Africana Studies (AFCNA)

AFCNA-200 Foundations of Africana Studies

Spring. Credits: 4

This reading- and writing-intensive course draws upon the intellectual traditions of African American, African, and African diasporic studies in order to explore the connections and disjunctures among people of African descent. While the course pays attention to national, regional, and historical contexts, it asks this question: what do African descended people have in common and when and how are their experiences and interests different?

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
D. Mosby

AFCNA-206 African Cities: Development Dreams and Nightmares in the Twentieth Century

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

African cities demonstrate the failure of models of development with the aim and ideal of industrialization. This course examines the empty promises of modernity through the lens of African urban history using fiction, film, and city archives. Beginning with Timbuktu and Cairo, the course explores the emergence and decline of trade entrepots, the rise of colonial cities, and the dilemmas of postcolonial economies and polities. Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Kampala, Kinshasa, Harare, Johannesburg, Lagos, Accra, and Dakar are among the cities studied. Designed for those seeking only an introduction to development as well as those with further ambitions, it assumes no previous knowledge of Africa.

Crosslisted as: HIST-206
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
H. Hanson

AFCNA-208 Introduction to Twentieth-Century Critical Race Theory

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines the discursive relationship between race, power and law in contemporary U.S. society. Readings examine the ways in which racial bodies are constituted in the cultural economy of American society where citizens of African descent dwell. We explore the rules and social practices that govern the relationship of race to gender, nationality, sexuality, and class in U.S. courts and other cultural institutions. Thinkers covered include W.E.B. DuBois, Kimberle Crenshaw, Derrick Bell, and Richard Delgado, among others.

Crosslisted as: CST-253
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Wilson
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Advisory: Critical Social Thought 248, 249,or 250 recommended but not required

AFCNA-234 Black Metropolis: From MLK to Obama

Spring. Credits: 4

Black Metropolis" refers to the more than half a million black people jammed into a South Side ghetto in Chicago at mid-twentieth century that featured an entrenched black political machine, a prosperous black middle class, and a thriving black cultural scene in the midst of massive poverty and systemic inequality. This course will follow the political, economic, and cultural developments of what scholars considered to be the typical urban community in postwar United States. We will examine such topics as Martin Luther King's failed desegregation campaign; Harold Washington, first black mayor; William Julius Wilson's urban underclass thesis; and the rise of Barack Obama.

Crosslisted as: POLIT-234
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
P. Smith

AFCNA-241 Topics in Africana Studies

AFCNA-241AF Topics in Africana Studies: 'Afro-Latin America: From Slavery to Invisibility'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Exploration of the history of Afro-Latin American populations since Independence within and outside the nation-state. We will question why and how to study those whose governments define them not as peoples of African descent but as part of a mixed-race majority of Hispanic cultural heritage, who themselves may often have supported this policy, and who may have had compelling reasons to avoid official scrutiny. Readings include early twentieth-century Latin American racialist theorizing; research using census, economic, criminal, and marriage records; autobiographical works, and analysis of race in textual and musical representations of peoples, regions, and nations.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-260, HIST-287AF
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Gudmundson

AFCNA-241AW Topics in Africana Studies: 'African Women's Work'

Spring. Credits: 4

The power to produce food and reproduce society gave women significant public voice in African societies in the past. But over 200 years they lost that public voice and control over subsistence. Why, when women are still producing food and people, is the social and political voice of women so much less significant than it was before? We explore African womens' work of governing, production, and social reproduction across the tumultuous changes of the 20th century. The class seeks to provide an achievable yet challenging set of learning experiences for those who have no prior experience studying Africa, but also for those who have substantial previous engagement with African issues.

Crosslisted as: HIST-296AW, GNDST-206AW
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
H. Hanson

AFCNA-241BN Topics in Africana Studies: 'Black Abolitionists: American Revolution to Reconstruction'

Fall. Credits: 4

Slavery existed throughout the U.S. at the time of the American Revolution; afterwards, gradual emancipation plans freed the children of the formerly enslaved in the northern states. Runaways from the South increased their numbers. These nineteenth-century African Americans built the first edifices of freedom, chiefly through the institutions of family and religion, and furnished both leaders and foot soldiers for the abolitionist movement. They acted in the hope that their efforts would end slavery and bring full citizenship for black people. We will examine their unique contributions to the history of freedom, and the many obstacles they faced as they mobilized for emancipation.

