Africana Studies Minor Requirements

2020 - 2021 Catalog

Africana Studies Minor

A minor in Africana studies requires completion of 21 credits. In meeting the requirements of this interdisciplinary minor, a student must use at least nine (9) credits not also used to meet the requirements of any other major or minor.

1. AFCA 130: Introduction to Africana Studies

2. Africa-focused course. One course chosen from among HIST 276, 277; POL 215, 249; and, when appropriate, AFCA 295, ECON 288, 295, 395; ENGL 296 (LJS 296), FREN 280; HIST 180, 269, 279; POL 288

3. African Diaspora-focused course. One course chosen from among AFCA 285: ENGL 366; HIST 236, 259, 260; MUS 221; POL 250; 360; SOAN 228; and, when appropriate, AFCA 295, ENGL 394, FREN 344, HIST 180, 269; THTR 290

4. Three additional courses from categories 2 and 3 above and the following courses: CBSC/PSYC 269; ENGL 350; FILM 237S, 252S; HIST 131, 366; LACS 257; LIT 259; LJS 395; PHIL 242, 243 (POV 243); and, when appropriate, ECON 280; ENGL 293; FREN 397; LIT 295; POL 295

5. Capstone Experience: AFCA 403 or a relevant individual project, senior thesis, or honors thesis approved in advance by the Africana Studies program committee and supervised by a member of the program faculty, typically taken after completion of other minor requirements.

  1. Required:
  2.  

    • AFCA 130 - Introduction to Africana Studies
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyStaff

      This seminar, taught collaboratively in four discrete modules, introduces students to the issues, debates, and moments which have shaped and continue to shape the broad and complex field of Africana Studies and the multifaceted experiences and aspirations of peoples of African descent. Among other effects, students who take this class gain a broad appreciation of the historical and philosophical context necessary for understanding the specific identities and contributions to world cultures and civilizations of Africans, African Americans, and Africans in the greater Diaspora; and develop thinking, analytical, writing, and collaborative skills as students complete a major project with one or more of their classmates.


  3. Africa-focused course. Take one course from among the following:
  4.  

    • HIST 276 - History of South Africa
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyTallie

      This course aims to study the history of the country of South Africa with particular attention to both the uniqueness and the commonalities of its colonial history with other settler societies. Unlike other Anglophone settler colonies, South Africa never reached a demographic majority where white settlers became predominant. Instead, European settlers made fragile alliances against the African and Indian populations in their midst, solidifying a specific form of minority settler rule. This rule was crystallized in the near half-century of apartheid, the legal discrimination of the vast majority of the country for the benefit of a select few. Students emerge from this course as better scholars of a different society and of many of the historic pressures and struggles that are part of the history of the United States.


    • HIST 277 - Speaking and Being Zulu in South Africa
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyTallie

      "Sanibonani, abangani bami!" ("Greetings, my friends!") Want to learn more about an African language and culture? We spend the first two weeks intensively learning isiZulu, a language spoken by over 10 million people in South Africa. We also learn about the history of the Zulu people in southern Africa, covering topics from colonialism, racial discrimination, gender and sexuality, and music, and we enjoy Zulu music and film. "Masifunde ngamaZulu!" ("Let's learn about the Zulus!")


    • HIST 279 - Africa in the Western Imagination
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyTallie

      From benefit concerts to AIDS charities to study abroad literature, Africa is everywhere. And yet it is frequently explained only in absence or in suffering. Rather than being a place that is defined by what it is, often Africa is viewed by what it is not, and the term 'Afro-pessimism' has been coined by some to criticize such solely negative depictions of a vast and varied continent. What, then, is 'Africa': a location on a map, a geographical boundary? Who are 'Africans'? What does the idea mean and how is it used? This course draws on literature and popular culture to discuss the very idea of 'Africa' and how the concept has been created, redefined, re-imagined, and (de)constructed in differing times and spaces.


    • POL 215 - International Development
      FDRSS2
      Credits3
      FacultyStaff

      A study of international development and human capability, with a focus on Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The course analyzes theories to explain development successes and failures, with a focus on the structures, institutions, and actors that shape human societies and social change. Key questions include measuring economic growth and poverty, discussing the roles of states and markets in development, and examining the role of industrialized countries in reducing global poverty. The course explores links between politics and other social sciences and humanities.


