FALL 2020

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES:

African-American Studies UN1001
INTRO TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES

Section 001
INTRO TO AFRICAN-AMER STU
Call Number:
14380 Points: 4   View in Vergil
Day/Time: MW 1:10pm-2:25pm Location: ONLINE ONLY
Instructor: Josef Sorett

Prerequisites: Students need to register for a section of AFAS UN1010, the required discussion section for this course. From the arrival of enslaved Africans to the recent election of President Barack Obama, black people have been central to the story of the United States, and the Americas, more broadly. African Americans have been both contributors to, and victims of, this “New World” democratic experiment. To capture the complexities of this ongoing saga, this course offers an inter-disciplinary exploration of the development of African-American cultural and political life in the U.S. but also in relationship to the different African diasporic outposts of the Atlantic world. The course will be organized both chronologically and thematically, moving from the “middle passage” to the present so-called “post-racial” moment—drawing on a range of classical texts, primary sources, and more recent secondary literature—to grapple with key questions, concerns, and problems (i.e. agency, resistance, culture, etc.) that have preoccupied scholars of African-American history, culture, and politics. Students will be introduced to a range of disciplinary methods and theoretical approaches (spanning the humanities and social sciences), while also attending to the critical tension between intellectual work and everyday life, which are central to the formation of African-American Studies as an academic field. This course will engage specific social formations (i.e. migration, urbanization, globalization, etc.), significant cultural/political developments (i.e. uplift ideologies, nationalism, feminism, Pan-Africanism, religion/spirituality, etc.), and hallmark moments/movements (i.e. Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights movement, etc.). By the end of the semester, students will be expected to possess a working knowledge of major themes/figures/traditions, alongside a range of cultural/political practices and institutional arrangements, in African-American Studies.

African-American Studies UN3030
AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC

Section 001
Call Number: 14381 Points: 3   View in Vergil
Day/Time: R 12:10pm-2:00pm Location: ONLINE ONLY
Instructor: Kevin Fellezs

This course focuses on a central question: how do we define “African-American music”? In attempting to answer this question, we will be thinking through concepts such as authenticity, representation, recognition, cultural ownership, appropriation, and origin(s). These concepts have structured the ways in which critics, musicians and audiences have addressed the various social, political and aesthetic contexts in which African-American music has been composed (produced), performed (re-produced) and heard (consumed).

African-American Studies UN3930
TOPICS IN THE BLACK EXPERIENCE

Section 001
AFRICAN SPIRITUAL-AMERICAS
Call Number: 14382 Points: 4   View in Vergil
Day/Time: T 4:10pm-6:00pm Location: ONLINE ONLY
Notes: Instructor: Charles Dawson

This seminar will investigate the cultural contributions of Africans in the formation of the contemporary Americas. There will be a particular focus on the African religious traditions that have continued and developed in spite of hostile social and political pressures. Because of their important roles in the continuations of African aesthetics, the areas of visual art, music and dance will be emphasized in the exploration of the topic. This seminar will also discuss two important African ethnic groups: the Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria, and the Bakongo of Central Africa. It will highlight the American religious traditions of these cultures, e.g., Candomblé Nago/Ketu, Santeria/Lucumi, Shango, Xangô, etc., for the Yoruba, and Palo Mayombe, Umbanda, Macumba, Kumina, African-American Christianity, etc., for the Bakongo and other Central Africans. In the course discussions, the Americas are to include Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, the United States and numerous other appropriate locations. There will also be a focus on visual artists like Charles Abramson, Jose Bedia, Juan Boza, Lourdes Lopez, Manuel Mendive, etc., whose works are grounded in African based religions. In addition, we will explore how African religious philosophy has impacted on every-day life in the Americas, for example in the areas of international athletics, procedures of greeting and degreeting, culinary practices, etc.

African-American Studies UN3930
TOPICS IN THE BLACK EXPERIENCE

Section 002
WRITING BLACK WOMEN'S LIVES: The Art & Method of Biography
Call Number:
15245 Points: 4   View in Vergil
Day/Time: R 10:10am-12:00pm Location: ONLINE ONLY
Notes: Writing Black Women's Lives: The Art & Method of Biography
Instructor: Farah Griffin

In the midst of the Movement for Black Lives, we gather as a community to read and respond to major biographies of twentieth century Black American women. Using several case studies we will explore both the historical methodology required of the genre as well as the literary art of bringing a life to the page. Our collective project will be driven by the following questions: 1. Does writing about Black women require or result in innovations in the conventional form of historical, political and literary biography? 2. What is the relationship between 2 the biography of a singular individual and the that of the history and experiences of the “race?” 3. How does one re-construct a life when minimal archival materials are available? Although this course will be taught On-Line, I am available to meet in person, one on one with students who are on campus or otherwise in the city. Weather permitting, I will hold in-person office hours at a convenient outdoor location. Otherwise they will be held at the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department, 758 Schermerhorn Extension. Of course, I will have regular Office Hours via Zoom as well.

