Spring 2017 Courses
African Studies Institute
Wood Hall Room 334
AFRA 1100 – TuTh – 11:00 AM -12:15 PM-Robert Stephens
Afrocentric Perspectives in the Arts
Lectures and discussions about assigned readings focus on historical and aesthetic perspectives of African American Arts and their African sources, with emphasis on how social and aesthetic context impacts on creative expression by African American artists. Presentations by guest lecturers and University of Connecticut faculty plus small group discussions. CA 1. CA 4.
AFRA 3303 – Tu 5:00 pm -7:30pm – Erin Robinson
Race and Policy
Examination of contemporary public policy through the lens of race.
AFRA 3211 – TuTh 2:00 pm -3:15 pm – Shawn Salvant
Introduction into Africana Studies
Interdisciplinary overview of African American studies, giving consideration to the artistic, intellectual, political and cultural experiences of black people in the United States, Caribbean, Europe, and Africa. Relies on a wide range of materials and perspectives with particular focus on significant movements, ideas, people and events that have shaped and continue to shape Africa and the Diaspora.
AFRA 3214W – TuTh – 11:00 pm -12:15pm – Martha Cutter
Black American Writers I
Extensive readings in the works of four or five contemporary black American writers.
AFRA 3295 – TuTh – 12:30 pm-1:45 pm – Alexandra Moffett-Bateau
Special Topics: Violence and the Development of Black Woman’s Politics in the United States
What do slavery, the civil rights movement, Jim Crow, hip hop and #blacklivesmatter have in common? Each of these moments in time have propelled the political engagement of black women onto the global stage. Since the birth of the United States into a nation-state, violence has stayed at the center of black women’s lives, both in their everyday experience as well as in discussions about black women in the public sphere. This class will illustrate black women’s unique relationship with violence in the U.S., a relationship that has informed and motivated black women’s resistance struggles since slavery.
This course is interested in the ways in which experiences of and discussions around violence have shaped the politics of black women in the United States. While physical violence will be at the core of the discussions, we will also interrogate the extent to which other forms of harm, be they emotional or structural, should be considered violent aspects of black women’s lives.
AFRA 3501 – MWF – 9:05 am – 9:55 am – Ronald Taylor
Ethnicity and Race
The origin, nature, and consequences of white racism as a central and enduring social principle around which the United States and other modern societies are structured and evolve. CA 4.
AFRA 3563 – TuTh – 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm – Dexter Gabriel
African American History to 1865
History of African-American people to 1865, from their West African roots, to their presence in colonial America, through enslavement and emancipation. Adaptation and resistance to their conditions in North America. Contributions by black people to the development of the United States.
AFRA 3564 – TuTh – 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm – Jeffrey Ogbar
African American History since 1865
History of African-American people since the Civil war. Contributions by black people to American development. African-American activity in international arenas.
AFRA 3642 – TuTh – 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm – Shayla Nunnally
African American Politics
Political behavior, theory, and ideology of African-Americans, with emphasis on contemporary U.S. politics. CA 4.
AFRA 3647 – MWF – 2:30 pm – 3:20 pm – Evelyn Simien
Black Leadership and Civil Rights
Black leadership, emphasizing the principles, goals, and strategies used by African-American men and women to secure basic citizenship rights during the civil rights era.
AFRA 3898 section 1 – W – 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Dexter Gabriel
Slavery Through Film
The recent release of films like Django Unchained, 12 Years a Slave and the television series Underground have sparked renewed dialogue on slavery, as all such films inevitably do. Outside of the classroom much of what we know, or think we know, about slavery often comes from popular media–especially film and television. Classics like Gone with the Wind, television miniseries like Roots and even lesser known independent films like Sankofa, have done much to shape our perspective and how we “remember” the slave system, its victims and its participants. This course examines slavery in the Atlantic world through the lens of this popular medium, exploring film depictions of slavery, famous figures, or related events. These films are both foreign and domestic, and range from historical dramas to the surreal. In examining these films we will take into account the time period, location and social atmosphere in which they were created. And we will see how much they actually tell us about slavery and, most important, what they might tell us about ourselves.
AFRA 3898 section 2 – TuTh – 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm – Fiona Vernal
Child Labor and Human Rights in Africa
This course draws on the rich collection at the Thomas J. Dodd Center to immerse students in the research process around the theme of child labor and human rights in Africa. After four weeks of theoretical, legal, and historical introductions to the themes, students will conduct research in the Romano Collection which features photographs, interviews, oral histories, and materials relating to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and child labor across the globe. This course is designed to engage students on a human rights issue that is timely and relevant in contemporary public discourse, using Africa as a lens to do so, and to provide students with the historical context in which to understand the evolution of the problem and advocacy campaigns to ameliorate it. Students will have the opportunity to share their work in a public forum, through the creation of blog posts (the midterm) and to create photo essays (the final exam) that will form the basis of an exhibition in Fall 2017. The exhibition portion of the course is voluntary and will provide a 1 credit opportunity in the fall.
AFRA 3898 section 3 – MWF – 10:10 am- 11:00 am – Adane Eitan Zawdu Gebyanesh
Ethiopian Jews In Ethiopia And Israel
In this course we will follow the social trajectory of one particular group, Ethiopian Jews (Beta Israel), from the 19th century to the present, and examine more broadly the contingent and contested nature of group belonging, along religious and racial boundaries and across different cultural, temporal and national contexts. In particular, we will follow moments of contestation over the meaning of Blackness (as a form of political subjectivity); Jewishness (as a form of peoplehood); and the position of a Black Jew in different contexts. Looking at these moments will serve us as a point of departure to examine more broadly the social conditions and mechanisms under which certain identity categories get stabilize, and become meaningful for social life and organized political action, while others not. The course is inter-disciplinary and comparative in its approach. It draws on readings from sociology, anthropology, Africana philosophy, political science, history, religious studies; and it looks at empirical cases from the experience of the modern Jewish and African diaspora around the globe.
AFRA 4994W section 1 – TuTh – 3:30 pm -4:45 pm- Jane Gordon
Black Political Thought
The readings for the class will be divided into three rough groupings: slave narratives; turn of the twentieth-century writings; and 1960s reflections. In each period, we’ll read works by men and women from the U.S., the Caribbean, and Africa with a special focus, especially in the 1960s on political thought expressed in the form of the powerful essay.
AFRA 4994W section 2 – W – 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm – David Embrick
Comparative Race Relations Race & Ethnic Oppressions
This is a writing intensive (W) course in the study of white supremacy, white privilege, colorism, colonialism, and racial hierarchy in a comparative perspective. There are no prerequisites for this course. However, some basic social science and/or humanities understanding of the concepts and ideas pertaining to race and ethnic relations would enhance your learning experiences in the course.
This is a course about how the idea that human beings are racially or ethnically different from one another takes hold in different parts of the world in different ways and with different consequences for those who are considered to be members of the subordinate groups. The course is divided into three parts. We will begin by looking at racism, not as an individual set of practices or beliefs that are instilled or inherent in particular people, but rather as a comprehensive historical system of racial domination revolving and organized by the logic of white supremacy. Thus, we will begin the class by looking at several main concepts used by social scientists to analyze race and racial matters. The second part of the course is devoted to understanding how race plays out in different parts of the United States (not typically covered in intro courses on race and ethnic relations) as well as within and between different minority groups, particularly in regards to skin color. The final part of this course examines racial formations in other parts of our world. For this course, we will read text primarily on Brazil, South Africa, Congo, Rwanda, and a number of countries in Europe.