All AAS Courses & Approved Cognates

AAS 200 (EM)

Collaborative Learning Exchange: Creative Explorations of Justice

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.

Christopher L. Hedges

AAS 201 (EC)

African American Studies and the Philosophy of Race


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.

Eddie S. Glaude

AAS 202, SOC 202 (SA)

Introductory Research Methods in African American Studies


The purposes of this course are to assist the student in developing the ability to critically evaluate social science research on the black experience and to do research in African studies. To accomplish these goals, the course will acquaint students with the processes of conceptualization and basic research techniques, and some of the unique issues in conducting research on the black experience. A variety of appropriate studies will be utilized.

Howard Taylor

AAS 210, MUS 253 (LA)

Introduction to African American Music


What is African-American music? Is it a set of genres, sound characteristics, or musical approaches? Is it based on who creates, or who receives the music? How has an African-American musical tradition undergone continual re-definition, and how might we understand these developments within a historical context? This course will address these questions by studying African-American music from a variety of perspectives, drawing from historical and critical readings, and sound and visual media.

Courtney Bryan

AAS 212, ENG 212 (LA)

What's So Funny? Forms of African American Humor


This course examines resources for and strategies of African American humor from the early twentieth century to the present. We will survey a wide range of cultural expression, including folk poems, literary satire, and stand-up comedy, and we will consider the historical circumstances under which African American humor has flourished. Supplemental reading in the philosophy of comedy will allow us to reflect on the cognitive and affective pleasure that is realized in laughter.

Kinohi Nishikawa

AAS 230 

Topics in African American Studies:

The Fire This Time — Reading James Baldwin (LA)


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 particular consideration given to his critical reflections on race and democracy. 

Eddie S. Glaude

AAS 234, GLS 334, ART 390 (LA)

Visualizing Australia: Art, Land, Identity


This seminar focuses on the representation of human and non-human relationships to the land as a site of meaning making, identity formation and cultural expression. The state's geography will form the backdrop to the course as we examine how the regions'  communities-First National owners to contemporary immigrants-have encountered, related to and depicted their relations to place. We'll delve deeply into the layers embedded in art-making and draw out the different critical frameworks that have shaped Australian art. Representations of the landscape form the core course theme, and we will examine these sources using different approaches.

Anna Arabindan Kesson

AAS 235, SOC 236 (SA)

Race is Socially Constructed: Now What? 


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. [Open to Freshmen and Sophomores only]

Ruha Benjamin

AAS 242, ENG 242, GSS 242, LAS 242 (LA)

Other Futures: An Introduction to Modern Caribbean Literature


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. 

Nijah Cunningham

AAS 245, ART 245 (LA)

Introduction to 20th Century African American Art (FKA Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movements)


This 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 Great Depression, to the rise of racially conscious art inspired by the Civil Rights Movement; from the 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. [This course fulfills the Core Survey Requirement]

Chika Okeke-Agulu

AAS 247, POL 363 (SA)

The New Jim Crow - US Crime Policy from Constitutional Formation to Ferguson


This course explores the political development of America's racially disparate punishment regime. We trace the history of US crime policy, moving through US constitutional formation, Reconstruction and lynch law, and Jim Crow punishment in the South and urban North. We focus on punishment in post-civil rights America, and we devote special attention to policing, the death penalty, and the interconnected wars on crime, drugs, immigration, and terror. Our overarching goal is to understand the political construction of crime, colorblindness, and legitimate state violence. 

Naomi Murakawa

AAS 274, COM 274 (LA)

Growing up Global: Novels and Memoirs of Transnational Childhoods


What if the real answer to the question "Where are you from?" or "Where did you grow up?" is so complicated that you tend to give a convenient rather than honest answer? This course will explore narratives of youthful cultural and linguistic adaptation by those who have spent their childhood crossing national boundaries. Among the topics of discussion are how the narrators construct meaningful identities and produce a sense of belonging or alienation through narrative.

Wendy Laura Belcher

AAS 300

Junior Seminar: Research and Writing in African American Studies

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 in order to produce knowledge that is intellectually and socially engaged. This is a writing-intensive seminar with weekly essay assignments.

AAS Core Faculty

AAS 301, SOC 367 (SA)

Black to the Future: Science, Fiction, and Society


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. [Open to Juniors and Seniors only] 

Ruha Benjamin

AAS 302, SOC 303, ANT 378, GHP 302 (SA)

Political Bodies: The Social Anatomy of Power and Difference


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.

Ruha Benjamin

AAS 303

Topics in Global Race and Ethnicity: From Haiti to Ferguson:

The Global Black Freedom Struggle (HA)


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.

Jessica Ann Levy

AAS 304, GSS 325, HUM 303 (HA)

History of Black Captivity


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 also 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.

Dannelle Gutarra Cordero

AAS 305, REL 391, MUS 354, AMS 355 (LA)

The History of Black Gospel Music


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. 

Wallace D. Best

AAS 306

Topics in Race and Public Policy:

Radical Subjects - Race and Deportation (also AMS 305) (HA)


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.

Olivia Mena

AAS 313, LAS 377, HIS 213 (HA)

Modern Caribbean History


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.

Reena N. Goldthree, Robert Karl

AAS 314, COM 396 (LA)

Model Memoirs: The Life Stories of International Fashion Models


Explores the life-writing of American, African, and Asian women in the fashion industry as a launching point for thinking about race, gender, and class. How do ethnicity and femininity intersect? How are authenticity and difference commodified? How do women construct identities through narrative and negotiate their relationships to their bodies, families, and nations? Includes guest lectures by fashion editors and models; discussions of contemporary television programs, global fashion, and cultural studies; and student self-narratives about their relationships with cultural standards of beauty, whether vexed or not.

Imani Perry

AAS 318, REL 318 (LA)

Black Women and Spiritual Narrative


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.

Wallace D. Best

AAS 319, LAS 368, GSS 356 (HA)

Caribbean Women's History


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. 

Reena N. Goldthree

AAS 320, ENG 363, AMS 384 (LA)

Islands In The Sun: Caribbean Literature


From the "Chigro" henchmen of James Bond's Jamaica to Edwidge Danticat and Junot Diaz's Haitian, Dominican Caribbean collusion, to the ethics of all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and offshore banking, this seminar explores the islands through their literature, films, photography, and the music of Mighty Sparrow and Bob Marley. More than simply a vacation paradise, at the center of the Caribbean, is the legacy of European colonialism, African enslavement, and Indian and Chinese indenture. Students will produce a seminar soundtrack, selecting relevant songs each week, which will be mixed into a collective track as part of the final.

Taigh Leigh Goffe

AAS 321, REL 321 ()

Black Power and its Theology of Liberation


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. Our aim is 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. 

Eddie S. Glaude

AAS 322, LAO 322, LAS 301, AMS 323 (HA)

Afro-Diasporic Dialogues: Black Activism in Latin America and the United States


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.

Reena N. Goldthree

AAS 323, AMS 321 (SA)

Diversity in Black America


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. The seminar explores the deep cultural, genealogical, national origin, regional, and class-based diversity of people of African descent in the United States.

Imani Perry

AAS 325, ENG 393, REL 366 (LA)

African American Autobiography


Highlights the autobiographical tradition of African Americans from the antebellum period to the present as symbolic representations of African American material, social, and intellectual history and as narrative quests of self-development. Students will be introduced to basic methods of literary analysis and criticism, specifically focusing on cultural criticism and psychoanalytic theory on the constructed self.

Albert Raboteau

AAS 327 (LA)

Masters of the 20th Century:

Lorraine Hansberry (also 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.

Imani Perry

AAS 328, LAS 352 (HA)

Slavery and Emancipation in Latin America and the Carribean


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. 

Reena N. Goldthree

AAS 330, HIS 455 (HA)

Black Metropolis: African American Urban History


In this seminar, we will examine historically the transformation of African Americans from a population rooted in the rural South to one overwhelmingly located in the cities of the North and West. Beginning in the period following the Civil War, and spanning the course of the twentieth century, we will explore critically the impact of urbanization on African American social relations, political expression, family life, and cultural production. Throughout the course we will be concerned not only with the "where" and "who" of the migration narrative but the "how" and the "why" as well. [Not open to Freshmen]

Joshua B. Guild

AAS 332, REL 332 (LA)

The Nation of Islam in America


This course will explore the various meanings attributed to the Nation of Islam (NOI) cultural and religious practices. Of particular concern will be the ways in which the NOI¿s ideological structure has allowed it to function both as a "black nationalist" and religious body. Students will spend time examining the lives of such figures as Wallace D. Fard, Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Louis Farrahkan. Other themes covered include: women and the NOI, the return to Orthodoxy, the NOI and black Christianity, and the NOI and political power.

Wallace D. Best

AAS 338, AFS 338 (LA)

African Vampires, Zombies, and Other Political Phantoms


In this class, we will explore literature and films about African vampires, witches, zombies, mermaids, and ghosts as a way of thinking about how Africa is constructed in the global imagination as well as how African and African diasporic artists use magic to analyze the dynamics of power. In this interdisciplinary anthropology, political science, literature and history course, students will be introduced to several bodies of literature (twentieth-century African American and Francophone fiction; twenty-first century African science fiction; West African popular film); as well as the latest in theorizing about magic, culture, and the state.

Wendy Laura Belcher

AAS 341, ART 375 (LA)

Enter the New Negro: Black Atlantic Aesthetics


This course traces the development of artistic modernisms in the African diaspora from the second half of the nineteenth-century into the mid twentieth century. Incorporating visits to art collections, the course examines the aesthetic theories of Black artists and writers, their subjects and the expressive forms they sought to describe. Tracing the ways these artists engaged with the emerging debates and dialogues of Western modernism, the course uses these cross-cultural dynamics, what Kobena Mercer has termed “cosmopolitan modernisms,” to centralize the visionary, transnational, modernity of artists in the African diaspora. 

Anna Arabindan-Kesson

AAS 342, COM 394, AFS 342 (LA)

Sisters' Voices: African Women Writers


In this class, we study the richness and diversity of poetry, novels, and memoirs written by African women. The course expands students' understanding of the long history of women's writing across Africa and a range of languages. It focuses on their achievements while foregrounding questions of aesthetics and style. As an antidote to misconceptions of African women as silent, students analyze African women's self-representations and how they theorize social relations within and across ethnic groups, generations, classes, and genders. The course increase students' ability to think, speak, and write critically about gender.

