The material on this page is from the 1997-98 catalog and may be out of date. Please check the current year's catalog for current information.
African American Studies
Professors Turlish (English), Branham (Rhetoric)(on leave, winter semester and Short Term), and Taylor (English); Associate
Professors Kessler (Political Science), Brinkley (Sociology and Women's Studies), Creighton (History)(on leave, winter
semester), Bruce (Religion), Fra-Molinero (Spanish), Eames (Anthropology), Nero (Rhetoric), Chair, and Carnegie
(Anthropology); Assistant Professors Chin (English), Hill (Political Science), Jensen (History), Williams (Music and African
American Studies), and Rivers (Political Science); Mr. Pope.L (Theater)
Major requirements: Students must complete eleven courses and a thesis. Students must complete either African American Studies 457 or African American Studies 458 (senior thesis). In addition students should fulfill the following requirements from the courses approved for the major: one course must have an experiential component; one course must be a junior-senior seminar.
The Chair of African American Studies provides a list of courses offered each year. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program, students should 1) consult regularly with the Chair or a faculty advisor in African American studies to ensure that their programs have both breadth and depth, and 2) devise a program of study approved by the Chair or a faculty advisor by the fall semester of the junior year.
Thesis advisors should be chosen by each student, in consultation with the Chair, according to the subject matter of the thesis.
249. African American Popular Music. When Americans stared into their black and white television sets in the early 1950s, they saw only a white world. Similarly with music, variety shows primarily spotlighted the talent of white performers. Change came slowly, and during the late 1950s American Bandstand introduced viewers to such African American artists as Dizzy Gillespie and Chubby Checker. Over the last two decades, however, the emergence of music videos has created the need for a critical and scholarly understanding of the emerging forces of African American music, dance, and drama in the United States from the 1950s to the present. This course is the same as Music 249. Open to first year students. L. Williams.
250. Interdisciplinary Studies: Methods and Modes of Inquiry. Interdisciplinary involves more than a meeting of disciplines. Practitioners stretch methodological norms and reach across disciplinary boundaries. Through examination of a single topic, this course introduces students to interdisciplinary methods of analysis. Students examine what practitioners actually do and work to become practitioners themselves. Prerequisite: any two courses in women's studies, African American studies, or American cultural studies. Required of African American studies, American cultural studies and women's studies majors. This course is the same as American Cultural Studies 250 and Women's Studies 250. Staff.
262. Ethnomusicology: African Diaspora. This introductory course is a survey of key concepts, problems, and perspectives in ethnomusicological theory drawing upon the African diaspora as a cross-cultural framework. This course focuses on the social, political, and intellectual forces of African culture that contributed to the growth of ethnomusicology from the late nineteenth century to the present. This course is the same as Music 262 and Anthropology 262. Open to first year students. Enrollment limited to 25. L. Williams.
280. Education, Reform, and Politics. The United States has experienced nearly two centuries of growth and change in the organization of private and public education. The goals of this course are to examine alternative educational philosophies, practices, and pedagogies; and contemporary issues and organizational processes in relation to the constituencies of schools, learning, research, legal decisions, planning, and policy. The study of these areas includes K-12, postsecondary, graduate vocational schools, and home schooling. Examples of specific study areas are African American pedagogy and philosophy-practice, tracking, race and educational research, teacher effectiveness and accountability, and the elimination and reinvention of parent involvement. This course is the same as Education 280 and Sociology 280. Enrollment limited to 40. C. Brinkley.
360. Independent Study. Independent study of selected topics by individual students. Approval of the Chair is required. Students must meet periodically with the instructor and complete papers or projects. Students are limited to one independent study per semester. Written permission of the instructor is required. Staff.
390A. The Harlem Renaissance. This course examines the extraordinary creativity in the arts and in other aspects of intellectual life by African Americans in the 1920s and 1930s. Although this cultural phenomenon was national in scope, most scholars agree that New York City, and Harlem in particular, was its epicenter. Possible topics include: the artist as iconoclast; contributions to the theater and the performing arts; racial and cultural identity in literature; the formation of a community of black critical theorists; the role in promoting the arts by political movements such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association; the visual arts and racial identity; and the New Negro Movement, campus revolts, and the "first wave" of demands for black studies in the college and university curriculum. Prerequisite(s): English 250 or Rhetoric 275 or History 243. Enrollment limited to 15. C. Nero.
457, 458. Senior Thesis. The research and writing of an extended essay or report, or the completion of a creative project, under the supervision of a faculty member. Students register for African American Studies 457 in the fall semester and for African American Studies 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both African American Studies 457 and 458. Staff.
Short Term Units
The major in African American Studies consists of eleven courses distributed as follows:
a) Introduction of African American Studies. To be announced by the Chair of African American Studies.
b) Survey of African American Studies. Three courses required from among:
Anthropology 370. Post-Emancipation Societies: African Americans in Freedom.
English 250. The African American Novel.
History 243. African American History.
Rhetoric 275. African American Public Address.
c) Race as a Critical Tool for Analysis. One course required from among:
African American Studies 280. Education, Reform, and Politics. This course is the same as Education 280 and Sociology
English 121I. Reading Race and Ethnicity in American Literature.
Rhetoric 331. Rhetorical Theory.
Sociology 240. Race and Ethnicity in the United States.
d) Feminist Histories and Analyses. One course required from among:
Political Science 235. Black Women in the Americas.
Women's Studies 201. African American Women and Feminist Thought.
e) Africans in the Diaspora (non-United States). One course required from among:
African American Studies 150. Black Culture and Black Consciousness in Diaspora. This course is the same
as American Cultural Studies 150 and Anthropology 150.
African American Studies 250. Methods and Modes of Inquiry. This course is the same as American Cultural
Studies 250 and Women's Studies 250.
g) Electives. Three courses that may come from sections "b" through "e" and from among:
African American Studies 249. African American Popular Music.
Art 289. Hate, the State, and Representation. This course is the same as Political Science 289 and Rhetoric
English s17. Sexual Harassment and the U.S. Senate's Thomas-Hill Hearings. This course is the same as
German 260. Germany and Its Others.
History 144(247). Social History of the Civil War.
Music 246. American Music: The Experimental Traditions.
Political Science 233. African American Politics.
Sociology 345. Beliefs About Social Inequality.