    • and, when appropriate,

    • AFCA 295 - Seminar in Africana Studies
      Credits3 credits in fall or winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FDR FW requirement

      Students in this course study a group of African-American, African, or Afro-Caribbean works related by theme, culture, topic, genre, historical period, or critical approach. In the Spring Term version, the course involves field trips, film screenings, service learning, and/or other special projects, as appropriate, in addition to 8-10 hours per week of class meetings. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Winter 2021, AFCA 295A-01: Seminar in Africana Studies: The Art and Politics of Rap Music (3). Since its emergence in the 1970s, hip hop culture has changed the United States and the world. Rap music has played a huge role in those changes.  Looking at rap as an art form, a political expression, and a commodity, this class will study how from 1988 to 2018, rap music used end-rhymed verse and sampling to refine black self-expression. Analyzing singles and albums, we will explore the socio-historical context out of which the music arose, the diverse creative strategies that its practitioners employed, and the major shifts in the art form's development. Additionally, we will think about the eras in rap music's history and the prospects for its future. This course will provide a space to meditate on the relationship between cultural products, racial identity, political progress, and economic destiny. More specifically, it invites students to confront the myths and the truths surrounding one of the late twentieth centuries more controversial artistic permutations, the rise of rap music. Hill.


    • ECON 288 - Supervised Study Abroad
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteECON 100 or both ECON 101 and 102, instructor consent, and other prerequisites as specified by the instructor(s)

      For advanced students, the course covers a topic of current interest for which foreign travel provides a unique opportunity for significantly greater understanding. Emphasis and location changes from year to year and is announced each year, well in advance of registration. Likely destinations are Europe, Latin America, Africa, or Asia. This course may not be repeated.


    • ECON 295 - Special Topics in Economics
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteNormally ECON 100 or both ECON 101 and 102 but may vary with topic. Preference to ECON majors during the first round of registration. Other majors are encouraged to add to the waiting list after registration re-opens for all class years

      Course emphasis and prerequisites change from term to term and are announced prior to preregistration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. A maximum of nine credits chosen from all special topics in economics courses may be used, with permission of the department head, toward requirements for the economics major.


    • ECON 395 - Special Topics in Economics
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteECON 203 or varies with topic

      Course emphasis and prerequisites change from term to term and will be announced prior to preregistration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different. A maximum of nine credits chosen from all special topics in economics courses may be used, with permission of the department head, toward requirements for the economics major.


    • FREN 280 - Civilisation et culture francophones
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteFREN 162, FREN 164, or equivalent

      A study of significant aspects of culture and civilization in francophone countries. Topics may include: contemporary Africa, pre-colonial Africa, West Indian history and culture, and Canadian contemporary issues. Readings, discussion and papers in French further development of communication skills.


    • HIST 180 - FS: First-Year Seminar
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteFirst-year seminar. Prerequisite: First-year standing

      Topics vary by term and instructor.


    • HIST 269 - Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History
      FDRHU
      Credits3-4

      A course offered from time to time, depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in United States, Latin American or Canadian history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Winter 2021, HIST 269A-01: Topics: Black Radical Women (3). African-diasporic women have consistently imagined new futures in their pursuits of freedom and justice. In so doing, they have resisted patriarchy, racial violence, and state-sanctioned oppression. This course will offer an introduction to the theories and activism that have characterized Black women's radicalism from the nineteenth century to the present. By examining sources including writings by Frances Harper; articles by Claudia Jones; songs by Miriam Makeba; contemporary, digital activist campaigns; and more, students will evaluate how Black women have critiqued racism, sexism, and class exploitation. The course will also investigate how women navigated racial, gender, and class dynamics within activist organizations. Key topics for consideration include abolition, suffrage, Garveyism, Négritude, the anti-apartheid movement, Black Power, and #BlackLivesMatter. Ultimately, students will analyze Black women's roles in movements for Black liberation, feminism, and Black internationalism. (HU) Dennie.


    • POL 288 - Supervised Study Abroad
      FDRSS2
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteInstructor consent and other prerequisites as specified in advance

      This spring-term course covers a topic of current interest for which foreign travel provides a unique opportunity for significantly greater understanding. Topics and locations change from year to year and is announced each year, well in advance of registration. This course may be repeated if the topics are different. Offered when interest and expressed and department resources permit.


  5. African Diaspora-focused course. Take one course chosen from among:
  6.  

    • AFCA 286 - Black Writers and the Allure of Paris
      Credits4
      FacultyLena Hill and Michael Hill

      During two weeks on campus and two in Paris, students are immersed in the literary works of African American writers of the Harlem Renaissance through the mid-20th century, reading work by writers like Jessie Fauset, Gwendolyn Bennett, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Chester Himes. In preparation for traveling to Paris, the site that represented new and promising possibilities for cultural exploration and artistic inspiration, we study how these literary texts examine the modern reality of racial identity. We also assess the significance of Paris as a site of cultural production and as a site of representation for early- to mid-20th century African American writers.


