Fall 2012 Courses

010. Racism
H. Partridge T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-202
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.
012. Affirmative Action and United States Society
Brian Purnell T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55 Mass Hall-McKeen Study
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
016. Fictions of Freedom
Tess Chakkalakal T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-114
Introduces students to the literature of slavery. Looks at eighteenth- and nineteenth-century slave narratives, antislavery/proslavery fiction and nonfiction, 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.
018. Music and Race in Latin America
Michael Quintero T 6:30 - 9:25 Gibson-206
A historical survey examining the relationship between musical practice and racial thought in Latin America from the sixteenth century to the present day. Considers the links between non-Europeanized music and ideas of race by looking at travelers’ accounts, government documents, and secondary sources. Tracks musical exchange and mixture between groups, and the mixed feelings of attraction and revulsion they provoked. Discusses the role of music in doctrines of racial “whitening” and civilizing. Examines the rise of nationalist folklore in the twentieth century and music’s role in multiculturalism and cultural tourism in the twenty-first. Familiarizes students with various Latin American musical genres.
020. African American Children’s Literature
Elizabeth Muther M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Mass Hall-Faculty Room
Beginning with W. E. B. Du Bois’s serial magazine of the 1920s, The Brownies’ Book, explores a century of African American literature for and about children. Examines the strong tradition of child-narrated fiction for teens and adults from the 1960s and 1970s by such writers as Ernest Gaines, Toni Morrison, Toni Cade Bambara, Louise Meriwether, and Ann Petry. Considers the emergence of a conscious Black Arts aesthetic in children’s literature and its relationship to the flowering of multicultural children’s literature in recent decades. Explores prize-winning fiction and graphic narratives for middle readers and adolescents as well as the collaborations of writers and artists in the contemporary “golden age” of African American picture books.
027. Love and Trouble: Black Women Writers
Guy Foster T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Adams-202
Introduces students to the twin themes of love and sex as they appear in literary texts written by African American women from the nineteenth century to the contemporary era. These texts explore such issues as sexism, group loyalty, racial authenticity, intra- and interracial desire, homosexuality, the intertextual unfolding of a literary tradition of black female writing, as well as how these writings relate to canonical African American male-authored texts and European American literary traditions. Students expected to read texts closely, critically, appreciatively.
101. Introduction to Africana Studies
Brian Purnell M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Adams-208
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.
103. African American Diasporic Dance: From the Ring Shout to Hip-Hop
Nyama McCarthy-Brown M 11:30 - 1:25, W 11:30 - 1:25 16 Station Ave-Dance Studio
Combines dance history, embodied research, and performance. Students engage in readings, class discussions, and movement studies that allow them to learn movement techniques from past eras. Students explore connections between cultural values and norms and movement aesthetics, and discover how African American vernacular dance and jazz music influenced jazz forms and American dance throughout the twentieth century (ragtime, swing, hot jazz, and hip-hop). Culminates with a performance in the December Dance Concert. Students meet once a week in a seminar setting to investigate one dance era, such as swing. The next two class meetings take place in a dance studio in order to embody the dance form discussed that week, and include rehearsals.
139. The Civil War Era
Patrick Rael M 11:30 - 12:55, W 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.
159. History of Hip Hop
Tracy McMullen T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Gibson-101 Tillotson Room
Traces the history of hip-hop culture (with a focus on rap music) from its beginnings in the Caribbean through its transformation into a global phenomenon. Explores constructions of race, gender, class, and sexuality in hip-hop’s production, promotion, and consumption, as well as the ways in which changing media technology and corporate consolidation influenced the music. Artists/bands investigated include Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy, MC Lyte, Lil’ Kim, Snoop Dog, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, and DJ Spooky.
205. Interracial Narratives
Guy Foster T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Sills-109
Examines the stories that Americans have told about intimate relationships that cross the color line in twentieth- and twenty-first-century imaginative and theoretical texts. Considers how these stories have differed according to whether the participants are heterosexual or homosexual, men or women, Black, White, Asian, Latino, or indigenous. Explores the impact historically changing notions of race, gender, sexuality, and U.S. citizenship have had on the production of these stories. Texts include literature, film, Internet dating sites, and contemporary debates around mixed-race identity and the United States census.
206. The Archaeology of Gender and Ethnicity
Leslie Shaw T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-207
Explores the lies of “people without history,” using archaeological data and emphasizing gender and ethnicity. Focuses on the Americas, and covers both prehistoric and historic archaeological site research, including Native American and African American examples. The long temporal aspect of archaeological data allows exploration of such issues as how gender inequality developed and how ethnic identity is expressed through material culture.
207. Francophone Cultures
Jay Ketner M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Sills-111
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.
