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AACL
GRE
African American Literature: Origins to 1910 (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 353 / ENG 352

This introductory course traces the emergence of an African American literary tradition, from the late-18th century to the early 20th. In readings, assignments, and discussion we will consider the unique cultural contexts, aesthetic debates, and socio-political forces underpinning African American literary cultural and practice. 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, writing by W.E.B. DuBois, and novels by Frances Harper.

Instructors
Autumn M. Womack
Spring 2022
AACL
African American Literature: Origins to 1910 (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 353 / ENG 352

This course tracks the evolution of Black literature and literary culture from the mid-18th century to the early 20th. Moving across a range of genres - from poetry to drama to fiction - and mediums - from the periodical to the bound novel - we will interrogate the relationship between literary form, aesthetics, and cultural politics, while developing a deep understanding of the emergence of an African American literary tradition.

Instructors
Autumn M. Womack
Fall 2022
AACL
Sexuality and Religion in America (CD or HA)
Subject associations
AAS 358 / REL 379 / GSS 359

Sexuality has long been a contested and contentious issue within most American religions, yet only recently have scholars begun to address it forthrightly. This course will explore the emerging literature on sexuality and religion as a way to understand how approaches to sex and sexuality within "sacred spaces" have shaped private behavior and public opinion. We will give particular attention to African American religious traditions, American evangelicalism, and Catholicism more broadly for the way they have been especially influential in framing (and inhibiting) sexual discourse and practices within the United States.

Instructors
Wallace D. Best
Fall 2020
AACL
African American Literature: Harlem Renaissance to Present (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 359 / ENG 366

A survey of 20th- and 21st-century African American literature, including the tradition's key aesthetic manifestos. Special attention to how modern African American literature fits into certain periods and why certain innovations in genre and style emerged when they did. Poetry, essays, novels, popular fiction, stage production or two, and related visual texts.

Instructors
Kinohi Nishikawa
Spring 2020
AACL
GRE
RPP
Race and the American Legal Process: Emancipation to the Voting Rights Act (SA)
Subject associations
AAS 362 / WWS 386 / POL 338

This course examines the dynamic and often conflicted relationships between African American struggles for inclusion, and the legislative, administrative, and judicial decision-making responding to or rejecting those struggles, from Reconstruction to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. In tracing these relationships, we will cover issues such as property, criminal law, suffrage, education, and immigration, with a focus on the following theoretical frameworks: equal protection, due process, civic participation and engagement, and political recognition.

Instructors
Imani Perry
Spring 2020
AACL
Blackness and Media (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 363 / ENG 439 / AMS 362

Working across a range of sites (film, photography, literature, newsprint, music) this course thinks critically about media, blackness, and social life. In the service of expanding our conceptions of media we will draw together unlikely titles and works from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. How, we will ask, has media been the site where blackness gets communicated, created, negotiated, and re-imagined? How does blackness operate as both a media and medium? And, how do black writers, thinkers, and artists negotiate the formal limits of media, and what might this reveal about black aesthetics?

Instructors
Autumn M. Womack
Fall 2018
AACL
Migration and the Literary Imagination (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 365 / REL 362

This course will explore the various meanings of The Great Migration and mobility found in 20th century African American literature. Through careful historical and literary analysis, we will examine the significant impact migration has had on African American writers and the ways it has framed their literary representations of modern Black life.

Instructors
Wallace D. Best
Spring 2021
AACL
Migration and the Literary Imagination (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 365 / REL 362

This course will explore the various meanings of The Great Migration and mobility found in 20th century African American literature. Through careful historical and literary analysis, we will examine the significant impact migration has had on African American writers and the ways it has framed their literary representations of modern Black life.

Instructors
Wallace D. Best
Fall 2022
AACL
African American History to 1863 (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 366 / HIS 386

This course explores African American history from the Atlantic slave trade up to the Civil War. It is centrally concerned with the rise of and overthrow of human bondage, and how they shaped the modern world. Africans were central to the largest and most profitable forced migration in world history. They shaped new identities and influenced the contours of American politics, law, economics, culture, and society. The course considers the diversity of experiences in this formative period of nation-making. Race, class, gender, region, religion, labor, and resistance animate important themes in the course.

