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Courses for Africana Studies

Unify Course Listings

Courses of Instruction

AFRS BC 2004x Introduction to African Studies

Interdisciplinary and thematic approach to the study of Africa, moving from pre-colonial through colonial and post-colonial periods to contemporary Africa. Focus will be on its history, societal relations, politics and the arts. The objective is to provide a critical survey of the history as well as the continuing debates in Africana studies.
BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)..
3 points

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Autumn 2014 :: AFRS BC2004
AFRS
2004
02457
001
MW 11:40a - 12:55p
409 BARNARD HALL
A. George 32 [ More Info ]

AFRS BC 2005x Caribbean Culture and Societies

Multidisciplinary exploration of the Anglophone, Hispanic and Francophone Caribbean. Discusses theories about the development and character of Caribbean societies; profiles representative islands; and explores enduring and contemporary issues in Caribbean studies (race, color and class; politics and governance; political economy, the struggles for liberation; cultural and identity and migration.)
BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)..
3 points

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Autumn 2014 :: AFRS BC2005
AFRS
2005
07078
001
MW 2:40p - 3:55p
409 BARNARD HALL
M. Horn 24 [ More Info ]

AFRS BC 2006y Introduction to the African Diaspora

Interdisciplinary and thematic approach to the African diaspora in the Americas: its motivations, dimensions, consequences, and the importance and stakes of its study. Beginning with the contacts between Africans and the Portuguese in the 15th century, this class will open up diverse paths of inquiry as students attempt to answer questions, clear up misconceptions, and challenge assumptions about the presence of Africans in the 'New World.' - C. Naylor
BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)..
3 points

AFRS BC 2010y Colonialism in Africa

This course will prepare students to examine diplomatic interactions involving African and European polities during the eighteenth and nineteenth century and the role that military force played in helping European nations secure access to territory and control of resources on the African continent. Students will also examine the vast array of forensic evidence (the broad range of ritual compacts and treaties, the forms of proof and the legal debates) that European merchants and political representatives used to secure entitlements to land and resources.
Prerequisites: None Corequisites: None BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).. Not offered in 2014-2015.
3 points

AFRS BC 2510x Food, Ethnicity & Globalization

When people produce, consume or refuse food, choices that often seem "natural," unthinking and highly personal are in fact daily acts of identity and belonging that place individuals in the global circulation of goods, people and resources. This course examines representations of food and foodways as a way of understanding the politics of representation and the complex interplay of race, ethnicity and gender. The course's units on Ethnicity, Migration and Identity; Food & Globalization; Food and Power; and the Politics of Pork, will allow students to understand foodways as key expressions or embodiments of cultural affiliations and food choices as linked to questions of morality and values.
Prerequisites: None Corequisites: None BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values..
3 points

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Autumn 2014 :: AFRS BC2510
AFRS
2510
04982
001
TuTh 2:40p - 3:55p
504 Diana Center
K. Hall 43 / 50 [ More Info ]

AFRS BC 3020y Harlem Crossroads

Studies Harlem in the context of African-American and African diaspora culture and society as well as American urbanization. Primarily focusing on Harlem of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the course offers students opportunities to discuss political economy, immigration, migration and the role of the city in social life.

- Laurie Woodard
BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).. Not offered in 2014-2015.
3 points

AFRS BC 3055x Slave Resistance in the United States from the Colonial Era to the Civil War

Analyzes the multifaceted nature of slave resistance, its portrayal and theorization by scholars. Critically examines the various pathways of resistance of enslaved Africans and African-Americans, both individually and collectively (e.g., running away, non-cooperation, theft, arson, as well as verbal and physical confrontation, revolts and insurrections). Considers how gender shaped acts of resistance.