210. Beyond Capoeira: History and Politics of Afro-Brazilian Culture
Laura Premack M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Searles-127
Seminar. Brazil has the largest population of African descent outside Africa. Nowadays, Brazilians pride themselves on their country’s unique racial and cultural heritage, but it hasn’t always been this way. For centuries, many Afro-Brazilian practices were illegal. Now, however, we are in the midst of what might be called an Afro-Brazilian renaissance. This is something to be celebrated, but it is also something to be questioned. Do these efforts to delineate, praise, and preserve Afro-Brazilian culture actually limit our understanding of it? Has labeling certain aspects of Brazilian cultural heritage as African created a situation in which other ways that Africa has influenced Brazil are overlooked? Just what do we mean by “African” and “Brazilian” anyhow? Takes a historical and anthropological approach to these and other related questions.
214. China-Africa Relations in the Global Age
Wendy Thompson Taiwo T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Adams-114
Seminar. China’s meteoric rise as a global economic power has encouraged extensive debate by political pundits, economic analysts, and cultural critics in recent years. Focuses on the debate on the rise of China as a global power on China’s growing influence in Africa—a continent where China has made important inroads in the global era. Through close readings of cultural studies, visual media, and contemporary global analyses, seminar discussions explore the debate on China’s drive for resources and investment in African states; analyze the response of African states to China’s growing influence in the continent; and discuss evolving cultural exchanges and transnational networks between China and Africa. This Sino-African case study provides an interdisciplinary discussion on how we analyze the idea of the nation and transnationalism in the age of globalization.
222. Politics and Societies in Africa
Ericka Albaugh T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-109
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.
234. Transatlantic Crossings
Terri Nickel M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Banister-106
Traces the circulation of narratives at the height of Britain’s colonial power in the Americas. Situates such literary commerce alongside the larger exchange of people and goods and focuses on the fluctuating nature of national, racial, and sexual identities in the circum-Atlantic world. Explores how literary texts attempted, and often failed, to sustain “Englishness” in the face of separation, revolution, or insurrection. Of special interest are figures who move across the Atlantic divide and exploit the possibility of multiple roles—sailors, pirates, freed or escaped slaves, female soldiers. Texts may include General History of the Pirates; The Woman of Colour; Moll Flanders; The History of Emily Montague; Obi, or the History of Three-Fingered Jack; The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; the Journals of Janet Schaw; The History of Mary Prince; The Female American. Note: This course fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors.
239. Comparative Slavery and Emancipation
Patrick Rael T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Adams-114
Seminar. Examines slavery as a labor system and its relationship to the following: the emergence of market economies, definitions of race attendant to European commercial expansion, the cultures of Africans in the diaspora, slave control and resistance, free black people and the social structure of New World slave societies, and emancipation and its aftermath. Spends some time considering how historians have understood these crucial issues. Non-majors invited.
258. Reconstructing the Nation
Tess Chakkalakal T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 CT-16 Harrison McCann
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.
268. Mogadishu to Madagascar: East African History
David Gordon T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Hubbard-22
Examines the history of East Africa with a special focus on the interactions between east Africans and the Indian Ocean World. Considers 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 rise of independent 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 Mass Hall-Faculty Room
Seminar. Examines how gender, age, religion, and race have informed ideologies of violence by considering various historical incarnations of the African warrior across modern history, including the military slave, the mercenary, the revolutionary, the warlord, the religious warrior, and the child soldier. Analyzes the nature of warfare in modern African history and 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.
308. African American Film
Elizabeth Muther T 6:30 - 9:25 Mass Hall-Faculty Room
Explores a spectrum of films produced since 1950 that engage African American cultural experience. Topics may include black-white buddy movies, the L.A. Rebellion, blaxploitation, the hood genre, cult classics, comedy and cross-dressing, and romance dramas. Of special interest will be the politics of interpretation and control: writers, directors, producers, studios, actors, critics, and audiences. One-half credit. Note: This course does not fulfill a requirement for the major in English.
321. Voices of Women, Voices of the People
Hanetha Vete-Congolo M 10:00 - 11:25, W 10:00 - 11:25 CT-16 Harrison McCann
Focuses on texts written by women from former West African and Caribbean French colonies. Themes treated—womanhood, colonization, slavery, individual and collective identity, relationships between men and women, independence, tradition, modernism, and alienation—are approached from historical, anthropological, political, social, and ideological perspectives. Readings by Mariama Bâ, Aminata Sow Fall (Sénégal); Maryse Condé, Gisèle Pineau, Simone Schwartz-Bart (Guadeloupe); Ina Césaire, Suzanne Dracius (Martinique); and Marie Chauvet and Jan J. Dominique (Haïti).