Wendy Laura Belcher

AAS 345, ENG 358 (LA)

Sonic Fugitives: The Soundscapes of the African-American Literary Tradition


This course will explore the rich interplay between sound and literature in the nineteenth and twentieth-century African-American letters. Historically denied the right to literacy and education, African-Americans have utilized sound, primarily in the form of music and orature, as a mode of protest and an expression of freedom, subjectivity, citizenship, and national belonging. In this course we will explore the ways in which African-American writers have drawn on this rich sonic tradition to make political claims about race, gender, class, region, nation, and cultural identity. 

Jarvis McInnis

AAS 347, VIS 337 (LA)

Art School @ African American Studies: Process, Discourse, Infrastructure


Combining actual making with art criticism and an examination of the circulation of contemporary art, particularly the of work of black artists, this seminar is structured around fundamental art concepts such as line, color, illustration, abstraction, multiples, beauty, and meaning. Given the historical centrality in African American art of representations of black bodies, the course pays special attention to figuration and portraiture. Its aim is not to make skilled artists, but to provide a materials-based, tactile experience of art-making and its evaluation.

Nell Painter

AAS 348 (LA)

Black Popular Music Culture


An introduction to major historical, theoretical, performative, and aesthetic movements and trends in black popular music culture from the 19th century through the present day.

Joshua B. Guild

AAS 349, ART 364 (LA)

Seeing To Remember: Representing Slavery Across the Black Atlantic


The class explores the historical representation of slavery and its contemporary manifestations in art of the Black diaspora. It pays particular attention to the different ways that art objects, institutions and monuments narrate these histories and considers why slavery remains relatively invisible in public art, in public monuments, and as a subject for national institutions in the US. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with objects held in collections at Princeton, go on field trips and learn from visiting artists and curators. Their final assignment will be the construction of a digital exhibition. 

Anna Arabindan-Kesson

AAS 350, SOC 362 (HA)

Rats, Riots and Revolution: Housing in the Metropolitan United States


This class examines the history of urban and suburban housing in the twentieth century US. We will examine the relationship between postwar suburban development as a corollary to the "underdevelopment" of American cities contributing to what scholars have described as the "urban crisis" of the 1960s. Housing choice and location were largely shaped by discriminatory practices in the real estate market, thus, the course explores the consequences of the relationship between public policy and private institutions in shaping the metropolitan area including after the passage of federal anti-housing discrimination legislation in the late 1960s.

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

AAS 351, GSS 351 (SA)

Law, Social Policy, and African American Women


Journeying from enslavement and Jim Crow to the post-civil rights era, this course will learn how law and social policy have shaped, constrained, and been resisted by black women's experience and thought. Using a wide breadth of materials including legal scholarship, social science research, visual arts, and literature, we will also develop an understanding of how property, the body, and the structure and interpretation of domestic relations have been frameworks through which black female subjectivity in the United States was and is mediated.

Imani Perry

AAS 353, ENG 353 (LA)

African American Literature: Origins to 1910


This introductory course focuses on black literature and literary culture from the mid-18th century to the early 20th; it will cover 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 Jacobs; non- fiction prose by W. E. B. Du Bois and Anna Julia Cooper; and Frances Harper's and James Weldon Johnson's novels. In readings, assignments, and discussions, we will explore the unique cultural contexts, aesthetic debates, and socio-political forces that surround the production of an early African American literary tradition. [This course fulfills the Core Survey Requirement]

Autumn M. Womack

AAS 358, REL 379, GSS 359 (SA)

Sexuality and Religion in America


Sexuality has long been a contested and contentious issue within American religions, yet only recently have scholars and practitioners begun to forthrightly address it. 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 American Evangelical and Catholic religious expressions for the way they have been especially influential in framing (and inhibiting) sexual discourse and practices in the US and throughout the world.

Wallace D. Best

AAS 359, ENG 366 (LA)

African American Literature: Harlem Renaissance to Present


A survey of twentieth- and twenty-first century African American literature, including the tradition's key aesthetic manifestos. Special attention to how modern African American literature is periodized 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. [This course fulfills the Core Survey Requirement] 

Kinohi Nishikawa

AAS 362, WWS 497, POL 338 (SA)

Race and the American Legal Process: Emancipation to the Voting Rights Act


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. 

Imani Perry

AAS 363, ENG 439, AMS 362 (LA)

Blackness and Media


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 has 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? 

Autumn M. Womack

AAS 365, REL 362, ENG 394 (LA)

Migration and the Literary Imagination


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. 

Wallace D. Best

AAS 366, HIS 386 (HA)

African American History to 1863


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. [This course fulfills the pre-20th century requirement] 

Tera W. Hunter

AAS 367, HIS 387 (HA)

African American History Since Emancipation


Offers an introduction to the major themes, critical questions, and pivotal moments in post emancipation African American history. 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. 

Joshua B. Guild

AAS 368

Topics in African American Religion:

Black Religion and the Harlem Renaissance (ALSO 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. 

Wallace D. Best

AAS 370, AMS 374 (SA)

Policing Racial Order: The History of U.S. Police Power from Slave Patrols to Drones


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. 

Naomi Murakawa

AAS 372, ART 374, AMS 372 (LA)

Postblack: Contemporary African American Art


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. 

Chika Okeke-Agulu

AAS 380, AMS 382 (SA)

Public Policy in the U.S. Racial State


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. 

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

AAS 386, AMS 386 (SA)

Race and the City


Race and the City examines how the politics of race and racialization shaped the development of American cities over the course of the 20th century. The course cover a diverse array of topics including: ghettoization, urban renewal, the creation of public housing, popular music (Jazz, Motown, Hip Hop), public art and graffiti, literature of urbanity, the fair housing movement, deindustrialization, and gentrification. We will have particular foci on the following cities: Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. 

Imani Perry

AAS 392

Topics in African American Literature:



A historical overview of black literary expression from the 19th century to the present day. Will emphasize a critical and analytical approach to considering the social, cultural, and political dimensions of African American literature.

Nijah Cunningham

AAS 404, GSS 419, POL 429 (SA)

Intersectional Activisms and Movements for Social Justice


Examines the role of intersectionality roots as a political intervention growing out of and based in movement politics. Begins with early articulations of intersectional perspectives on the part of Black feminists and feminists of colour, emphasizing its movement roots. Examines empirical research about social movements and political 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 (though not limited to) heteropatriarchy, capitalism, abelism, and the carceral state.

Dara Strolovitch

AAS 411, ART 471, AFS 411 (LA)

Art, Apartheid, and South Africa


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. 

Chika Okeke-Agulu

AAS 426, HIS 426 (HA)

Memory, History, and the African Diaspora


This course uses historical scholarship, memoir, visual art, fiction and music to examine the relationship between "history" and "memory" and the different ways that race and social power have shaped that relationship in the U.S. and across the African diaspora. It considers the role played by acts of remembering in struggles for justice and self-determination, as well as the place of forgetting and erasure in processes of exclusion. We will link representations of the black past to debates on such issues as public memorials, legal justice, reparations, and affirmative action.

Joshua B. Guild

AAS 442, AFS 442, COM 425 (LA)

African Radical Thought and Revolutionary Youth Culture


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 they 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 urban popular culture. 

Wendy Laura Belcher

AAS 477, HIS 477 (HA)

The Civil Rights Movement


This interdisciplinary course examines the evolution of African American social and political mobilization from World War II through the 1970s. Through an analysis of historical scholarship, oral history, sermons, works of literature, film and music, it explores the various ways that African Americans articulated their political demands and affirmed their citizenship using the church, grassroots organizations, workers' rights, feminism, education, war, the federal bureaucracy, and the law as tools for political action. The course also considers the ways these movements have been remembered, memorialized, and appropriated in more recent times.

Joshua B. Guild

AAS 481, ENG 429 (LA)

The African American Atlantic: Modernity and the Black Experience


Examines the formation and transformation of the Black Atlantic World from the 18th century to the present. Through an examination of a range of literary texts, historical documents, and visual media, the course will consider how the Atlantic Ocean, often associated with the violence and pain of slavery, also became the stage in which new black identities were constructed. How did blacks in the new world imagine themselves as modern subjects? How have African, African American, and Caribbean writers and intellectuals imagined global citizenship? There will be a visit to Ghana during the spring break.

Simon Gikandi

AAS 499, ENG 499, AMS 499 (EC)

Theoretical Approaches in Black Studies


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. [Graduate students and seniors only]

Nijah Cunningham

AAS 500

African American Intellectual Tradition

This interdisciplinary seminar introduces graduate students to African-American intellectual traditions. Reading across disciplines and genres, we will engage theories and histories of racial formation, racial capitalism, slavery and empire, social movements, and cultural representation. Particular attention will be 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.

Eddie S. GlaudeJoshua B. Guild

AAS 506, REL 514, GSS 506

Sexuality and Religion in America

The course examines the crucial relationship between sexuality and American religion, particularly in Catholic and Protestant Christian traditions. We focus particularly on the way in which religiously informed notions of sex and sexuality have touched every area of American life, including popular culture, politics, and the law. Lastly, we interrogate issues of sexual policing, sexual freedom, race and sexuality ("the closet" and "down low" performance and practice), the limits of desire, Christian ethics, homosexuality, and the politics of sexuality. 

Wallace D. Best

AAS 510, REL 515

Race, Religion and the Harlem Renaissance

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.

Wallace D. Best

AAS 514, COM 509, SPA 596

Empire, Slavery, and Salvation: Blackness in the Atlantic World

An exploration of portrayals of blackness in literature, travel writing, painting, and autobiography from Spain, England, and the Americas. Students become versed in debates surrounding the emergence of human distinctions based on religion, race, and ethnicity in the early modern era as they analyze a variety of historical representations of blackness. Understanding these debates and the history surrounding them is crucial to participating in an informed discussion, research, and activism regarding issues of race, empire, and colonialism across time and space. 

Larissa Brewer-García

AAS 522, COM 522, ENG 504, GSS 503

Publishing Articles in Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

In this interdisciplinary class, students of race and gender 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.  