Instructors
Tera W. Hunter
Spring 2020
AACL
African American History Since Emancipation (CD or HA)
Subject associations
AAS 367 / HIS 387

This lecture offers an introduction to the major themes, critical questions, and pivotal moments in post-emancipation African American history. It traces the social, political, cultural, intellectual, and legal contours of the Black experience in the United States from Reconstruction to the rise of Jim Crow, through the World Wars, Depression, and the Great Migrations, to the long civil rights era and the contemporary period of racial politics. Using a wide variety of texts, images, and creative works, the course situates African American history within broader national and international contexts.

Instructors
Joshua B. Guild
Spring 2022
AACL
RPP
Topics in African American Religion: Black Religion and the Harlem Renaissance (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 368 / REL 368

The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s is most often depicted as "the flowering of African American arts and literature." It can also be characterized as a period when diverse forms of African American religious expressions, ideologies, and institutions emerged. This course will explore the literature of the Harlem Renaissance, particularly the writings of Langston Hughes, to understand the pivotal intersection of race and religion during this time of black "cultural production."

Instructors
Wallace D. Best
Spring 2017
RPP
Policing Racial Order: The History of U.S. Police Power from Slave Patrols to Drones (SA)
Subject associations
AAS 370 / AMS 374

This course investigates the role of police power in reinforcing or challenging racial order in all of its economic, spatial, and gendered manifestations. We pay particular attention to the ways in which commonplace notions of safety and security develop in relation to the history of territorial expansion, war, wealth accumulation, and the racialized distribution of private property.

Instructors
Naomi Murakawa
Spring 2017
AACL
GRE
Postblack - Contemporary African American Art (CD or LA)
Subject associations
AAS 372 / ART 374 / AMS 372

As articulated by Thelma Golden, postBlack refers to the work of African American artists who emerged in the 1990s with ambitious, irreverent, and sassy work. PostBlack suggests the emergence of a generation of artists removed from the long tradition of black affirmation of the Harlem Renaissance, Black empowerment of the Black Arts movement, and identity politics of the 1980s and early 90s. This seminar involves critical and theoretical readings on multiculturalism, race, identity, and contemporary art, and will provide an opportunity for a deep engagement with the work of African American artists of the past decade.

Instructors
Chika O. Okeke-Agulu
Spring 2021
AACL
GRE
Postblack - Contemporary African American Art (CD or LA)
Subject associations
AAS 372 / ART 374 / AMS 372

As articulated by Thelma Golden, postblack refers to the work of African American artists who emerged in the 1990s with ambitious, irreverent, and sassy work. Postblack suggests the emergence of a generation of artists removed from the long tradition of Black affirmation of the Harlem Renaissance, Black empowerment of the Black Arts movement, and identity politics of the 1980s and early 90s. This seminar involves critical and theoretical readings on multiculturalism, race, identity, and contemporary art, and will provide an opportunity for a deep engagement with the work of African American artists of the past decade.

Instructors
Chika O. Okeke-Agulu
Fall 2022
RPP
Public Policy in the U.S. Racial State (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 380 / AMS 382

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 2019
RPP
Law and Public Policy in African American History (CD or HA)
Subject associations
AAS 380 / AMS 382

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
Naomi Murakawa
Spring 2022
RPP
Evict, Foreclose, Gentrify: Race and Housing in the U.S. (SA)
Subject associations
AAS 381

This course will explore the causes and manifestations of housing insecurity and instability in the United States today. It will look at the ways that this contemporary housing crisis affects race, class, and gender dynamics in American cities and suburbs. This class will examine the barriers to safe, sound, and affordable housing. In doing so, we will also look at how social activism and movements have attempted to secure housing as a human right while rejecting its commodified status. We will examine how equitable housing policies can reconfigure urban spaces, combat climate change, and reimagine community governance.

Instructors
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Spring 2020
AACL
GRE
Topics in African American Literature: Fictions of Black Urban Life (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 392 / ENG 392

This course considers the transformation of urban life in the 20th and 21st centuries through an exploration of selected works by African American and African diasporic writers, artists, and intellectuals. We will discuss sociological studies, novels, poems, music, and experimental works that interrogate fictions such as urban development, revitalization, and even gentrification. Here, "fiction" names the implicit narratives and imaginaries of the urban that animate both its policy and design. Ultimately, the course is concerned with the discourses of black pathology and hidden forms of social life that have shaped the contemporary city.

