Fall 2022


Course: Introduction to African American Studies, Required Course
UN1001 Section 001 - Call Number 14857
Day/Time/Location: Mon/Wed 10:10am - 11:25am
Instructor: Josef Sorett

Course Description
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.

Course: Major Debates - Undergraduate, Required Course
Course Title: "Major Debates of Black Feminist Geographies"
UN3943 Section 001 - Call Number 13511
Day/Time/Location: Thursday: 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Instructor: Shanya Cordis

Course Description
Major Debates of Black Feminist Geographies

Spatial matters are integral to racial, gendered, and sexual politics. How black peoples move through, encounter, and experience space is directly connected to imperial and colonial logics at play. This course will explore how socio-spatial relations of power function on the gendered racial body, connecting the relationship between everyday spaces and distant, but interconnected places across the African America(s). Across multiple modes of analysis—visual, poetic, textual, and archival, we will examine how power simultaneously functions on the site of the ‘body’ or self, and in race, gender, class, and sexual meanings and collective struggles. This course traces the conversations and dialogues on the ways race, gender, sexuality and other axis of difference scaffold the everyday world, how belonging is intimately connected to an investigation of the Human, and how these spatial mechanisms of captivity also form the grounds for fugitive acts, (il)legible space and land relations, and refusals in which Black peoples (de)construct and imagine.

Course: Senior Pro Seminar - Undergraduate, Required Course
UN3943 Section 001 - Call Number 13513
Day/Time/Location: Monday: 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Instructor: Robert Gooding-Williams

Course Description
This course is a seminar for seniors to either conduct a capstone project or to begin the research process for a Senior Thesis, which will be written in the Spring semester. This interdisciplinary course provides the necessary structure needed to complete either goal. This will be an interactive class in which students are required to participate and actively engage in each meeting. The classroom is designed to be a safe, respectful space in which the feedback given and received will be constructive and will assist students in working through the issues they may be experiencing with writing. Whether students will transition to academic or nonacademic spheres, this course is designed to help students cultivate effective writing and research skills and to develop oral presentation skills.

Course: African American Music
UN3030 Section 001 - Call Number 13512
Day/Time/Location: Tue/Thurs: 10:10am - 11:25am
Instructor: Kevin Fellezs

Course Description
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).

Course: Topic in the Black Experience
Course Title: " The Afterlives of Black & Indigenous Dispossession"

UN3930 Section 002 - Call Number 18387
Day/Time/Location: Tuesday: 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Instructor: Shanya Cordis

Course Description
What are the specific, yet related connections between the historical and political formations of black and indigenous peoples? This course will examine questions of race, gender, and sovereignty as it relates to how black and indigenous peoples are simultaneously shaped by, disrupt, and at times reproduce structural legacies of settler colonialism, antiblackness, and gendered dispossession. Tracing the black experience and forms of resistance through pivotal theorists, political activists, and literary figures, we will bring this diverse body of scholarship into conversation with Native American and Indigenous political genealogies from the North American and Caribbean contexts, highlighting how the political conditions and liberatory possibilities for black, indigenous, and afro-indigenous peoples are deeply imbricated horizons.

The prerequisites of instructor approval required (email [email protected]) and a prioritization of students with coursework experience in African American & African Diaspora Studies and Ethnicity & Race Studies (specialization in Native American/Indigenous Studies).



Course: African-American Research Writing
GU4990 Section 001 - Call Number 18028 - Graduate, Required Course
Day/Time/Location: Wednesday: 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Instructor: Mabel Wilson

Course Description
The Black experience has been studied intensively by social scientists and humanists, including writers and artists. This class explores concepts and categories that have been employed to document and analyze the lives of Black peoples across the diaspora. The course surveys different traditions of research, writing, and other forms of critical and creative examination. The objective is to prepare students for the interdisciplinary field of Black Studies. The class is discussion based with weekly readings and invited guests who will share work and offer insights on their disciplinary methods in Black Studies. Students will be required to write short, weekly memos and lead a discussion. Students will also be required to submit a final project drawing on one or more research methods and present the final project to the class. The course is open only to first-year students in the Master’s Program in African American and African Diaspora Studies. Exceptions may be made for other students at the instructor’s discretion.

Course: AFAM Pro-Seminar
GR6100 Section 001 - Call Number 13604 - Graduate, Required Course
Day/Time/Location: Monday: 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Instructor: Robert Gooding-Williams

Course Description
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.