    • ENGL 366 - African-American Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299
      FacultyStaff

      A focused engagement with the African-American literary tradition, from its beginnings in the late 18th century through its powerful assertions in the 21st. The focus of each term's offering may vary; different versions of the course might emphasize a genre, author, or period such as poetry, Ralph Ellison, or the Harlem Renaissance.

      Winter 2021, ENGL 366-01: African-American Literature: Make a Body Riot: Laughter, Resistance, and African American Literature (3). Prerequisite: Take one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299. Discussing writing as a mode of salvation in Black Women Writers (1950-1980), Toni Cade Bambara writes, "While my heart is a laughing gland, near that chamber is a blast furnace where a rifle pokes from the ribs." What does it mean for Bambara to defend her heart, her "laughing gland"? Is laughter/comedy gendered? How does what makes us laugh position us, either as spectator or collaborator? What does the intersection of comedy and performance have to show us about the formation and regulation of racial, class, and gendered identities? How can we, as readers of written texts, account for laughter's ephemeral and acoustic valences? How might laughter—as release, as physical expression, as indicator of an interior life, or even as protest—help us better understand many aesthetic, thematic, rhetorical, and political aspects of African American literature? In posing these questions, this course centers recurring themes and genres in the development of African American literature throughout the twentieth century—such as the role of Black literature in society; the intersections of race, class, and gender in relation to power; "the afterlives of slavery"; the historical novel; and the role of humor in community formation, among others. Possible authors include Charles Chesnutt, Nella Larsen, Fran Ross, Langston Hughes, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Paul Beatty. (HL) Millan.


    • HIST 236 - Afro-Latin America
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyGildner

      This class examines the intrinsic role that African peoples have played in the historical formation of the geographic and cultural area known as Latin America. We survey the history of African descendant people in the Americas from the forced migration of the Atlantic slave trade to the Haitian Revolution; from the sugar plantation to the city street; from Brazilian Samba in the 1920s to the emergence of salsa music in Spanish Harlem in the 1970s. Topics include slavery, the Haitian Revolution and its legacy, debates on "racial democracy", and the relationship between gender, race, and empire.


    • HIST 259 - The History of the African-American People to 1877
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyDeLaney

      An intensive study of the African-American experience from the colonial period through Reconstruction. Special emphasis is given to the slave experience, free blacks, black abolitionists, development of African-American culture, Emancipation, Black Reconstruction, and racial attitudes.


    • HIST 260 - The History of the African-American People since 1877
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyDeLaney

      An intensive study of the African-American experience from 1877 to the present. Special emphasis is given to the development of black intellectual and cultural traditions, development of urban communities, emergence of the black middle class, black nationalism, the civil rights era, and the persistence of racism in American society.


    • MUS 221 - History of Jazz
      FDRHA
      Credits3
      FacultyVosbein

      A study of the development of jazz from its roots in turn-of-the-century New Orleans to contemporary styles. Strong emphasis is placed on listening and recognition of the performers and composers discussed.


    • POL 250 - Race and Equality
      FDRSS2
      Credits3
      PrerequisitePOL 100 or POL 111 or AFCA 130
      FacultyMorel

      Not to be repeated by students who completed POL 180: FS: Black American Politics in Winter 2018. A study of important black figures in American political thought. The course focuses on the intellectual history of black Americans but also considers contemporary social science and public policies dealing with race in America.


    • POL 360 - Seminar: Lincoln's Statesmanship
      FDRSS2
      Credits3
      PrerequisitePOL 100
      FacultyMorel

      This seminar examines the political thought and practice of Abraham Lincoln. Emphasis is on his speeches and writings, supplemented by scholarly commentary on his life and career.


    • SOAN 228 - Race and Ethnic Relations
      FDRSS4
      Credits3
      FacultyMondal

      An examination of why and how society creates and maintains racial and ethnic boundaries in the US. We discuss some of the crucial questions, which include: What conditions constitute a privileged group and an oppressed group? Why and how do racial/ethnic minority groups, the poor, and women experience discrimination, oppression, and exclusion in social life? Is there any racial discrimination against privileged racial/ethnic groups? How can ordinary people, policymakers, and social scientists contribute to improving race and ethnic relations among different social groups in the US?