Instructors
Nijah Cunningham
Spring 2017
AACL
Topics in African American Literature: Reading Toni Morrison (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 392 / ENG 392 / GSS 341

This course we will undertake the deceptively simple question: how do we read Toni Morrison? In taking up this task, we will devote our attention to various scenes and sites of reading across Morrison's oeuvre, asking how Morrison is encouraging us to read history, slavery, violence, geography, time, space, gender, and friendship? We will also engage with Morrison's own status as a reader by considering her work as an editor and literary critic. Through regular engagement with the Toni Morrison Papers housed at Firestone we will consider what it means to be able to read Morrison in such close proximity to these archival materials.

Instructors
Autumn M. Womack
Fall 2020
Topics in African American Literature: The Historical Philosophy of W.E.B. DuBois (EM)
Subject associations
AAS 392 / ENG 392

This course will examine the historical philosophy of the towering Black scholar and great freedom fighter of the 20th Century. We shall engage in close readings of Du Bois' classic work, "The Souls of Black Folk" (1903) as well as subsequent essays in his magisterial corpus, especially his classic autobiography, "Dusk of Dawn" (1940).

Instructors
Cornel R. West
Fall 2016
RPP
Intersectional Activisms and Movements for Social Justice (SA)
Subject associations
AAS 404 / GSS 419 / POL 429

This course examines intersectionality's roots as a political intervention growing out of and based in movement politics. It begins with early articulations of intersectional perspectives on the part of Black feminists and feminists of color, emphasizing its movement roots. We then examine empirical research about political movements and activism, focusing on scholarship that considers both the potential of and the challenges to movements that try to address the imbrication of racial inequalities with other forms of marginalization and domination, including (but not limited to) heteropatriarchy, capitalism, ableism, and the carceral state.

Instructors
Dara Z. Strolovitch
Spring 2020
GRE
Art, Apartheid, and South Africa (CD or LA)
Subject associations
AAS 411 / ART 471 / AFS 411

Apartheid, the political doctrine of separation of races in South Africa (1948-1990), dominated the (South) African political discourse in the second half of the 20th century. While it lasted, art and visual cultures were marshaled in the defense and contestation of its ideologies. Since the end of Apartheid, artists, filmmakers, dramatists, and scholars continue to reexamine the legacies of Apartheid and the social, philosophical, and political conditions of non-racialized South Africa. Course readings examine issues of race, nationalism and politics, art and visual culture, and social memory in South Africa.

Instructors
Chika O. Okeke-Agulu
Spring 2022
AACL
GRE
Memory, History and the Archive (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 426 / HIS 426

Why are some events from the past widely recalled, memorialized, and taught in school, while others are consigned to obscurity? What role do acts of historical erasure play in processes of exclusion? How have acts of remembering figured in struggles for justice? Using historical scholarship, memoirs, visual art, and music, this course examines the relationship between "history" and "memory", focusing on the different ways that race and social power have shaped the relationship in the U.S. and across the African diaspora. We will link representations of the past to debate about issues such as public monuments, legal redress, and reparations.

Instructors
Joshua B. Guild
Fall 2021
GRE
Radical African Thought and Revolutionary Youth Culture (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 442 / AFS 442 / COM 425

African thought continues to be marginalized, even though radical black intellectuals have shaped a number of social movements and global intellectual history. African youths are innovating new models that are revolutionizing the sciences, law, social and visual media, fashion, etc. In this class, we read classics of African thought and study contemporary African youth culture together to theorize what is happening in Africa today. This includes reading such African theorists as Frantz Fanon, V. Y. Mudimbe, and Achille Mbembe, and researching innovations in contemporary African urban popular culture.

Instructors
Wendy Laura Belcher
Fall 2018
AACL
The Civil Rights Movement (HA)
Subject associations
AAS 477 / HIS 477

This course critically examines the development of the southern Civil Rights Movement and the rise of the Black Power insurgency from the end of World War II through the end of the 1960s. We will examine historical research, oral histories, literature, documentaries and other kinds of primary and secondary documentation.

Instructors
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Spring 2021
AACL
Theoretical Approaches in Black Studies (EC)
Subject associations
AAS 499 / ENG 499 / AMS 499

This course stages a critical survey of key theoretical approaches and debates that have shaped the contemporary discourse of black studies. We will read recent works by scholars who take up what is casually referred to as "the study of blackness" from different vantage points such as black feminist theory, postcolonial criticism, afro-pessimism, queer-of-color critique, and black radicalism. The course particularly focuses on the question of criticism as it emerges within this discursive field and demonstrates how topics like the archive, citationality, and style provide alternate ways of thinking theory and the project of black studies.

