings and minstrel performances. Authors include Equiano, Wheatley, Jefferson, Melville, Douglass, and Stowe. Twentieth- and twenty-first-century narratives include former slave testimonials, novels by Morrison, Faulkner, Williams, Styron, and Jones.

023. Writing the Racial Mountain in the Age of Jim Crow
Keona Ervin T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Mass-Faculty Room
What did it mean to be black in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? What sources did prominent African American leaders in this period draw upon to understand meanings of the racialized self? Explores arguments about and controversies over "the strange meaning of being black" from the post-Reconstruction period to the Great Depression. Focuses on intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class.

101. Introduction to Africana Studies
Tess Chakkalakal T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Druckenmiller-004
Introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Africana studies, with a particular focus on African American history, politics, sociology, literature, and culture; course materials also cover the experiences of the peoples of African ancestry in the Atlantic world, especially since the expansion of Europe in the fifteenth century. Material is covered chronologically and thematically, building historically centered accounts of African American, African, and African diasporic experiences. The goals of this course include the following: (1) to introduce students considering the Africana studies major or minor to the intellectually engaging field of Africana studies; (2) to provide a broad sweep of the field in terms of methodological, theoretical, and ideological perspectives; and (3) to provide contexts for the critical analyses of the African American experience in United States history, and the dynamic interplay of African and African diaspora experiences in the modern world.

121. History of Jazz I
James McCalla T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Gibson-101 Tillotson Room
A survey of jazz’s development from its African American roots in the late nineteenth century through the Swing Era of the 1930s and 1940s, and following the great Swing artists—e.g., Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Benny Goodman—through their later careers. Emphasis is on musical elements, but includes much attention to cultural and historical context through readings and videos.

139. The Civil War Era
Patrick Rael T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Cleaveland-151
Examines the coming of the Civil War and the war itself in all its aspects. Considers the impact of changes in American society, the sectional crisis and breakdown of the party system, the practice of Civil War warfare, and social ramifications of the conflict. Includes readings of novels and viewing of films. Students are expected to enter with a basic knowledge of American history, and a commitment to participating in large class discussions.

201. Black Women, Politics, Music, and the Divine
Judith Casselberry T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Adams-114
Examines the convergence of politics and spirituality in the musical work of contemporary Black women singer-songwriters in the United States. Analyzes material that interrogates and articulates the intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality, generated across a range of religious and spiritual terrains with African diasporic/Black Atlantic spiritual moorings, including Christianity, Islam, and Yoruba. Focuses on material that reveals a womanist (Black feminist) perspective by considering the ways resistant identities shape and are shaped by artistic production. Employs an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating ethnomusicology, anthropology, literature, history, and performance and social theory. Explores the work of Shirley Caesar, The Clark Sisters, Me'shell Ndegeocello, Abby Lincoln, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Dianne Reeves, among others.

204. Biodiversity Conservation and Management in Africa
Evans Mwangi M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Adams-406
An examination of the biodiversity crisis facing Africa and methods for slowing down or reversing the rapid loss of species and ecosystems that Africa is experiencing. Explores the social, cultural, historical, economic and political contexts of the relationship between African peoples and the continent’s living natural resources, as well as the past, present, and future of biodiversity.

207. Francophone Cultures
Hanetha Vete-Congolo M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Sills-205
An introduction to the cultures of various French-speaking regions outside of France. Examines the history, politics, customs, cinema, literature, and the arts of the Francophone world, principally Africa and the Caribbean. Readings include newspaper and magazine articles, short stories, and a novel. Students see and discuss television news, documentaries, and feature films. Conducted in French.

207. Francophone Cultures
Karen Lindo M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Mass-McKeen Study
An introduction to the cultures of various French-speaking regions outside of France. Examines the history, politics, customs, cinema, literature, and the arts of the Francophone world, principally Africa and the Caribbean. Readings include newspaper and magazine articles, short stories, and a novel. Students see and discuss television news, documentaries, and feature films. Conducted in French.

216. History of African and African Diasporic Political Thought
Olufemi Vaughan M 1:00 - 3:55 Druckenmiller-024
Seminar. Will critically discuss some seminal works in African diaspora and African political thought in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Organized around global and national currents that will allow students to explore intersections in pan-African, African American, and African political thought in the context of Atlantic and global histories. Seminar topics are divided into three major historic moments. The first will explore major themes on Atlantic slavery and Western thought, notably slavery and racial representation; slavery and capitalism; slavery and democracy. The second will focus on the struggle of African Americans, Africans, and West Indians for freedom in post-Abolition and colonial contexts. Topics discussed within twentieth-century national, regional, and global currents include reconstruction and industrialization; pan-Africanism; new negro; negritude; colonialism; nationalism. Finally, explores pan-African and African encounters in the context of dominant postcolonial themes, namely decolonization; Cold War; state formation; imperialism; African diaspora feminist thought; globalism. Discusses these foundational texts and the political thoughts of major African, African American, and Caribbean intellectuals and activists in their appropriate historical context.

