Course Offerings

Fall 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Seminar in Africana Studies

AFCA 295A - Hill, Michael D.

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.

 

Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination

CBSC 269 - Woodzicka, Julie A.

This course examines cognitive and affective processes involved in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Causes and social implications of prejudice involving various stigmatized groups are examined. Participants focus on attitudes and behaviors of both perpetrators and targets of prejudice that likely contribute to and result from social inequality.

The History of the African-American People since 1877

HIST 260 - Dennie, Nneka D.

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.

African Women in Comparative Perspective

HIST 275 - Ballah, Henryatta L.

In this course, we will widen our appreciation of African Women's experiences, including history, legal and socio-economic status, religious and political roles, productive and reproductive roles, and the impact of colonialism and post-independence development and representation issues. The course will move across time and space to examine the aforementioned in pre-colonial, colonial and 'post'-colonial Africa. We will begin with the question: What common beliefs/images about African women did/do Euro-Americans share?

Law, Justice, and Society Research Capstone

LJS 395 - Rush, Mark E.

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.

History of Jazz

MUS 221 - Vosbein, Terry

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.

Spring 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Seminar in Africana Studies

AFCA 295 - Hill, Michael D.

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.

Spring 2021, AFCA 295-02: Seminar in Africana Studies: The American Dream in Post-1954 Black Drama (3). While Alain Locke, as early as the Harlem Renaissance, prophesied great things for African American dramatists, it was not until the early days of the Civil Rights Movement that his optimism was fully gratified.  After Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun appeared though, black Americans garnered multiple Pulitzer prizes and, by most accounts, became vibrant contributors to a national theater.  In part, this contribution has been defined by an ironic view of that success narrative known as "The American Dream."  This course explores African American drama since 1954, focusing on the interplay between black selfhood and the evolving notion of an American Dream.  Examining pivotal plays from this period, we will analyze what makes the struggle for progress an ambiguous, yet attractive topic for black playwrights. M. Hill.

Special Topics in Literature in Translation

LIT 295 - Pinto-Bailey, Ana C. (Cristina)

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.

Spring 2021, LIT 295-04: Special Topics in Literature in Translation: Gender and Race in Latin America Literature and Film (3). Prerequisite: Completion of FDR-FW requirement.  In this class, students will examine the intersection of gender and race as represented in Latin American film and literature (narrative fiction and poetry). Considering the complexities of both Latin America and of the concepts of race and gender, the course will focus on the Latin American African diaspora to address the following key issues: slavery and its legacies; the symbolic representation and self-representation of Afro-Latin Americans in literature and film; Afro-Latin Americans' cultural-political activism, among others. (HL) Pinto-Bailey.

FS: First-Year Seminar

POL 180 - Rush, Mark E. / Kuettner, Paul R. (Dick)

First-year seminar.

Spring 2021, POL 180-01: First-Year Seminar: Minority Voting Rights and Gerrymandering (3).  Prerequisite: First-year class standing. This course introduces students to the history of voting rights discrimination against minorities in the United States with a particular focus on African Americans and gerrymandering. The course begins with a study of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and how it has evolved through congressional amendments and Supreme Court decisions. We then investigate theories of minority representation and democracy. To place the theoretical aspects of the course into practical perspective, the class entails a lab component in which students learn to conduct basic spreadsheet and statistical analysis of data and use redistricting software (ArcMap). We will use Virginia elections and census data to produce alternative election maps of Virginia to demonstrate how we can make elections fairer, more competitive and create more opportunities for minority representation. Approved for Experiential Learning credit. (SS2) Rush and Keuttner.

 

Winter 2021

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Introduction to Africana Studies

AFCA 130 - Hill, Michael D.

 
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.

Seminar in Africana Studies

AFCA 295A - Hill, Michael D.

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. M. Hill.

Directed Individual Study

AFCA 403 - Kamara, Mohamed


This course facilitates individual reading, research, and writing in an area of Africana Studies not covered in-depth in other courses. May be repeated for degree credit and/or used for the capstone requirement in the minor in Africana Studies.

African-American Literature

ENGL 366 - Millan, Diego A.

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.

African American Intellectual History

HIST 359 - Dennie, Nneka D.

Since their earliest arrivals in the New World, African Americans crafted liberatory ideas as they articulated a desire for equality, justice, and self-determination. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, black intellectual thought took shape against the backdrop of processes of enslavement, emancipation, racial violence, and state-sanctioned oppression. Indeed, the discursive spaces that black political thinkers created became major sites of knowledge production and provided momentum for black mobilization. Beginning with David Walker's Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World  (1829), this course will probe landmark texts by and about African American thinkers including Maria Stewart, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Malcolm X., and Angela Davis. Students will evaluate historical perspectives on topics including racial uplift, feminism, black nationalism, and Pan-Africanism. They will also identify major debates that shaped the development of African American intellectual history.

Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity

PHIL 242 - Bell, Melina C.

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.

Conceptions of Race and Health: Black & White=Gray

SOAN 279 - Chin, Lynn G. (Lynny)

This seminar tackles the question of what is "race" and how does it affect health? In the United States, "race" is a concept  frequently taken for granted. But what does "race" signify? Does race denote something inherently biological, cultural, or structural about one's ancestry, background, or lifestyle? Is race truly a stable "ascribed" characteristic that has predictive implications for peoples' everyday well-being? By specifically concentrating on the case study of health disparities for African-Americans in the United States, we explore the concept of "race", and how societal conceptions of race affect health policy, people's health outcomes, their access to healthcare, and their relationship to the medical establishment. 

Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity

WGSS 242 - Bell, Melina C.

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