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Spring 2023
Methods of Worldbuilding (EC or SA)
Subject associations
AAS 200

How do we know what we know in Black studies? How does what we know translate into action? How can informed action transform the world? In this course, students will examine the relationship between thought and practice, ways of knowing the world, and ways of remaking it by engaging a range of texts, media, art, and movements that diagnose the present-past while prefiguring a world in which many worlds fit.

Instructors
Ruha Benjamin
Spring 2017
Collaborative Learning Exchange: Creative Explorations of Justice (EM)
Subject associations
AAS 200

This course will focus through stories and essays the issues of violence, alienation, justice, dignity, punishment, conscience, economic inequality, redemption and transformation. It will examine these issues through the lens of great creative writers, as well as the creative writing of students.

Instructors
Christopher L. Hedges
Fall 2021
African American Studies and the Philosophy of Race (CD or EC)
Subject associations
AAS 201 / PHI 291

This course introduces students to the field of African American Studies through an examination of the complex experiences, both past and present, of Americans of African descent. Through a multidisciplinary perspective, it reveals the complicated ways we come to know and live race in the United States. Students engage classic texts in the field, all of which are framed by a concern with epistemologies of resistance and of ignorance that offer insight into African American thought and practice.

Instructors
Eddie S. Glaude
Fall 2022
African American Studies and the Philosophy of Race (CD or EC)
Subject associations
AAS 201 / PHI 291

This course introduces students to the field of African American Studies through an examination of the complex experiences, both past and present, of Americans of African descent. Through a multidisciplinary perspective, it reveals the complicated ways we come to know and live race in the United States. Students engage classic texts in the field, all of which are framed by a concern with epistemologies of resistance and of ignorance that offer insight into African American thought and practice.

Instructors
Eddie S. Glaude
Imani Perry
Fall 2018
Introduction to the Study of African American Cultural Practices (SA)
Subject associations
AAS 201

As the introductory course required to concentrate or earn a certificate in African American Studies, this course examines the past and present, the doings and the sufferings of Americans of African descent from a multidisciplinary perspective. It highlights the ways in which serious intellectual scrutiny of the agency of black people in the United States help redefine what it means to be American, new world, modern and post modern.

Instructors
Naomi Murakawa
Fall 2017
What's So Funny? Forms of African American Humor (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 212 / ENG 212

What's so funny? is a question that could be turned around to ask: Who's laughing? Comedian Dave Chappelle might say it's a question about who gets the joke, and who doesn't. This survey of African American humor is an introduction to getting the joke. We study the technical artistry of black humorists and comedians and reflect on the audiences for whom they write and perform. We examine a range of cultural expression, from the dozens to stand-up comedy. In our critical and creative work, we assess how past forms and strategies can be adapted to the project of African American humor today.

Instructors
Kinohi Nishikawa
Spring 2023
Body Politics: Black Queer Visibility and Representation (CD or LA)
Subject associations
AAS 220 / GSS 229

Roderick Ferguson's concept of "Queer of Color Critique" is a method grounded in intersectional feminism which allows us to consider the interplay of race, gender, class, and sexuality and how economic and political systems are linked to queer identity. We will use Ferguson's methods to examine Black LGBTQ+ representation across various media including documentaries, television, social media, and literature. And we will consider what queer theory has to say about identity formation, spirituality, space making, resistance, and definitions of freedom.

Instructors
Gabriel J. Atchison
Spring 2023
Topics in African American Studies: The Fire This Time - James Baldwin (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 230 / ENG 231

This course examines the selected non-fiction writings of one of America's most influential essayists and public intellectuals: James Baldwin. Attention will be given to his views on ethics, art, and politics--with a particular consideration given to his critical reflections on race and democracy.

Instructors
Eddie S. Glaude
Spring 2021
Topics in African American Studies: The Fire This Time - Reading James Baldwin (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 230 / ENG 231

This course examines the selected non-fiction writings of one of America's most influential essayists and public intellectuals: James Baldwin. Attention will be given to his views on ethics, art, and politics--with a particular consideration given to his critical reflections on race and democracy.

