Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Africa and the Americas

Director, 2007-08: Michael Fitzgerald (History), American history, African American history

Faculty, 2007-08: David Hagedorn (Music) jazz, percussion; Joan Hepburn (English), English, West African and African American literature and drama; Karlos Hill (ARMS); Scott Homler (French) Francophone literature, culture, and civilization; Joseph Mbele (English), post-Colonial and Third World literature; Hervé Pensec (French) Francophone Caribbean literature and culture

The Africa and the Americas program offers a concentration that integrates studies of African history and culture, the forced movement of African peoples to the New World, and the consequences of slavery and post-slavery relations in the United States. Throughout history, African and African American peoples have played a central role on the world’s stage, and they continue to offer perspectives critical to understanding the modern world. The concentration in Africa and the Americas provides students with the opportunity to study the ways in which Africans and peoples of African descent understand and interpret their interactions with other cultures and traditions.

The Africa/African diaspora experience has been most commonly expressed and understood through its history, arts, religion, and politics. As students explore the values and lifestyles deriving from communities of African heritage, they gain a fuller understanding of the significance of these communities’ contributions to the larger world.

Requirements for the Concentration

The concentration requires a minimum of five courses. The interdisciplinary seminar Africa and the Americas 231-232, Africa and the Americas, is required of all students electing this concentration. One independent study may be counted toward the concentration.

Students are encouraged to include off-campus study, either domestic or overseas, in their programs. See program director for information on programs available in Namibia, South Africa, Ghana, and Tanzania, as well as in the British and French Caribbean.


Required Seminar

231 Africa and the Americas: The Diaspora Experience

Based upon courses from participating departments, the seminar introduces students to the historical and cross-cultural experiences of Africans and African Americans. It affords students the chance to engage in interdisciplinary interpretation and analysis and encourages them to interpret their own heritage in light of the African/African American experience. This course emphasizes literary texts.

294, 394 Internship

298 Independent Study

396 Directed Undergraduate Research: "Topic Description"

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: Determined by individual instructor. Offer based on department decision.

398 Independent Research

Elective Courses

Elective courses must be relevant to the focus of the concentration. For some electives, students may be required to negotiate specific assignments with the instructor and the concentration director. Other courses not identified in this list may also be acceptable, depending on the relevance of their content to the concentration.

American Racial and Multicultural Studies (ARMS) 121-122, Introduction to American Racial and Multicultural Studies
Art 269, African Art History
English 108, The Hero and the Trickster
English 245, American Racial and Multicultural Literatures
English 247, Post-Colonial Literatures
English 399, The Major Seminar (Topics Vary)
French 233, Language and Culture Studies in the French Caribbean (Off-Campus/Martinique)
French 271, The Francophone World
French 372, Topics in Francophone Studies
History 165, Slavery in the Americas
History 181, Civil Rights Revolution
History 277, African-American History
History 288, Civil War and Reconstruction
History 370, Emancipation
Music 231, History of Jazz
Music 237, World Music
ID 252, History & Religion in South Africa
Sociology/Anthropology 120, Anthropology of Jazz
Sociology/Anthropology 128, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Sociology/Anthropology 261, Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Sociology/Anthropology 264, Race and Class in American Culture