Crosslisted as: HIST-274
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
L. Morgan

AFCNA-241FW Topics in Africana Studies: 'African American Women and United States History'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

How is our understanding of U.S. history transformed when we place African American women at the center of the story? This course will examine the exclusion of African American women from dominant historical narratives and the challenge to those narratives presented by African American women's history through an investigation of selected topics in the field.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-206FW, HIST-280AA
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
M. Renda

AFCNA-241HS Topics in Africana Studies: 'African American History, Precolonial to Emancipation'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course will examine the cultural, social, political, and economic history of African Americans through the Civil War. Topics covered include the African background to the African American experience, the Atlantic slave trade, introduction and development of slavery, master-slave relationships, the establishment of black communities, slave revolts, the political economy of slavery, women in slavery, the experiences of free blacks, the crisis of the nineteenth century, and the effect of the Civil War.

Crosslisted as: HIST-281
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Morgan
Notes: meets history department pre-1750 requirement

AFCNA-241SA Topics in Africana Studies: 'Slavery in the Americas'

Spring. Credits: 4

A course, organized topically rather than geographically or nationally, that offers a comparative analysis of African American slavery as a dominant social system in Brazil, the Caribbean, and the U.S. South. Topics include: why slavery?; sugar and slavery; historical demography; culture and the law; kinship and family; long-run economic development; patterns of race relations; master class and racist ideologies; resistance to slavery; and abolition and its aftermath. Readings include historical and anthropological studies, as well as a major documentary collection on slavery in Brazil.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-289, HIST-289
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Gudmundson

AFCNA-243 Rural Prosperity in the African Past

Fall. Credits: 4

This course seeks to understand what relationships engendered rural prosperity in African communities in the past, and what processes of change have led millions of rural people to abandon their homes and livelihoods to join flows of migrants to cities and other nations. We examine African patterns of production over the long term and the transformation of African agriculture in the last two centuries, considering famine, the social and political organization of access to productive resources, and the relationship of rural and urban communities. We ask how rural prosperity might be recreated in the 21st century.

Crosslisted as: HIST-243, ENVST-243
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
H. Hanson

AFCNA-251 Contemporary African American Literature II

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will examine African American literature and culture in the postwar period as American identities are coalescing around the concept of the US as a world power. Specifically, our task during the semester will be to discuss the myriad ways black authors and artists attempt to interrogate the structure of racial hegemony by creating poetry and prose meant to expand notions of culture and form. We will also examine music, visual art, and advertisements from this era to have a greater sense of the black experience through various cultural representations. Writers will include James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, Michael S. Harper and bell hooks.

Crosslisted as: ENGL-251
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
K. J. Brown

AFCNA-282 African American History from Emancipation to Obama

Spring. Credits: 4

This course will examine the social, cultural, political, and economic history of African Americans from emancipation and Reconstruction through the present. Emphasis will fall on postwar southern social and economic developments, the rise of segregation, northern migrations, black class stratification, nationalism, the twentieth-century civil rights movement, and current trends in African American political, social, and economic life.

Crosslisted as: HIST-282
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Morgan

AFCNA-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

AFCNA-301 The Abolition Movement

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will examine the maturation of North American slave regimes after the American Revolution and the diverse activities of people who worked to abolish slavery. The assorted motives of white opponents of slavery and the actions of both free and enslaved African Americans to achieve freedom will be highlighted. We will analyze the mechanics of biracial coalition building and assess the historical legacy of these activists for subsequent social movements.

Crosslisted as: HIST-301AB
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Morgan

AFCNA-302 Urban Policy

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Gentrification, unemployment, crime, failing schools, disinvestment, mass incarceration--what comes to mind when you think of the inner city? In response to a constrained fiscal environment, cities have increasingly adopted neoliberal policy approaches to address seemingly intractable urban problems. The seminar will study current research to assess the political and economic impact of this neoliberal policy regime on housing, education, and public safety.

