Location: Bowdoin / Africana Studies / Courses / Fall 2010

Africana Studies

Fall 2010

010. Racism
H. Partridge T  1:00 - 2:25
TH 1:00 - 2:25
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.

012. Affirmative Action and United States Society
Brian Purnell T  8:30 - 9:55
TH 8:30 - 9:55
Interdisciplinary exploration of the rise and fall (and reappearance) of the “affirmative action debate” that shaped so much of the American “culture wars” during the 1970s–2000s. Students primarily study affirmative action in the United States, but there will also be comparative analysis of “affirmative action” systems in societies outside the United States, such as South Africa and India. Examines important Supreme Court cases that have shaped the contours of affirmative action, the rise of “diversity” discourse, and the different ways political and cultural ideologies, not to mention historical notions of American identity, have determined when, where, and how affirmative action has existed, and whom it benefits. Through examination of law, economics, sociology, anthropology, history, and political science, introduces students to different methodological approaches that inform Africana Studies; and that field’s examination of the role people of African descent have played in contemporary and historical American society. Writing intensive. Analytical discussions of assigned texts.

016. Fictions of Freedom
Tess Chakkalakal T  2:30 - 3:55
TH 2:30 - 3:55
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.

101. Introduction to Africana Studies
Judith Casselberry M  8:00 - 9:25
W  8:00 - 9:25
Introductory course focuses on major humanities and social science disciplinary and interdisciplinary African American and African diaspora themes in the context of the modern world. The African American experience will be discussed in its appropriate historical context, emphasizing its important place in the history of the United States and connections to African diasporic experiences, especially in the construction of the Atlantic world. Material is covered chronologically and thematically, building on historically centered accounts of African American, African diaspora, and African experiences. The goal of the course is to introduce prospective Africana Studies majors and minors to the intellectually engaging field of Africana Studies; provide an overview of the major theoretical and methodological perspectives in this evolving field; and provide historical context for critical analyses of African American experiences in the United States, and their engagement with the African diaspora.

122. History of Jazz II
James McCalla T  1:00 - 2:25
TH 1:00 - 2:25
A survey of jazz’s development from the creation of bebop in the 1940s through the present day, e.g., from Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie through such artists as Joshua Redman, James Carter, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Emphasis is on musical elements, but includes much attention to cultural and historical context through readings and videos.

201. Black Women, Politics, Music, and the Divine
Judith Casselberry M  11:30 - 12:55
W  11:30 - 12:55
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.

207. Francophone Cultures
Hanetha Vete-Congolo M  1:00 - 2:25
W  1:00 - 2:25
An introduction to the cultures of various French-speaking regions outside of France. Examines the history, politics, customs, cinema, literature, and arts of the Francophone world, principally Africa and the Caribbean. Conducted in French.

208. Race and Ethnicity
Ingrid Nelson M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
The social and cultural meaning of race and ethnicity, with emphasis on the politics of events and processes in contemporary America. Analysis of the causes and consequences of prejudice and discrimination. Examination of the relationships between race and class. Comparisons among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States.

215. Black Women in Atlantic New Orleans
Jessica Johnson T  1:00 - 2:25
TH 1:00 - 2:25
Seminar. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina turned a national spotlight on the politics of race, sex, property and power in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. But for centuries, New Orleans has made and remade itself at the intersection of history and memory, slavery and freedom. Women of African descent have been central to this process. This course explores the multi-layered and multi-valent history and culture of New Orleans as a site for Afro-Atlantic women's religious and political culture, resistance, and transnational interaction. The course will consider New Orleans historic connections to Senegal, France, Haiti, and Cuba and the way slavery, the slave trade and resistance to both created complicated global connections even within the city. The course will also explore the city's Afro-creole expressive and material culture, and how it emerged, and the ways it complicated and confounded neat racial and gender categories of the Atlantic world. Course material includes primary sources from the archives of the city, multimedia material, books and articles.

216. History of African and African Diasporic Political Thought
Olufemi Vaughan M  1:00 - 3:55
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.

