Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Africa and the Americas

Director, 2014-15: Abdulai Iddrisu (History), African history

Faculty, 2014-15: Mary Carlson (Social Work), social policy, ethics, practice, social welfare history; Michael Fitzgerald (History), American history, African American history; David Hagedorn (Music), jazz, percussion; Joan Hepburn (English), West African and African American literature and modern drama (on leave fall semester); Joseph Mbele (English), post-Colonial and Third World literature

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

overview of the concentration

The Africa and the Americas concentration 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. 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 global cultures and traditions.


Requirements for the Concentration

The concentration requires a minimum of five courses. The interdisciplinary seminar, Africa and the Americas 231-232 is required of all students electing this concentration, and students are strongly advised to enroll in this course during their first or sophomore year. One independent study may be counted toward the concentration.

Students are also encouraged to include off-campus study, either domestic or overseas, in their programs. See the program director for information on the HECUA program and 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

The seminar examines the African background of African Americans and ties between Africa and African Americans. It examines the nature of interaction and the role played by Africans, African culture, and African institutions in the political, economic, cultural and religious life of the New World. Students explore questions such as to what extent the iconography of Africa so used to mobilize Africans in disperson, and how effective was the consciousness of Africa sustained in the New World and finally the contributions of African Americans to Africa.

294 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.

394 Internship

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.

Art 269: African Art History
English 108: The Hero and the Trickster in Post-Colonial Literature
English 205: American Racial and Multicultural Literature
English 207: Women of the African Diaspora
English 210: Post-Colonial Literatures (with a focus on Africa)
English 399: The Major Seminar (when the topic pertains to Africa and the Americas)
French 271: The Francophone World
French 372: Topics in Francophone Studies
French 373: Genre: North African Novel
History 151: Slavery in African History
History 165: Slavery in the Americas
History 181: Civil Rights Revolution
History 189: Top: Women in African Colonial History
History 256: Slavery in West Africa: Ghana
History 277: African-American History
History 288: America in the Civil War and Reconstruction Era
History 291: Introduction to African History
History 292: Muslim Societies in Sub-Saharan Africa
History 370 Seminar (when the topic pertains to Africa & the Americas)
Music 231: History of Jazz
Race and Ethnic Studies 121-122: Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies
Race and Ethnic Studies 251: Religion and Hip-Hop Culture
Religion 267: African-American Religious Thought
Sociology/Anthropology 128: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (with a focus on Africa)
Sociology/Anthropology 261: Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Sociology/Anthropology 264: Race and Class in American Culture
Sociology/Anthropology 266: Crime and Inequality (with a focus on Africa)
Sociology/Anthropology 268: Class, Status, and Power
Social Work 280: Social Reality in South Africa