    • and, when appropriate,

    • AFCA 295 - Seminar in Africana Studies
      Credits3 credits in fall or winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FDR FW requirement

      Students in this course study a group of African-American, African, or Afro-Caribbean works related by theme, culture, topic, genre, historical period, or critical approach. In the Spring Term version, the course involves field trips, film screenings, service learning, and/or other special projects, as appropriate, in addition to 8-10 hours per week of class meetings. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Winter 2021, AFCA 295A-01: Seminar in Africana Studies: The Art and Politics of Rap Music (3). Since its emergence in the 1970s, hip hop culture has changed the United States and the world. Rap music has played a huge role in those changes.  Looking at rap as an art form, a political expression, and a commodity, this class will study how from 1988 to 2018, rap music used end-rhymed verse and sampling to refine black self-expression. Analyzing singles and albums, we will explore the socio-historical context out of which the music arose, the diverse creative strategies that its practitioners employed, and the major shifts in the art form's development. Additionally, we will think about the eras in rap music's history and the prospects for its future. This course will provide a space to meditate on the relationship between cultural products, racial identity, political progress, and economic destiny. More specifically, it invites students to confront the myths and the truths surrounding one of the late twentieth centuries more controversial artistic permutations, the rise of rap music. Hill.


    • ENGL 394 - Topics in Literature in English since 1900
      Credits3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteTake one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299

      Enrollment limited. A seminar course on literature written in English since 1900 with special emphasis on research and discussion. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Winter 2021, ENGL 394A-01: Topics in Literature in English since 1900: Malcolm X (3). Prerequisite: Take one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299. Malcolm X was one of the most significant civil and human rights activists in the world, and yet few among us in the United States remember or acknowledge the fullest scope of his legacy. This class will offer an in-depth study of his literary, cultural, political, and religious impact, from his encounters with his contemporaries (Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin, Muhammad Ali, John Lewis, Yuri Kochiyama) to his effect on hip hop culture. Texts will include the Autobiography of Malcolm X, speeches by Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, and other select primary and secondary sources. (HL) Kharputly.

      Winter 2021, ENGL 394B-01: Topics in Literature in English since 1900: Environmental Persuasion (3). Prerequisite: Take one English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299. This course is open to all majors and class years. It fulfills the humanities literature requirement and a humanities course requirement for the major or minor in environmental studies.

      How do we resolve major environmental problems? How do we balance the science, economics, public policy, political, ethical, cultural, and other dimensions to create real solutions? Why is this so hard? This course studies strategies of persuasion used by participants in environmental debates to teach students how to enter and win these debates. We study some of the great environmental writers in many genres, look at key historical documents and multimedia works (documentaries, ads, movies, websites), and do some activities involving local leaders and issues. Students write short analytical papers and work on a big project that studies an important environmental debate historically, analyzing who won and why. How do we persuade others to join us in making the changes we want to make? (HL) Smout.

      Fall 2020, ENGL 394A-01: Topics in Literature in English since 1900: Southern Fiction Then and Now (3). Prerequisites: One English course between 201 and 295, and one between 222 and 299. In this seminar, students read multiple works by six leading fiction writers to study changes in the American South and its literary expressions over the last century, from about 1920 to the present day. The authors are William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Cormac McCarthy, Lee Smith, Colson Whitehead, and Jesmyn Ward. Their work allows us to focus on such topics as race, class, gender, family, honor, violence, and history in considering whether the South can or should remain a distinctive region and life experience in the global village and the post-modern world. How should the South cope now with its legacy of slavery and segregation? What has changed and what has remained the same? Will the South survive as a region, or get swallowed up into America Everywhere? Who will tell its stories? (HL) Smout.


    • FREN 344 - La Francophonie
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteThree courses in French at the 200 level
      FacultyStaff

      An analysis of styles, genres, and themes in relation to particular cultural contexts, as represented in literary works written in French by authors from countries other than France. Of particular interest is French language literature from Africa, the Caribbean, and Canada. May be repeated for degree credit if the topic is different.


    • HIST 180 - FS: First-Year Seminar
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteFirst-year seminar. Prerequisite: First-year standing

      Topics vary by term and instructor.


    • HIST 269 - Topics in United States, Latin American or Canadian History
      FDRHU
      Credits3-4

      A course offered from time to time, depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in United States, Latin American or Canadian history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Winter 2021, HIST 269A-01: Topics: Black Radical Women (3). African-diasporic women have consistently imagined new futures in their pursuits of freedom and justice. In so doing, they have resisted patriarchy, racial violence, and state-sanctioned oppression. This course will offer an introduction to the theories and activism that have characterized Black women's radicalism from the nineteenth century to the present. By examining sources including writings by Frances Harper; articles by Claudia Jones; songs by Miriam Makeba; contemporary, digital activist campaigns; and more, students will evaluate how Black women have critiqued racism, sexism, and class exploitation. The course will also investigate how women navigated racial, gender, and class dynamics within activist organizations. Key topics for consideration include abolition, suffrage, Garveyism, Négritude, the anti-apartheid movement, Black Power, and #BlackLivesMatter. Ultimately, students will analyze Black women's roles in movements for Black liberation, feminism, and Black internationalism. (HU) Dennie.