Instructors
Eddie S. Glaude
Spring 2020
Topics in African American Studies: Remembering and Forgetting: Race, Violence, and History in the US (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 230

This course explores various ways that Americans have imagined, remembered, and forgotten two cases of racial violence in American history-enslavement and lynching-to uncover the political commitments underlying various, often competing, cultural memories of violence in US history. Students critically analyze a variety of memory projects from memorials and memoirs to films, art, music, photographs, and literature to not only understand how racial violence has been inscribed onto American identity and culture, but to imagine new strategies, steeped in a commitment to justice, to contend with these historical traumas and their legacies.

Instructors
Mari N. Crabtree
Spring 2019
Race Is Socially Constructed: Now What? (SA)
Subject associations
AAS 235 / SOC 236

The truism that "race is socially constructed" hides more than it reveals. Have Irish Americans always been white? Are people of African descent all black? Is calling Asian Americans a "model minority" a compliment? Does race impact who we date or marry? In this course, students develop a sophisticated conceptual toolkit to make sense of such contentious cases of racial vision and division as the uprising in Ferguson. We learn to connect contemporary events to historical processes, and individual experiences to institutional policies, exercising a sociological imagination with the potential to not only analyze, but transform the status quo.

Instructors
Ruha Benjamin
Spring 2018
Other Futures: An Introduction to Modern Caribbean Literature (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 242 / ENG 242 / GSS 242 / LAS 242

This course introduces students to major theories and debates within the study of Caribbean literature and culture with a particular focus on the idea of catastrophe. Reading novels and poetry that address the historical loss and injustices that have given shape to the modern Caribbean, we will explore questions of race, gender, and sexuality and pay considerable attention to the figure of the black body caught in the crosscurrents of a catastrophic history. We will analyze how writers and artists attempted to construct alternative images of the future from the histories of slavery and colonialism that haunt the Caribbean and its diasporas.

Instructors
Nijah Cunningham
Fall 2021
Introduction to Pre-20th Century Black Diaspora Art (CD or LA)
Subject associations
AAS 244 / ART 262 / LAS 244

This course focuses on the networks, the imaginaries and the lives inhabited by Black artists, makers, and subjects from the 18th through 19th centuries. It revolves around the Caribbean (particularly the Anglophone Caribbean), North America and Europe. We will reflect on how pre-twentieth century Black artists are written into history or written out of it. We will explore the aesthetic innovation of these artists and the visionary worlds they created, and examine their travels, their writings, along with the social worlds and communities they formed. The course incorporates lectures and readings and, if possible, museum visits.

Instructors
Anna Arabindan Kesson
Fall 2022
Introduction to Pre-20th Century Black Diaspora Art (CD or LA)
Subject associations
AAS 244 / ART 262 / LAS 244

This course focuses on the networks, the imaginaries and the lives inhabited by Black artists, makers, and subjects from the 18th through 19th centuries. It revolves around the Caribbean (particularly the Anglophone Caribbean), North America and Europe. We will reflect on how pre-twentieth century Black artists are written into history or written out of it. We will explore the aesthetic innovation of these artists and the visionary worlds they created, and examine their travels, their writings, along with the social worlds and communities they formed. The course incorporates lectures and readings and, if possible, museum visits.

Instructors
Anna Arabindan Kesson
Fall 2018
Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movements (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 245 / ART 245

This course surveys important moments in 20th-Century African American art from the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s to the 1960s Black Arts movement. Our close studies of the work of major artists will be accompanied by examination of influential theories and ideologies of blackness during two key moments of black racial consciousness in the United States. We shall cover canonical artists and writers such as Aaron Douglas, James van der Zee, William H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, W. E. B. Du Bois, Alain Locke, James Porter and Jeff Donaldson.

Instructors
Chika O. Okeke-Agulu
Fall 2021
Introduction to 20th-Century African American Art (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 245 / ART 245

This course surveys history of African American art during the long 20th-century, from the individual striving of late 19th century to the unprecedented efflorescence of art and culture in 1920s Harlem; from the retrenchment in black artistic production during the era of the Great Depression, to the rise of racially conscious art inspired by the Civil Rights Movement; from black feminist art in the 1970s, to the age of American multiculturalism in the 1980s and 1990s; and finally to the turn of the present century when ambitious "postblack" artists challenge received notions of black art and racial subjectivity.

