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African and African American Studies

I. SURVEY AND EXPERIMENTAL COURSES

7. First Year Seminar

Consult special listings

10. Introduction to African American Studies

08W: 2A

A multidisciplinary investigation into the lives and cultures of people of African descent in the Americas. Topics may include: the African background, religion and the Black church, popular culture, slavery and resistance, morality and literacy, the Civil Rights Movement, Black nationalism, theories of race and race relations. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Chaney.

11. Introduction to African Studies

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

Multidisciplinary in scope, the course will survey critical social change in African cultures and civilizations through a study of history, art, literature, religion, economy, and politics, paying particular attention to the cultural impacts colonial rule on contemporary societies and states. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

12. Black America to the Civil War (Identical to, and described under, History 16)

08W, 08F: 10

13. Black America Since the Civil War (Identical to, and described under, History 17)

08S: 10

14. Pre Colonial African History (Identical to, and described under, History 5.1)

07F: 11

15. History of Africa Since 1800 (Identical to, and described under, History 66)

08W: 12

16. History, Culture and Society: The Many Faces of Latin America (Identical to, and described under, Latin American and Caribbean Studies 4)

08W: 10A 09W: Arrange

17. Slave Resistance in the United States from the Colonial Era to the Civil War (Identical to, and described under, History 39)

08W, 08F: 12

II. AFRICAN AMERICAN COURSES

23. Caribbean History (Identical to, and described under, History 86)

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

25. Constructing Black Womanhood (Identical to, and described under Sociology 46 and Women’s and Gender Studies 33)

08W: 2

31. Black Theater, U.S.A. (Identical to, and described under, Theater 22)

07F: 3A

This course examines 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: Dist: ART. WCult: Cl. Diggs.

33. The African American Intellectual

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

A cross-disciplinary study of the contributions and problems of African American intellectuals in the United States. Given time constraints, we will focus primarily on twentieth century figures and scholarship, to understand works by such thinkers as W.E.B. DuBois, Alain Locke, Zora Hurston, Carter Woodson, Ralph Ellison, E. Franklin Frazier, Angela Davis, Stephen Carter, Derrick Bell, Cornel West and Patricia Williams, as well as the social and intellectual contexts in which they found, and continue to find, themselves. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Favor.

34. Early Black American Literature (Identical to, and described under, English 43)

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

35. Modern Black American Literature (Identical to, and described under, English 49)

07F: 2A 08F: Arrange

37. Introduction to Black Religion in the United States (Identical to, and described under, Religion 17)

09W: 12

38. Religion and Social Change: The Civil Rights Movement (Identical to Religion 68)

08S: 12

39. History of Jazz (Identical to, and described under, Music 9)

07F, 08F: 10A

Associated Courses:

  • Geography 25 Social Justice and the City (Prof. Mollett)
  • Geography 43 Geographies of Latin American
  • History 37, Black Radical Tradition in America
  • History 96.1, Bondage and Freedom in Narratives of Slaves
  • History 96.2, The Ghetto From Venice to Harlem
  • Government 86.04 Race and the Judicial Process
  • Government 86.19 Race

III. AFRICAN COURSES

40. Gender Identities and Politics in Africa

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

This interdisciplinary course explores the constructions of gender identities in different African sociocultural 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 anticolonial movements. We will also analyze gender in urban and rural contexts, and address such questions as homosexuality and gay rights. WCult: CI. Coly.

41. Women in Africa (Identical to Women’s and Gender Studies 36)

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

This course will examine different aspects of the female experience in Africa. Beginning with a consideration of roles of women in pre-colonial African societies, with particular reference to descent, marriage and the family, ritual and religion, productive and reproductive systems, and political organization, the focus will then move through the colonial and contemporary periods to assess changes in female roles. Contrasting experiences for contemporary African women will be emphasized through exploration of their participation in national liberation and politics, of urban and rural lifestyles, Muslim, Christian, and animist religious traditions, educational background, and status differences arising out of social class. The focus for the course includes an analysis of formal political, social, and economic institutions; yet it assumes that African society has been shaped as well by the ‘muted’ perceptions and models of society held by women themselves, and by social processes to which both females and males have contributed. Dist: INT; WCult: NW. Amadiume.