- C. Naylor
BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)..
3 points

AFRS BC 3100x Medicine and Power in African History

Examines medical discourse and practice in Africa, emphasizing relationships between power and medical knowledge. Topics include: medicine and empire, tropical medicine, colonial public health and social control, labor, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS.
BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC).. Not offered in 2014-2015.
4 points

AFRS BC 3110x (Section 001) Africana Colloquium: Critical Race Theory

Students will examine the origins and development of race-thinking in the Anglo‑American world with a particular focus on representation and reading practices. Our conversations will draw upon a number of articulations of race theory, including specific post-1980s Critical Race Theory. The course examines "race" narratives as well as critical readings on race from psychoanalytic, post‑colonial, feminist, and critical legal perspectives. These readings will be framed by several interlocking questions: how does representation both respond to and influence socioeconomic conditions? What is the relationship of race to color, ethnicity, and nation? How does race interact with other categories such as class, sexuality and gender? What cultural work is performed by racial definitions and categories such as hybridity and purity?
Prerequisites: Students must attend first day of class and admission will be decided then. Enrollment limited to 18 students. Priority will be given to Africana majors and CCIS students (Africana Studies, American Studies and Women's Studies majors; minors in Race and Ethnic Studies). General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC). BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC)..
4 points

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Autumn 2014 :: AFRS BC3110
AFRS
3110
06842
001
Tu 6:10p - 8:00p
404 BARNARD HALL
K. Hall 14 / 18 [ More Info ]

AFRS BC 3110y (Section 002) Africana Colloquium: Diasporas of the Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean has been called the cradle of globalization. We consider the Indian Ocean and east African diasporas and their aesthetic histories by engaging literary and other cultural exchanges (including film, visual arts, music, and dance). This course considers the overlapping transnational vectors that have characterized Indian Ocean history and we do so specifically through questions about the creation of diasporic public space and cultural memory, while also considering material cultures. We ask, for example, how the lived experience is recorded within those long histories of trade and imperialism. We engage with memoirs, epistles, newspapers, music and performance. We turn to archives, contemporary novels, memoir and song, dance and other visual arts to read how they chronicle and transmit cultural memory. We focus on: Durban (South Africa), Bombay (India), Zanzibar (Tanzania) and the Mascarenes (Port Louis in Mauritius and Saint Denis in La Reunion) and the Seychelles. This year, our course will be taught simultaneously between Barnard in New York and the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Students from both campuses will be encouraged to interact electronically and to establish a blog and website. The course will also have live-streamed guest speakers from chosen sites around the Indian Ocean. Because of time zones, we have chosen the most practical times (Cape Town is six, then seven hours ahead of New York). How does this influence the course methodology? Come and find out.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.
4 points

AFRS BC 3120y History of African-American Music

Survey interrogates the cultural and aesthetic development of a variety of interconnected musical genres - such as blues, jazz, gospel, soul, funk, R&B, hip-hop, classical and their ever changing same/names - viewed as complex human activities daringly danced at dangerous discourses inside and outside the American cultural mainstreams. - W. Lowe
BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).. Not offered in 2014-2015.
3 points

AFRS BC 3121x Black Women in America

Examines the roles of black women in the U.S. as thinkers, activists and creators during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing on the intellectual work, social activism and cultural expression of African American women, we examine how they understood their lives, resisted oppression and struggled to change society. We will also discuss theoretical frameworks (such as "double jeopardy," or "intersectionality") developed for the study of black women. The seminar will encourage students to pay particular attention to the diversity of black women and critical issues facing Black women today. This course is the same as WMST BC3121. - K. F. Hall
Prerequisites: Students must attend first day of class and admission will be decided then. Priority will be given to CCIS students (Africana Studies, American Studies and Women's Studies majors; minors in Race and Ethnic Studies). Enrollment limited to 20 students.
General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS). Not offered in 2014-2015.