Wendy Laura Belcher

AAS 525

Law and the Study of Race


Imani Perry

AAS 527, ENG 527

From Passing to Post-Racial: American Literature on the Color Line

American literature's ambivalent relationship with a racial difference has produced many of its most memorable texts. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, that ambivalence has often been figured in the concept of the passing novel. In this seminar we read literature by white and black authors from both ends of the Jim Crow era - passing novels from the Nadir and Modernist periods, and the neo-passing novels of the so-called "post-racial" moment - to assess the once and future vitality of what Toni Morrison has called the "Afro-American presence in American literature." Readings are supplemented with contemporary critical theory.

Christopher Brown

AAS 555

Toni Morrison: Texts and Contexts

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.

Imani Perry

AFS 303  (SA)

Governing Post-Colonial Africa: Family, Religion, and the State


This seminar addresses today's post-colonial Africa. It examines structural responses and strategies developed by African nations and communities upon insertion into the global political and economic world. What are these structural strategies? What traditional and or modern resources have African nations and communities utilized? What state are they in now? Themes to be investigated include political, social and religious structures, global economic interaction and women in society. The character of Africa before modern nationhood will form the backdrop to discussions of Africa as we know it today.  

Christiana Agawu

AFS 320, ANT 421 (SA)

The Resources Curse and Development in Africa


This course examines the relationship between natural resource wealth and development in Africa. The dominant discourse on resource wealth on the continent has largely been associated with the resource curse. The construction and reproduction of the resource curse thesis is explored, particularly against the backdrop of the recent resource boom and scramble on the continent, and the changes that have occurred in Africa's resource-rich economies. It seeks to address the following questions. Is resource endowment inimical to development in Africa? What causes the resource curse in Africa? How can the resource curse be overcome in Africa? 

Godwin Onuoha

AFS 427 (?)

Conflict in Africa


Examines selected aspects on conflict in Africa. The concept "conflict" is used to mean organized and/or collective political violence that causes the death of about 1,000 people per year. The course will focus on the following issues: analytical debates about conflicts in Africa; actors/participants such as guerrillas, warlords, and child soldiers; continental politics about conflict; the politics of humanitarian intervention; wars in the Great Lakes Region; the war and warlords of West Africa; the genocide in Rwanda, and the aftermath of wars, especially those of Southern Africa. 

Annette Seegers

AMS 311 (SA)

Education and Inequality


In Education and Inequality, students examine the relationship between inequality and public schooling in the United States. Students explore the educational practices and organizational structures through which inequality is produced and reproduced inside schools and how social class, race, ethnicity, gender, and other social differences shape educational outcomes. Additionally, we consider students' different experiences in schools and the ways in which individuals and groups respond to inequality. With a few exceptions, the focus is on K-12 public education with emphasis on urban schools in low-income communities.

Kathleen Nolan

AMS 315, AAS 309, MTD 315, THR 344 (LA)

Race and the American Musical from Minstrelsy to Hamilton


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? 

Stacy Wolf

AMS 342, HIS 442 (HA)

Race, Racism and Politics in Twentieth-Century America


In this seminar, we will explore the relationship between race, racism and politics throughout twentieth-century America. Topics will include segregation; immigration and assimilation; the role of racial politics in World War II and the Cold War; the civil rights movement and white massive resistance; Black Power and the white backlash; and contemporary politics up to the election of Barack Obama.

Kevin Kruse

AMS 379, GSS 349 (?)

Race and Living Laboratories


In this course we will trace the intersecting discourses of race, nation, and disease throughout US history. We will examine various “living laboratories” or sites of state-sanctioned medical experimentation on populations deemed to harbor disease. In doing so, we will consider the ways in which science has shaped (and continues to shape) the meaning of race as well as other categories of social difference.

Tala Khanmalek

AMS 395, THR 395, AAS 395, HIS 296 (LA)

Performing the City: Race and Protest in 1960s Trenton and Princeton


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. 

Alison E. Isenberg, Aaron Landsman

AMS 404, ASA 404, LAO 404, THR 404 (LA?)

Race and Ethnicity in 20th Century Popular Performance


This course offers an intensive introduction to the particular tools, methods and interpretations employed in developing original historical research and writing about race and ethnicity in twentieth century popular performance (film, television, theater). Through collaborative, in-depth excavations of several genre-straddling cultural works, course participants will rehearse relevant methods and theories (of cultural history, of race and ethnicity, of popular culture/performance) and will undertake an independent research project elaborating the course's guiding premise and principles of practice.

Brian E. Herrera

ANT 210 (?)

Cross-Cultural Explorations of Gender in Film and Ethnographic Texts


Through visual and written ethnographies, this course will explore cross-cultural conceptions of gender. Specifically, this course will address the relationship between religion, sexuality, and social reproduction; and the salience of gender to issues of oppression, empowerment, and social change.

Carolyn Rouse

ANT 223, AMS 223, AAS 224 (SA)

Policing and Militarization Today


This class aims to explore transnational issues in policing. Drawing heavily upon anthropological methods and theory, we aim neither to vindicate nor contest the police's right to use force (whether a particular instance was a violation of law), but instead, to contribute to the understanding of force (its forms, justifications, interpretations). The innovative transnational approach to policing developed during the semester will allow for a cross-cultural comparative analysis that explores larger rubrics of policing in a comprehensive social scientific framework. We hope that you are ready to explore these exciting and urgent issues with us.

Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús, Laurence Ralph

ANT 301 (SA)

The Ethnographer’s Craft


What are social and cultural facts? And how do we identify these facts using anthropological research methods? This field methods course is for students interested in learning how to work with complex and often contradictory qualitative data. Students will examine how biases and beliefs affect the questions we ask, the data we collect, and our interpretations. Key topics include objectivism, interpretation, reflexivity, participant-observation, translation, and comparison.

Carolyn Rouse

ANT 304 (SA)

Political Anthropology


A cross-cultural examination of collective action, power, authority and legitimacy. Topics will include the diversity of systems of leadership and decision making, the sociocultural contexts of egalitarianism and hierarchy, contemporary contests over power-sharing and state legitimacy, forms of power outside the state, and human rights struggles.

Bridget Purcell

ANT 321 (SA)

Ritual, Myth and Worldview


An exploration of classic and modern theories of religion (belief, ritual, myth, worldview) as they pertain to a cross-cultural understanding of these phenomena.

Isabelle Clark-Deces

ANT 322 (?)

Cross-Cultural Texts


This seminar closely reads descriptive and fictive works replete with cross-cultural representations and juxtaposed histories. What makes a given comparative account--whether colonialist or postcolonialist--compelling? Various genres--ethnographic essays, intense travel narratives, translated tales and myths, and novels--receive concerted attention.

James Boon

ANT 350 (?)

Economic Anthropology and Pop Culture


This course explores the idea of consumerism and commodities in cultural life, particularly as it affects various segments of the American population. Using as background the theory of exchange and the development of both pre-capitalist and capitalist economies, topics will include race and fashion, religion and materialism, and the social value of reciprocity. Students will also engage in a semester-long project aimed at understanding the cultural context of the American desire for things.

Carolyn Rouse

ANT 461, AAS 364, GHP 461, GS3 461 (EM)

Disability, Difference, and Race


While diseases are often imagined to be scientific or medical conditions, they are also social constructs. In the 19th century the condition of Dysaesthesia Aethiopis (an ailment that made its sufferers "mischievous") was considered nearly universal among free blacks. Today AIDS and tuberculosis are often associated with personal attributes, while the social forces at work to structure risk for acquiring these illnesses are glossed over. We will examine work from anthropologists, sociologists, historians, queer studies scholars and scientists who work on issues of disability to investigate how people challenge contemporary visions of society.

Laurence Ralph

ANT 363, AAS 369 (SA)

Gangsters and Troublesome Populations


Since the 1920s, the term "gang" has been used to describe all kinds of collectives, from groups of well-dressed mobsters to petty criminals and juvenile delinquents. In nearly a century of research the only consistency in their characterization is as internal Other from the vantage of the law. This class will investigate how the category of "the gang" serves to provoke imaginaries of racial unrest and discourses of "dangerous," threatening subjects in urban enclaves. More broadly we will examine the methods and means by which liberal democratic governments maintain their sovereign integrity through the containment of threatening populations.

Laurence Ralph

ANT 389, AAS 333, AMS 339 (SA)

Religion and Culture: Muslims in America


This course is an introduction to Muslim cultures in the United States. Each week we will draw upon texts from anthropology, sociology, history, and other fields to develop an understanding of the historical and present diversity of Muslim communities in America. The first half of the course provides a survey of Muslim communities in this country from the 17th to the 21st centuries. The second half features a thematic approach to a variety of topics: 9/11, women and gender, religious conversion, interfaith relations, youth, mosques as institutions, and Islamophobia.

Aly Kassam-Remtulla

ANT 403, AAS 403, GHP 403  (EM)

Race and Medicine


Why do certain populations have longer life expectancies? Is it behavior, genes, structural inequalities? And why should the government care? This course unpacks taken-for-granted concepts like race, evidence-based medicine, and even the public health focus on equalizing life expectancies. From questions of racism in the clinic to citizenship and the Affordable Care Act, "Race and Medicine" takes students on a journey of rethinking what constitutes social justice in health care. 

Cecilia Rouse

ARC 305 ()

Urban Studies: Analysis of Contemporary Urban Form


Studies of the contemporary problems and process of urban design and physical planning. Analysis of the design and organization of space, activities, movement, and interaction networks of the urban physical environment.

Sarah Whiting

ARC 401 ()

Theories of Housing and Urbanism


The seminar will explore theories of urbanism and housing by reading canonical writers who have created distinctive and influential ideas about urbanism and housing from the nineteenth century to the present. The writers are architects, planners, and social scientists. The theories are interdisciplinary. One or two major work will be discussed each week. We will critically evaluate their relevance and significance for architecture now. Topics include: modernism, functionalism and social change; technological futurism; social critiques of urban design, the New Urbanism; the networked city; and sustainable urbanism.

Andrew Laing

ARC 556, AAS 557

Microhistory: Toward an Architecture of Slavery

Microhistory is a specific methodological approach to the study and writing of history. It applies an extremely detailed scale of investigation to any object of inquiry, including a particular person, community, infrastructure, building, map, plan, law, protocol, record, and event. The seminar scrutinizes this methodology, challenges teleological narratives, and examines microhistories around the world and from different historical periods. The aim is to anchor seemingly insignificant circumstances and untapped spaces in order to unravel macro historical tendencies.