African-American Studies UN3930
TOPICS IN THE BLACK EXPERIENCE

Section 003
CONTEMPORARY BLACK GIRLS COMING OF AGE IN THE US
Call Number:
22367 Points: 4   View in Vergil
Day/Time: T 12:10am - 2:00pm Location: ONLINE ONLY
Notes: Contemporary Black Girl Coming of Age in the US
Instructor: Marsha Jean-Charles

Centering the works of contemporary Black women writers, this course is a seminar in which we will examine what it means Black, young, woman and at the intersections of all these and more. Examining ethno-racial identity, gender, (im)migration, class, sexuality and spirituality, we will employ literary text and elevate the issues percolating throughout this socio-political moment within the African diaspora. Focusing on intersectional vantage points of Black people, young women in particular, we will counterbalance theoretical texts and theories with the realities authors navigate in creative fiction so as to articulate and interrogate both the multivariate oppressions affecting Black peoples today as well as the multi-layered rebellions within works we examine and by the peoples who catalyze their brilliance.

African-American Studies UN3943
Senior Pro Seminar

Section 001
SENIOR PRO SEMINAR
Call Number: 14385 Points: 4   View in Vergil
Day/Time: W 2:10pm - 4:00pm Location: ONLINE ONLY
Notes: AFAM Undergraduate Major and Concentrator Students ONLY. Required Course.
Instructor: Mabel O. Wilson

This course is a seminar for seniors to produce a formal proposal for either 1) a capstone project or 2) a senior thesis, to be conducted or written in the following spring semester. This interdisciplinary course provides the necessary skills needed to complete either goal.


GRADUATE COURSES:

African-American Studies GU4080
TOPICS IN THE BLACK EXPERIENCE

Section 001
RACE AND THE UNMAKING OF AMER
Call Number:
15305 Points: 4   View in Vergil
Day/Time: R 4:10pm-6:00pm Location: ONLINE ONLY
Instructor: Steven Gregory

This seminar examines the role that race and other socially defined differences have played, and continue to play in the economic development, spatial organization and symbolic construction of American cities. We will situate contemporary discussions and debates about urban “gentrification,” associated with deindustrialization and neo-liberal economic policies, within the longue durée of race-based spatial, occupational and symbolic exclusions and consider how these dividing practices have shaped the production of both popular culture and academic knowledge relating to U.S. cities, their problems, and populations. Finally, we will examine how African Americans and other subordinated social groups have resisted these exclusions, producing alternative and oppositional forms of cultural expression, socioeconomic organization and urban knowledge.

African-American Studies GU4080
TOPICS IN THE BLACK EXPERIENCE

Section 002
SPIRIT QUEST-AUGUST WILSON
Call Number:
21966 Points: 4   View in Vergil
Day/Time: W 12:10pm-2:00pm Location: ONLINE ONLY
Instructor: Obery Hendricks

August Wilson has been hailed as one of America’s greatest playwrights. His Century Cycle, comprised of ten stage plays, explores the unfolding saga of African American life in each decade of the twentieth century, from the post-Reconstruction era of the 1900’s to the cultural confusions, seductions and upheavals in the neoliberal postmodernity of the century’s last decade. Although the plays foreground the political and cultural shifts of each respective era, running through each work is a consistent thread of religion and spirituality that has informed and enriched African American life and gifted it with the power to endure the onslaughts on African American humanity.  Through a close reading of Wilson’s plays supplemented by readings in religious theory, African and African American religions, the African American conjure tradition and drama criticism, this course will explore August Wilson’s fascinating quest to survey the landscape of African American spirituality, to valorize its manifold expressions and seek its meaning for America today.

African-American Studies GU4080
TOPICS IN THE BLACK EXPERIENCE

Section 003
BLACK POLITICS IN TRANSITION
Call Number:
23315 Points: 4   View in Vergil
Day/Time: M 10:10pm - 12:00pm Location: ONLINE ONLY
Instructor: Christina Greer

The changing definitions of race in America have been shaped by political institutions for centuries. Now, as since the founding of this nation, the U.S. (and societies abroad) are marked by racial inequality. Because of this persistent reality, politics and race continue to be intertwined. This course explores the various ways in which race and politics intersect (and possibly collide). We will observe how racial inequality - and the efforts to overcome it- affect various facets of American local, state, and national politics. Often, New York City will be the launching point for broader discussions and analyses pertaining to relationships between diverse groups of Blacks, as well as their political relationships with whites, Latinos, and Asians. We will also pay particular attention to the causes of contemporary racial mobilization and to its consequences. In particular, we will discuss how the Black electorate has been affected by the current President and overall racialized tone of the Trump presidency and his administration.

African-American Studies GR6100
AF-AM: PRO SEMINAR

Section 001
Call Number: 14383 Points: 4   View in Vergil
Day/Time: W 2:10pm-4:00pm Location: ONLINE ONLY
Notes: AFAM MA Students ONLY. Required Course.
Instructor: Mabel O. Wilson

The pro-seminar is an intensive introduction to classic and contemporary work that has shaped and continues to shape the intellectual agendas of Black Studies generally, and African-American Studies specifically.  Readings will include writings by W.E.B. Du Bois, Frantz Fanon, Stuart Hall, Hortense Spillers, Ta-Nehesi Coates, Tommie Shelby, Christina Sharpe, Saidiya Hartman, Fred Moten, and Stefano Harney.

African-American Studies GR6999
THESIS RESEARCH-GRADUATE

Section 001
Call Number: 14384 Points: 4   View in Vergil