Crosslisted as: POLIT-302
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
P. Smith
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Prereq: 8 credits in the department.

AFCNA-321 Politics of Decolonization

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This seminar is a critical exploration of the various processes, accounts and theories of colonialism and decolonization in Africa and the Americas. The aim is to chart alternative paths to rethinking the meaning and impact of these terms. Focusing on the various colonial/imperial tools employed to subjugate, exploit and dominate colonized subjects, we will examine how liberal discourses/structures that are assumed to embody the terms of freedom and sovereignty have now become extensions of the colonial they were initially employed to overcome. The main objective of this course is to explore various approaches to redefining decolonization, noting the changing meaning of colonialism.

Crosslisted as: POLIT-321
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
B. Forjwuor

AFCNA-339 The Visual Culture of Protest

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course examines social protests from the perspective of the visual. Examining cultural productions from 1948-2015 we will focus on the geographical specificity of planned and spontaneous protests that have mobilized people into action. We will use a black studies framework to engage the possibilities present in resisting disparate power structures of race, gender, sexuality, class, and region. Artists, musicians, activists, writers, and grassroots organizers of social movements have been ever cognizant of the role of the visual in subverting power structures. We will use this opportunity to place visual culture at the center of a conversation concerning resistance, human rights, political agency, citizenship, and freedom.

Crosslisted as: ENGL-339, CST-339
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
K. J. Brown
Prereq: ENGL-199/ENGL-200 or AFCNA-200.

AFCNA-341 Topics in Africana Studies

AFCNA-341EM Topics in Africana Studies: 'The Age of Emancipation'

Spring. Credits: 4

This colloquium examines the causes and the course of the Civil War, its social, economic, and political results during Reconstruction, and the early roots of both de jure segregation and the civil rights movement. It will examine the process of emancipation from the perspective of social history. Violent conflicts over free labor, the establishment of sharecropping, and the political and economic policies pursued by various groups--freedpeople, ex-masters, northern policymakers, wage laborers, and African American women, for example--will be covered. African American viewpoints and histories will receive particular emphasis.

Crosslisted as: HIST-301EM
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
L. Morgan

AFCNA-341PW Topics in Africana Studies: 'Power and Exchange in the African Past'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Did African nations become poorer in the 20th century because development initiatives were badly executed? inherently exploitative? ill-timed? Looking beyond the caricatures of evil colonial officers, lazy peasants, or greedy elites, who do we see engaged in productive activity and what are they doing? What concepts and categories illumine our understanding of their actions? How does a careful exploration of the nature of exchange and production in Africa revise our perception of the global economy in the present? We will explore three centuries of exchange in Africa and elsewhere: students may focus their research on the history of a market in any part of the world.

Crosslisted as: HIST-341PW
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
H. Hanson
Prereq: 8 credits of history or other significant preparatory coursework relevant to the topic.

AFCNA-341TM Topics in Africana Studies: 'Toni Morrison'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course will examine the work and the centralized black world of the last American Nobel laureate in literature, Toni Morrison. Morrison is the author of eleven novels and multiple other works, including nonfiction and criticism. In a career that has spanned over forty years and has informed countless artists and writers, Morrison's expansive cultural reach can hardly be measured accurately. In this course we will endeavor to critically analyze the arc and the import of many of Morrison's writings. Readings include: The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Jazz, Playing in the Dark, Paradise, and A Mercy.

Crosslisted as: ENGL-350TM
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
C. Bailey
Prereq: ENGL-199.

AFCNA-351 Sex, Race, and the Visual

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course examines categories of race, gender, sex, and sexuality through the lens of the visual. Using contemporary literature, photography, performance art, film, and theories of the visual, our task is to investigate the import and utility of embodiment. How do race, gender, and sexuality function in the artistic imaginary? What can we glean from cultural productions that engage the viewer/reader in ways that challenge ideas about conformity, fluidity, belonging, and self-reflection? More than a linear literary or theoretical trajectory, this course will provide a template for all the mechanisms of the visual -- psychological and ocular, interpretive, rhetorical and performative.