Samia Henni

ART 237, AAS 237 (LA)

Modern and Contemporary African Art


This course examines the range of work by African artists from the colonial period to the era of post-independence. It seeks to familiarize students with modern and contemporary art from Africa by studying forms, ideas, and subject matter that have preoccupied African artists since the mid-20th century. It is also interested in the critical practices that have helped set these artists on the global stage, as well as theoretical structures that might help our understanding of these processes. 

Chika Okeke-Agulu

ART 242, ARC 242 (LA)

The Experience of Modernity: A Survey of Modern Architecture in the West


An analysis of the emergence of modern architecture from the late 19th century to World War II, in light of new methodologies. The course will focus not only on major monuments but also on issues of gender, class, and ethnicity to provide a more pluralistic perspective on the experience of modernity. For department majors, this course satisfies the Group 3 distribution requirement. 

Esther da Costa Meyer

ART 260, AAS 260, AFS 260 (LA)

Introduction to African Art


An introduction to African art and architecture from prehistory to the 20th century. Beginning with Paleolithic rock art of northern and southern Africa, we will cover ancient Nubia and Meroe; Neolithic cultures such as Nok, Djenne and Ife; African kingdoms, including Benin, Asante, Bamun, Kongo, Kuba, Great Zimbabwe, and the Zulu; Christian Ethiopia and the Islamic Swahili coast; and other societies, such as the Sherbro, Igbo, and the Maasai. By combining Africa's cultural history and developments in artistic forms we establish a long historical view of the stunning diversity of the continent's indigenous arts and architecture. 

Chika Okeke-Agulu

ART 474, AAS 474 (LA)

Art and Politics in Postcolonial Africa


This seminar examines the impact of the IMF's Structural Adjustment Program, military dictatorships, and political crises on artistic production in the 1980s, and the dramatic movement of African artists from the margins of the international art world to its very center since the 1990s. How familiar or different are the works and concerns of African artists? What are the consequences, in Africa and the West, of the international success of a few African artists? And what does the work of these Africans at home and in the West tell us about the sociopolitical conditions of our world today? 

Chika Okeke-Agulu

ART 373, AAS 373 (LA)

History of African American Art


An introduction to the history of African American art and visual culture from the colonial period to the present. Artists and works of art will be considered in terms of their social, intellectual, and historical contexts.  Students will consider artistic practices as they intersect with other cultural spheres, including science, politics, religion, and literature. Topics and readings will be drawn from the field of art history as well as from cultural studies, critical race theory, and the history of the Atlantic world.

Anna Arabindan-Kesson

ART 378, AAS 377, AMS 372 (LA)

Post-1945 African Photography


This course examines the role and status of photography in different phases of Africa's political, cultural and art historical experience since 1945. We explore how African photographers used the photographic medium in the service of the state, society and their own artistic visions during the colonial and post-independence eras. Photography's relationship with art and its social function in Africa will underlie our discussion. 

Chika Okeke-Agulu

ART 456 (LA)

Seminar: Contemporary Art


Topics in contemporary painting, sculpture, or criticism in Europe and America since World War II. Prerequisite: a course in the art of this period or instructor's permission.

Hal Foster, Kelly Baum

ART 462, AAS 462 (LA)

Representing Race in American Art


This seminar explores how the complex and contested concept of "race" intersects with the categories of "art" and "visual culture" in the history of the United States (colonial era to the present). By examining the work of a range of artists and image-makers, we will explore how the concept of "race" is imagined, constructed, used, and/or challenged by artists and audiences as well as the manner in which the discipline of art history approaches considerations of race and racial/ethnic identity. Our approach will be thematic rather than chronological; material studied will include painting, sculpture, photography, performance, and film. 

Rachael DeLue

ART 472, AAS 472 (LA)

Igbo and Yoruba Art


This seminar focuses on the classical and traditional arts of the Yoruba and Igbo peoples of Southern Nigeria. Through readings on key aspects of the groups' philosophies, ritual practices, aesthetics, and socio-cultural formations, we examine the conceptual bases and formal conditions of the arts of the two groups and rethink earlier scholarship on Igbo and Yoruba art, politics and visual cultures.

Chika Okeke-Agulu

ART 473, AAS 473, AFS 473 (LA)

Kongo Art


Easily recognized as among the most important examples of canonical African art, Kongo sculpture, textiles, and ritual design are famous for their conceptual density, stylistic variety and rigorous abstraction. The course examines the role of art in the life of the Kongo Kingdom and related peoples, from the arrival of Spanish explorers and missionaries in the 15th century, through the era of Belgian colonization from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries, to the period since political independence in 1960. The seminar coincides with and will explore the Kongo Across the Waters exhibition at the Princeton University Museum.

Chika Okeke-Agulu

ART 529, AAS 529, CLA 528 

Ancient Egyptian Kingship in Image, Architecture & Performance

The institution of kingship was central to the ancient Egyptian worldview. Kings and their administrations sought to express the complex nature of a strong leader with access to the gods and secret knowledge, exceptional skill as a warrior and diplomat, and unrivaled power over and sacrifice to his people by using both mystery and overwhelming display. In this seminar, we consider the nature of Egyptian kingship and how a vast body of material and visual culture shaped and expressed this essential concept from its origins in the beginning of the 4th millennium to the era of Roman rulers. 

Deborah Vischak

ART 560, AAS 560

Art and the British Empire

This seminar proceeds through a series of thematic and case studies ranging from Britain's early colonial expansion to the legacies of empire in contemporary art and museum practice. Topics include science and ethnography; the colonial picturesque; curiosity and collecting; slavery and visual representation; art and nationalism and readings are drawn from a range of disciplines. 

Anna Arabindan-Kesson

, MED 225, AAS 263 (HA)

Bondage and Slaving in Global History


Ranging from the Neolithic to the 21st century, this course will survey the history of human bondage. Topics to be explored include the role of slavery in the rise of the first Neolithic states; the institutionalization of slavery in ancient Mesopotamia, the Greco-Roman Mediterranean, and ancient China; the proliferation of slave systems elsewhere in Eurasia and on the African continent; the economic and political transformation of the Old and New Worlds through the commodification of African and Native American bodies; and the feedback loops linking ancient slave systems to modern ones. 

Dan-El Padilla Peralta

CLA 310, AAS 311 (SA)

Citizenships Ancient and Modern


Recent developments in the United States and throughout the world have exposed fault lines in how communities design and regulate forms of citizenship. But current debates over the assignment, withholding, or deprivation of citizen status have a long and violent history. In this course we will attempt to map a history of citizenship from the ancient Mediterranean world to the 21st century. Questions to be tackled include: who/what is a citizen? (How) are exclusion and marginalization wired into the historical legacies and present-day practices of citizenship? 

Dan-El Padilla Peralta

COM 239, AAS, AFS 239 (LA)

Introduction to African Literature and Film


African literature and films have been a vital (but often unacknowledged) stream in and stimulant to the global traffic in invention. Nigerian literature is one of the great literatures of the 20th century. Ethiopian literature is one of the oldest in the world. South Africans have won more Nobel Prizes for Literature in the past forty years than authors from any other country. Senegalese films include some of the finest films ever made. In this course, we will study the richness and diversity of foundational African texts (some in translation), while foregrounding questions of aesthetics, style, humor, and epistemology.

Wendy Laura Belcher

COM 376, AAS 371, GSS 381 (LA)

Crafting Freedom: Women and Liberation in the Americas (1960s to the present)


This course aims to explore different forms that the question of liberation has taken in writings by women philosophers and poets whose work helped to create cultural and political movements in the U.S. and Latin America. Starting in the 1960s, we will go through the limits and potentialities of texts that have built a poetics and politics of liberation, paying special attention to the role played by language and imagination when ideas translate onto social movements -and vice-versa. Focusing on four concepts -abolition, education, care, and the commons- the course touches upon key moments that have shaped women's struggles (intersectionality, black, third world, postcolonial, and decolonial 'feminisms'). Readings include Angela Davis, Gloria Anzaldúa, Silvia Federici, Diamela Eltit, Audre Lorde, Fernanda Navarro, Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Gayatri Spivak, Zapatista among others.

Susana Draper

CWR 316, LAO 316, AAS 336, AMS 396 (LA)

Special Topic in Poetry: Race, Identity, and Innovation


This workshop explores the link between racial identity and poetic innovation in work by contemporary poets of color. Experimental or avant-garde poetry in the American literary tradition has often defined itself as "impersonal," "against expression" or "post-identity." Unfortunately, this mindset has tended to exclude or downplay poems that engage issues of racial identity. This course explores works where poets of color have treated racial identity as a means to destabilize literary ideals of beauty, mastery and the autonomy of the text while at the same time engaging in poetic practices that subvert conceptions of identity or authenticity.

Monica Y. Youn

DAN 211, AAS 211 (LA)

The American Dance Experience and Africanist Dance Practices


A studio course introducing students to American dance aesthetics and practices, with a focus on how its evolution has been influenced by African American choreographers and dancers. An ongoing study of movement practices from traditional African dances and those of the African diaspora, touching on American jazz dance, modern dance, and American ballet. Studio work will be complemented by readings, video viewings, guest speakers, and dance studies.

Dyane Harvey-Salaam

DAN 222, AAS 222 (LA)

Introduction to Hip Hop Dance


This introductory survey course gives equal weight to scholarly study and embodied practice, using both approaches to explore a range of hip-hop dance techniques, as well as the cultural and historical contexts from which these dances emerged. Special attention will be given to breaking - the most prominent hip-hop form - as a foundation for exploring other forms of movement. By critically exploring these physical and historical connections, individuals will adapt and apply their own philosophies to dance in order to develop a personalized style.

Joseph Schloss

DAN 223, AAS 223, VIS 224 (LA)

An Introduction to the Radical Imagination


Using an interdisciplinary visual and performance studies approach to explore various sites of contemporary art practices, this course will provide an introduction to radical performance practices through which artists consider the gendered and racialized body that circulates in the public domain, both onstage and off. We will query the kinds of political questions that performers raise with their work. Our texts will include live and recorded performances, as well as historical and theoretical secondary sources. Every other week the class hosts a public performance/speaking series featuring radical artists and curators.

