Courses

The listing of a course description here does not guarantee a course’s being offered in a particular semester. Please refer to the published schedule of classes on the Student Link for confirmation a class is actually being taught and for specific course meeting dates and times.

  • CAS AA 500: Topics in African American Studies
    Topic for Spring 2020: Music and Culture: Race and Sound. (Prerequisite: GRS students only.) It is only recently that sound itself has been identified as a sphere for studying the construction of race. This class focuses on the relationships between music, sound and race, but also on intersections with literature, media, and sexuality.
  • CAS AA 501: Topics in African American Literature
    Topic for Fall 2019: Literature of the Early Black Atlantic. Considers the first century of black Atlantic literature, including poetry and prose by Phillis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, Mary Prince, and Frederick Douglass. How did these writers represent the early modern world? How did they work to change it?
  • CAS AA 502: Topics in African American Literature
    Topic for Spring 2020: Tracking Changes in the Twentieth-Century African American Novel: Negotiations of Genre and Gender. Readings of Slave Narratives and Neo Slave Narratives, and the Urban Novel. Authors include Toni Morrison, Octavia Butler, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and Walter Mosley.
  • CAS AA 504: African American and Asian American Women Writers
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., EN 120 or WR 100 or WR 120).
    Cross-cultural comparison of selected African American and Asian American women writers examines strategies by the "Other" to navigate cultural constructions of race, class, and gender. Attention to literary histories. Also offered as CAS EN 484.
  • CAS AA 507: Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., EN 120 or WR 100 or WR 120).
    This study of the Harlem Renaissance (1919-1935) focuses on literature with overviews of the stage, the music, and the visual arts. Authors include Du Bois, Locke, Garvey, Schuyler, Hurston, McKay, Larsen, Fisher, Hughes, Cullen. Also offered as CAS EN 377.
  • CAS AA 514: Labor, Sexuality, and Resistance in the Afro-Atlantic World
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing.
    The role of slavery in shaping the society and culture of the Afro-Atlantic world, highlighting the role of labor, the sexual economy of slave regimes, and the various strategies of resistance deployed by enslaved people. Also offered as CAS HI 584. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Historical Consciousness.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
  • CAS AA 517: Urban Politics and Policy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    Explores the impact of American urban politics on the implementation of local policy. Topics include deindustrialization, white flight, neighborhood effects, housing policy, schools, regionalism, and factors that constrain policy-making capacities. Also offered as CAS PO 517. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Writing-Intensive Course, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • The Individual in Community
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS AA 519: Inequality and American Politics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    This course examines the role of income inequality in shaping American politics and policy. Combining research from history, political science, economics, and public policy scholars, we will consider a range of important topics, including inequality in public voice, money and politics, and attitudes towards redistribution. We will apply this knowledge as part of a final paper project in metropolitan Boston. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Writing- Intensive Course, Research and Information Literacy.
    • The Individual in Community
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS AA 538: Studies in West Indian Literature: Caribbean Poetry
    Topic for Spring 2019: Caribbean Poetry. Study of twentieth-century Caribbean poetry written in English(es), surveying anthologies and concentrating on major figures (Derek Walcott, Kamau Brathwaite, Lorna Goodison, Eric Roach). Emphases: the function of poets in small societies, and their choices concerning linguistic and aesthetic traditions.
  • CAS AA 580: The History of Racial Thought
    Study of racial thinking and feeling in Europe and the United States since the fifteenth century. Racial thinking in the context of Western encounters with non-European people and Jews; its relation to social, economic, cultural, and political trends. Also offered as CAS HI 580.
  • CAS AA 588: Women, Power, and Culture in Africa
    Understanding the role of women in African history. Topics include the Atlantic slave trade, power, religion, the economy, resistance movements, health, the state, and kinship. Emphasis on the period before independence. Also offered as CAS HI 588.
  • CAS AA 590: The World and the West
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Explores relations between the West and the Third World from 1850, focusing on national and cultural movements in the Third World, and places the African American struggle for freedom in the United States in global and comparative perspective. Also offered as CAS HI 590.
  • CAS AA 591: Black Thought: Literary and Cultural Criticism in the African Diaspora
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: two previous literature courses or junior or senior standing.
    An introduction to literary and cultural thinking in African-America and the Black Diaspora. The course hones in on specific trends, themes, and characteristics of this work and assesses its relationship to broader political and social contexts. Also offered as CAS EN 537.
  • CAS AH 500: Topics in History of Art & Architecture
    May be repeated for credit as topic varies. Two topics are offered Fall 2020. Section A1: The Silk Road and Dunhuang Caves. Explores visual and material culture of the Silk Road through the Dunhuang caves. Analyzes the modern invention of the "Silk Road", politics and patronage, Buddhist art and architecture, medieval manuscripts, ritual practices, and the impact of China's current "Belt-Road" policy. Section B1: Istanbul: From Imperial Capital to Global City. Architectural and urban history of Istanbul 18th Century to the present: major buildings, urban fabrics and public spaces discussed in national, regional and global context; role of spatial practices in the making, transformation and re-negotiation of cultural and national identities.
  • CAS AH 501: Practicum in Museum Studies
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of the Director of Museum Studies, and stamped approval; prior museum/gallery experience an asset.
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of Director of Museum Studies, and stamped approval; prior museum/gallery experience an asset. Graduate internships must be taken in a non-profit institution in order to count for credit.
    Centered on an internship, which must comprise a supervised project approved in advance by the Director of Museum Studies. Stamped approval prior to the internship is necessary for registration in the course. Internships in Boston-area museums, galleries, historical agencies, and houses arranged for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, 10-12 hours per week (150 hours per semester) at the host institution, with written report.
  • CAS AH 502: Practicum in Museum Studies
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of the Director of Museum Studies, and stamped approval; prior museum/gallery experience an asset.
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of Director of Museum Studies, and stamped approval; prior museum/gallery experience an asset. Graduate internships must be taken in a non-profit institution in order to count for credit.
    Centered on an internship, which must comprise a supervised project approved in advance by the Director of Museum Studies. Stamped approval prior to the internship is necessary for registration in the course. Internships in Boston-area museums, galleries, historical agencies, and houses arranged for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, 10-12 hours per week (150 hours per semester) at the host institution, with written report.
  • CAS AH 503: Art Historical Methods
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing and at least two 300-level AH courses.
    Explores a wide range of theories and methodologies (including semiotics, Marxism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, feminism, and post-structuralism) employed by art historians and critics to assess art produced in Europe and the United States since 1900.
  • CAS AH 504: Topics in Religion and the Visual Arts
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of instructor.
    In-depth discussion of special issues in the study of religion and art. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Topic for Fall 2019: Sacred Precincts of East Asia. Introduction to East Asian art and architecture through studies of sacred precincts across China, Japan, and Korea. Each class focuses on an important religious site and its connection with other disciplines such as religious studies, literature, social history, and anthropology.
  • CAS AH 520: The Museum and Historical Agency
    History, present realities, and future possibilities of museums and historical agencies, using Boston's excellent examples. Issues and debates confronting museums today examined in the light of historical development and changing communities. Emphasis on collecting, display and interpretation.
  • CAS AH 521: Curatorship
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Graduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Topic for Spring 2020: Museums, Politics, and Representation. Examines the politics of cultural representation in art museums, galleries, and cultural spaces. Through different case studies, this course engages with the ways in which museums, exhibitions, and curators articulate and exercise their relationship to different communities, identities, and "Others."