Crosslisted as: ENGL-351
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
K. J. Brown
Prereq: ENGL-200.

AFCNA-356 Black Migrations

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This seminar is a comparative examination of the migration of African-descended people within and to the United States. It looks at in succession the original African diaspora through the Atlantic slave trade; the Great Migration of African Americans from the South; the immigration to the U.S. of African-descended people from the West Indies; and last, the movement of Africans from the continent to the United States since 1965 when immigration laws became more inclusive. We will evaluate the process of African Americanization for each new migratory group in all of its cultural and political ramifications. Course material includes articles, books, films, novels, and guest speakers.

Crosslisted as: POLIT-356
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
P. Smith
Prereq: AFCNA-200 or POLIT-200.

AFCNA-369 Black Radicalism

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The struggles and ideas of transatlantic black radicals have changed the ways we think and study--through the formation of Africana/African-American/Black-Studies--and the ways in which we express thoughts and ideas--through culture and politics. In this seminar, we will study the interdisciplinary history of black radicalism in the 20th century--in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa. This interdisciplinary history is animated by a central debate over the role of black internationalism, if any, in domestic black radical thought and action, in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa.

Crosslisted as: POLIT-369
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
P. Smith
Prereq: AFCNA-200 or POLIT-200.
Notes: There will be a number of shared classes/discussions with the Africana Studies Senior Seminar at Williams College, both in person and through video-conference, who will be sharing the same syllabus. We will make a class visit to Williams, and we will host a visit from the Williams seminar. The shared meetings will be organized around speakers, presentations, and local activists.

AFCNA-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.