Instructors
Chika O. Okeke-Agulu
Fall 2022
Junior Seminar: Research and Writing in African American Studies (SA)
Subject associations
AAS 300

As a required course for AAS concentrators, this junior seminar introduces students to theories and methods of research design in African American Studies. Drawing on a wide-ranging methodological toolkit from the humanities and social sciences, students will learn to reflect on the ethical and political dimensions of original research to produce knowledge that is intellectually and socially engaged. This is a writing-intensive seminar with weekly essay assignments.

Instructors
Tera W. Hunter
Naomi Murakawa
Fall 2021
Junior Seminar: Research and Writing in African American Studies (SA)
Subject associations
AAS 300

As a required course for AAS concentrators, this junior seminar introduces students to theories and methods of research design in African American Studies. Drawing on a wide-ranging methodological toolkit from the humanities and social sciences, students will learn to reflect on the ethical and political dimensions of original research to produce knowledge that is intellectually and socially engaged. This is a writing-intensive seminar with weekly essay assignments.

Instructors
Reena N. Goldthree
Naomi Murakawa
Spring 2021
Black to the Future: Science, Fiction, and Society (CD or SA)
Subject associations
AAS 301 / SOC 367

Designer Babies. Ancestry Tests. Organ Regeneration. Biometric Surveillance. These and more comprise our 21st century landscape. This interdisciplinary course examines the values and politics that shape science, medicine, and technology, asking who bears the risk and who reaps the benefit of innovations? Social inequality is legitimized, in part, by myths about human difference. And while course participants grapple with past and present stories that shape science and technology, we also apply a sociological imagination to the future, exploring how contemporary hopes and fears may give rise to "real utopias" that are more equitable and just.

Instructors
Ruha Benjamin
Spring 2022
Political Bodies: The Social Anatomy of Power & Difference (CD or SA)
Subject associations
AAS 302 / SOC 303 / ANT 378 / GHP 302

Students will learn about the human body in its social, cultural and political contexts. The framing is sociological rather than biomedical, attentive to cultural meanings, institutional practices, politics and social problems. The course explicitly discusses bodies in relation to race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, age, health, geography and citizenship status, carefully examining how social differences come to appear natural. Analyzing clinics, prisons, border zones, virtual realities and more, students develop a conceptual toolkit to analyze how society "gets under the skin", producing differential exposure to premature death.

Instructors
Ruha Benjamin
Fall 2022
Topics in Global Race and Ethnicity: Scientific Racism: Then and Now (HA or SA)
Subject associations
AAS 303 / GSS 406 / HUM 347

This course explores the intellectual history of scientific racism, paying close attention to how its theories influence power and institutions today. Reading primary sources from the history of science, each class will trace the reverberations of scientific racism in media, education, politics, law, and global health. Our conversations will consistently analyze the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and age in the legacies of scientific racism. We will also examine the impact of scientific racism in public discourse about the Black Lives Matter Movement and collectively brainstorm for activism towards restorative justice.

Instructors
Dannelle Gutarra Cordero
Spring 2021
Topics in Global Race and Ethnicity: From Slave Ship to Cruise Ship: Empire and Resistance in the Caribbean (HA or SA)
Subject associations
AAS 303 / LAS 363

This course examines the social and political history of the major islands and societies of the Caribbean Sea. The class will examine the historical changes that unfolded between the seventeenth century and the present, including the conquest and expropriation of Native American land by European settlers, the colonization and enslavement of Africans, labor processes in European colonialism, the expansion of imported East and South Asian laborers, emancipation, transnational migration, and anti-colonial movements. The course will also investigate Caribbean productions at the intersections of race, gender, and culture.

