Undergraduate Courses

This course is an overview of black life and culture in the U.S., past and present.  Our approach is interdisciplinary and we spend our semester exploring fundamental questions about identity and social conditions across time and space.  Who are African Americans?  What have been their defining…

The class, status, and power relations of African Americans as part of both the United States social structure and the African diaspora.

Cultural history of the most important ethnic film makers in the American cinema from the 1920's to the present, with emphasis on stories and styles of the films, as well as on the underlying economic and social contexts.

Cross-cultural psychology, including and examination of issues such as conformity, leadership, and attributional style as they vary across different cultures, with consideration of their implications for the emerging world.

Multicultural literature of the world-wide dispersion of Africans and people of African descent based on select representative works of African-American, African-Caribbean, and African literature.

The causes and consequences of race and ethnic discrimination in America, with a focus on ethnic competition and conflict.

Traditional and contemporary African American percussion music beginning with its African heritage and tracking its development throughout the Americas, with particular emphasis on the United States. Teaching/learning strategies include in-class performance, demonstrations, audiovisuals, and…

The African background of African Americans, the institution of slavery, the development of the African American community institutions, and African American participation in and impact on the Civil War and Reconstruction.

The twentieth-cenury struggle for civil rights, black identity, and self-determination. The response to industrialism and urbanization. The role of black institutions and political organizations. The philosophy and tatics of accomodation, integration, and separatism.

African American literature since 1773, particularly 1830 to the present: Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Dorothy West, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Alice Childress, Amiri Baraka, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, and August Wilson, Colson…

An applied approach to understanding the significance of interracial communication in Western Society. The societal influences of history, language, and mass media in shaping our knowledge and understanding of positive interracial relationships.

This course enables students to understand that the different social and historical contexts in which individuals function as well as their personal experiences influence their thought and the level of effectiveness of their interactions with their own communities as well as with the larger…

Examination of the ideas and practices of black feminists and womanists. Students will examine African communities within the diaspora, particularly the historical and contemporary debates of black women in the United States, including black womanhood, sexual mythologies and vulnerabilities,…

The religious traditions of African Americans from Colonial times to the present; major religious movements, personalities, and ideas and their relationship to various aspects of American culture.

The origins, growth, and current practices of religion in the American South. The interaction between religion and other aspects of Southern culture, such as racial and gender concerns, education, Darwinian science, temperance, and politics.

Examination of a designated topic in the field of African American Studies. The course is interdisciplinary, but may also focus on the instructor of record's primary discipline and/or area of scholarship. Some sections of this course meeting Experiential Learning requirement (check with…

This writing intensive course will study Toni Morrison's trilogy: Beloved, Jazz, and Paradise, with an emphasis on themes woven throughout the three works. 

An exploration of the comparative dimensions of Black and Irish experiences in the Atlantic world through the study of cultural production from the United States, Africa, Britain, the Caribbean, and Ireland. Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of the texts under discussion to…

The emergence of a distinct and conscious African American theatre in the United States.

The qualitative and quantitative methods for best assessing the functions of significant issues of performance and social interaction within contemporary African American culture, including, in some instances, the impact on health professions and the theory and delivery of health services. Some…

African American poetry from the colonial period to the present, including slave and folk songs of the mid-nineteenth century, the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's and contemporary poetry.  Emphasis on such figures as Langston Hughes, Margaret Walker, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez, Amiri…

Satire's purpose is to critique the status quo through parody, humor, and caricature, and some of the sharpest American satiric commentary is to be found in African American literature. In this course we will examine African American satire, primarily in novels read against the backdrop of their…

Dialogues of the African Diaspora: From African Americans to Black Latinos

This course will explore African American, Latin American and Latino relations and the ways in which these interactions challenge cultural and historical divisions.  Through literary, historic and cultural…

Selected topics in African American literature such as African American autobiography, Harlem Renaissance, Gwendolyn Brooks and Richard Wright, and Black American literature and aesthetics.

With special attention to musical content, this course explores the roles played by “blackness” in U.S. and world cinema. Examination of the positioning of black people, black music, and black cultural content in films made from the World War II era to the present.

Nontraditional Format…

Key African American musical voices from the 1940s to the present. Allowing "voice" to include instrumentalists as well as vocalists, this course focuses on the importance of key black musical careers in jazz, gospel, R&B, soul, and hip-hop as well as other genres of musical performance.…