Africa and the Americas
Director, 2013-14: Joan Hepburn (English), West African and African American literature and modern drama
Faculty, 2013-14: Torin Alexander (Religion), history of Christianity; Jean E. Biem (Romance Languages), Subsaharan Africa, critical theory; Mary Carlson (Social Work), social policy, ethics, practice, social welfare history; Michael Fitzgerald (History), American history, African American history; David Hagedorn (Music), jazz, percussion; Abdulai Iddrisu (History), African history; Joseph Mbele (English), post-Colonial and Third World literature; Theodore Thornhill (Sociology/Anthropology), race and ethnicity, African-American history and culture, education, class, crime and social control, religion
Throughout history, African and African American peoples have played a central role on the world’s stage, and they continue to offer perspectives critical to understanding the post-modern world. The Africa/African diaspora experience has been most commonly expressed and understood through its history, arts, religion, and politics, and the program draws expertise from an array of disciplines. As students explore the values and lifestyles deriving from communities of African heritage, they gain a fuller understanding of the significance of these global communities’ contributions to the larger world.
The Africa and the Americas concentration integrates studies of African history and culture, the forced movement of African peoples to the New World, and the consequences of slavery and post-slavery relations in the United States. The concentration in Africa and the Americas provides students with the opportunity to study the ways in which Africans and peoples of African descent understand and interpret their interactions with global cultures and traditions.
Requirements for the Concentration
The concentration requires a minimum of five courses. The interdisciplinary seminar, Africa and the Americas 231-232 is required of all students electing this concentration, and students are strongly advised to enroll in this course during their first or sophomore year. One independent study may be counted toward the concentration.
Students are also encouraged to include off-campus study, either domestic or overseas, in their programs. See the program director for information on the HECUA program and programs available in Namibia, South Africa, Ghana, and Tanzania, as well as in the British and French Caribbean.
Based upon courses from participating departments, the seminar introduces students to the historical and cross-cultural experiences of Africans and African Americans. It affords students the chance to engage in interdisciplinary interpretation and analysis and encourages them to interpret their own heritage in light of the African/African American experience. This course emphasizes literary texts.
Based upon courses from participating departments, the seminar introduces students to the historical and cross-cultural experiences of Africans and African Americans. It affords students the chance to engage in interdisciplinary interpretation and analysis and encourages them to interpret their own heritage in light of the African/African American experience. This course emphasizes historical texts. Counts towards ARMS major and concentration.
294, 394 Internship
298 Independent Study
This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: Determined by individual instructor. Offer based on department decision.
398 Independent Research
Elective courses must be relevant to the focus of the concentration. For some electives, students may be required to negotiate specific assignments with the instructor and the concentration director. Other courses not identified in this list may also be acceptable, depending on the relevance of their content to the concentration.
Art 269: African Art History
English 108: The Hero and the Trickster in Post-Colonial Literature
English 205: American Racial and Multicultural Literature
English 207: Women of the African Diaspora
English 210: Post-Colonial Literatures
English 399: The Major Seminar (when the topic pertains to Africa and the Americas)
French 271: The Francophone World
French 372: Topics in Francophone Studies
French 373: Genre: North African Novel
History 165: Slavery in the Americas
History 181: Civil Rights Revolution
History 256: Slavery in West Africa: Ghana
History 277: African-American History
History 288: America in the Civil War and Reconstruction Era
History 291: Introduction to African History
History 370 Seminar (when the topic pertains to Africa & the Americas)
Music 231: History of Jazz
Music 237: World Music
Race and Ethnic Studies 121-122: Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies
Race and Ethnic Studies 251: Religion and Hip-Hop Culture
Religion 267: African-American Religious Thought
Sociology/Anthropology 128: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Sociology/Anthropology 261: Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Sociology/Anthropology 264: Race and Class in American Culture
Sociology/Anthropology 266: Crime and Inequality
Sociology/Anthropology 268: Class, Status, and Power
Social Work 280: Social Reality in South Africa