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)..
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)..
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.
BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)..
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.
AFRS BC 2510x Ethnicity and Food
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..
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
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
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.
AFRS BC 3110x (Section 001) Africana Colloquium: Critical Race
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)..
AFRS BC 3110y (Section 002) Africana Colloquium: Diasporas of the
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.
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.
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.
AFRS BC 3134y Unheard Voices: African Women's
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
AFRS BC 3146x African American and African Writing and the
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.
Not offered in 2014-2015.
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)..
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
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Sophomore Standing. Enrollment limited to 18 students. BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART)..
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.
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.
AFEN BC 3525y Atlantic Crossings: The West Indies and the Atlantic
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)..
AFRS BC 3528x Harlem on My Mind: The Political Economy of
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.
BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)..
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)..
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
AFRS BC 3560x Human Rights and Social Change in Sub-Saharan
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..
AFRS BC 3570x Africana Issues: Diasporas of the Indian
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
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)..
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
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
V3160 The Body and Society
W3943 Urban Ethnography
BC2580 Tap as an American Art Form
BC3144 Black Theatre
BC3190 Global Literature in English
BC3073 Africa in Cinema
C1020 African Civilizations
W3540 History of the South
W3772 West African History
W4429 Telling About the South
BC3980 World Migration
V2615 Religions of Harlem
BC3144 Black Theatre