    • THTR 290 - Topics in Performing Arts
      FDRHA
      Credits3 credits in fall or winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteThree credits in theater and instructor consent, but may vary with topic

      Selected studies in theater, film or dance with a focus on history, criticism, performance or production. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


  7. Three additional courses from categories 2 and 3 above and the following courses:
  8.  

    • CBSC 269 - Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination

      (PSYC 269)

      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCBSC/PSYC 114 and CBSC/PSYC 250 (as co-req or pre-req) or instructor consent
      FacultyWoodzicka

      This course examines cognitive and affective processes involved in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Causes and social implications of prejudice involving various stigmatized groups (e.g., African-Americans, women, homosexuals, people of low socioeconomic status, overweight individuals) are examined. Participants focus on attitudes and behaviors of both perpetrators and targets of prejudice that likely contribute to and result from social inequality.


    • FILM 237S - Field Documentary
      FDRHA
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteInstructor consent
      FacultySandberg

      Experiential Learning. Taught by W&L faculty at the University of Cape Coast as part of the W&L in Ghana program. This course teaches students how to research, conceptualize and develop a non-fiction story idea into a film. Students receive instruction on effective research strategies, idea development, production planning, and proposal writing and pitching. They learn the theoretical, aesthetic, and technical principles of non-linear editing for documentary. Principally, students are taught how to: digitize and organize source material, create basic effects and titles, develop sequences, and organize and edit their raw materials into a polished final product. In addition to making films, we screen various documentaries, analyze the techniques, and put them to use in our own creation and editing.


    • FILM 252S - Peoples and Culture of Ghana
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteInstructor consent
      FacultyBlunch and Sandberg

      Experiential Learning. Taught by W&L faculty at the University of Cape Coast as part of the W&L in Ghana program. An immersion in Ghanaian culture through field trips, field documentary, and field visits to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and development organizations. We visit eight different regions of Ghana on weekend field trips plus one longer week-long excursion to the Ghanaian North. Students are divided into teams that create travel documentaries, each taking on different roles with camera, sound, and logistics. Students also work on creating policy proposals for one of the NGOs or development organizations of their choice. The short travel documentaries and policy proposals are presented in the final month of the term.


    • HIST 131 - Modern Latin America: Túpak Katari to Tupac Shakur
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyGildner

      A survey of Latin America from the 1781 anticolonial rebellion led by indigenous insurgent Túpak Katari to a globalized present in which Latin American youth listen to Tupac Shakur yet know little of his namesake. Lectures are organized thematically (culture, society, economics, and politics) and chronologically, surveying the historical formation of people and nations in Latin America. Individual countries (especially Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru) provide examples of how local and transnational forces have shaped the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of North and South America and the Caribbean, and the cultural distinctions and ethnic diversity that characterize a region too often misperceived as homogeneous.


    • HIST 366 - Seminar: Slavery in the Americas
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteJunior or senior standing
      FacultyDeLaney

      An intensive examination of slavery, abolition movements and emancipation in North America, the Caribbean and Latin America. Emphasis is on the use of primary sources and class discussion of assigned readings.


    • LACS 257 - Multiculturalism in Latin America: The Case of Brazil
      FDRHL
      Credits4
      FacultyPinto-Bailey

      This seminar studies Brazil as an example of a multicultural society. Students examine the meaning of multiculturalism and related concepts of identity, heterogeneity, and Eurocentrism, not only in regard to the Brazilian context, but also, comparatively, to that of US culture. The course focuses on the social dynamics that have engaged Brazilians of different backgrounds, marked by differences of gender, ethnicity, and class, and on how multiculturalism and the ensuing conflicts have continuously shaped and reshaped individual subjectivities and national identity. Some of the key issues to be addressed in class are: Brazil's ethnic formation; myths of national identity; class and racial relations; and women in Brazilian society. Readings for the class include novels, short stories, poetry, and testimonial/diary


    • LIT 259 - The French Caribbean Novel
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW requirement
      FacultyStaff

      A stylistic and thematic study of identity acquisition through exile, marginalization, struggle, reintegration and cultural blending or any other sociologically significant phenomenon reflected in the literary works of the most important post-colonial French West Indian authors. Spawned largely by Aimé Césaire's book-length poem, Notebook of a Return to My Native Land , French Caribbean novels have proliferated since the end of World War II. After taking a brief look first at this seminal poem, the course then focuses analytically on novels written by authors such as Haitian Jacques Roumain, Guadeloupeans Simone Schwarz-Bart and Maryse Condé, and Martinicans Joseph Zobel, Raphaël Confiant, and Édouard Glissant. Several films based on, or pertaining to, Césaire's poem and to certain novels are also viewed.


