African American Studies

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  • CAS AA 100: Topics in African American Studies
    May be repeated for credit as topic varies.
  • CAS AA 103: Introduction to African American Literature
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First-Year Writing Seminar (WR 120 or equivalent)
    What is the African American literary tradition? In this course, we will read poetry, slave narratives, essays, speeches, tales, short stories, and novels and consider how culture, politics, and history shape African American literature. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking. Effective Fall 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking.
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS AA 112: Black Power in the Classroom: The History of Black Studies
    Centers Black experiences, cultures, knowledge production and identity formation in the United States and in the African Diaspora across time and space. Examines and traces the genealogies of Black Studies as a discipline: its political, ideological, and practical foundations on college campuses and in communities. Also explores earlier traditions and contemporary work in Black radical thought and activism that lay the groundwork for and build on the founding principles of Black Studies by mobilizing an intersectional and diasporic lens. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • CAS AA 113: Introduction to Antiracism
    This course introduces students to the concept of antiracism, particularly its historical contours in the United States. Effective Fall 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Historical Consciousness, Critical Thinking.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • The Individual in Community
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS AA 114: Kongo to Cuba: Art, Exchange, and Self-Determination in Africa and Latin America
    This course introduces the arts of Africa and Latin America. It explores the rich diversity of each continent's artistic production and highlights the impact of their intertwining histories on visual expression in the wake of transcontinental exchange and globalization. Effective Fall 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Aesthetic Exploration, Critical Thinking.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS AA 132: Write Back Soon: Blackness and the Prison
    This course interrogates the theme of black containment from slavery and Jim Crow to, principally, mass incarceration. The topic is explored in tandem with the development of open letter writing skills. This epistolary form allows both for the intimate engagement of individual, familiar contact and the deft inclusion of targeted eavesdroppers in order to raise the consciousness of listeners and affirm the value of personal relationships. Course texts include letters to and from prison, poetry, short stories, memoir, social science, documentaries, and critical theory. Effective Fall 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Aesthetic Exploration, Critical Thinking.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • The Individual in Community
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS AA 200: Topics in African American Studies
    May be repeated for credit as topic varies. Topic for Fall 2021: African American Literature and the Classical Tradition. Traces the history of adaptions and allusions to antiquity in Black writers from the eighteenth century to today, in a wide range of genres: poetry, essays, travel writing, novels, drama, and film.
  • CAS AA 207: Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
    Examines the fundamental theoretical and empirical approaches regarding race/ethnicity and the current state of race relations in the U.S. that explore both contemporary social problems. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, The Individual in Community, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • The Individual in Community
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • CAS AA 210: American Minstrelsy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    An American entertainment historically rooted in commodified performance of "blackness", this course engages with the complicated history of minstrelsy as both a racist and progressive art form. Course material surveys the minstrel tradition and its influence on popular entertainment. Effective Spring 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Aesthetic Exploration, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS AA 215: Arts of Africa and Its Diaspora
    Exploration of a diversity of visual and performing arts from Africa, including royal regalia, masquerades, and contemporary painting. Examines how the dispersal of Africans, due to the transatlantic slave trade and immigration, contributed to the cultural richness of the Americas. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS AA 225: Topics in Religion and Music
    May be repeated for credit as topics change. Topic for Fall 2019: Religion and Hip Hop Culture. Considers an often overlooked element in the study of hip hop culture, religion. Specifically, the course offers students the opportunity to examine the variety of ways that religion finds expression in the dynamic cultural medium of hip hop.
  • CAS AA 234: African Americans in Global Perspective: Slavery and the Creation of Race
    A study of how chattel slavery in the Americas led to racialization as a primary tool in the creation of American society and New World capitalism. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking.
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS AA 270: Race, Sex and Science Fiction
    Science Fiction has always been engaged in complex conversations about culture and the fate of the human species. This course takes seriously the presence of issues such as race, sex and gender, which have become increasingly foregrounded in the genre. Effective Spring 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Social Inquiry II, Critical Thinking.
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS AA 296: Religion and Hip Hop
    Uses digital media studies to explore diverse religious expressions in hip hop culture. Through critical reading, community field trips, and hands-on technology usage, students consider an often overlooked element in the study of hip hop culture: religion. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Digital/Multimedia Expression, Aesthetic Exploration, Creativity/Innovation.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Digital/Multimedia Expression
    • Creativity/Innovation
  • CAS AA 300: Topics in African American Studies
    May be repeated for credit as topic varies. Topic for Fall 2021: Latinx Identities, Families and Communities. Through literature, journalism, and film, this course explores the various races and ethnicities that comprise Latinx identities in the US. Topics include immigration, multiculturalism, colorism, family expectations, the college experience, mental health, gentrification, and the media representation of Latinx peoples.
  • CAS AA 303: African Americans and the Humanities
    Examines political, cultural, and historical roots of the African American experience through readings in African American literature. Topic for Spring 2021: African Americans in Popular Culture: Commodifying the Black Image. Explores the history of black people's images in American popular culture. Attention to how blacks have represented themselves and how those representations reflect historical periods as well as specific political and cultural events.
  • CAS AA 304: Introduction to African American Women Writers
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First-Year Writing Seminar (ex. WR 120)
    This course studies the cultural contexts and the ongoing relevance of significant works by African American Women Writers. Works by Jacobs, Butler, Harper, Hurston, Brooks, Kincaid, Morrison and Marshall complemented by critical articles lay out this rich tradition. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking. Effective Fall 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking.
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS AA 305: Toni Morrison's American Times
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First-Year Writing Seminar (WR 120 or equivalent)
    Using historical and literary sources to make visible the interactions between the world of the novel and that of American history, the course examines how Morrison's Song of Solomon, Beloved, Jazz, and Love depict crucial times in American history. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking. Effective Fall 2022, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking.
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS AA 308: Race and Politics
    Combining research from history, political science, sociology, and economics, this course examines the role of race and ethnicity in shaping American politics and policy. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, Ethical Reasoning, Critical Thinking.
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS AA 309: African American History in Global and Comparative Perspective
    In-depth study of selected topics in African American history from the seventeenth century to the present. Topic for Fall 2019: Slavery and the Making of Race. Study of the processes of racialization in the making of the New-World. Asks how do contemporary constructions of race, from social tensions to political movements draw on histories of the past?