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African American Studies Courses (AFS)

Courses for Undergraduates

200 African American Art History (3:3)

The development of African American art placed within the context of mainstream American art and the history of the blacks in this country.

201 Introduction to African American Studies (3:3)

GE Core: GHP


Introduction to African American culture through a historical and social perspective. (Fall & Spring & Summer)

210 Blacks in American Society: Social, Economic, and Political Perspectives (3:3)

GE Core: GSB

Social, political, economic experience of blacks in the United States. Topics include the black family, Civil Rights Movement, black politicians, and blacks in the labor market. (Fall & Spring & Summer)

305 Special Topics in African American Studies (3:3)

May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

An in-depth study of a selected topic or topics in African American Studies involving directed reading and research. (Fall & Spring & Summer)

310 The Portrayal of African Americans in Film (3:3)

An examination of African American film roles as a reflector of America’s perception of black character and behavior. Various film genres will be considered for insight into movie portrayals as social commentary. (Spring)

312 Experimental Course: Minorities and Music: Race, Class, and Gender in America (3:3)

Offers a critical perspective on representations of race, class, and gender in American popular music and uses music to examine and understand the impact of dominant ideologies. (Offered spring '08) (Same as SOC 312)

315 Theories and Paradigms in African American Studies (3:3)

Pr. AFS 201 and 210, junior or senior standing, or permission of instructor

A concentrated examination of the theories or systematic explanations of the social, cultural, and historical phenomena and/or experiences of African Americans. (Fall & Spring)

320 The African American Athlete (3:3)

An examination of the lives and careers of African American athletes and their struggles to gain acceptance in both competitive and social settings. (Fall or Spring)

325 Black Women in the U.S. (3:3)

AFS 201 and 210 recommended

Explores the historical experiences of women of African descent in America through an evaluation of relevant literature, film, and/or music. (Fall or Spring)

330 Black Music as Cultural History: 1960–1980 (3:3)

African-American urban music from the 1960s and 1970s as cultural history and as a reflector of social, political, and economic movements of the era. (Fall)

350 Experimental Course: The History, Literary Connections, and Social Relevance of Hip-Hop (3:3)

Explores history of the hip-hop movement, hip-hop as a genre of literature, and the social context, relevance, and effect of both grassroots and mainstream hip-hop. (Offered spring '08)

370 Experimental Course: Postmodern Blackness (3:3)

Reviews various frameworks for viewing black identity and explores multiple and competing expressions of "blackness" based on media representations, social class, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and educational attainment. (Offered spring '08)

390 Experimental Course: The Black Body (3:3)

This course will explore ways the black body has been used and characterized by Anglo culture and ways black people redefine their bodies. (Offered spring '08)

400 Independent Study (1–3)

Pr. permission of Director of African American Studies and faculty mentor.

Intensive independent study on special topics related to the African American experience. (Fall & Spring & Summer)

410 Seminar in African American Studies (3:3)

Pr. completion of 12 hours of AFS core requirements (AFS 201, 210, ENG 374 or 376, HIS 301 or 302 or 389); junior or senior status; and permission of instructor

Capstone seminar on issues in African American Studies and their significance to American society and the world. (Fall & Spring)

492 Internship in African American Studies (1-6:0:3-16)

Pr. AFS 201, 210; ENG 374 or 376; HIS 301, 302, or 389

Pr. for AFS minors: AFS 201, 210, and two AFS-related courses

Interns must show 40 on-site hours each semester for each s.h. of credit sought.

Practical experience at sites serving populations of people of African descent. Two semester meetings with Program director. Students must complete 8 to 15 hours per week at site.

493 Honors Work (3–6)

Pr. permission of instructor; 3.30 GPA in the major, 12 s.h. in the major

May be repeated for credit if the topic of study changes.