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African and African-American Studies

Choate House, HB 6134

34 North Main Street

Hanover, NH 03755

(603) 646-3397


About the Banner:

The “Life of Malcolm X” murals were painted by Florian Jenkins in 1972. The eight panels depict the life and assassination of the human rights activist. The murals were sponsored by the Afro-American Society and are located in Cutter-Shabazz Hall.

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AAAS Courses by Term

Please click here for an overview of all courses in AAAS from 2013-2015

Spring 2014

AAAS 7 (FYS) Colonial & Postcolonial Dialogues
This course examines the implication of literature in the colonial encounter and the literary representations of this event. We will read classical texts of European colonialism in dialogue with postcolonial texts from Africa, the Caribbean and Asia. We will begin with an exploration of the literature of empire and look at the ways in which colonialism shaped some canonical European texts. We will then study the range of literary responses emerging from French and British colonies in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Our study will be organized around the themes of representation, identity, power, race, gender, and resistance.
(10A) Coly. CI, INT or LIT.

AAAS 13 Black America since the Civil War (crosslisted with HIST 17)
This course is a continuation of HIST 16. Among the topics to be discussed are Black Reconstruction, segregation and disfranchisement, migration, nationalism, Blacks and the New Deal, the impact of war on Blacks, and the 1960s. Open to all classes.
(11) Rickford. W, SOC

AAAS 15 History of Africa since 1800 (crosslisted with HIST 66)
This course explores some of the major historical processes unfolding in Africa since 1800. Our analysis will focus on social and economic history as we examine Africa's integration into the international economy during the nineteenth century, the rise of new social classes, and the creation of the colonial and post-colonial state. Our primary case studies will be drawn from east, west and southern Africa to highlight both the similarities and differences of their historical development. Open to all classes.
(12) Sackeyfio. NW, SOC.

AAAS 18 Intro to African Religions (crosslisted with REL 14)
This course introduces the study of Indigenous African Religions, their cosmologies, histories, ritual structures, and their relationships to other aspects of African cultures.  Of particular importance will be ideas of gendered spiritual power, the spread of African-inspired religions to the Americas, and the nature of orally transmitted religious traditions.  Conversion to Islam and Christianity and reconversion from these religions will also be studied.  Finally, we examine the role of African religions in post-colonial African societies and the impact of globalization. Open to all.
(10A) Baum. NW, TMV.

AAAS 26 Toni Morrison (crosslisted with ENGL 53.02)
This course is an intensive study of Toni Morrison's major fictional works. We will also read critical responses by and about the author. Required texts may include Sula, Song of Solomon, Beloved, Jazz, Paradise, Playing in the Dark, and critical contributions by writers such as Barbara Smith and Paul Gilroy. Some of the central issues we will examine include alternative constructions of female community and genealogy, and representations of race, class, nationhood and identity.
(10) Gerzina. W, LIT.

AAAS 31 Black Theater USA (crosslisted with THEA 22 and ENGL 53.21)
This course will examine African-American playwrights, drama, and theater from 1959 to the present. Further exploration will focus on the impact of civil rights, the Black Arts movement, and cultural aesthetics on the form, style, and content of African American plays. Readings will include plays of Hansberry, Baldwin, Baraka, Kennedy, Childress, Shange, Wolfe, Wilson, Parks and others. Open to all classes.
(2A) Winfrey. CI, ART.

AAAS 40 Gender Identities & Politics in Africa (crosslisted with WGST 34.2)
This interdisciplinary course explores the constructions of gender identities in different African socio-cultural contexts. The emphasis is on contemporary Africa, although we will discuss some of the historical framework of these identities. We will read historical accounts of gender in some pre-colonial African societies, investigate the impact of colonialism, and examine gender in some anti-colonial movements. We will also analyze gender in urban and rural contexts, and address such questions as homosexuality and gay rights.
(2A) Coly. CI, INT.

AAAS 46 History of Modern South Africa (crosslisted with HIST 67)
After an initial overview of colonialism in Africa, this course will concentrate on southern Africa, with special emphasis on the historical development, effects, and implications of the racial situation in the Republic of South Africa. Readings will be drawn from primary and secondary materials and from works of fiction. Illustrative films will be shown, and some opportunity offered to compare the history of race relations in South Africa with that in other African countries and in the United States. Open to all classes.
(10) Sackeyfio. NW, SOC.