GU4080 Section 001 - Call Number 18349
"Black Gay Poetry from the Harlem Renaissance to the 21st Century"

Day/Time/Location: Tue: 4:10pm - 6:pm
Instructor: Jonah Mixon-Webster
Graduate Course Open to Undergraduate Junior/Seniors

Course Description
"…where you get your nerve I don’t know…" -Richard Bruce Nugent, “Smoke, Lilies, and Jade”

What we are witnessing in our contemporary moment, unlike any period in the history of American literature, is a swarming multitude of black gay male poets publishing to vast and varied acclaims. This living legacy continues to baffle stereotypes of black male embodiment while fulfilling a literary legacy stoked by gay writers from the Harlem Renaissance and postmodern eras. While exploring their particular subjectivities and writing from a space of both imagination and reflection, gay black poets have created necessarily unique purviews that reconstruct what it means to be black, gay, male, masculine, feminine, in-between, safe, victimized, and other identifiers and misnomers that echo throughout the centuries. With a retrospective of this extensive lineage, this course explores the various contributions to the field of African American poetry which have been defiantly outlaid by writers such as Richard Bruce Nugent, Wallace Thurman, James Baldwin, Melvin Dixon, Essex Hemphill, Assotto Saint, and Carl Phillips while celebrating the new generation of black gay poets including L. Lamar Wilson, Phillip Williams, Danez Smith, Jericho Brown, Ronaldo V. Wilson, avery r. young, Justin Phillip Reed, Charif Shanahan, Tommye Blount, and many many others.

GU4080 Section 002 - Call Number 18350
"Beyond Black is the Journey: Narrating the (HI)STORY, CULTURE AND THE SELF"

Day/Time/Location: Tuesday: 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Instructor: Maboula Soumahoro
Graduate Course Open to Undergraduate Junior/Seniors

Course Description
The course, encompassing various modalities of expression: historical, political, cultural, artistic, and intellectual, offers a rhizomatic exploration of the African diaspora of the Black Atlantic (Europe-Africa-Americas) through a selection of its productions. Using my book Black is the Journey, Africana the Name (Polity, 2021) as a point of departure, this seminar is an invitation to embark on a series of peregrinations in an attempt to capture the elusive, numerous, and intricate layers of blackness that have manifested throughout history and geography. Participants to this course will be invited to ponder the perpetual, unsettling movement going between the personal, the intimate and the public and political. How does this tense motion is articulated and translated?

GU4080 Section 003 - Call Number 18390
"Locke & Du Bois: Black Aesthetics, Culture, and Race Theory"

Day/Time/Location: Wednesday: 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Instructor: Vivaldi Jean-Marie
Graduate Course Open to Undergraduate Junior/Seniors

Course Description

The ambition of this course is to undertake a critical and close reading of the texts of Alain Locke and W.E.B. Du Bois. It will also be sensitive to the racial contexts that inform Locke’s and Du Bois’s complex musings on the aesthetic expressions and experiences of African-Americans. Another aim of the course is to engage Locke’s and DuBois’s distinctive accounts of Blackness, specifically their recognition of the need to formulate a system of cultural, social, and aesthetic practices for African-Americans post emancipation. The central aspect of the course is to explore how Locke’s and DuBois’s take on the duty of the Black artist is shaped by their theory of Blackness.

The course will focus on the contrasting views of Locke, who holds that the key responsibility of Black artists is to articulate their uniqueness or particularity, which eventually secures their role in the universal aesthetic taste. In contrast, Du Bois believes that the purpose of Black artists is to capture and represent the dynamics and nuances of African-Americans’ cultural and social experiences to show that they are conducive to social mobility. Another central aspect of the course is the elaboration of the paradigms of the self that Du Bois and Locke endorse. It will show how these paradigms inform their accounts of race and Black cultural practices. The functional ideals of Locke and Du Bois for racial improvement constitute the intersection of their aesthetic and accounts of Blackness.

The materials and lectures of the seminar will expand the participants’ ambit on race discourse, African-American aesthetics and cultural practices. Ultimately, the participants will be geared to reflect on the philosophical continuity between current discourses about these topics with the accounts of Locke and Du Bois.

GU4080 Section 004 - Call Number 18774
Course: Topics in the Black Experience: "Religion, Political Economy and the Black Community"

Day/Time/Location: Wednesday: 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Instructor: Obery Hendricks
Graduate Course Open to Undergraduate Junior/Seniors

To speak of religion and the Black community is almost invariably to speak of Christianity, specifically what we might call “Afro-Christianity.” This course will discuss the specificity of Afro-Christianity and its causal factors, as well as the differences between Afro-Christianity and mainstream American Christianity. This will include the biblical ethical imperatives that underlie Afro-Christianity and the, at times, fraught and inconsistent relationships of Black churches to those imperatives. One such imperative, doing mishpat (“justice”), has major implications for incorporating a focus on political economy, particularly in this historical moment, in the praxis of Black religious institutions if they are to play a relevant and effective role in the struggle for economic, political and social wholeness of the Black communities they claim to serve. Our discussion will include exploring the nature of political economy, particularly its primary contemporary forms of capitalism and germane forms of socialism, including various types of economic cooperatives and radical political activities. Building on these observations we will seek to identify the kinds of local and national political and economic activities and initiatives that can be undertaken by Black religious institutions to, in the words of James Baldwin, “achieve our country,” for the benefit of all within these shores.