Instructors
Nijah Cunningham
Fall 2018
African American Intellectual Tradition
Subject associations
AAS 500

This interdisciplinary seminar introduces graduate students to African American intellectual traditions. Reading across disciplines and genres, we engage theories and histories of racial formation, racial capitalism, slavery and empire, social movements, and cultural representation. Particular attention is paid to Black radicalism, to the ways various thinkers have imagined the relationship between theory and praxis, and to Black intellectual activity as a dynamic site of both critique and knowledge production.

Instructors
Eddie S. Glaude
Spring 2022
Race, Religion, and the Harlem Renaissance
Subject associations
AAS 510 / REL 515

The Harlem Renaissance (HR) of the 1920s is most often depicted as "the flowering of African American arts and literature." It can also be characterized as a period when diverse forms of African American religious expressions, ideologies, and institutions emerged. This course explores the literature of the Harlem Renaissance, particularly the writings of Langston Hughes, to understand the pivotal intersection of race and religion during this time of black "cultural production."

Instructors
Wallace D. Best
Spring 2018
Publishing Articles in Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Subject associations
AAS 522 / COM 522 / ENG 504 / GSS 503

In this interdisciplinary class, students of race as well as gender, sexuality, disability, etc. read deeply and broadly in academic journals as a way of learning the debates in their fields and placing their scholarship in relationship to them. Students report each week on the trends in the last five years of any journal of their choice, writing up the articles' arguments and debates, while also revising a paper in relationship to those debates and preparing it for publication. This course enables students to leap forward in their scholarly writing through a better understanding of their fields and the significance of their work to them.

Instructors
Wendy Laura Belcher
Fall 2022
Publishing Articles in Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Subject associations
AAS 522 / COM 522 / ENG 504 / GSS 503

In this interdisciplinary class, students of race as well as gender, sexuality, disability, etc. read deeply and broadly in academic journals as a way of learning the debates in their fields and placing their scholarship in relationship to them. Students report each week on the trends in the last five years of any journal of their choice, writing up the articles' arguments and debates, while also revising a paper in relationship to those debates and preparing it for publication. This course enables students to leap forward in their scholarly writing through a better understanding of their fields and the significance of their work to them.

Instructors
Wendy Laura Belcher
Spring 2019
Toni Morrison: Texts and Contexts
Subject associations
AAS 555 / ENG 536

This course provides a critical overview of the writings of Toni Morrison. Close reading, cultural analysis, intertextuality, social theory and the African American literary tradition are emphasized.

Instructors
Imani Perry
Spring 2021
Contemporary Black Political Theory
Subject associations
AAS 726

No description available

Fall 2016
Black Politics and Neoliberalism
Subject associations
AAS 727

No description available

Fall 2016
States of Black Studies
Subject associations
AAS 729

No description available

Spring 2017
Sisters' Voices: African Women Writers
Subject associations
AAS 734

No description available

Spring 2021
Junior Independent Work
Subject associations
AAS 981

No Description Available

Spring 2021
Senior Departmental Exam
Subject associations
AAS 983

No Description Available

Spring 2021
Senior Thesis
Subject associations
AAS 984

No Description Available

Spring 2021
GRE
Development Aid in Sub-Saharan Africa: Rogues, Benefactors and Recipients (SA)
Subject associations
AFS 310

Sub-Saharan Africa's record on the use of development aid has been at best mixed. It has received about $1 trillion in foreign assistance since 1960. In the early 1980s, three world regions, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Pacific, and South Asia had over 50% of their populations living in extreme poverty. Thirty odd years later, Sub-Saharan Africa's figures have barely shifted; they went down from 53% to only 47% in 2011. East Asia and Pacific, and South Asia regions also received substantial assistance and have significantly reduced extreme poverty among their populations. Critics of foreign assistance decry such assistance.

Instructors
Christiana Agawu
Spring 2019
Access to Health: Right, Privilege, Responsibility (SA)
Subject associations
AMS 304 / GHP 314

What does it mean to be healthy and who should ensure that individuals and communities achieve health? This course will examine the meaning of public health in America exploring the role of government as a regulator, service-provider, and director of personal behaviors. We will consider the legal, ethical, economic and political foundations of government actions and the challenges of addressing societal ills that account for disparities in health outcomes. Students will investigate and analyze health issues seeking to translate academic inquiry into policy prescriptions that impact human health.