AAAS 81 The Black Arts Movement (crosslisted with ENGL 53)
This course explores the literature, art, and criticism of the Black Arts Movement. The artistic corollary to the Black Power movement, the Black Arts Movement flourished in the 1960s and 1970s as artists/activists sought to put a revolutionary cultural politics into practice around the country. The Black Arts Movement had far-reaching implications for the way artists and writers think about race, history, authorship, and the relationship between artistic production and political liberation. We'll explore these issues in work by Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Larry Neal, and others who forged the traditionally-defined Black Arts Movement in Harlem. We'll also trace the movement's flowering around country, where local political struggles and artistic traditions in Chicago, Newark, Los Angeles, and Detroit shaped distinctive regional variations of the Black Arts Movement. We'll consider how the literature of the Black Arts Movement intersected with other cultural currents of the time, its critics, and the persistence of its themes in contemporary culture.
(10A) Rabig. W, LIT.

AAAS 83.4 Caribbean History 1898 – present (crosslisted with LACS 59, HIST 6.6)
This course surveys the major issues that have shaped Caribbean society from the late 19th-century to the present, including: imperialism, urbanization, migration and globalization, struggles for national independence, the transition from plantation to tourism-based economies, and the global spread of Caribbean popular culture. Our readings and discussions will focus on the historical trajectories of Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, and the Dominican Republic using historical scholarship, music, literature, film, and personal narratives.
(2) Goldthree. NW, INT or SOC.

AAAS 83.6 Caribbean Lyric and Literature (crosslisted with ENGL 53, LACS 66)
This course will look at several issues that reappear throughout the work of a variety of Caribbean writers from former British colonies. These concerns include (but are not limited to) notions of exile, the importance of language and music, the articulation of identity in varying post-colonial states, and representations of gender, race and ethnicity. The class will also analyze the socio-political events in particular nations and the ways in which these events influence writing in the archipelago. We will also examine the ways in which a strong tradition of music as protest influences the production of particular poetic forms in Trinidad and Jamaica. The class will move from early twentieth century writers like Claude McKay to the important contributions of later writers such as Kamau Brathwaite, Jamaica Kincaid, George Lamming, V.S. Naipaul, Sam Selvon, Olive Senior and Derek Walcott. We will examine the more recent innovations in form, as musical elements are introduced by writers such as Mikey Smith and Kwame Dawes. Each week's readings will be supplemented with seminal critical writings including excerpts from the text The Empire Writes Back.
(2A) Vasquez. CI, LIT.

AAAS 88.2 Women & Gender in the African Diaspora (crosslisted with HIST 6.3, WGST 38)
This course focuses on the lived experiences of—and structural limitations placed upon—women of African descent from the era of the trans-Atlantic slave trade through the early twentieth century. We will examine a number of critical themes, including power, labor, geography and migration, racism, sexuality, spirituality, and a host of other dynamics impacting women. Importantly, however, we will also focus on the many ways in which these women "talked back" to the larger world.
(11) Johnson. CI, INT or SOC.

AAAS 88.7 Afro-Diasporic Dialogues in Latin America & the U.S. (crosslisted with LACS 50.1)
This course investigates how people of African ancestry have forged cultural and political ties across national boundaries in the Americas. Drawing on primary sources, film, and literature, we will examine the transnational dialogue among US African Americans, Afro-Latinos, and Afro-Caribbeans from the 19th century to the present. We will also consider why efforts to mobilize Afro-descendants across the Americas have often been undermined by mutual misunderstandings, conflicting agendas, and differing conceptions of "race" and "nation."
(12) Goldthree. CI, INT or SOC.



Ongoing Offerings

AAAS 89: Independent Study in African and African American Studies

Available to students who wish to independently explore aspects of African and African American Studies which are not included in courses currently offered at Dartmouth. Open to qualified students with permission of the course instructor and the Chair. (Obtain Proposal Form in the program office.) No student may take more than two such courses without the approval of the Chair. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors.

AAAS 97: Senior Independent Research in African and African American Studies

For senior African and African American Studies majors toward the culminating experience, with permission of selected instructor and the Chair. (Obtain Proposal Form in the program office.)

AAAS 98-99: Honors Thesis in African and African American Studies, two terms of senior year with selected AAAS faculty member

The honors student will pursue the project under guidance of selected faculty member and with permission of the Chair. See "A Guide to Honors in African and African American Studies."


Last Updated: 3/25/14