4 points

AFRS BC 3134y Unheard Voices: African Women's Literature

How does one talk of women in Africa without thinking of Africa as a 'mythic unity'? We will consider the political, racial, social and other contexts in which African women write and are written about in the context of their located lives in Africa and in the African Diaspora. - Y. Christianse
Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 14 students. General Education
4 points

AFRS BC 3146x African American and African Writing and the Screen

Focuses on the context and history of representations of African Americans and Africans in early American and other cinematographies; the simultaneous development of early film and the New Negro, Negritude and Pan African movements; and pioneer African American and African cinema. - Y. Christianse
Not offered in 2014-2015.
4 points

AFRS BC 3148y Literature of the Great Migration

(Also ENGL BC 3148) Examination of fiction, poetry, essays and films about the Great Migration (1910-1950) of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North, focusing on literary production in New York and Chicago. (This course satisfies the Harlem Requirement for the Africana Studies major). - Q. Prettyman
BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT)..
3 points

AFRS BC 3150y Race and Performance In The Caribbean

Analysis of the shifting place and perception of Afro-Caribbean performance in Caribbean societies. This course takes a cross-cultural approach that examines performance through the lens of ethnography, anthropology, music and literary criticism.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Sophomore Standing. Enrollment limited to 18 students. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART)..
4 points

AFRS BC 3517x African American Women and Music

Examines the music making practices of African-American women in blues, gospel, jazz, and rock at different periods in the 20th century. Considers the content and context of these musical productions as well as artist biographies in order to understand the significance of music for these producers and their audiences.
Prerequisites: None Corequisites: None BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).. Not offered in 2014-2015.
3 points

AFEN BC 3520y Atlantic Crossings

This course examines the literature of transatlantic travel from Columbus's first voyage in 1492 to Caryl Phillips's re-tracing of his mother's migration in The Atlantic Sound (2000) to recent re-imaginings of slavery and the Middle Passage by M. Nourbese Philip and Marlon James. Even before Columbus's first encounter, the "Indies" sparked English desires for riches and adventure. We will first investigate how English writers promoted an idea of the West Indies and then came to inhabit its heterogeneous spaces, filling them with longing and anxiety. The class will chart the emergence of modern race thinking from the rich interaction of peoples and goods in the early modern Caribbean. We will also question how ideals of freedom and "English-ness" co-existed with slavery, bondage and creole life. The class will then look at the ways later writers revisit the Caribbean's colonial origins and discuss how notions of the West Indies may haunt modern Atlantic travel. - K. Hall
Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 20 students. Sign-up with the English Department required. Only registering for the course through eBear or SSOL will not ensure your enrollment.
4 points

AFEN BC 3525y Atlantic Crossings: The West Indies and the Atlantic World

This class charts the emergence of modern race thinking in the early modern English Caribbean. We will study literature of transatlantic travel from Columbus's first voyage to Caryl Phillip's The Atlantic Sound as well as recent re-imaginings of slavery and the Middle Passage by M. NourbeSe Philip and Marlon James.
Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT)..
4 points

AFRS BC 3528x Harlem on My Mind: The Political Economy of Harlem

Drawing on social histories, primary sources, fiction, and popular culture this course will explore the postwar history of Harlem. We will place Harlem in the broader context of New York City and explore how domestic and transnational migration patterns have shaped its history. Specific topics include: urbanization, migration and settlement patterns; racial liberalism and political incorporation; critical engagement with East Harlem as research cite for "culture of poverty" theorists; state criminalization of youth; underground, illegal and illicit economy from the 1960s to the 1990s; struggles over property and gentrification; and perhaps most importantly, exploring Harlem as cultural and political center of the Black World throughout the twentieth century. - M. Ralph
BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)..
3 points

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Autumn 2014 :: AFRS BC3528
AFRS
3528
01852
001
M 4:10p - 6:00p
102 SULZBERGER ANNEX
M. Ralph 28 [ More Info ]

AFRS BC 3550y Harlem Seminar: Gay Harlem

This course explores Harlem's role in the production of sexual modernity and in particular as a space of queer encounter. While much of our investigation will be devoted to the intersection of race and sexuality in African American life, we also consider Harlem's history as a communal space for Italian, Puerto Rican, and more recent immigrants. Students will be encouraged to distinguish and connect contemporary sites of sexual culture in Harlem to the historical articulations of race and sexuality examined in the course.
Prerequisites: This course is limited to 20 students. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC)..
4 points