222. Politics and Societies in Africa
Ericka Albaugh T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55 Adams-406
Surveys societies and politics in sub-Saharan Africa, seeking to understand the sources of current conditions and the prospects for political stability and economic growth. Looks briefly at pre-colonial society and colonial influence on state-construction in Africa, and concentrates on three broad phases in Africa’s contemporary political development: (1) independence and consolidation of authoritarian rule; (2) economic decline and challenges to authoritarianism; (3) democratization and civil conflict. Presumes no prior knowledge of the region.

233. Peoples and Cultures of Africa
A MacEachern M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 CT-16 Harrison McCann
Introduction to the traditional patterns of livelihood and social institutions of African peoples. Following a brief overview of African geography, habitat, and cultural history, lectures and readings cover a representative range of types of economy, polity, and social organization, from the smallest hunting and gathering societies to the most complex states and empires. Emphasis upon understanding the nature of traditional social forms. Changes in African societies in the colonial and post-colonial periods examined, but are not the principal focus.

261. African American Poetry
Elizabeth Muther T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Mass-Faculty Room
African American poetry as counter-memory—from Wheatley to the present—with a focus on oral traditions, activist literary discourses, trauma and healing, and productive communities. Special emphasis on the past century: dialect and masking; the Harlem Renaissance; Brown, Brooks, and Hayden at mid-century; the Black Arts Movement; black feminism; and contemporary voices.Note: This course fulfills the literature of the Americas requirement for English majors.

262. Africa and the Atlantic World, 1400-1880
David Gordon M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Kanbar Hall-107
A survey of historical developments before conquest by European powers, with a focus on west and central Africa. Explores the political, social, and cultural changes that accompanied the intensification of Atlantic Ocean trade and revolves around a controversy in the study of Africa and the Atlantic World: What influence did Africans have on the making of the Atlantic World, and in what ways did Africans participate in the slave trade? How were African identities shaped by the Atlantic World and by the slave plantations of the Americas? Ends by considering the contradictory effects of Abolition on Africa.Note: This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for history majors.

269. After Apartheid: South African History and Historiography
David Gordon T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 CT-16 Harrison McCann
Seminar. Investigates the diverse representations and uses of the past in South Africa. Begins with the difficulties in developing a critical and conciliatory version of the past in post-apartheid South Africa during and after the much-discussed Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Then turns to diverse historical episodes and sites of memory from the Great Trek to the inauguration of Nelson Mandela to explore issues of identity and memory from the perspectives of South Africa’s various peoples.

274. Atlantic Antislavery
Patrick Rael M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 The Hazelton Room (Kanbar 109)
Seminar. The slavery that emerged with the expansion of European powers in the New World was historically unique—a form more exploitative and capitalistic than any seen before. Paradoxically, it was this same Atlantic world that bred the ideas of universal human liberty that led to slavery’s demise. Explores this conundrum and examines the movements in the Atlantic world dedicated to abolishing slavery in the Atlantic basin in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Considers the foundations of antislavery thought, the abolition of the slave trade, the relationship between capitalism and abolitionism, the role of African American protest, the emergence of immediatism in America, the progress of Atlantic emancipations, and the historical memory of antislavery. Intensive engagement with historical arguments on this topic.

280. Race, Biology, and Anthropology
A MacEachern M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-202
Critically examines the biological justifications used to partition humanity into racial groups. Investigates the nature of biological and genetic variability within and between human populations, as well as the characteristics of human biological races as they have traditionally been defined. Considers whether race models do a good job of describing how human populations vary across the earth. Critically appraises works by a variety of authors, including J. Phillippe Rushton, Charles Murray, and Michael Levin, who claim that racial identity and evolution work together to structure the history and the potentials of human groups in different parts of the world.

322. African American Literature and Visual Culture
Elizabeth Muther F 1:30 - 4:25 Mass-Faculty Room
Explores the semiotics of racial representation in African American literature and culture over the past century, focusing in particular on comics and graphic narratives. Considers the problems of minstrelsy, masking, and caricature—as well as instruments of militant image-making, in both literary and visual forms. Of special interest will be modernist resistance languages of the Harlem Renaissance; collage as a mid-century metaphor for invisibility and black subjectivity; and contemporary images—comics, narratives, and illustrations—that introduce alternative socio-political allegories.Note: This course fulfills the literature of the Americas requirement for English majors.

330. Resist! Black Novels, Newspapers, and Transnational Violence
P. Foreman M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 CT-16 Harrison McCann
From their very beginnings, Black American newspapers have concerned themselves not only with resistance movements within the US but also with revolts and revolutions throughout the Black Diaspora. Examines a short story, a novella, and a novel all published in important and popular Black papers. Interdisciplinary focus allows easy search newspaper databases for African American coverage of the British and French Caribbean, Cuba and Latin America, West and East Africa and the Italian invasion of the last remaining independent nation, Ethiopia, during its war against colonization--all while examining fiction serialized in the Black press. One-half credit.This course will not count for credit toward the major.