AFS 201 Introduction to African American Studies
Dr. Omar Ali, TR 9:30 am-10:45 am
Dr. Frank Woods, MWF 11:00 am-11:50 am
Mr. Michael Cauthen, MWF 2:00 pm-2:50 pm
This course acquaints students with historical, social, political, and psychological perspectives on the African American struggle to gain acceptance in America. This course covers major fundamental factors that shaped the African American experience and the field of African American Studies and examines the lives of key individuals that added greatly to the history of this country.
AFS 210 Blacks in American Society
Mr. Michael Cauthen, MWF 3:00 pm-3:50 pm
Mr. D. Noble, Thursdays 6:00 pm-8:50 pm
This course is open to all undergraduate students. It explores the African American
experience from multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary perspectives; particularly the experiences of members of the African American community in the twentieth century, and early twenty first century. Central to the above exploration will be the critique of the foremost theories and methodologies of African American sociology, African American political science, and black economics. The course also reviews the accomplishments of leading African American historical figures of the relevant eras; and analyzes the interplay of race, racism, and socio-culture in the full span of black life in the United States.
AFS 260 Understanding Race
Mr. Michael Cauthen, MWF 1:00 pm-1:50 pm
Race is used as a fundamental organizing principle of American socioculture, yet it is one the most profoundly misunderstood aspects of “the” human condition. Many courses offer a unit, chapter, or one-day debates on the subject. This course seeks to provide a comprehensive look at race (and its companion, racism)—especially in its socio-historical, bio-cultural, politico-economic dimensions.
AFS 300, African American Poetry
Mr. D. Noble, Tuesdays 6:00 pm-8:50 pm
African American poetry is much more than a literary genre. It is a malleable political tool, a dynamic and breathing cultural force that can correct lies and redress misnomers, violently fight back against oppression or it can be a tool used to imagine a whole new range of possibilities and alternate states of being. This course aims to interrogate African American poetry through this particular lens. In other words, this course will explore African American poetry as a means of protest writing. We will scrutinize its political utility relative to the ongoing Black liberation struggle. How has African American poetry defined the black liberation struggle in certain historical moments? How has it critiqued the black liberation struggle in given historical contexts? How has African American poetry historically enhanced and/or enabled (or even retarded) the black liberation struggle? This course will explore the governing aesthetics of certain African American literary periods, examine the political/ideological trajectories of particular African American poets and also investigate how African American poetry has been used as a radical intertextual device (e.g. in Sapphire’s Push, Assata Shakur’s autobiography Assata, the film “Slam,” etc.).
AFS 305 Race, Culture and the Media
Mr. Allen Johnson, Mondays 6:30 pm-9:20 pm
This seminar will explore current trends, challenges and issues in mass media through the prisms of race and culture. The course will take a critical look at such topics as the impact of media downsizing on diversity; how racial issues are covered in the mainstream media; the black community’s prickly, love-hate relationship with Black Entertainment Television; the shifting landscape in media platforms and its implications for diversity; job opportunities in an era of uncertainty; depictions of minorities in media; the state of black-owned media; National Public Radio’s strained, hot-and-cold history with the African American audiences; and racial and cultural dilemmas in journalism ethics. Frequent guest speakers and in-class exercises will play key roles in the class.
AFS 330 Black Music and Cultural History: Black Music from 1960-1980
Dr. Frank Woods, MWF 2:00 pm-2:50 pm
This course examines African American urban music from the 1960s and 1970s as cultural history. The music and the musicians who created it will be explored and examined as a reflector of social, political, and economic conditions within Black America and its impact on mainstream America’s perception of black character, behavior and creativity. This course will focus on the musical genres of rhythm and blues, soul, disco and funk and analyze their insights into the black perspective and aesthetic.
AFS 351 Race, Gender, and Performance
Dr. Sarah Cervenak, TR 11:00 am-12:15 pm
Race and gender are inextricably tied to performance. The way one moves and acts in the world is shaped by the complex intersections of race, gender, and desire. We will think about the history of a relation between race, gender and performance, particularly as it concerns the enactment of and resistance to (neo)colonial, patriarchal control and captivity. What are the ways in which these performance relations are racialized and gendered? What happens when performances are coerced/forced, bodies displayed, mocked, and surveilled against their will? What does it mean that the relationship between race, gender, and performance is shaped by these histories and their legacies? We will think about the ways that black performances (as they involve formerly owned and colonized peoples) negotiate questions of freedom and desire on the one hand and captivity and incarceration on the other. What new forms of freedom become possible?
AFS 410 Seminar in African American Studies
Dr. Sarah Cervenak, TR 12:30 pm-1:45 pm
This course is the capstone for those majoring in African American Studies. We will reflect on our various relationships to African American Studies as a field. We will think about the debates surrounding the field itself, as they concern its relationship to the university system and other institutional formations, identity, community, gender, sexuality, and the politics of representation. In addition to engaging in a set of critical dialogues about the field and what you’ve learned (in particular) while studying AFS at UNCG, you are expected to complete a final research paper. Half of the semester will be organized around critical readings and discussion, the other around cultivation, development, and presentation of an original research paper.
AFS 554 Independent Black Politics in the Nineteenth Century
Dr. Omar Ali, Online
In order to better understand independent black politics in the nineteenth century this course will compare Black Populism and Black Abolitionism. We will explore the origins, rise, and collapse of the independent black political movement called Black Populism—a movement of African Americans between Reconstruction and the consolidation of Jim Crow. We will turn to the Black Abolitionist movement and seek to uncover similarities and differences between these two movements. Who lead them? How did they organize their networks? What obstacles did they face? What did they accomplish?