This course is designed to introduce students to the discipline of Africana Studies, which is the study, interpretation, and dissemination of knowledge concerning African-American, African, and Caribbean affairs and culture. Our chief aim is to look at the arts and culture of people of African descent with specific attention at the retention of Africanisms in New World Contexts. As such, we will devote attention to music, dance, religion, and literature as ways of influencing and creating space for voice, inclusion, and identity in New World contexts. We will further investigate the transformation of these themes over the last 500 hundred years as Africans, African Americans and African Caribbeans have been exposed to European domination and exploitation.
AFDS 492 00. AFSD Senior Project
Prerequisite: Permission of Program Director
Note: Students must submit an Independent Study –Senior Project Proposal-- to the Registrar’s office, Recitation Hall, for final approval. After final approval, the student will be officially registered for the credits.
During the senior year, our minors are required to complete a two-credit Senior Project that explores the Black Diasporic connections between academic disciplines. Students often study and analyze the intersection of Africana Studies and their major. For example, one student produced and directed a compilation of scenes from plays by two important African American playwrights while another planned a Black Knowledge Conference for the Wittenberg community in conjunction with the Office of Multicultural Student Programs.
HIST 203C 1W. Negro Leagues
4. 00 credits
Prerequisite: ENG101E and Sophomore standing.
The course will focus on the Negro Leagues that existed in the United States from the early 20th century until the late 1960s. We will also explore the experience of black baseball players both before and after the period of segregation in the United States. While it is essential that we come to grips with the broader political, social, and economic institutions that supported racial segregation, the main focus of this course is to expose the lives that black baseball players made for themselves. In exploring the lives of African-American baseball players, we will focus on an emerging culture and the evolution of race relations. Of particular interest will be the few successful Negro Leagues that operated from 1919 through the 1940s and the long process of breaking baseball's color barrier from 1946 through the 1960s. This course is designed to teach students the basic skills of researching and writing a historical paper. Assessment will be based on a book review, two take home exams, and the main component of the grade will be based on the research assignments and final paper. Writing intensive.
HIST 372 Race in South Africa and the U.S .
Prerequisite: ENGL101E, Junior Standing and one course in history or permission of instructor.
This course will compare the political, economic, and cultural motivations behind the construction of racially discriminatory systems in the United States and South Africa. White settlers in both the United States and South Africa turned to the exploitation of slave labor; why did they do this and how did they justify it? After the abolition of slavery each society developed new forms of institutional racism, Jim Crow and Apartheid. We will also devote a considerable amount of our attention to the responses of African-Americans and Black South Africans to these systems. In our analysis of their responses, we will explore why certain communities opted for violent and non-violent measures. We will also explore why some strategies for equality were successful for one group and not the other. This class will conclude with an examination of the state of race relations today. Grading will be based on: Class participation, short papers based on readings and exams. Writing intensive.
PHIL 209A 01/02. Philosophy and Art of Hip-Hop Culture
This course will look at the content and forms of Hip Hop Expression as well as the assessment of performance, lyrics and images placed upon, and embodied by, its audience. This course will be taught thematically, focusing particularly to the fundamental human questions such as: The search for God, love and knowledge; the historical concerns of cultural authenticity, race and sexuality; language as artistic expression and meaning; Chiefly we are looking at Hip Hop as a Cultural Socratic Art-Form, namely the historic look at Hip-Hop’s ability to question, inform and engage in the search for purpose within a democracy through its drama, music, and cultural forms.
SOCI 270S 01 Sociology of Minority Groups
Since humanity developed the capacity to produce an economic surplus, countless earthlings have been oppressed by relatively small groups of elites. This course will examine the historical and contemporary causes for the continued oppression of entire groups, including various ethnic groups, women, the impoverished and other animals. Special emphasis will be given to the treatment of devalued groups in the United States and the role of the capitalist system. The course will include lecture, class discussions, videotape presentations, and assignments outside of class. Students are expected to respond actively to assigned readings by discussing key ideas and by using examples to support or question these ideas.
SOCI 277C/R 1W Islam and Islamic Societies
This course will provide a broad introduction to the religion of Islam, accompanied by an examination of the connections between Islam and the varied life of Muslim societies and of Muslim minority communities in non-Muslim societies. We will seek to understand the complex sources of conflict in areas in which Islam is implicated in some way; we will also try to become acquainted with the rich cultural life of Muslims. We will consider Muslim societies all over the world, but, in support of the minor in Africana Studies, we will give a special emphasis to Islam in Africa and to African American Islam.
Course format: lecture/seminar, with much group discussion. Graded Requirements: A variety of writing exercises throughout the term, oral presentations, examinations and a term project. Students should expect one or more alternative class meetings during the evening to accommodate guest speakers. This course is Writing Intensive (W) and can be taken for either “C” or “R” credit in General Education.
THDN 112A - 1W Dance in Popular Culture
4 Semester Hours
What do A Chorus Line, the work of Fred Astaire, a Madonna music-video, and television commercials have in common? All of them are a demonstration and a cultural reflection of American show-dance. This class attempts to sharpen your interpretive, descriptive, and evaluative skills as you watch tap, jazz, ballroom, MTV, Broadway performances, and other forms of popular/main-stream dance of the past century. Assessment is based on in and out of class assignments and in-class participation. Writing Intensive.
THDN 210C Dance Ethnology
4 Semester Hours
Chang, Shih-Ming Li
The purpose of this course is to provide knowledge and understanding of different cultures around the world by comparing and analyzing the differences of their dances. Through the understanding of the basic elements of time, space, and movement quality, the course will help students develop the ability to analyze different styles, forms, and functions of the dances of different countries and cultures. The course format includes video viewing, lecture/discussion, research, and learning some folk dances. Grading is based upon participation, assignments, a midterm, a final exam, and a presentation.