42. Women, Religion and Social Change in Africa and the African Diaspora (Identical to Religion 14 and Women’s and Gender Studies 44.3)

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

43. Indigenous African Religions (Identical to, and described under, Religion 50)

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

44. Culture and Culture Change in Post Colonial Africa (Identical to, and described under, Anthropology 36)

08S, 09S: 10A

45. Africa: Ecology and Development (Identical to, and described under, Geography 40)

08W: 10A 09S: 2

46. History of Modern South Africa (Identical to, and described under, History 67)

08S: 12

47. Politics and Political Economies in Africa (Identical to, and described under, Government 44)

08S, 09S: 2A

48. Nationalism and Decolonization in Modern Africa (Identical to, and described under, History 68)

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

49. Power, Corruption, Resistance in Film and Writing of Contemporary Africa

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

This course examines the question of abuse of power and creative resistance in African political discourse in select writings and films. We will cover topics such as the consequences of the colonial experience on African cultures and societies; the struggle for cultural freedom; the new elites and the peasantry; gender and economic, cultural and political expressions of power. We will analyze award-winning films. We will also be reading novels by two African women writers, Flora Nwapa and Sindiwe Magona, and the work of a male writer, Chinua Achebe, and short extracts by other African writers. Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: NW. Amadiume.

50. Colonialism, Development and the Environment in Asia and Africa (Identical to History 75 and Environmental Studies 45)

08W, 09S: 10

This course examines the environmental history of Africa and Asia, focusing on the period of European colonialism and its aftermath. Topics include deforestation and desertification under colonial rule; imperialism and conservation; the consequences of environmental change for rural Africans and Asians; irrigation, big dams and transformations in water landscapes; the development of national parks and their impact on wildlife and humans; the environmentalism of the poor; urbanization and pollution; and global climate change in Africa and Asia. Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: NW. Haynes.

51. African Literatures: Masterpieces of Literatures from Africa (Identical to, and described under, Comparative Literature 51)

07F, 09S: 10A

55. Who’s Behind that Camera: Cinematographic Representations of Africa

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

This course focuses on the cinemas of Francophone Africa. We will begin with an examination of the early Western filmic representations of Africans as wild savages. We will then proceed to examine how African filmmakers have challenged those images by creating new depictions of their societies. We will explore the social, historical, and political contexts of these films as well as examine each of them closely to better understand their aesthetic and narrative characteristics. Dist: ART; WCult: NW.

Associated Courses:

  • Environmental Studies 40, Foreign Study in Environment Problems I
  • Environmental Studies 42, Foreign Study in Environment Problems II
  • Geography 16 The Political Economy of Development
  • History 96.2, Colonialism and Culture in Asia and Africa

IV. AFRICAN DIASPORA AND COMPARATIVE STUDIES

62. African and African American Women Writers: Race, Class, Social Justice (Identical to Women’s and Gender Studies 51.4)

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

This course examines the problems of the past and the present in the politics of culture. Facing, negotiating interconnections of race, class and social justice, we will analyze the many ways in which African ideas and experiences of Africa are reinvented in the minds and writings of African American women. When and how are African ideas based on ethnographic writings reinterpreted and mediated between African cultural values and a Western audience? We will study documentary films, fiction and nonfiction texts. Major writers include Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, etc. The course is multidisciplinary, combining religion, culture social history and oral traditions. Open to all students. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Amadiume.

65. Introduction to Postcolonial Literature (Identical to, and described under, English 58)

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

66. Women’s Rituals: From Africa and Around the World (Identical to Religion 52 and Women’s and Gender Studies 44)

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

67. Colonial and Postcolonial Masculinities (Identical to Comparative Literature 67 and Women’s and Gender Studies 52.1)

07F: 2A

Associated Courses:

  • French 70, Francophone Literature [If related to the African diaspora)
  • Music 4, Global Sounds
  • Music 51, Oral Tradition Musicianship
  • Sociology 66, The Sociology of International Development

V. SPECIAL TOPICS IN AAAS

82. August Wilson and Suzan Lori Parks (Identical to English 67, pending faculty approval)

08S: 3A

88. History of African American Art (Identical to, and described under, Art History 16)

Not offered in the period from 07F through 09S

History 96. Colonialism and Culture in Asia and Africa

08S: 3A

History 96. The Civil Rights Movement

08S: 10A

89. Independent Study in African and African American Studies

All terms: Arrange

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 program.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The AAAS faculty.

90-96. Senior Seminars in African and African American Studies

History 96. The Ghetto from Venice to Harlem

08W: 2A

History 96. Bondage and Freedom in Narratives of Slaves

08S: 3A

97. Senior Independent Research in African and African American Studies

All Terms: Arrange

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.)

98-99. Honors Thesis in African and African American Studies

Two Terms of Senior Year: Arrange

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” in the program office.