    • LJS 395 - Law, Justice, and Society Research Capstone
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteLJS 101, instructor consent, and declared as a LJS minor
      FacultyStaff

      This capstone builds upon the foundations developed in LJS 101 and the courses taken as electives for the LJS minor, emphasizing interdisciplinary exchange and education. It incorporates peer-to-peer learning, including opportunities for students to educate each other on topics and issues from their selected research topics and major disciplines. The central element is a significant independent research project. This project is carried out with continual mentoring by a faculty member. Students document their research in a formal paper and in an oral presentation summarizing their research results.


    • PHIL 242 - Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyBell

      An exploration of the different range of opportunities available to various social groups, including racial, ethnic and sexual minorities, women, and the poor. Topics include how to define fair equality of opportunity; the social mechanisms that play a role in expanding and limiting opportunity; legal and group-initiated strategies aimed at effecting fair equality of opportunity and the theoretical foundations of these strategies; as well as an analysis of the concepts of equality, merit and citizenship, and their value to individuals and society.


    • PHIL 243 - Martin Luther King Jr.: Poverty, Justice, and Love
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyPickett

      This course offers students the opportunity to examine the ethics and theology that informed the public arguments about poverty made by one of the 20th century's most important social justice theorists and activists, Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the competing views of his contemporaries, critics, forebears, and heirs. The course asks the following questions, among others: How do justice and love relate to one another and to poverty reduction? What role should religion play in public discussions and policies about poverty and justice? Are the dignity and the beloved community King championed the proper goal of anti-poverty efforts?


    • POV 243 - Martin Luther King Jr.: Poverty, Justice, and Love
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyPickett

      This course offers students the opportunity to examine the ethics and theology that informed the public arguments about poverty made by one of the 20th century's most important social justice theorists and activists, Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the competing views of his contemporaries, critics, forebears, and heirs. The course asks the following questions, among others: How do justice and love relate to one another and to poverty reduction? What role should religion play in public discussions and policies about poverty and justice? Are the dignity and the beloved community King championed the proper goal of anti-poverty efforts?


    • and, when appropriate,

    • ECON 280 - Development Economics
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteECON 100 or both ECON 101 and 102. Preference to ECON majors during the first round of registration. Other majors are encouraged to add to the waiting list after registration re-opens for all class years
      FacultyCasey, Blunch

      A survey of the major issues of development economics. Economic structure of low-income countries and primary causes for their limited economic growth. Economic goals and policy alternatives. Role of developed countries in the development of poor countries. Selected case studies.


    • ENGL 293 - Topics in American Literature
      FDRHL
      Credits3-4
      PrerequisiteCompletion of the FW requirement

      Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Winter 2021, ENGL 293A-01: Topics in American Literature: Urban Rural Frontier (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. The goal of this course is to trace how writers and other artists imagined and reimagined changing urban, rural, and frontier landscapes throughout the US 19th century. What significance does the notion of "place" hold in America's imagination? How has that conception of place and space consolidated over time? Potential authors include: Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Charles Chesnutt, Margaret Fuller, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Sui Sin Far. (HL) Millan.

      Winter 2021, ENGL 293B-01: Topics in American Literature: King and Kubrick (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. The surprisingly bitter (and long lasting) dispute between Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick over the latter's adaptation of King's seminal novel The Shining proved a major cultural and artistic event that continues to shed light upon a range of important questions: theories of the novel and film, perennial debates about adaptation, bitter matters of cultural valuation and prejudice, especially the great dispute between highbrow and middlebrow, the status of such genres as horror and epic in modern literature and film, and the complex relations between modernism and postmodernism. Centering on the dispute over The Shining, this course ranges over these broader questions by surveying the careers and oeuvres of these two imposing figures in the landscape of twentieth- and now twenty-first-century art and culture. (HL) Adams.

