African and African-American Studies

Featured Courses

PHL*372 Rap, Race, Gender & Philosophy
Since the beginning of popular music, older generations have worried that the music that young people listen to is harmful for society. Today, it is often rap music that is the focus of these criticisms. In this course, we will use philosophy to critically examine rap and its history to ask how this musical form portrays, offers us insight into, and might influence race and gender relations in the United States. We will look at pre-rap, Old School, East Coast, West Coast and music from the "Dirty South." We will also examine the politics and the production of rap, the legal issues raised by it, and rap videos. This course will focus primarily on popular rap and will include discussions of political and anti-normative rap as well.
 
PSY*374 Stereotyping and Prejudice
Through the lens of gender, racial, and sexual prejudice, this course will examine the basic psychological processes that underlie stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. Cultural, societal and media influences will be discussed as well. Prerequisite: PSY 111.
 
COR*404 Africans and African Development
This course explores Africans and African development opportunities and challenges to thriving modern African economies. Potential course topics include: approaches to unlearning misconceptions about the continent and its people that are perpetuated in the mass media; ways to better understand African peoples and cultural underpinnings; the often overlooked contributions of Africa and Africans to the development of other countries of the world; the challenges and promise of Africa's transition from largely rural agricultural and pastoral societies to a majority urban-based, business-oriented, entrepreneurial and cell-phone wielding populous; and theories of development and effective aid (including Africans' self-help initiatives and investments back home from overseas and the importance of programs that target women and girls for assistance). This course is intended for upper-level students from a wide range of disciplines interested in Africa and international development. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study. Counts toward African and African-American Studies, Geography, and Poverty and Social Justice minors.
 
HSS*375 African-American Families
This course will study the cultural and social dynamics of the African American family from both a historical and current perspective. The primary focus will be the role of the African American family in today’s society with a special emphasis placed on the issues such education, spirituality, politics, health, crime and poverty. Students will develop an understanding of the supports and stresses that affect the African American family as well as the social and political issues important to its well-being.
 
IDS*271 The Black Man in America
African-Americans have endured systematic discrimination, inequality and oppression since the 17th century. Mistreatment still persists in many different forms and thereby impacts the socio-economic and political life of scores of African-Americans. This course investigates the living and working conditions of Black men in the United States to better understand how racial discrimination, inequality, and oppression adversely impact lives. This course provides a theoretical and analytical framework for understanding many phenomenon among Black men, including volatile relationships with law enforcement officials, high rates of incarceration, and shorter lifespans. Counts toward Society requirement
 
REL*461 Racism and Black Theology

This course focuses on studying the history of Christianity related to people of African descent in the United States. We will examine the discourse of both pro-slavery Christians and the abolitionist Christian movement as background for considering the contemporary situation of racism and the Black Lives Matter movement. Significant attention will be paid to the development of black liberation theology in the 1960s and 70s and the accompanying development of womanist (black women’s) theology in the 1990s as well as reading more recent black liberation theology. Given the problem of white racism in relation to contemporary social problems, we will also read white liberation theologians in the US who are addressing the issues of privilege, whiteness, and white racism.