AFRS BC 3556y Ethnography of Black America

This course critically examines ethnographic texts about Blacks in the United States, focusing as much on what they proffer about Black American culture as on the various socio-political contexts in which this body of scholarship has been produced. The goal is to advance an understanding of the larger social forces undergirding the production not only of formations of Black culture, but of knowledge about Black America. A further goal is to foster a critical understanding of the anthropological enterprise itself. - J. Brown
4 points

AFRS BC 3560x Human Rights and Social Change in Sub-Saharan Africa

Examines the evolution of the ideas, institutions and practices associated with social justice in Africa and their relationship to contemporary international human rights movement and focuses on the role of human rights in social change. A number of themes will re-occur throughout the course, notably tensions between norms and reality, cultural diversity, economic and political asymmetries, the role of external actors, and women as rights providers. Countries of special interest include Liberia, Senegal, South African and Tanzania.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA).. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values..
4 points

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Autumn 2014 :: AFRS BC3560
AFRS
3560
08422
001
Tu 9:00a - 10:50a
227 MILBANK HALL
J. Martin 10 [ More Info ]

AFRS BC 3570x Africana Issues: Diasporas of the Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean has been called the cradle of globalization, a claim bolstered by seasonal monsoon winds and the trade that these enabled. We will consider the aesthetic histories of such trade by engaging literary and other cultural exchanges (including film, visual arts, music, and dance). What did the Zulu prophet Isaiah Shembe learn from Gujarati poets? Other than a major slaving center and source of spices, what did role did Zanzibar play in the development of music and literary forms that look to Oman as well as the East Coast of Africa? We focus on four sites: Durban (South Africa), Bombay (India), Zanzibar (Tanzania) and Port Louis (Mauritius). This course will be taught simultaneously between Barnard in New York and the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Students from both campuses will be encouraged to interact electronically and to establish a blog and website. The course will also have live-streamed guest speakers from chosen sites around the Indian Ocean. - Y. Christianse (Barnard) and I. Hofmeyr (Uni of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg)
4 points

AFRS BC 3589y Black Feminisms

What is Black feminism? What is womanism? How do we define Black feminist and womanist thought and praxis? In what ways do Black feminists and womanists challenge European-American/Western feminist constructions and African-American nationalist ideologies? In this course we will utilize Patricia Hill Collins' seminal work, Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender and the New Racism, as the core theoretical framework for our exploration and analysis of key dimensions of contemporary U.S. popular culture. We will specifically address how the work of African-American artists/scholars/activists critiques sexism, racism, classism, heterosexism and ethnocentrism within the U.S. context. In addition, we will analyze how Black feminists/womanists frame and interrogate the politics of race, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexuality in the United States during the contemporary era. In order to examine Black feminism(s) and womanism(s) in popular culture from myriad perspectives, the required readings for this course reflect a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, as well as a range of genres (e.g., essay, visual art, documentary, film, music video, and song). For this course, students will write 2 (5-7-page) essays and 1 (12-15-page) research paper. In addition to the written assignments and class participation, groups of students will co-lead selected class discussions. - C. Naylor
Prerequisites: Permission of the Instructor BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC)..
4 points

AFRS BC 3590x The Middle Passage

In addition to learning about the history of the Middle Passage, students will examine literary and political responses to this forced immigration out of Africa. Identifying responses to slave holding pasts, the seminar culminates in a visit to an historic site of importance in the Middle Passage.