      Winter 2021, ENGL 293C-01: Topics in American Literature: The American West (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. The American West is a land of striking landscapes, beautiful places to visit, such as Yellowstone and Yosemite, and stories that have had a huge impact on the USA and the world, such as Lewis and Clark, the Oregon Trial, Custer's Last Stand, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and Cowboy and Indian adventures galore. This course studies some of these Western places, stories, art works, and movies. What has made them so appealing? How have they been used? We study works by authors such as John Steinbeck, Frederic Remington, Willa Cather, Wallace Stegner, and Cormac McCarthy, plus movies with actors like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, and Brad Pitt to see how Western stories have played out and what is happening now in these contested spaces. (HL) Smout.

      Winter 2021, ENGL 293D-01: Topics in American Literature: Asian American Literature (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. A study of literatures by Asian-American authors, with a focus on how Asian Americans—broadly and inclusively defined—have transformed the social, political, and cultural landscapes of the United States. With such topics as immigration and refugee politics, racism and xenophobia, exclusion and internment, civil-rights activism, the post-9/11 period, and the model-minority myth, our selected texts (novels, poetry, short stories) present both a historical and an intimate look into the lives of individuals who articulate what it means to identify as Asian American in the modern and contemporary United States. Potential texts include John Okada's No-No Boy, Ted Chiang's The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate, Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You, R. O. Kwon's The Incendiaries, and Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. (HL) Kharputly.

      Winter 2021, ENGL 293E-01: Topics in American Literature: Literature of the Beat Generation (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. A study of a revolutionary literary movement, focusing on the ways in which cultural and historical context have influenced the composition of and response to literature in the United States. This course examines the writings of several American authors (Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Anne Waldman, Amiri Baraka, Bob Dylan, Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder) active from the mid-1940s through recent decades, loosely grouped together as the Beat Generation. What cultural, literary, historical, and religious influences from the U.S. and other parts of the world have shaped their work? What challenges did their boldly different writings face, and how did their reception change over time? What are their themes? Their notions of style? What have they contributed to American (and world) life and letters? The goal of this course is to lay a strong foundation from which such questions can be richly addressed and answered. (HL) Ball.

      Winter 2021, ENGL 293F-01: Topics in American Literature: Memoir (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. In this course we'll read a variety of memoir forms, from the expected prose to documentary memoir, poetic memoir, graphic memoir and visual memoir. Readings include primary texts such as Belonging, by Nora Krug, Hardly War by Don Mee Choi, One! Hundred! Demons! by Lynda Barry, and others. The final project will be devoted to writing and constructing a mixed-media, documentary memoir. (HL) Miranda.

      Winter 2021, ENGL 293G-01: Topics in American Literature: Environmental Literature in the Anthropocene (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. In this course we study American ideas of Nature and Self in environmental literature. We discuss wilderness, cultivation, loss, hope, and interconnection for humans as members of societies and of ecosystems. Texts come from the cutting edge of EcoWriting (Robin Wall-Kimmerer, Ross Gay, Camille Dungy, and many more) with a framing in traditional environmental literature (Thoreau, Whitman, etc.) and in environmental theory (William Cronon, Robert Macfarlane, etc.). With the help of these thinkers, we test our own understandings of human relationships to the more-than-human world. (HL) Green. 

      Winter 2021, ENGL 293H-01: Topics in American Literature: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Fiction (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. This class offers an immersion in contemporary American fiction by focusing on Pulitzer winners and finalists. We begin by studying the history of the prize, and the selection process. Then we read some past winners, including Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies, Paul Harding's Tinkers, and Colson Whitehead's The Nickel Boys. Students individually survey past finalists by reading the first ten pages of twenty novels of their choice, keeping a log of their impressions and reporting back to the class. For the final project, the class plays the role of the Pulitzer committee, and chooses a winner for 2012—the last year in which no prize for fiction was awarded. We read the three finalists from that year: Denis Johnson's Train Dreams, Karen Russell's Swamplandia, and David Foster Wallace's unfinished The Pale King (limited excerpts). Each student will write a final paper that makes their case for the novel that should have won in 2012, through close attention to the novel's style and structure, discussion of how the book meets the Pulitzer criteria of portraying American life, and comparison with the other finalists. (HL) Brodie.

      Fall 2020, ENGL 293B-01: Topics in American Literature: Asian American Literature (3). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. A study of literatures by Asian-American authors, with a focus on how Asian Americans—broadly and inclusively defined—have transformed the social, political, and cultural landscapes of the United States. With such topics as immigration and refugee politics, racism and xenophobia, exclusion and internment, civil-rights activism, the post-9/11 period, and the model-minority myth, our selected texts (novels, poetry, short stories) present both a historical and an intimate look into the lives of individuals who articulate what it means to identify as Asian American in the modern and contemporary United States. Potential texts include John Okada's No-No Boy, Ted Chiang's The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate, Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You, R. O. Kwon's The Incendiaries, and Ocean Vuong's On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. (HL) Kharputly.

