Spring 2023

Undergraduate Courses Spring 2023

Spring 2023 African-American Studies UN1003
Blackness and Frenchness: A Radical Gene
Blackness and Frenchness
Section 001
Call Number: 18021 Points: 4

Day/Time: R 2:10pm-4:00pm
Instructor: Veronique Charles

How have Black radicals embraced the French language and, at times, Frenchness without espousing France’s dominance and its doctrines of assimilation? This course explores watershed moments from the past three centuries that redefine the articulations of blackness in French, in France and beyond—from revolutionary or constitutional independence in the post-colony to recent social movements in continental Europe. In addition to the opening inquiry, guiding questions for this course include but are not limited to the following. What kinds of state-sanctioned backlash in France have ensued in the face of affirmative reclamations of blackness (e.g. Négritude and Afroféminisme)?  And, what are the historical linkages between Black radicalism in France and the United States? Through an intra-imperial and inter-imperial lens, this course will center contributions from Black writers, artists, and intellectuals of divergent colonial histories with especial consideration to those for whom French and France are their native language and land.

Spring 2023 African-American Studies UN3930

Section 003
"Spirit of Justice"
Call Number: 18197 Points: 4

Day/Time: T 10:10am-12:00pm
Instructor: Nyle Fort

Progressive social movements are often read as critiques of systemic injustice and calls to transform social arrangements. In this framework, activism is largely - if not exclusively - a politicalproject that addresses issues of housing, education, employment, healthcare, elections, labor, sexual violence, immigration, war, and climate, to name a few. To be sure, these efforts are central to the long history of freedom struggles. Equally important, however, is the movement's spiritual work. That is, the ways social movements can transform hearts, minds, and spirits as much as material conditions, public policies, and political arrangements.

This course explores the intersection of social liberation and spiritual transformation, with particular focus on black and multi-racial freedom struggles in the Americas from the 19th century to today. Conceptually, it covers questions of love, morality, religion, ethics, and ritualization in progressive political movements. Practically, it considers how these rich traditions of freedom struggle may help us confront legacies of injustice and envision a liberated world.

Spring 2023 African-American Studies UN3940
Senior Thesis Seminar

Section 001
Call Number: 16825 Points: 4

Day/Time: W 2:10pm-4:00pm
Instructor: Vivaldi Jean-Marie

The Senior Seminar will afford thesis writers the chance to workshop their idea, conduct research and/or interviews, work with the IRB protocols (if necessary), learn to work with archival materials, and perform other research activities prior to writing the thesis. Students who choose to write a capstone paper or conduct a capstone project can choose an elective course the following semester. The Thesis Seminar, conducted in the spring semester, is a workshop-oriented course for Senior Thesis writers organized around honing their writing skills while providing guidance to students in their field/disciplinary-specific projects. For example, a student may choose to write a historical biography of an artist while another may pursue a sociological study of the effects of mass incarceration on voting rights. The instructor of the Thesis Seminar, working with a faculty adviser (dependent on the specific field of inquiry in the thesis), will provide feedback and supervise the writing schedule of the students.

Spring 2023 African-American Studies GU4031
Popular Music / Protest Movements

Section 001
Call Number: 17174 Points: 4

Day/Time: T 2:10pm-4:00pm
Instructor: Kevin Fellezs

This course will examine the relationship between popular music and popular movements in various historical and social contexts, primarily in the US. We will study various legacies within popular music that fall under the rubric of “protest music” as well as to think about the ways in which popular music has assisted various communities in articulating their social and political grievances as well as aspirations and goals.

Graduate Courses - Spring 2023

African-American Studies GU4080

Section 001
Call Number: 16824 Points: 4
Day/Time: M 10:10am-12:00pm
Instructor: Maboula Soumahoro

The course, encompassing a wide array of the modalities of expressions: 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?


