Location: Bowdoin / Africana Studies / Courses / Fall 2011

Africana Studies

Fall 2011

010. Racism
H. Partridge T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
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.

014. African American Writers and the Short Story
Guy Foster M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
Examines the contributions that African American writers have made to the short story genre from the late nineteenth century to the present. Students will explore the narrative strategies authors have used in this idiosyncratic form to portray black women and men as subjects of modernity and and not merely its objects. Readings include early works by W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, as well as more recent works by ZZ Packer, Edward P. Jones, and Andrea Lee.

101. Introduction to Africana Studies
Judith Casselberry T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
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 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 covered chronologically and thematically, building on historically centered accounts of African American, African diaspora, and African experiences. Introduces prospective Africana Studies majors and minors to the intellectually engaging field of Africana Studies; provides an overview of the major theoretical and methodological perspectives in this evolving field; and provides historical context for critical analyses of African American experiences in the United States, and their engagement with the African diaspora.

201. Black Women, Politics, Music, and the Divine
Judith Casselberry T 6:30 - 9:25
Seminar. 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
Isabelle Choquet M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
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. Conducted in French.

213. Transnational Africa and Globalization
Olufemi Vaughan M 1:00 - 3:55
Seminar. Drawing on key readings on the historical sociology of transnationalism since World War II, examines how postcolonial African migrations transformed African states and their new transnational populations in Western countries. Discusses what concepts such as the nation state, communal identity, global relations, and security mean in the African context to critically explore complex African transnational experiences and globalization. These dynamic African transnational encounters encourage discussions on homeland and diaspora, tradition and modernity, gender and generation.

231. A History of the Global AIDS Epidemic
Tristan Cabello M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
An interdisciplinary exploration of the political, cultural, and social dimensions that characterize the experience of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Focusing on several geographic locations from the United States, to Haiti, to Europe, to South Africa, considers AIDS as a global pandemic. How did activists address political (in)action? How did cultural representations of AIDS evolve? How, and to what extent, have social constructions about AIDS changed over the last three decades? Course materials include sociological, historical, and cultural analyses; media articles; visual texts; and fiction. Topics explored include: Naming AIDS, the making of safe sex, “The Gay Disease,” The San Francisco bathhouses, the AIDS business, AIDS in urban Black American communities, HAART (Anti-Retroviral Therapy), Activism and Politics, the Bareback Culture, ACT-UP, AIDS in Africa, Thatcher's AIDS Politics, the generic HAART business in India, and the AIDS literary tradition.

244. Martin, Malcolm, and America
Brian Purnell T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Examines the life and thought of Martin L. King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Our main goals are to trace the development in their thinking, and to examine the similarities and differences between them. We also seek to evaluate their contribution to the African-American freedom struggle, American society, and the world. Our method of study will emphasize the very close reading of the primary and secondary material; the use of audio and videocassettes; lecture presentations and class discussions. But it is important to note that we are not simply interested in the academic study of these two men’s political and religious commitment; we are also concerned with how they inform our own political and social lives.

262. Africa and the Atlantic World, 1400-1880
David Gordon T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
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.

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.

320. Beyond the Postcard: The Hispanic Caribbean
Nadia Celis T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Explores the historical trends that have shaped Hispanic Caribbean societies through a panoramic study of 20th-century fiction, film, and popular music by authors from the Greater Caribbean and US-Latinos of Caribbean descent. Topics include colonialism, slavery and the plantation economy, imperialism, dictatorships, tourism, migrations, and collective identities. Authors include García Márquez, Santos-Febres, Barnet, Piñera, and Junot Díaz.