      Fall 2020, ENGL 293E-01: Topics in American Literature: The American Short Story (3). A study of the evolution of the short story in America from its roots, both domestic (Poe, Irving, Hawthorne, Melville) and international (Chekhov and Maupassant), tracing the main branches of its development in the 20th and 21st centuries. Among the writers we read: Flannery O'Connor, Joyce Carol Oates, John Cheever, John Updike, Philip Roth, Tobias Woolf, T.C. Boyle, Amy Hempel, Elizabeth Strout, Junot Diaz, Edwidge Danticat, and others. Additionally, we explore more recent permutations of the genre, such as magical realism, new realism, and minimalism. Having gained an appreciation for the history and variety of this distinctly modern genre, we focus our attention on the work of two American masters of the form, contemporaries and erstwhile friends who frequently read and commented on each other's work—Hemingway and Fitzgerald. We see how they were influenced by their predecessors and by each other and how each helped to shape the genre. (HL) Oliver.


    • FREN 397 - Séminaire avancé
      FDRHL
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteThree courses in French at the 200 level

      The in-depth study of a topic in French literature and/or civilization. Recent offerings include: La Littérature francophone du Maghreb; La littérature Beure; La France sous l'occupation; Les femmes et l'écriture au XVIIe siècle; Les écrivains du XXe siècle et la diversité culturelle; L'affaire Dreyfus. Students are encouraged to use this course for the development of a personal project. May be repeated for degree credit when the topics are different.

      Winter 2021, FREN 397A-01: Séminaire Avancé : Les géographies de l'imaginaire: la cartographie et le voyage entre le Moyen Âge et la Renaissance (3). Prerequisites: Three courses in French at the 200 level. This seminar is a sustained and in-depth exploration of medieval and Renaissance cartography and travel. We will explore what it means to draw maps in the Middle Ages and how cartographic contours are shaped more by imagination and ideology than direct observation. We will read a variety of primary sources written in French including books of marvelous beasts and monsters, early travel accounts of Europeans in the Far East, and literary texts that explore lands reachable only through imagination. A primary outcome of this course is to investigate how the medieval cartographic imagination set the stage for colonial expansion, exploitation and inequality along racial lines, and the European justification for global hegemony. Supplementary texts, in the form of critical literary essays, are also on the reading list. (HL) McCormick.


    • LIT 295 - Special Topics in Literature in Translation
      FDRHL
      Credits3-4
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FDR FW writing requirement

      A selected topic focusing on a particular author, genre, motif or period in translation. The specific topic is determined by the interests of the individual instructor. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.


    • POL 295 - Special Topics in American Politics
      FDRSS2
      Credits3 in fall and winter, 4 in spring
      PrerequisiteMay vary with topic

      A seminar in political science for students at the introductory or intermediate level. Topic, hour, and instructor are announced prior to registration. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      Winter 2021: POL 295A-01: Special Topics in American Politics: Creating the U.S. Constitution (3). No prerequisite. This course both examines and reenacts the creation of the U.S. Constitution. Students will study the historic debates of the 1787 Convention and then, in a role-playing game, frame a constitution through persuasion, compromise, private deals and parliamentary procedure. (SS2) Uzzell.

      Fall 2020, POL 295A-01: Special Topics in American Politics: Elections (3). Open to students of all classes and majors. No prerequisite. A special offering for students to follow the major events in the 2020 presidential election and attempt to put those events in context by studying the structure of American presidential elections, recent campaigns, candidate biographies, long-term issues in national politics, and the current state of partisan division in American political life.  Students write short papers on matters related to the election and a substantial paper analyzing its results. (SS2) Strong.

      Fall 2020, POL 295B-01: Special Topics in American Politics: The Material Culture of Protest (3). No prerequisite. What is the meaning of that rainbow sticker on your friend's computer? Does the slogan on your t-shirt make history? Why did millions of women don hand-knitted pink pussy hats for the 2017 Women's March? Objects from 18th-century anti-slavery medallions to 21st-century bumper stickers have long been important tools for social, economic, and political change. Students investigate the relationship between this kind of material culture and political protest, curating an exhibit about the objects of protest they have studied. Students travel on a required class field trip (fully funded) to Washington D.C. to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History. (SS2) LeBlanc and Fuchs.


  9. Capstone Experience:
  10.  

    AFCA 403 or a relevant individual project, senior thesis, or honors thesis approved in advance by the Africana Studies program committee and supervised by a member of the program faculty, typically taken after completion of other minor requirements.