Jaamil O. Kosoko

DAN 322, AAS 312 (LA)

Special Topics in Urban Dance: Improvisational Approaches to Hip-Hop Practices


This course is designed to provide a broad understanding of hip-hop dance, history and culture. We will explore the various dance styles and folk art traditions that preceded and influenced hip-hop dance and its essential elements. With a focus on Breaking and its deconstruction of body movements and choreographic forms, the course will emphasize the creative tools inherent in Breaking techniques and improvisational structures to support students to develop and find their own individual style. Viewings and readings videos will contextualize students' investigations.

Raphael X. Williams

ECO 351 (SA)

Economics of Development


Surveys development economics including current issues, historical background, growth theories, trade and development, markets and planning, strategies for poverty alleviation, agriculture, technology, employment, industry, population, education, health, and internal and external finance. Selective attention to particular countries and regimes. 

Thomas Fujiwara

ENG 379, AAS 379, AMS 389, ART 380 (LA)

Black Aesthetics: Art, Literature, and Politics in the African Diaspora


This course introduces students to black aesthetics as a historically grounded concept that stages questions of the social, cultural, political and philosophical meaning of blackness. We'll explore various 'flashpoints' during the 20th century where black art serves both as a site of contestation and a platform for interrogating topics of race, gender, sexuality, the body, objecthood, slavery and colonialism. We'll consider how various generations of black artists/intellectuals across the African diaspora turned to the aesthetic realm to imagine new political possibilities and generate different ways of seeing, feeling, sensing, and thinking.

Nijah Cunningham

ENG 389, AAS 389, GSS 389 (LA)

Women Writers of the African Diaspora


A reading of fiction by African, Caribbean, and African American women writers. Diverse strategies for addressing issues of race, gender, and culture in local, global, personal, and political terms are considered. Two lectures, one preceptorial. 

Valerie A. Smith

ENG 391A, AAS 391 (LA)

Experimenting in Dark Times 19th Century African American Literature and Culture


This interdisciplinary course explores the intersecting worlds of late 19th century African American literature, technology, aesthetics, and politics. Although this period is commonly theorized as the "Nadir," or "dark point," of Black life, it was in fact a moment of artistic and social experimentation, as black artists and intellectuals traversed a range of media to imagine new futures. We will investigate this overlooked cultural moment and develop an understanding of black experimental writing's roots. In design studio, students will design historically experimental urban projects around the text's investigated in the weekly seminar.

Autumn Womack, V. Mitch McEwen

ENG 397, AAS 397, COM 339 (LA)

New Diasporas


This course will explore the works of contemporary authors of the African and Caribbean diaspora in Europe and North America in relation to the changing historical and cultural context of migration and globalization. The course will consider how these writers have represented the process of relocation, acculturation, and the transnational moment. What is the role of the imagination in the rethinking of identities lived across boundaries? Why and how do these authors use the term diaspora to describe their experiences? How do the works of a new generation of writers from Africa and the Caribbean transform theories of globalization? 

Simon Gikandi

ENG 408, GSS 408, AMS 418 (LA)

Queer Literatures: Theory, Narrative, and Aesthetics


In this course, we will both read from various trajectories of queer literature and engage what it means to read queerly. We will consider the historical etymology of the term queer and think through its affiliate terms and acronyms: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans. We will investigate how discourses of power and institutions of normativity have come up against queer bodies, narratives, and politic--and how such encounters are historically situated. As the class reads through texts that range across both region and time, we will pay close attention to the ways in which desire, gender, and sexuality are queerly told.

Christina A. Leon

ENG 411, AAS 413 (LA)

Major Author(s): Mourning America: Emerson and Douglass


This course focuses on the literary and political writings of these two "representative men" of the 19th century. Suggesting that the promise of America has yet to be realized, they argue that democracy can be furthered through acts of writing. The course stages an encounter that may revise our understanding of both of these writers, especially in relation to issues of slavery, racism, and capital. Demonstrating that Douglass' strategies of writing have relays with Emerson's points to the political and historical character of Emerson's writings but also to the profoundly literary elements of Douglass' political writings.

Eduardo L. Cadava

ENG 414, AAS 455 (LA)

Major Author(s): Toni Morrison and the Ethics of Reading


In the opening lines of her 2006 novel "A Mercy" Toni Morrison confront her readers with an ethical challenge: "One question is who is responsible? Another is can you read?" But how is Morrison asking us to read? And what does it mean to read responsibly? This course traces the relationship between reading, politics, and aesthetics in the work of Toni Morrison. Working across her published oeuvre and personal archive -- from the "Bluest Eye" to "God Save the Child" we will explore Morrison as a critical reader, as a theorist of reading, and her novels as sites that interrogate reading practices.

Autumn Womack

ENG 556, AAS 5565

African-American Literature

A survey of African-American narrative and critical traditions in the context of social and cultural change. Attention is also given to the changing status of black literature in the curriculum of American colleges and universities. 

Kinohi Nishikawa

ENV 325, AAS 326 ()

The Perpetual Plantation: Race, Environment, Resistance


What is environmental racism? What is environmental justice? This course will explore those questions, focusing on the plantation as a key site for understanding the complex relationship between race and the environment in the U.S. and in other global contexts. We will trace the environmental legacies of the plantation through literature, film, and popular media from the eighteenth century to the present day, and will also examine histories of resistance in and against plantation geographies, from the antebellum cotton plantation to the contemporary prison complex. 

Britt Rusert

FRE 376, AAS 378 (LA)

Haiti: History, Literature, and Arts of the First Black Republic


This course will offer an overview of the history and culture of Haiti, the world's first black republic. In 1804, the former slaves of French St. Domingue under the leadership of Toussaint Louverture defeated the most powerful army in the world, Napoleon's to become the world's first post-slavery, black republic. The course will sample the rich history, novels, Afro-caribbean religion (Vodun), plays, music, film, and visual arts of this unique postcolonial nation. 

F. Nick Nesbitt, Robert W. Decker

GHP 409, AAS 410 ()

Mortality at the Margins: Race, Inequality and Health Policy in the United States


This course will critically examine the unequal distribution of disease and mortality in the United States along the axes of race, ethnicity, class and place. Through in-depth engagement with case studies, critical historical texts and public health literature we will explore why individuals from some race/ethnicities, class backgrounds, and geographies are more vulnerable to premature death and adverse outcomes than others. Student work will culminate in a policy memo and a presentation, allowing them to hone valuable skillsets for future participation in the research and policy processes. 

Alecia McGregor

GLS 331, AAS 334 (SA)

Japan and Black America: A Long Road to Discovery


According to popular imagery there are hardly two cultures that are more different than those of the Japanese and Black Americans. And yet, despite these perceived differences, for over a century there has been abundant and complex cultural sharing, borrowing, and exchange between them. This interdisciplinary course will explore this tradition from the early 20th century to the present. In addition to investigating creative cultural pairings, we will explore vexing issues that frequently appear when people with distinct histories and traditions imagine each other.

Imani Perry

GSS 345, AAS 355, ENG 399, AMS 373 (EM)

Pleasure, Power and Profit: Race and Sexualities in a Global Era


Pleasure Power and Profit explores the intimate ways that sexualities and race are entwined in contemporary culture, historically, and in our own lives. Why are questions about sexuality and race some of the most controversial, compelling, yet often taboo issues of our time? Exploring films, popular culture, novels, social media, and theory, we engage themes like: race, gender and empire; fetishism, Barbie, vampires and zombies; sex work and pornography; marriage and monogamy; queer sexualities; and strategies for social empowerment such as: Black Lives Matter, the new campus feminism, and global movements against sexual and gender violence.

Anne McClintock 

GSS 502, AAS 502, POL 514

Gender and Sexuality in American Politics and Policy

This course examines the ways in which gender and sexuality shape and are shaped by U.S. politics and public policy, emphasizing intersections with other categories, identities, and forms of marginalization including race, ethnicity, class, ideology, and partisan identification. We examine the history, approaches, and controversies in research about gender and sexuality in U.S. politics from a range of theoretical and methodological approaches. We also explore feminist, queer, and intersectional theories and methodologies, related work from other disciplines, and research that does not fit neatly into traditional disciplinary categories. 

Dara Strolovitch

HIS 270, AMS 370 (HA)

Asian American History


This course introduces students to the multiple and varied experiences of people of Asian heritage in the United States from the 19th century to the present day. It focuses on three major questions: (1) What brought Asians to the United States? (2) How did Asian Americans come to be viewed as a race? (3) How does Asian American experience transform our understanding of U.S. history? Using newspapers, novels, government reports, and films, this course will cover major topics in Asian American history, including Chinese Exclusion, Japanese internment, transnational adoption, and the model minority stereotype. 

Beth Lew-Williams, Olivier Burtin

HIS 306, LAO 306 (HA)

Latino History


The course follows the major themes and issues surrounding the history of Mexican Americans in the United States. It seeks to explain the historical origins of the continuing debates over land ownership, assimilation expectations, discrimination, immigration regulation, and labor disputes. The course focuses primarily on the US citizens created after the Mexican American War and Mexican immigrants to the US. It looks transnationally at Mexico's history to explain US shifts in public opinion and domestic policies. While the course examines the impact of Mexican Americans in many regions of the country, it will focus on those in the Southwest. 

Rosina Lozano 

HIS 314 (HA)

Precolonial Africa


A survey course that begins with an overview of the continent at the end of the third century A.D. and ends with the death of Moshoeshoe in the 19th century. Focuses on several great themes of African history: long-distance trade, state formation, migration, religious conversion to either Islam or Christianity, forms of domestic slavery, and the impact of the slave trade. 

Emmanuel Kreike

HIS 315, AFS 316 (HA)

Colonial and Postcolonial Africa


The impact of European colonial rule on the traditional societies of Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries. One of the dominant themes will be the emergence of the intelligentsia in colonial areas as proponents of nationalism.

Jacob Dlamini

HIS 376 (HA)

The American Civil War and Reconstruction


Surveys the causes, issues, and consequences of the nation's bloodiest conflict. Topics include slavery and antislavery, Manifest Destiny, the growing sectional conflict, the clash of arms, the transforming impact of the Civil War, the transition from slave to free labor in the South, and postslavery race relations.

Matthew Karp

HIS 390, AAS 394, GSS 390 (HA)

African American Women's History


This is a lecture course that explores the role and impact of African American women in U.S. history, beginning with the era of the Atlantic slave trade and proceeding up to the 21st century. It will address broad themes such as labor, family, community, sexuality, politics, popular culture, and religion. It will examine the social, political, cultural, and economic diversity of black women. Students will engage primary and secondary texts, as well as audio and visual material. The course will enhance critical thinking and writing skills.