Instructors
Westenley Alcenat
Spring 2020
Topics in Global Race and Ethnicity: The Post-Colonial Imagination and Africana Thought (EM)
Subject associations
AAS 303 / AMS 307 / GSS 300

What does the "post-colonial" mean? In this course, we will engage the literary and theoretical production of formerly colonized subjects from parts of Africa and the Caribbean, as we seek to determine what the post-colonial imagination might look like. The emphasis will be on close readings of works that emerge from the crucible of the Black Atlantic's "encounter" with European and American colonialism, as we question how the identities of formerly colonized subjects inform their views of the world.

Instructors
Kevin A. Wolfe
Spring 2019
Topics in Global Race and Ethnicity: From Haiti to Ferguson: The Global Black Freedom Struggle (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 303

This seminar surveys the global and historical dimensions of the black freedom struggle beginning with the Haitian Revolution. Course readings challenge students to reflect on the contingent nature of identity and power as experienced by people of African descent living on different continents over the course of two centuries. Meanwhile, class assignments facilitate practice with critical thinking, civic engagement, and different forms of communication, including oral history, blog posts, and exhibit design.

Instructors
Jessica A. Levy
Spring 2022
Topics in Global Race and Ethnicity: Race, Revolution, and Counterrevolution (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 303 / HIS 300 / LAS 363

'Revolution knows no compromise,' Malcolm X said in a 1963 speech. 'You haven't got a revolution that doesn't involve bloodshed.' This course investigates the concepts of revolution and counterrevolution by centering the race question. We will explore the strategies that liberation movements used to achieve revolution and conversely, how imperial states aimed to subvert these movements through counterrevolutionary warfare. Our class will highlight Black, Indigenous, and Third World liberation struggles, and we will look at cases in Haiti, the U.S., Russia, Algeria, Cuba, and Iran.

Instructors
Navid Farnia
Fall 2021
Topics in Global Race and Ethnicity: Scientific Racism: Then and Now (HA or SA)
Subject associations
AAS 303 / GSS 406 / HUM 314

This course explores the intellectual history of scientific racism, paying close attention to how its theories influence power and institutions today. Reading primary sources from the history of science, each class will trace the reverberations of scientific racism in media, education, politics, law, and global health. Our conversations will consistently analyze the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and age in the legacies of scientific racism. We will also examine the impact of scientific racism in public discourse about the Black Lives Matter Movement and collectively brainstorm for activism towards restorative justice.

Instructors
Dannelle Gutarra Cordero
Spring 2020
History of Black Captivity (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 304 / HUM 303 / GSS 325

This course explores the intellectual history of Black captivity. We begin by analyzing how Black political prisoners have been understood as symbols, while also paying close attention to how scientific racism not only legitimized Black captivity but modern captivity in general. Students then concentrate on examining the transition from the notion of slave captivity to the premeditated containment of Black bodies through criminalization, exploitation, human experimentation, and alienation. Lastly, we address how Black social movements have used "captivity" as a trope within discourses of resistance and restorative justice.

Instructors
Dannelle Gutarra Cordero
Fall 2018
The History of Black Gospel Music (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 305 / REL 391 / MUS 354 / AMS 355

This course will trace the history of black gospel music from its origins in the American South to its modern origins in 1930s Chicago and into the 1990s mainstream. Critically analyzing various compositions and the artists that performed them, we will explore the ways the music has reflected and reproached the extant cultural climate. We will be particularly concerned with the four major historical eras from which black gospel music developed: the slave era; Reconstruction; the Great Migration, and the era of Civil Rights.

Instructors
Wallace D. Best
Fall 2020
Topics in Race and Public Policy: Race and Inequality in American Democracy (CD or HA)
Subject associations
AAS 306 / AMS 305

This course explores how ideas and discourses about race shape how public policy is debated, adopted and implemented. Black social movements and geopolitical considerations prompted multiple public policy responses to racial discrimination throughout the twentieth century. Despite these policy responses, discrimination persists, raising theoretical concerns about the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion, political representation, the role of the state (meaning government or law) in promoting social justice, and the role of social movements and civil society in democratizing policymaking and addressing group oppression.

