Location: Bowdoin / Africana Studies / Courses / Fall 2013

Africana Studies

Fall 2013

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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.

013. From Montezuma to Bin Laden: Globalization and Its Critics
David Gordon T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Examines the challenge that globalization and imperialism pose for the study of history. How do historians balance the perspectives of victors and victims in past and present processes of globalization? How important are non-European versions of the past that may contradict European Enlightenment historical ideas and ideals? Class discussions interrogate questions about globalization and imperialism raised by proponents and critics, ranging from the Spanish conquest of Mexico to the American conquest of Iraq.

016. Fictions of Freedom
Tess Chakkalakal T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Explores the ways in which the idea of American freedom has been defined both with and against slavery through readings of legal and literary texts. Students come to terms with the intersections between the political, literary, and historical concept of freedom and its relation to competing definitions of American citizenship.

025. The Civil War in Film
Patrick Rael T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Explores the American Civil War through an examination of popular films dedicated to the topic. Students analyze films as a representation of the past, considering not simply their historical subject matter, but also the cultural and political contexts in which they are made. Films include The Birth of a Nation, Gone with the Wind, Glory, and Cold Mountain. Weekly evening film screenings.

101. Introduction to Africana Studies
Tess Chakkalakal T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
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.

160. Apartheid's Voices: South African History, 1948 to 1994
David Gordon T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
The study of apartheid in South Africa, the system of racial and ethnic segregation that began in 1948 and ended with the first democratic election of Nelson Mandela in 1994. Explores the many different aspects of apartheid: how and why it emerged; its social and economic impacts; its relationship to other forms of segregation and racial-based governance; and how people lived under, resisted, and collaborated with apartheid. The readings, lectures, and class discussions focus on personal South African voices and explore their diverse gendered, ethnic, and racial perspectives.

202. Demons and Deliverance in the Atlantic World
Laura Premack T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Seminar. Examines beliefs and practices having to do with evil spirits, demons, and the Devil in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, the United States, and Western Europe. The primary focus is exorcism. What is it? How has it been practiced? By whom? Why? The approach to the subject is historical, transnational, and diasporic; examines changes and continuities across the Atlantic over the past five hundred years, beginning with cultural encounters between Africans, native Americans, and Europeans during the colonial period and continuing up through the reverse missionization and the new African diaspora of the present day. Readings include works of ethnography, anthropology, theology, history, personal narrative, and fiction.

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 the arts of the Francophone world, principally Africa and the Caribbean. Conducted in French.

208. Race and Ethnicity
Ingrid Nelson T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
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.

213. Transnational Africa and Globalization
Olufemi Vaughan M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
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.

247. Christianity and Islam in West Africa
Olufemi Vaughan T 1:00 - 3:55
Explores how Christianity, Islam, and indigenous African religious beliefs shaped the formation of West African states, from the nineteenth-century Islamic reformist movements and mission Christianity to the formation of modern nation-states in the twentieth century. While the course provides a broad regional West African overview, careful attention is focused on how religious themes shaped the communities of the Nigerian region—a critical West African region where Christianity and Islam converged to transform a modern state and society. Drawing on primary and secondary historical texts as well as Africanist works in sociology and comparative politics, study of this Nigerian experience illuminates broader West African, African, and global perspectives that underscore the historical significance of religion in politics and society, especially in non-Western contexts.

270. African American Fiction: Humor and Resistance
Elizabeth Muther W 1:00 - 3:55
Explores rich traditions of African American humor in fiction, comics, graphic narratives, and film. Considers strategies of cultural survival and liberation, as well as folkloric sources, trickster storytellers, comic double-voicing, and the lampooning of racial ideologies. Close attention will be paid to modes of burlesque, caricature, tragicomedy, satire, and parody in historical and contemporary contexts, including such writers and performers as Charles Chesnutt, Bert Williams, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Pryor, Ishmael Reed, Aaron McGruder, Dave Chappelle, and Suzan-Lori Parks. Note: This course fulfills the literature of the Americas requirement for English majors.

276. Queer Race
Guy Foster T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
How does the concept of “queerness” signify in cultural texts that are ostensibly about the struggle for racial equality? And vice versa, how does the concept of “racialization” signify in cultural texts that are ostensibly about the struggle for LGBT recognition and justice? While some of this work tends to reduce “queer” to traditional sexual minorities like lesbigay and trans folk while downplaying racial considerations, others tend to limit the category “race” to people of color like blacks while downplaying questions about sexuality. Such critical and creative gestures often place “queer” and “race” in opposition rather than as intersecting phenomena. Students examine the theoretical and cultural assumptions of such gestures, and their implications, through close readings of selected works in both the LGBT and African American literary traditions. Note: This course fulfills the literature of the Americas requirement for English majors.

339. The End of Blackness?
Guy Foster T 6:30 - 9:25
Seminar. What makes a work of literature “black”? Is it the fact that its author can be clearly identified in racial terms, its subject matter, or its main characters? What if only one of these things can be determined, but not the others? How has the passing of Jim Crow segregation, the election of the first African American president, as well as changing racial norms impacted the coherence and legibility of the African American literary tradition? Students engage scholarly debates on these matters, as well as analyze past and present works of literature that aid us in examining some of the key assumptions that have (re)defined the field, including questions of literary mode, genre, and style. Possible authors: Toni Morrison, Percival Everett, Colson Whitehead, Debra Dickerson, among others.