Related Courses

Africana Studies
AFCNA-200Foundations of Africana Studies4
AFCNA-206African Cities: Development Dreams and Nightmares in the Twentieth Century4
AFCNA-208Introduction to Twentieth-Century Critical Race Theory4
AFCNA-234Black Metropolis: From MLK to Obama4
AFCNA-241AFTopics in Africana Studies: 'Afro-Latin America: From Slavery to Invisibility'4
AFCNA-241AWTopics in Africana Studies: 'African Women's Work'4
AFCNA-241BNTopics in Africana Studies: 'Black Abolitionists: American Revolution to Reconstruction'4
AFCNA-241FWTopics in Africana Studies: 'African American Women and United States History'4
AFCNA-241HSTopics in Africana Studies: 'African American History, Precolonial to Emancipation'4
AFCNA-241SATopics in Africana Studies: 'Slavery in the Americas'4
AFCNA-243Rural Prosperity in the African Past4
AFCNA-251Contemporary African American Literature II4
AFCNA-282African American History from Emancipation to Obama4
AFCNA-301The Abolition Movement4
AFCNA-302Urban Policy4
AFCNA-321Politics of Decolonization4
AFCNA-339The Visual Culture of Protest4
AFCNA-341EMTopics in Africana Studies: 'The Age of Emancipation'4
AFCNA-341PWTopics in Africana Studies: 'Power and Exchange in the African Past'4
AFCNA-341TMTopics in Africana Studies: 'Toni Morrison'4
AFCNA-351Sex, Race, and the Visual4
AFCNA-356Black Migrations4
AFCNA-369Black Radicalism4
Anthropology
ANTHR-216HRSpecial Topics in Anthropology: 'Anthropology and Human Rights: Between Devil's Advocate and Rights Advocacy'4
Critical Social Thought
CST-249AETopics in Critical Social Thought: 'Afro-Asian Encounters: Literatures, Cultures, Activisms'4
CST-253Critical Race Theory4
CST-339The Visual Culture of Protest4
Dance
DANCE-132Introduction to Hip-Hop1
DANCE-141West African Drumming for Dance1
DANCE-142West African Dance2
DANCE-232Intermediate Hip-Hop1
Education
EDUC-205Racism and Inequality in Schools and Society4
English
ENGL-251Contemporary African American Literature II4
ENGL-337The Political Imagination in Contemporary South Africa4
ENGL-339The Visual Culture of Protest4
ENGL-345RWStudies in American Literature: 'Richard Wright: Career and Influence'4
ENGL-350TMTopics in African American Literature: 'Toni Morrison'4
ENGL-351Sex, Race, and the Visual4
Environmental Studies
ENVST-210Political Ecology4
ENVST-243Rural Prosperity in the African Past4
Film Studies
FLMST-370SETopics in National/Transnational Cinemas: 'A Rebel with a Camera: the Cinema of Ousmane Sembène'4
French
FREN-219Intermediate Level Courses in Culture and Literature: Introduction to the French-Speaking World4
FREN-341NECourses in Francophone Studies: 'Revisiting the Negritude Movement: Origins, Evolution, and Relevance'4
FREN-341SECourses in Francophone Studies: 'A Rebel with a Camera: the Cinema of Ousmane Sembene'4
Geography
GEOG-215The Political Economy of the Middle East and North Africa4
GEOG-217The African Environments4
GEOG-313Third World Development4
GEOG-319Africa: Problems and Prospects4
GEOG-325Conflict and Displacement in Africa4
Gender Studies
GNDST-204RPWomen and Gender in the Study of Culture: 'Race, Racism, and Power'4
GNDST-206AFWomen and Gender in the Study of History: 'African Women: Food and Power'4
GNDST-206AWWomen and Gender in History: 'African Women's Work'4
GNDST-206FWWomen and Gender in the Study of History: 'African American Women and United States History'4
History
HIST-180Introduction to Latin American Cultures4
HIST-206African Cities: Development Dreams and Nightmares in the Twentieth Century4
HIST-214History of Global Inequality4
HIST-243Rural Prosperity in the African Past4
HIST-274Black Abolitionists: American Revolution to Reconstruction4
HIST-280AATopics in North American History: 'African American Women and United States History'4
HIST-281African American History, Precolonial to Emancipation4
HIST-282African American History from Emancipation to Obama4
HIST-287AFTopics in Latin American Studies: 'Afro-Latin America: From Slavery to Invisibility'4
HIST-289Slavery in the Americas4
HIST-291Education and Development in Africa: History and Ethnographic Research Methods4
HIST-296AFWomen in History: 'African Women: Food and Power'4
HIST-296AWWomen in History: 'African Women's Work'4
HIST-301ABColloquium: 'The Abolition Movement'4
HIST-301EMColloquium: 'The Age of Emancipation'4
HIST-341PWTopics in African History: 'Power and Exchange in the African Past'4
Latin American Studies
LATAM-180Introduction to Latin American Cultures4
LATAM-260Afro-Latin America: From Slavery to Invisibility4
LATAM-277Caribbean Women Writers4
LATAM-289Slavery in the Americas4
Latina/o Studies
LATST-250RPSpecial Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Race, Racism, and Power'4
LATST-350RTSpecial Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Critical Race Theory in Education'4
Music
MUSIC-161Beginning West African Drumming Ensemble1
MUSIC-226World Music4
MUSIC-228African Opera in Theory and Practice4
MUSIC-229African Popular Music4
MUSIC-261Intermediate West African Drumming Ensemble1
Philosophy
PHIL-248Philosophical Issues in Race and Racism4
Politics
POLIT-234Black Metropolis: From MLK to Obama4
POLIT-241Social Housing4
POLIT-252Urban Politics4
POLIT-302Urban Policy4
POLIT-356Black Migrations4
POLIT-369Black Radicalism4
POLIT-387PDAdvanced Topics in Politics: 'Other Political Dreams'4
Psychology
PSYCH-213Psychology of Racism4
Religion
RELIG-216Whose Social Justice is it Anyway? Spirituality, Religion, and Civic Engagement4
Sociology
SOCI-214Race in America: Inequality, Immigration, and Other Issues4
SOCI-316BLSpecial Topics in Sociology: 'Black Cultural Production and Consumption'4
SOCI-324Class in the Black Community4
Theatre Arts
THEAT-215AFTopics in Performance: 'African Opera In Theory and Practice'4