- K. Hall
Prerequisites: Admission to this seminar is by application only. Applications will be made available on the Africana Studies website: www.barnard.edu/africana Not offered in 2014-2015.
4 points

AFRS BC 3998x Senior Seminar

A program of interdisciplinary research leading to the writing of the senior essay. Senior Seminar is not an independent study, but a structured seminar on methodology and criticism, which first results in an approved and substantial thesis proposal and annotated bibliography, and next produces the final thesis.
4 points

Course
Number
Call Number/
Section
Days & Times/
Location
Instructor Enrollment
Autumn 2014 :: AFRS BC3998
AFRS
3998
07828
001
Tu 4:10p - 6:00p
405 BARNARD HALL
C. Naylor 6 [ More Info ]

Cross-Listed Courses

American Studies

W3931 Topics in American Studies: Race, Poverty, and American Criminal Justice

Anthropology (Barnard)

V1002 The Interpretation of Culture

V3160 The Body and Society

V3660 Gender, Culture, and Human Rights

V3943 Youth and Identity Politics in Africa

V3983 Ideas and Societies in the Carribean

Anthropology

V3926 Rewriting Modernity: Transculturation and the Postcolonial Intellectual

V3977 Trauma

Art History (Barnard)

BC3948 The Visual Culture of the Harlem Renaissance

Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race

W1012 History of Racialization in the United States

W3906 Race in Scientific and Social Practice

W3943 Urban Ethnography

Dance (Barnard)

BC2580 Tap as an American Art Form

BC3570 Latin American and Caribbean Dance: Identities in Motion

BC3578 Traditions of African-American Dance

BC3980 Performing the Political: Embodying Change in American Performance

Economics

W4438 Economics of Race in the U.S.

English & Comparative Literature

W3400 African-American Literature I

English (Barnard)

BC3129 Explorations of Black Literature: Early African-American Lit. 1760-1890

BC3144 Black Theatre

BC3148 Literature of the Great Migration: 1916-1970

BC3190 Global Literature in English

BC3196 Home to Harlem: Literature of the Harlem Renaissance

French and Francophone Studies

W3421 Introduction to French and Francohone Studies, II

French (Barnard)

BC3070 Negritude

BC3071 Major Literary Works of the French-Speaking World

BC3072 Francophone Fiction: Unhomely Women of the Caribbean

BC3073 Africa in Cinema

French and Romance Philology

W3421 Introduction To French and Francophone Studies II

History

C1020 African Civilizations

W3540 History of the South

W3760 Main Currents In African History

W3772 West African History

W4429 Telling About the South

W4518 Research Seminar:  Columbia and Slavery

W4768 Writing Contemporary African History

W4769 Health and Healing in African History

W4928 Comparative Slavery and Abolition in the Atlantic World

History (Barnard)

BC1760 Introduction to African History: 1700-Present

BC3180 Merchants, Pirates, and Slaves in the Making of Atlantic Capitalism

BC3980 World Migration

BC4402 Selected Topics in American Women's History

BC4546 The Fourteenth Amendment and Its Uses

BC4587 Remembering Slavery: Critiquing Modern Representations of the Peculiar Institution

BC4763 Children and Childhood in African History

BC4771 Critical Perspectives on the Mobilization of Race and Ethnicity on the Continent and in the Study of Africa

BC4905 Capitalism, Colonialism, and Culture: A Global History

Music

V2020 Salsa, Soca, and Reggae: Popular Musics of the Caribbean

W4435 Music and Performance in the African Postcolony

W4540 Histories of Post-1960's Jazz

Political Science (Barnard)

BC3101 * Colloquium on Black Political Thought

V3604 Civil Wars and International Interventions in Africa

BC3810 *Colloquium on Aid, Politics & Violence in Africa

W4445 Politics of the Middle East and North Africa

Political Science

W3619 Nationalism and Contemporary World Politics

W4496 Contemporary African Politics

Religion (Barnard)

V3630 Religion and Black Popular Cultures

V3650 Religion and the Civil Rights Movement

W4630 African-American Religion

Religion

V2615 Religions of Harlem

W4826 Religion, Race and Slavery

Sociology (Barnard)

V3235 Social Movements: Collective Action

V3247 The Immigrant Experience, Old and New

BC3913 Inequalities: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality in U.S. Law and Society

Theatre

BC3144 Black Theatre

Women's Studies (Barnard)

BC3134 Unheard Voices: African Women's Literature

W4305 Feminist Postcolonial Theory