233. Peoples and Cultures of Africa
A MacEachern T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
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.

240. Civil Rights and Black Power Movements in the Making of Modern America
Brian Purnell T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
Civil Rights and Black Power Movements and the Making of Modern America The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements remade American politics, society and culture. This course examines the political activism, cultural expressions and intellectual history that gave rise to a modern Black freedom movement, and that movement’s impact on the broader American (and international) society. Students will study the emergence of community organizing traditions in the southern black belt as well as postwar black activism in US cities; the role the federal government played in advancing civil rights legislation; the internationalism of African American activism; and the relationship between black culture, aesthetics and movement politics. The study of women and gender is central to this course. Using biographies, speeches, and community and organization studies, students will analyze the lives and contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr., Ella Baker, Septima Clark, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis, Huey Newton, and Fannie Lou Hamer, among others. Finally, the course concludes with a close look at some of the legacies of the modern Black freedom movement: the expansion of the Black middle class, controversies over affirmative action, and the rise of Black elected officials.

258. Literature of Jim Crow
Tess Chakkalakal T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Introduces students to American literature written between 1865 and 1910. Exploring a period marked by the end of the Civil War, Reconstruction, the “New” South, and Jim Crow, students engage with these historical developments through a reading of a wide range of novels, short stories, poems, and plays that take up political tensions between the North and South as well as questions of regional, racial, and national identity. Works by George Washington Cable, Charles Chesnutt, Lydia Maria Child, Sarah Orne Jewett, Mark Twain, Sutton E. Griggs, Emily Dickinson, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Henry James, Theodore Dreiser, and Frank Norris constitute the “major” literary voices of the period, but also examines a number of “minor” works that are similarly, but perhaps more narrowly, concerned with questions of race and nation. Note: This course fulfills the literature of the Americas requirement for English majors.

260. African American Fiction: (Re) Writing Black Masculinities
Guy Foster T  11:30 - 12:55
TH 11:30 - 12:55
In 1845, Frederick Douglass told his white readers: “You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.” This simple statement effectively describes the enduring paradox of African American male identity: although black and white males share a genital sameness, until the nation elected its first African American president the former has inhabited a culturally subjugated gender identity in a society premised on both white supremacy and patriarchy. But Douglass’s statement also suggests that black maleness is a discursive construction, i.e. that it changes over time. If this is so, how does it change? What are the modes of its production and how have black men over time operated as agents in reshaping their own masculinities? Reading a range of literary and cultural texts, both past and present, students examine the myriad ramifications of, and creative responses to, this ongoing challenge. Note: This course fulfills the literature of the Americas requirement for English majors.

268. Magadishu to Madagascar: East African History
David Gordon M  2:30 - 3:55
W  2:30 - 3:55
Examines the history of East Africa with a special focus on the interactions between east Africans and the Indian Ocean World. The course begins with African societies prior to Portuguese conquest, continues through Omani colonialism, and the spread of slavery across East Africa and the Indian Ocean islands of Madagascar and Mauritius. The onset of British, Italian, and German colonialism, rebellions against colonialism including Mau Mau in Kenya, and post-colonial conflicts including the Zanzibar revolution of 1964. The course ends with the rise of post-colonial Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Somalia, and challenges to their sovereignty by present-day Indian Ocean rebels, such as the Somali pirates.

272. Warlords and Child Soldiers in African History
David Gordon T  10:00 - 11:25
TH 10:00 - 11:25
Seminar. Examines how gender, masculinity, age, religion, and race have informed ideologies of violence by considering various historical incarnations of the African warrior across time, including the hunter, the tribal warrior, the anti-colonial guerilla, the revolutionary, the white mercenary, the soldier, the warlord, the holy warrior, and the child soldier. Focuses on how fighters, followers, African civilians, and the international community have imagined the “work of war” in Africa. Readings include scholarly analyses of warfare, warriors and warrior ideals alongside memoirs and fictional representations.