Instructors
Leslie E. Gerwin
Spring 2020
Education and Inequality (SA)
Subject associations
AMS 311

In this course, students examine the relationship between inequality and schooling in the United States. We explore the educational practices and organizational structures through which social inequality is produced and reproduced inside schools and how social class, race, ethnicity, gender, and other social differences shape educational outcomes. Additionally, we examine students' responses to inequality and theories of resistance. We mainly consider theoretically grounded, qualitative research related to K-12 education. Several readings discuss the realities of urban schooling, and each week we connect the readings to current policy trends.

Instructors
Kathleen M. Nolan
Spring 2020
AACL
Race and the American Musical from Minstrelsy to Hamilton (LA)
Subject associations
AMS 315 / MTD 315 / THR 344 / AAS 309

This seminar explores how and why race is a key component of the Broadway musical theatre. From 19th-century minstrel shows, in which African American performers "blacked up" to play black characters previously performed by whites in blackface; to the mid-20th century "golden age" musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein, in which Asian characters were created to support a white liberal agenda; to the blockbuster HAMILTON, which merges musical theatre conventions and hip hop to re-tell the story of America, performances of race and ethnicity structure the American musical's aesthetic and political work. How did we get from there to here?

Instructors
Stacy E. Wolf
Spring 2019
AACL
The Architecture of Race (SA)
Subject associations
AMS 322 / URB 322 / ARC 326 / AAS 320

This seminar explores the varied ways American architecture and design have lent themselves to processes of racialization, from embodied experiences of race within the built environment to racialized representations of architecture. How might the built environment change how we perceive, understand, and experience race? How does architecture not only reflect race but constitute a way of seeing and feeling race? To expand our understanding of architecture's relationship to race, our approach will be interdisciplinary, including readings from fields such as but not limited to urban studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, and performance studies.

Instructors
Ashlie A. Sandoval
Spring 2020
AACL
Decolonizing America: A Seminar in Black Worldmaking (SA)
Subject associations
AMS 334 / AAS 335

This seminar asks its participants to think critically about notions of American dominance, American exceptionalism, and indeed about American power, through the critical lenses of race, gender and decoloniality. We move back and forth across temporalities and social spaces thinking about what kinds of American futures African Americans imagined in the past, and what kinds of futures feel possible in the present. The course uses scholarly readings, science fiction, poetry, film, television, and popular music as a way to understand how Black people in America try to live out a daily disposition toward the decolonial.

Instructors
Brittney C. Cooper
Spring 2019
AACL
Black and Indigenous Feminist Survival and Experimentation in the Americas (CD or SA)
Subject associations
AMS 351 / GSS 443 / AAS 352

This course is designed to explore how centering Black and Native/Indigenous feminist epistemologies (ways of knowing), theories, methods, themes, cultural production, and decolonial and abolitionist struggle reorient the field of American Studies. If we orient American Studies around and through Black and Native/Indigenous gendered, sexualized, feminist and queer modes of survival and ingenuity; what themes, debates, and questions rise to the surface and become salient?

Instructors
Tiffany J. King
Spring 2022
AACL
Islam in/and America: Race, Religion, and Gender in the United States (CD or SA)
Subject associations
AMS 351 / GSS 427 / AAS 345 / REL 393

What is American Islam and who are U.S. Muslims? This seminar employs lectures, discussions, and a diverse array of texts, including novels, scholarly works, films, arts, music, and much more, to respond to this question, revealing how a focus on Islam and Muslims in the U.S. produces critical counter-narratives of race, religion, and gender in the United States from the colonial era to the present.

Instructors
Sylvia Chan-Malik
Spring 2021
AACL
Performing the City: Race and Protest in 1960s Trenton and Princeton (LA)
Subject associations
AMS 395 / THR 395 / AAS 395 / HIS 296

Through original research and creative process, this seminar immerses students in overlapping histories of race, protest, political mobilization and violence in 1960s Trenton and Princeton. Students will contribute to an archive, conduct interviews and make maps, and then use their research to create performance walks on campus and in Trenton. By combining disciplines, the course addresses questions such as: How can we change a place by walking through it with new knowledge? How do the imprints of various, even conflicting histories, impact the built environment? After the semester, students' final project tours will be offered regularly.

Instructors
Alison E. Isenberg
Aaron Landsman
Spring 2018