Instructors
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Fall 2022
Topics in Race and Public Policy: Do Black Lives Matter in the News? (CD or SA)
Subject associations
AAS 306 / HUM 329 / JRN 336

This course examines media practices in the context of Black Lives Matter, police violence, and criminal justice reform. What are the ethics of mass broadcasting videos of police murders? Who is seen as an "expert" on policing and mass incarceration? This course nests contemporary questions in historical and institutional context, beginning with nineteenth-century racial criminalization and the norms of profit-based mass media. This course is interdisciplinary, drawing on scholarship from history, media studies, social psychology, and the politics of racism, crime, and punishment.

Instructors
Naomi Murakawa
Zoe Towns
Spring 2023
Topics in Race and Public Policy: History of Anti-Black Racism in Medicine (CD or HA)
Subject associations
AAS 306 / HIS 312

The course traces how anti-Black racism shaped the development of western medicine in the Americas. It will examine how ideas of anti-Blackness shaped the work of health practitioners and the experiences of patients. It will engage the emergence of racial science and scientific racism, and how they contributed to the production of medical knowledge. It will also address the enduring legacies of anti-Black racism in medical practice, and its impact on health inequality.

Instructors
Ayah Nuriddin
Spring 2019
Topics in Race and Public Policy: Radical Subjects - Race and Deportation (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 306 / AMS 305

This seminar critically explores the historical practice of deportation in the United States both past and present, looking at how our ideas of human rights, freedom, and belonging intersect with racial and national ideologies. We will work through a wide archive of literature, theory, and art, drawing important connections between the political geographies, experiences, and responses of Indigenous Americans, Black dissidents and Mexican deportees. This study of removal will help us to reflect on the contemporary moment of global mass migrations when humans are increasingly managed through preventative policing, detention, and deportation.

Instructors
Olivia Mena
Fall 2021
Topics in Race and Public Policy: Institutional Anti-Blackness and the Power of Naming (SA)
Subject associations
AAS 306 / GSS 428

Who decided which first names are deemed "difficult to pronounce?" Why are the words "fear," "ignorance," "belief," and "guilt" used to normalize racism? Why do history textbooks avoid the use of the word "genocide" when addressing Atlantic slavery? This course explores the recent intellectual history of the role of naming and coded language in institutional anti-Blackness. Each class will analyze how structures of power have intentionally erased their histories and contemporary acts of racial oppression through linguistic and epistemic control, while also paying close attention to the language of resistance in Black activism.

Instructors
Dannelle Gutarra Cordero
Spring 2022
Topics in Race and Public Policy: History of Anti-Black Racism in Medicine (CD or HA)
Subject associations
AAS 306 / HIS 312

The course traces how anti-Black racism shaped the development of western medicine in the Americas. It will examine how ideas of anti-Blackness shaped the work of health practitioners and the experiences of patients. It will engage the emergence of racial science and scientific racism, and how they contributed to the production of medical knowledge. It will also address the enduring legacies of anti-Black racism in medical practice, and its impact on health inequality.

Instructors
Ayah Nuriddin
Spring 2022
Modern Caribbean History (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 313 / HIS 213 / LAS 377

This course will explore the major issues that have shaped the Caribbean since 1791, including: colonialism and revolution, slavery and abolition, migration and diaspora, economic inequality, and racial hierarchy. We will examine the Caribbean through a comparative approach--thinking across national and linguistic boundaries--with a focus on Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. While our readings and discussions will foreground the islands of the Greater Antilles, we will also consider relevant examples from the circum-Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora as points of comparison.

Instructors
Reena N. Goldthree
Spring 2023
Healing & Justice: The Virgin Mary in African Literature & Art (CD or LA)
Subject associations
AAS 314 / COM 398 / REL 303 / AFS 321

The Virgin Mary is the world's most storied person. Countless tales have been told about the miracles she has performed for the faithful who call upon her. Although many assume that African literature was only oral, not written, until the arrival of Europeans, Africans began writing stories about her by 1200 CE in the languages of Ethiopic, Coptic, & Arabic. This course explores this body of medieval African literature and paintings, preserved in African Christian monasteries, studying their themes of healing, reparative justice, & personal ethics in a violent world. It develops skills in the digital humanities & comparative literary studies.