African-American Studies GU4080

Section 002
"Black New York"

Call Number: 16919 Points: 4

Day/Time: M 2:10pm-4:00pm
Instructor: Frank Guridy

This graduate/undergraduate seminar examines the historical experiences of people of African descent in New York City from slavery to the present. As central figures in the past and present of the cultural capital of the United States, Black New Yorkers have endured unique experiences of racial, class, gender, and sexual oppression while offering creative and transformational self-making strategies in the face of these forms of domination. Thus, Black New Yorkers have routinely widened our understanding of the Black experience in the United States and the broader African diaspora. Drawing from the work of historians, geographers, novelists, and other knowledge producers, the course encourages students to explore the ways Black New York social and cultural practices have been shaped by the particular built environment of New York City. Students will examine the ways Black New Yorkers have left—and continue to struggle to leave—their imprint on the city’s urban landscape. Although Black Manhattanites will figure prominently in the course, the class will also explore the histories of Black New Yorkers in other parts of the city, particularly the Bronx and Brooklyn. Far from being a comprehensive examination of Black New York history, the course will focus on the following topics: slavery and abolition, the diverse cultural practices of Black New Yorkers from the Harlem Renaissance period until the era of Hip Hop; social movements and political activism, the role of sport and recreation in the constitution of Black communities; and the impact of neoliberalism and gentrification on Black New York communities in recent years.  Students should be prepared to participate in required field trips to historically significant Black New York sites around the city.

African-American Studies GU4080

Section 003
Writing and Editing the Black Studies Journal

Call Number: 18548 Points: 4

Day/Time: T 2:10pm-4:00pm
Instructor: Jafari Allen

Think of this as Black study research design studio in which the integrity of “an imagined moral-intellectual community” and the practicalities of journal writing and publication are held in balance.

“This is an introduction to the complex world of academic publishing and is designed to give writers in a variety of disciplines (including Black Studies) practical experience in getting their work published in peer-reviewed journals. …The goal of this course is to aid participants in taking their papers from classroom quality to journal quality and in overcoming anxiety about academic publishing in the process. (Laura Belcher, Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks).

“[J]ournal work is not only not an arbitrary undertaking, and it is certainly not simply the practice of putting competent scholarly articles into print (though that is avowedly its formal function); rather, it is distinctive for being an intellectual undertaking that is pursued with a certain horizon in mind, namely, the collective constitution of an imagined moral-intellectual community.” (David Scott, Small Axe 50 July 2016)

The goal of this course is twofold: (1) In this writing-for-publication workshop course, graduate students will revise and submit for publication an original seminar paper, thesis, or conference paper, , in community-- closely following Wendy Laura Belcher’s Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success (second edition, 2019). Moreover, we will undertake a critical survey of the field of Black Studies (both as an autonomous field, and Black Studies within what Mary Patillo has called “unidisciplines”) through close reading of its journals.

Facilitating reflexive, critically engaged, and sustainable writing practices; and focusing on the past and future of Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society; our hybrid colloquy sessions will typically combine theoretical and methodological discussions, close readings of assigned journals, and ‘workshop’ elements— including sharing of work-in-progress and occasional short in class writing. We will meet in-person and virtually. Small group work will be required.

African-American Studies GU4080

Section 004
Freedom and Black Social Life in America

Call Number: 18554 Points: 4
Day/Time: W 2:10pm-4:00pm
Instructor: Anthony Johnson

What is freedom in a society that devalues Black humanity? How do everyday Black people build community and create multiracial solidarity movements in the face of state violence? In this interdisciplinary graduate seminar, we will investigate the everyday practices of rebellion and Liberation within the context of Black social life in America. Reading across disciplines, we will explore social systems like the carceral regime, land enclosure, environmental disaster, racial capitalism, abolition, and black politics. Through historical events, the development of American cities, and structural inequality, we will analyze the enigma of freedom and discuss the multiple methods and practices aimed at confronting injustices and creating alternative Black social worlds.

"Recent Critical Works in Black Literary and Cultural Studies"
Call Number: 18581 Points:
Day/Time: M 10:10am -12:00pm
Instructor: Farah J. Griffin

In recent years scholars of Black Literary and Cultural Studies have created an excited and innovative body of work that challenges traditional methods and forms of critical writing.  Students in this graduate seminar will read a selection of these works in an effort to identify major methodological, theoretical, and critical concerns and trends in the field. Additionally, we will read two creative works, one an edition of a recently discovered novel that was found and edited by one of our scholars and the other a critically acclaimed novel written by another.  These have been chosen to demonstrate the scholarly practice theorized in the critical work, and the ways that the critic/creative writer engages similar concerns in different forms.  Requirements are one class presentation, weekly postings about the readings, a written critical review of one of the books (like one that might be published in Public Books, or a leading academic journal in the field), and a fifteen-page critical essay on a literary or cultural work of your choosing.

Spring 2023 African-American Studies GR6999

Section 001

Call Number: 16831 Points: 4
Instructor: Robert Gooding-Williams