Tera W. Hunter

HIS 393, AAS 364, WWS 389 (HA)

Race, Drugs, and Drug Policy in America


From "Chinese opium" to Oxycontin, and from cocaine and "crack" to BiDil, drug controversies reflect enduring debates about the role of medicine, the law, the policing of ethnic identity, and racial difference. This course explores the history of controversial substances (prescription medicines, over-the-counter products, black market substances, psychoactive drugs), and how, from cigarettes to alcohol and opium, they become vehicles for heated debates over immigration, identity, cultural and biological difference, criminal character, the line between legality and illegality, and the boundaries of the normal and the pathological.

Keith Wailoo

HIS 402, AAS 402, AMS 412 (HA)

Princeton and Slavery


Research seminar focused on Princeton University's historical connections to the institution of slavery. The class will work toward creating a report that details the slave-holding practices of Princeton faculty and students, examines campus debates about slavery, and investigates whether money derived from slave labor contributed to the early growth of the school. Class will meet in Mudd Library. 

Martha Sandweiss

HIS 431, ENV 433 (HA)

Comparative Environmental History


Examines the processes, causes, and effects of environmental change. Drawing on different historical periods and world regions, including Africa, the Americas, and Asia, class readings expose participants to different models and approaches to the study of environmental change. The course focuses on such themes as environmental determinism, ethno-ecology, biological imperialism, deforestation and desertification, the history of famine and food, and the impact of war, technology, population growth, market forces, and globalization on earth's ecosystem.

Emmanuel Kreike

HIS 456, AAS 456, URB 456, HUM 456 (HA)

New Orleans at 300: Invention and Reinvention in an American City


As it commemorates its tercentennial, this course explores the history of what has been described as an "impossible but inevitable city" over three centuries. Settled on perpetually shifting swampland at the foot of one of the world's great waterways, this port city served as an outpost of three empires and a gateway linking the N. American heartland with the Gulf Coast, Caribbean, and Atlantic World. From European and African settlement through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we will consider how race, culture, and the environment have defined the history of the city and its people.

Joshua B. Guild

HIS 474, AMS 474 (HA)

Violence in America


This course considers the history of collective violence in America. We will define "collective violence" broadly to encompass people acting on behalf of the U.S. government (i.e., police, soldiers, militiamen, and immigration officers) and people acting as civilians (i.e., slaveholders, vigilantes, terrorists, and protestors). A series of case studies (drawn primarily from the 19th and 20th centuries) will introduce disparate forms of violence, including vigilantism, slavery, massacre, imperialism, riot, segregation, and terrorism.

Beth Lew-Williams

HIS 485, AAS 409 (HA)

History of African American Families


This course covers the history of African American families. It traces the development of family life, meanings, values, and institutions from the period of slavery up to recent times. The course engages long-standing and current debates about black families in the scholarship across disciplines and in the society at large. The course will look at the diversity of black family arrangements and the way these have changed over time and adapted to internal and external challenges and demands. It will also situate the history of black families within a broader cross-cultural context.

Tera W. Hunter

HIS 492, AAS 492, AFS 492 (HA)

Utopias of Yesteryear: Socialist Experiments in Africa


This seminar explores the contours of Africa's embrace and engagement with the most influential ideology of the twentieth century. Why, and through which channels, were Africans attracted to socialism? Did particular forms of colonialism and decolonization push African political actors in that direction? Is it legitimate, as some scholars have suggested, to speak of genuinely African socialisms? We will discuss the contexts in which specific countries adopted and implemented socialism. Our goal is to place Africa in the mainstream of conversations about socialism.

Benedito Machava

HIS 577, AAS 577

Readings in African American History

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the literature of African-American History, from the colonial era up to more recent times. Major themes and debates are highlighted. The course should help students to define interests within the field to pursue further study and research and also to aid preparation for examinations.

Tera W. Hunter

HIS 578, AAS 578

Topics in African Diaspora History

This readings course considers the dispersals, political movements, cultural production, social bonds, and intellectual labors that together have constituted and continually re-configured the modern African diaspora, from the emergence and collapse of the Atlantic slave system through the late twentieth century. The course tracks the evolution of diaspora as an idea and analytical framework, highlighting its intersections with concepts of Pan-Africanism, black nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and citizenship. 

Joshua B. Guild

JRN 260, GSS 260 (SA)

The Media in America: Black Women and the 2020 Election


This seminar will focus on black women and the roles--voter, organizer, influencer, candidate--they have played and will play in the national conversation and upcoming U.S. presidential election. We will also explore why and how the press can and should better report on the political priorities of this consequential constituency. Students will learn about the roots of the political journey of black women in America, including the pioneering journalists who first wrote on this subject, while acquiring the skills, perspective, and context to cover news at the intersection of race, gender, and politics today.

LAS 371, SPA 372, AAS 374 (SA)

Cuban History, Politics and Culture


This seminar constitutes an introduction to the study of Cuba from a historical perspective. During the first half of the semester the course follows a chronological approach, covering the political and socioeconomic development of the country from the sixteenth century to the present. In the second half of the semester, it examines a series of sociocultural issues that are central to the life of contemporary Cubans, on the island and abroad. At the core of the class lies an interrogation of the relevance of the Cuban case for larger discussions on colonialism, modernity, socialism and development.

Adrian Lopez-Denis 

LAS 395, AAS 396 (HA)

Caribbean Revolutions: From Plantation Slavery to Global Tourism


The goal of this course is to provide an introduction to the history of the Caribbean from the arrival of its first human inhabitants to the present. During the first half of the semester we will examine the dual role of plantation slavery and European colonialism in the historical development of the region up until the opening of the Panama Canal. On the second half we will discuss how the Caribbean interacted with the United States and the world at large during the long Twentieth Century.

Adrian Lopez-Denis

LCA 213, AAS 213, HUM 213, ENG 213 (LA)

The Lucid Black and Proud Musicallity of Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka


This class will focus on the career-long writing about jazz, blues, rock and R&B of Amiri Baraka (nee Leroi Jones) and the significant impact it has had on cultural politics, scholarship and esthetics from the early 1960s to the present. Baraka's work as an activist and his gifts as a poet/novelist/playwright/political essayist allowed him to inject considerable lyricism, eloquence, learning and passion into the previously moribund fields of African American music history and journalism. His music writing also affected the tenor of future public advocacy for jazz via the NEA 's Jazz Masters awards and Jazz At Lincoln Center.

Gregory Tate

MUS 214 (LA)

Projects in Vocal Performance: The Development of the African American Art Song


The class will be a survey of the development of classical African American art song. Students will attend a 3 hr. class. Lecture and song preparation for final recital.

Rochelle K. Ellis 

MUS 246, AFS 246 (LA)

Projects in African Dance Drumming


A performance course in African dance drumming with a focus on music from the West African Manding Empire (Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Senegal.) Taught by master drummer Olivier Tarpaga, exponent of the Mogo Kele Foli drumming technique, the course provides hands-on experience on two main instruments, the Djembe and the Dun dun. Students will acquire performance experience, skills, and techniques on the Také and Diansa and develop an appreciation for the integrity of drumming in the daily life of West Africa. 

Olivier Tarpaga

MUS 258, AFS 258 (LA)

Music of Africa


Introduction to the vocal and instrumental music of Africa south of the Sahara. Topics include the place of music in society, the influence of language on musical composition, principles of rhythmic organization, urban popular music, "art" music as a response to colonialism, and the impact of African music on the earliest forms of African American music. 

V. Kofi Agawu

MUS 262, AAS 262 (LA)

Jazz History: Many Sounds, Many Voices


This course will examine the musical, historical, and cultural aspects of jazz throughout its entire history, looking at the 20th century as the breeding ground for jazz in America and beyond. During this more than one hundred year period, jazz morphed and fractured into many different styles and voices, all of which will be considered. In addition to the readings, the course will place an emphasis on listening to jazz recordings, and developing an analytical language to understand these recordings. A central goal is to understand where jazz was, is, and will be in the future, examining the musicians and the music that has kept jazz alive. 

Matthew Clayton

MUS 264 (LA)

Urban Blues and the Golden Age of Rock


Examines post-World War II blues, rock music mostly of the late sixties and early seventies, and the connections between them. Explores wider musical and extramusical connections.

Rob Wegman

MUS 350, AFS 350, ANT 373 (LA)

Studies in African Performance


This course presents a cross-disciplinary and multi-modal approach to African music, dance, and culture. Co-taught by a master drummer and choreographer (Tarpaga) and an ethnomusicologist (Steingo), students will explore African and African diasporic performance arts through readings, discussions, listening, film analysis, music performance, and composition.

Gavin Steingo, Olivier P. Tarpaga

NES 238, AAS 236, REL 233 ()

Muslims in America


This course introduces students to the historical, religious, political and social dimensions of Muslim presence in the United States. It is framed by methodological discussions about the study of Islam and Muslims in America and by the question whether we can speak of the emergence of a specifically American Islam over the last century. The course addresses themes such as religious practice, political participation, gender issues, Muslim everyday culture and Islamic Law, as well as the historical and contemporary differences and convergences between African American and immigrant Muslim communities and their descendants.

Juliane Hammer

NES 316, AAS 324, HIS 299, JDS 316 (HA)

Muslims, Jews and Christians in North Africa: Interactions, Conflicts and Memory


This has been as one of the main events of the modern times in North Africa: from the 1950s onwards, the Jewish local communities and the European settlers started to leave Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. We will study the various interactions between Muslims, Jews and Christians in this part of the Islamic world. How did Europeans transform North African Islam and local societies? We will as well explore the reasons why the local Jews and Europeans left en masse after the colonial period and how North African Muslims, Jews and former European settlers developed either a strong memory of a shared past or a mutual distrust even today. 

M'hamed Oualdi

NES 374, GSS 343 (HA)

Global Feminisms: Feminist Movements in the Middle East and Beyond


This course explores how feminist thought & activism circulates globally by examining a variety of feminist movements in the Middle East & North Africa. Beginning with modern feminist thought and activism in mid-19th century Syria & Egypt, we'll trace feminist movements in various contemporary contexts, from Morocco, Iran, Turkey, Tunisia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon & Egypt in the 20th century, to women's participation in the Arab Spring and transnational Islamic movements in the 21st century. We'll map the local and geopolitical discourses that have shaped regional feminisms, and ask how local feminisms are transnational or global.