Instructors
Wendy Laura Belcher
Spring 2022
Black Women and Spiritual Narrative (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 318 / REL 318 / GSS 375

This course will analyze the narrative accounts of African American women since the nineteenth century. Working from the hypothesis that religious metaphor and symbolism have figured prominently in Black women's writing (& writing about Black women) across literary genres, we will explore the various ways Black women have used their narratives not only to disclose the intimacies of their religious faith, but also to understand and to critique their social context. We will discuss the themes, institutions, and structures that have traditionally shaped Black women's experiences, as well as the theologies Black women have developed in response.

Instructors
Wallace D. Best
Spring 2022
Caribbean Women's History (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 319 / LAS 368 / GSS 356

This seminar investigates the historical experiences of women in the Caribbean from the era of European conquest to the late twentieth century. We will examine how shifting conceptions of gender, sexuality, race, class, and the body have shaped understandings of womanhood and women's rights. We will engage a variety of sources - including archival documents, films, newspaper accounts, feminist blogs, music, and literary works - in addition to historical scholarship and theoretical texts. The course will include readings on the Spanish-, English-, and French-speaking Caribbean as well as the Caribbean diaspora.

Instructors
Reena N. Goldthree
Spring 2023
Caribbean Women's History (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 319 / LAS 368 / GSS 356

This seminar investigates the historical experiences of women in the Caribbean from the era of European conquest to the late twentieth century. We will examine how shifting conceptions of gender, sexuality, race, class, and the body have shaped understandings of womanhood and women's rights. We will engage a variety of sources - including archival documents, films, newspaper accounts, feminist blogs, music, and literary works - in addition to historical scholarship and theoretical texts. The course will include readings on the Spanish-, English-, and French-speaking Caribbean as well as the Caribbean diaspora.

Instructors
Reena N. Goldthree
Spring 2020
Black Rage and Black Power (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 321 / REL 321

This course examines the various pieties of the Black Power Era. We chart the explicit and implicit utopian visions of the politics of the period that, at once, criticized established Black religious institutions and articulated alternative ways of imagining salvation. We also explore the attempt by Black theologians to translate the prophetic Black church tradition into the idiom of Black power. We aim to keep in view the significance of the Black Power era for understanding the changing role and place of Black religion in Black public life.

Instructors
Eddie S. Glaude
Spring 2023
Afro-Diasporic Dialogues: Black Activism in Latin America and the United States (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 322 / LAS 301 / LAO 322 / AMS 323

This course investigates how people of African descent in the Americas have forged social, political, and cultural ties across geopolitical and linguistic boundaries. We will interrogate the transnational dialogue between African Americans and Afro-Latin Americans using case studies from Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. We will explore how Black activists have partnered to challenge racism and economic inequality, while also considering why efforts to mobilize Afro-descendants across the Americas have often been undermined by mutual misunderstandings.

Instructors
Reena N. Goldthree
Spring 2021
Afro-Diasporic Dialogues: Black Activism in Latin America and the United States (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 322 / LAS 301 / LAO 322 / AMS 323

This course investigates how people of African descent in the Americas have forged social, political, and cultural ties across geopolitical and linguistic boundaries. We will interrogate the transnational dialogue between African Americans and Afro-Latin Americans using case studies from Brazil, Cuba, Haiti, and Puerto Rico. We will explore how Black activists and artists from the US have partnered with people of color in Latin America and the Caribbean to challenge racism and economic inequality, while also considering why efforts to mobilize Afro-descendants across the Americas have often been undermined by mutual misunderstandings.

Instructors
Reena N. Goldthree
Fall 2022
Diversity in Black America (CD or SA)
Subject associations
AAS 323 / AMS 321

As the demographics of Blacks in America change, we are compelled to rethink the dominant stories of who African Americans are, and from whence they come. In this seminar, we will explore the deep cultural, genealogical, national origin, regional, and class-based diversity of people of African descent in the United States. Materials for the course will include scholarly writings as well as memoirs and fiction. In addition to reading assignments, students will be expected to complete an ethnographic or oral history project based upon research conducted within a Black community in the U.S., and a music or visual art based presentation of work.

Instructors
Imani Perry
Fall 2020
Topics in African American Culture & Life: Early African American Literature (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 326 / ENG 286

This topics course focuses on African American literature and literary production from the mid-18th century to the early 20th. In readings, assignments, and discussions, we will explore the unique cultural contexts, aesthetic debates, and socio-political forces surrounding the production of an early African American literary tradition. Over the course of the semester, we will investigate the poetry of Phillis Wheatley and Paul L. Dunbar, the political oratory of Sojourner Truth and David Walker, slave narratives by Frederick Douglass and Harriet Wilson, and non-fiction writing by W.E.B. DuBois, and fiction by Frances Harper.

Instructors
Autumn M. Womack
Spring 2023
Topics in African American Culture & Life: Black Speculative Fiction and The Black Radical Imagination (CD or LA)
Subject associations
AAS 326 / ENG 286

In this course, students will engage the archive of contemporary Black speculative fiction and Black studies scholarship to interrogate the possibilities and limits of the Black radical imagination as it appears in fantasy, horror, graphic fiction, and other genres. Students will read narrative fiction written after the Black Arts Movement to interrogate what the speculative offers in terms of thinking about Black worlds. The course argues that speculative writing-narrative fiction and theoretical writing-gesture to other social and political modes of thinking about and being in the world.

Instructors
Justin Mann
Spring 2020
Topics in African American Culture & Life: Black-ish and The Black American Middle Class (SA)
Subject associations
AAS 326

Since 2014, Black-ish, the popular ABC sitcom about a Black suburban family, has entertained and educated millions of viewers about the complexities of race and racism in American society. This course uses this series as a pedagogical tool to explore the social situation of the Black middle class more deeply. It incorporates scholarship from African American studies, sociology, and political science to discuss the privilege and peril of the 21st-century Black middle-class.

Instructors
James R. Jones
Fall 2016
20th Century Master: Lorraine Hansberry (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 327 / ENG 379 / GSS 368

This special topics course will focus on artists and intellectuals whose corpus reflects and illuminates 20th century African American life. Lorraine Hansberry, the first African American female playwright to have a play open on Broadway, explored a series of critical themes in her work, including: race, migration, colonialism, gender and social class. In addition to having a distinguished career as a playwright, Hansberry was an activist and advocate for gender and racial justice. Students will study her published and unpublished plays, essays and poetry, as well as relevant social and cultural history and literary criticism.

Instructors
Imani Perry
Fall 2018
Slavery and Emancipation in Latin America and the Caribbean (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 328 / LAS 352

This course explores the history of African slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean from the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade in the early sixteenth century to Brazilian emancipation in 1888. The course will focus on the lived experiences of enslaved Africans, while also examining the broader social, political, legal, and cultural contexts. The assigned materials will include a variety of written primary and secondary sources, films, and visual images.

Instructors
Reena N. Goldthree
Fall 2022
Beyond Tuskegee: Race and Human Subjects Research in US History (CD)
Subject associations
AAS 331 / HIS 382

This course will explore the history of human subjects research as a scientific practice and how practitioners interpreted the use of living and dead bodies for producing scientific knowledge. It examines how and why certain bodies become eligible for research and experimentation. This course will show how race, class, gender, and disability shape the history of human subjects research, and show how human subjects were also deliberately selected from vulnerable populations. It will focus on the experiences of African Americans as research subjects, and consider other vulnerable populations such as children, the disabled, and the incarcerated.

Instructors
Ayah Nuriddin
Fall 2021
Beyond Tuskegee: Race and Human Subjects Research in US History (CD)
Subject associations
AAS 331 / HIS 382

This course will explore the history of human subjects research as a scientific practice and how practitioners interpreted the use of living and dead bodies for producing scientific knowledge. It examines how and why certain bodies become eligible for research and experimentation. This course will show how race, class, gender, and disability shape the history of human subjects research, and show how human subjects were also deliberately selected from vulnerable populations. It will focus on the experiences of African Americans as research subjects, and consider other vulnerable populations such as children, the disabled, and the incarcerated.

Instructors
Ayah Nuriddin