Satyel Larson

NES 395, HIS 457, AFS 412, AAS 412 (HA)

Human Trafficking and its Demise: African and European Slaves in Modern Islam (16th - 21st century)


What did slavery represent for Islamic societies, and what does human trafficking mean in the Middle East and North Africa nowadays as Salafist groups such as ISIS restore practices of enslavement in Syria and Iraq? After a presentation of the issues related to slavery in Muslim societies today, we will ask ourselves if there was even such thing as Islamic slavery: Did Muslim societies organize a specific type of slave trade? To what extent was slavery a pivotal institution? We will see that various experiences of slavery shaped discourses about race and gender, and we will assess the main legacies of slavery in current Muslim societies. 

M'hamed Oualdi

POL 319, AAS 316, AMS 391 (EM)

History of African American Political Thought


This course explores central themes and ideas in the history of African American political thought: slavery and freedom, solidarity and sovereignty, exclusion and citizenship, domination and democracy, inequality and equality, rights and respect. Readings will be drawn, primarily, from canonical authors, including Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, Martin Delany, Booker T. Washington, Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells, W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Ralph Ellison, Kwame Ture and Charles Hamilton, and Martin Luther King, Jr. This is an introductory course, which emphasizes both thematic and historical approaches to political theory. 

Desmond Jagmohan

POL 344, AAS 344 (SA)

Race and Politics in the Age of Obama


This course focuses upon the evolution, nature, and role of black politics within the American Political System, in the post- civil rights era. The concern is with black people as actors and creators and initiators in the political process. Specifically, this course will examine various political controversies that surround the role of race in American society. These controversies or issues, affect public opinion, political institutions, political behavior, and salient public policy debates. Thus this course will assess and evaluate the contemporary influence of race in each of these domains while also exploring their historical antecedents. 

LaFleur Stephens-Dougan

POL 366, AFS 366 (SA)

Politics in Africa


A comparative approach to African political systems. The meanings of the concepts of modernization, national integration, and development are explored. Topics include the inheritances of colonial rule, independence and the new tasks, political patterns in the postindependence period, prospects for political change, and African interstate relations. 

Leonard Wantchekon

POL 421 (SA)

Seminar in American Politics


Why do political cleavages often divide along lines of race and ethnicity? Does human psychology tend towards 'groupism'? How do government institutions like schools, police and elections increase or decrease the salience of various ethnic and religious boundaries? This course investigates the relationship between identity, groups and politics in the U.S. and around the world. We will consider theories of group identity development; assess empirical approaches to the study of racial and ethnic groups in politics and look at how politically relevant aspects of identity can be measured for conducting original research (JPs or Senior Theses).

Omar Wasow

POL 433, AFS 433, GSS 543 (SA)

Seminar in Comparative Politics: Themes in African Politics


This course covers selected topics in contemporary African politics. We first highlight recent events in African history as well as contemporary African political issues. We then cover specific topics in greater detail including clientelism, democratization, and ethnic politics. We finally look at the historical legacies that continue to affect Africa's political landscape.

Christopher Achen

POL 543, AAS 543, GSS 543

Interest Groups and Social Movements in American Politics and Policy

This course engages theoretical and empirical work about interest groups and social movements in American politics and policy-making. We examine theories of interest group and social movement formation, maintenance and decline; how interest groups and social movements attempt to influence public policy; the impact of interest groups and social movements; lobbying; the relationships between interest groups and the three branches of the federal government; interest groups, elections, campaign finance, PACs, and 527s; and the effectiveness of interest groups and social movements as agents of democratic representation. 

Dara Strolovitch

POR 222, LAS 211 ()

Myth, Memory and Identity Politics in Lusophone Cinema


This course will analyze the role of cinema in the construction (and deconstruction) of national and transnational discourses in the Portuguese speaking world. We will examine a number of recurring cultural topics in a wide variety of films from Africa, Brazil and Europe, situating works within their socio-historical contexts and tracing the development of national cinemas and their interaction with global aesthetics and trends.

Nicole T. Cooney

POR 304, LAS 311 (LA)

Topics in Brazilian Cultural and Social History


Through the analysis of literary texts, films, and music, the course will consider cultural responses to the construction of a Brazilian national identity. Possible topics include the Brazilian modernist tradition; contemporary culture and media; the city and literature; poetry and song.

Pedro Monteiro

POR 309, LAS 393 (HA)

Brazilian History: Slavery, Race and Citizenship in Modern Brazil


This course will introduce students to the history of slavery and race relations in modern Brazil and will explore how it resonates in present-day debates about citizenship. Students will read classical and recent historical works as well as primary sources in order to gain a critical and comparative understanding of slavery as an institution in the Americas, and its adaptability to local realities. Students will be introduced to methods of historical research, with a particular focus on digital history. Students will write papers tackling how the history of slavery has distinctively shaped ideas of democracy, human rights and social justice. 

Miqueias Mugge

PSY 252 (EC)

Social Psychology


The scientific study of social behavior, with an emphasis on social interaction and group influence. Topics covered will include social perception, the formation of attitudes and prejudice, attraction, conformity and obedience, altruism and aggression, and group dynamics. 

Diana Tamir

REL 250, AAS 250 (EM).

Religion in the African American Political Imagination


The aim of this course is to introduce students to the historically complex relationship between "religion" and "the political" in African American life. For instance, is there a non-political religious identity? And, how does the "religious" identity of an African American atheist, Christian, Jew, Muslim, or naturalist affect their "political" imagination? These questions will guide us as we engage in close readings of texts from a variety of genres (historical, theoretical, and literary) that capture the dynamics of African American experiences, religion, and thought.

Kevin A. Wolfe

REL 256, AAS 256 (HA)

African American Religious History


This course will trace the origins and development of African American religion in the United States. It will begin with the important debate about "Africanisms" and an examination of "slave religion" in its various forms. We will also discuss urban religion and the rise of "The Black Gods of the Metropolis". In addition to Christian and quasi-Christian groups, we will also explore the rise of non-Christian groups such as Black Hebrews and the Nation of Islam. The course concludes with an examination of the contested role of black churches during the Civil Rights Movement. 

Wallace D. Best

REL 258 (SA)

Religion in American Society


A broad survey of religion in American society from the colonial era to the present. Emphasis on religious encounter and conflict; the relationship between religious change and broader social and political currents; religious innovations and transformations; immigrant religions; secularization, resurgence, and pluralism. Mix of primary and secondary source readings.

Judith Weisenfeld

REL 310, AAS 310 (HA)

American Pentecostalism


Pentecostalism is the fastest growing religious movement in the world, spreading especially in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, having a major impact on the religious, social, and economic practices in those regions. This course looks into the religious and cultural sources of the movement from its birth in Los Angeles in 1906, focusing on such distinctive features as healing, expressive bodily worship, "speaking in tongues," and its special appeal to people on the margins of society. 

Wallace D. Best

REL 328, GSS 328 (SA)

Women and Gender in Islamic Societies


This seminar focuses on issues of gender and sexuality in Islamic societies, past and present. Topics include women's lives, women's writings, changing perceptions of male vs. female piety, marriage and divorce, motherhood and fatherhood, sexuality and the body, and the feminist movement in the Middle East. Course materials include a wide range of texts in translation, including novels and poetry, as well as contemporary films. 

Sheila Marmon

REL 358 (HA)

Religion in American Culture Since 1830


The relationship between religion and society in the U.S. in the 19th and 20th centuries. Attention will be paid to Transcendentalism, the Civil War, the social gospel, Fundamentalism, New Thought, Pentecostalism, civil rights, immigration, and recent religious movements. 

Brendan Pietsch

REL 360, GSS 360, AMS 369 (SA)

Women and American Religion


In exploration of women's roles and experiences, and constructions of gender in diverse settings within North American religion. The seminar will examine female religious leaders and participants in such subcultures as Puritanism, evangelicalism, Catholicism, Judaism, African American Protestantism, native traditions, and American Islam. Emphasis on the dilemmas faced by women in religious institutions as well as the creative uses women have made of their social and religious "place." 

Judith Weisenfeld

REL 367, AAS 346 (HA)

The American Jeremiad and Social Criticism in the United States


An examination of the religious and philosophical roots of prophecy as a form of social criticism in American intellectual and religious history. Particular attention is given to what is called the American Jeremiad, a mode of public exhortation that joins social criticism to spiritual renewal. Michael Walzer, Sacvan Bercovitch, and Edward Said serve as key points of departure in assessing prophetic criticism's insights and limitations. Attention is also given to the role of black prophetic critics, such as James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., and Cornel West.

Eddie S. Glaude

REL 372, AAS 382 (HA)

Race, Religion, and the Harlem Renaissance


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." 

Wallace D. Best

REL 377, AAS 376, AMS 378 (SA)

Race and Religion in America


This course examines the ways in which constructions of race have shaped how varied Americans have constructed religious identities and fostered religious experience, as well as made meaning of the religions of others. Topics addressed include American interpretations of race in the Bible, religion and racial slavery, religious constructions of whiteness, and religious resistance to notions of race. Readings are drawn from a range of primary and secondary sources. 

Judith Weisenfeld

REL 582, AAS 582

Study of Race, Gender & Slavery in Western & Non-Western Societies

Interdisciplinary inquiry into the changing and often fraught study of "race," "ethnicity," slavery and gender in a variety of historical, cultural contexts and academic disciplines. How does gender inflect the experience of slavery/racial difference and how has the representation of female slaves been influenced by literary topoi? Practices of slavery and understandings of race/ethnicity in non-Western societies, specifically so-called "Islamic" societies through pre-modern, colonial, post-colonial and modern periods. 

Shaun Marmon

SOC 201 (SA)

American Society and Politics


An introduction to changing patterns of family structure, community life, economic relations, voluntary associations, moral beliefs and values, social and political movements, and other aspects of civil society and politics in the United States. 

Paul Starr

SOC 207 (SA)

Poverty in America


This course investigates poverty in America in historical and contemporary perspective.  We will explore central aspects of poverty, including low-wage work and joblessness, housing and neighborhoods, crime and punishment, and survival and protest.  Along the way, we will examine the cause and consequences of poverty; study the lived experience of severe deprivation and material hardship; evaluate large-scale anti-poverty programs with an eye toward what worked and what didn’t; and engage with normative debates about the right to housing, living wages, just punishment, and other matters pertaining to American life below the poverty line.

Matthew Desmond

SOC 210, LAS 210, URB 210, LAO 210 (SA)

Urban Sociology: The City and Social Change in the Americas


By taking a comparative approach, this course examines the role of social, economic, and political factors in the emergence and transformation of modern cities in the United States and selected areas of Latin America. The class considers the city in its dual image: both as a center of progress and as a redoubt of social problems, especially poverty. Special attention is given to spatial processes that have resulted in the aggregation and desegregation of populations differentiated by social class and race.

Patricia Fernandez-Kelly

SOC 216 (SA)

The Ghetto


This course will examine the ghetto as a social form and as a "concept" in the United States. We intend to explore the phenomenon as it moved from European cities to American communities and became what might be described as a hyper-ghetto today. We intend to pay close attention to both the macro social forces that make a ghetto a place of contempt and the everyday aspects that makes it not only a livable space but one that thrives and survives in a multitude of micro-social ways. We will explore how the social form came to exact such a distinct imprint on our collective imaginations.

Terry Williams

SOC 221, AAS 221, GSS 221 (SA)

Inequality: Class, Race, and Gender


Inequalities in property, power, and prestige examined for their effects on life chances and lifestyles. Primary focus on socioeconomic classes in modern societies. Special attention to the role of religious, racial, and ethnic factors. Comparisons of different systems of stratification in the world today. 

Bonnie Thornton Dill

SOC 227, URB 227 (SA)

Race and Ethnicity


An introduction to the sociological study of race and ethnicity which begins by encouraging students to exercise some critical distance from the core concepts of race and ethnicity. Topics will include comparative racism, immigration, the experiences of the second generation, whiteness, the culture of poverty debate, slums and ghettos, and the debate over the "underclass."

Patricia Fernandez-Kelly

SOC 315, AAS 315, LAS 316 (SA)

Race, Nation and the Citizen in Latin America


This seminar course traces the tide of racial discourse and Enlightenment-spurred scientific empiricism and explores the materialization of these anxieties in popular culture as it related to the development of notions of race and nationalizing projects at the dawn of independence in Latin America. 

Danielle Terrazas Williams

SOC 315, AAS 315, LAS 316 (SA)

Race, Ethnicity, and the Nationalism in Latin America


Examines a wide range of issues regarding race, ethnicity and nationalism in Latin America. We will explore the basic sociological, political and cultural concepts of nation, race and ethnicity, emphasizing how they are used in the region. Race and ethnicity have taken on special meanings in Latin America that are disctinct from other regions. Much of the course will focus on how that came about and how race is manifested. We will emphasize comparisons to the U.S. as well as across countries within Latin America. The course will cover populations of African and indigenous origins.

Eduardo Telles

SOC 345 (SA)

Money, Work and Social Life


The course offers a sociological account of production, consumption, distribution, and transfer of assets. Examining different sectors of the economy from corporations and finance to households, immigrants, welfare, and illegal markets, we explore how in all areas of economic life people are creating, maintaining, symbolizing, and transforming meaningful social relations. Economic life, from this perspective, is as social as religion, family, or education. 

Viviana Zelizer

SOC 359 (SA)

Higher Education and Society


Is higher education still a pathway to opportunity? This course will examine issues related to college access, aid, and accountability. We will begin by reviewing recent research on topics such as: the changing demographics of students, the definition of "merit" in admissions, the challenges of assessment, and student loan debt. We will consider how college is increasingly associated with later outcomes such as income, occupation, health, and family formation. We will also discuss the politics of higher education reform and whether innovations like online courses can reshape the future of postsecondary schooling. 

Matthew Lawrence

SOC 361, GSS 361 (SA)

Culture, Power, and Inequality


An introduction to theories of symbolism, ideology, and belief. Approaches to the analysis and comparison of cultural patterns. Emphasis on the social sources of new idea systems, the role of ideology in social movements, and the social effects of cultural change. Comparisons of competing idea systems in contemporary culture.

Amin Ghaziani

SOC 562, AAS 562 

Race & Ethnicity (Half-Term)

An overview of important theories and theorists of race and ethnicity, focussing on (a) fundamental concepts of the nature and persistence of race and ethnic identity as meaningful social groupings and (b) how those groupings are related to social stratifications, socio-cultural relations, and the political and economic dynamics in society. Half-term course. 

Edward Telles

SPA 233, LIN 233, LAS 233 (EC) 

Language of the Americas


This course explores the vast linguistic diversity of the Americas: native languages, pidgins, creoles, mixed languages, and other languages in North, Central, and South America, including the Caribbean. We will examine historical and current issues of multilingualism to understand the relationship between language, identity, and social mobility. We will discuss how languages played a central role in colonization and nation-building processes, and how language policies contribute to linguistic loss and revitalization. This course has no prerequisites and is intended for students interested in learning more about languages in the Americas.

Dunia Catalina Méndez Vallejo

SPA 327, URB 327, LAO 327 (LA)

Latino Global Cities


This seminar focuses on the comparative study of Latino urban cultures in U.S., Caribbean and Spanish cities (mainly New York City, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Madrid). Topics include the 2008 Financial Crisis, Occupy-like movements, global migratory flows, popular culture, memory, debt, visuality and citizenship. Paying close attention to their political and cultural contexts, flamenco, hip-hop, graffiti, visual culture, poetry, documentary films and political performances will be analyzed. Guest speakers and musicians will be part of the conversation. 

German Labrador Mendez

SPA 352, AAS 352, LAS 356 (LA)

Topics in the Politics of Writing and Difference


A course analyzing various Latin American literary and written traditions produced by, in dialogue with, or on behalf of subjects who have an ambiguous relationship with dominant forms of written expression, for example: indigenous people, black people, and women. Special attention will be given to slave narratives, testimonio, autobiography, and the indigenista novel.

Rachel Price

SPA 360, AAS 361, AMS 375, LAO 360 (EM)

Urban Diversity and Segregation in the Americas


Diversity has sometimes been viewed as a source of vitality and strength, other times as a threat to cultural or national cohesion. This seminar explores histories of segregation and debates about diversity in a hemispheric framework, asking: how can Latin American perspectives inform our understanding of the U.S.? How has the U.S. shaped urban developments in Latin America, as a model or cautionary tale? What is the interplay between identity politics and moral values? Urbanism and ethics? How does diversity relate to inclusion, difference, and inequality? Topics include immigration, globalization, social justice, planning, race and racism. 

Bruno Carvalho

SPA 365, LAO 365, URB 365 (LA) 

Rapping in Spanish: Urban Poetry in Latino Global Cities


This course studies contemporary urban poetry composed in Spanish on both sides of the Atlantic in cities such as New York, Madrid, Los Angeles, Mexico D.F., Barcelona and Buenos Aires. It focuses on lyrical practices that combine sound and language in a wide range of literary expressions. Contemporary hip-hop poetry and rap lyrics are at the center of the course.

Germán Labrador Méndez

SPA 366, AMS 326, LAO 366, GSS 364 (SA)

Witchcraft, Rituals and Colonialism


This course will explore witchcraft and rituality in the Americas through accusations and identity claims. We will look at how witchcraft has been used in colonial and imperial contexts to control, sanction, and extract power from women and marginalized groups in different periods, as well as how people make claims to witchcraft and rituals as a way to thwart domination. Topics include: shamanism in Latin America, the Mexican Inquisition, Afro-Latinx and Carribean diasporic religious systems, and the contemporary social media ritual activism of "bruja feminisms." Students will be introduced to theories of race, gender, and sexuality.

Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús

SWA 200, COM 200 (LA)

Readings in Kiswahili Literature and East African Culture


This course is an introduction to the basics of literature and their application to literature in Kiswahili. Content will focus on understanding the basic vocabulary and concepts used in describing literary theory and criticism in Kiswahili language. Students will read selected materials on literary theory and criticism written in Kiswahili as well as sample Swahili texts from the various genres (novel, drama, and poetry) to gain understanding of the nature of literature written in Kiswahili. 

Mahiri Mwita

THR 340, AAS 343, CWR 340, HUM 340 (LA)

Autobiographical Storytelling


Every life delivers a story (or three) worth telling well. This workshop course rehearses the writing and performance skills necessary to remake the raw material drawn from lived experience into compelling autobiographical storytelling. Course participants will work in an array of storytelling modes (including stand-up comedy, testimonio, first-person media, slam poetics, etcetera) and will draw from those techniques to devise, document and perform an original work of autobiographical storytelling at semester's end.

Brian Herrera

VIS 307, AAS 307 (LA)

Film Blackness


This seminar will frame the idea of black film as a visual negotiation between film as art and the discursivity of race, rather than black film as a demographic, or a genre, or a reflection of the black experience, or something bound by a representational politics of positive and negative stereotypes. Black film will be critically considered as an interdisciplinary practice that enacts a distinct visual and expressive culture alongside literature, music, art, photography, and new media. Students will consider new paradigms for genre, narrative, aesthetics, historiography, and intertextuality within this overarching concept of black film.

Michael Gillespie

WWS 331, AAS 317, SOC 312 (SA)

Race and Public Policy


Analyzes the historical construction of race as a concept in American society, how and why this concept was institutionalized publicly and privately in various arenas of U.S. public life at different historical junctures, and the progress that has been made in dismantling racialized institutions since the civil rights era. 

Douglas Massey

WWS 345, AAS 384, PSY 384 (SA)

Prejudices: Its Causes, Consequences, and Cures


Prejudice is one of the most contentious topics in modern American society. There is debate regarding its causes, pervasiveness, and impact. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the psychological research relevant to these questions. We will review theoretical perspectives on prejudice to develop an understanding of its cognitive, affective, and motivational underpinnings. We will also discuss how these psychological biases relate to evaluations of, and behavior toward, members of targeted groups. In addition, research-based strategies for reducing prejudice will be discussed.

Stacey Sinclair

WWS 370, POL 308, CHV 301 (EM)

Ethics and Public Policy


This course examines basic ethical controversies in public life. What rights do persons have at the beginning and end of life? Do people have moral claims to unequal economic rewards or is economic distribution properly subject to political design for the sake of social justice? Do we have significant moral obligations to distant others? Other possible topics include toleration (including the rights of religious and cultural minorities), racial and gender equity, and just war.  

Stephen Macedo