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 2021: "Identity." This course takes seriously the ongoing dependence on "identity" in cultural tensions, artistic expressions and cultural debates. Where did it come from, what does it mean and why does it matter? Via a cross-cultural exploration of literary, historical and critical works we engage how "identity" is claimed, mobilized and sometimes weaponized.
  • 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: Cross-Cultural Perspective
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: one previous literature course or junior or senior standing.
    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.
  • CAS AA 507: Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., EN 120 or WR 100 or WR 120).
    An exploration of the literature of the "New Negro Renaissance" or, more popularly, the Harlem Renaissance, 1919-1935. Discussions of essays, fiction, and poetry, three special lectures on the stage, the music, and the visual arts of the Harlem Renaissance. Effective Fall 2021, 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 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 Spring 2020, 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 523: Race, Ethnicity, and Childhood in US History
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar.
    The history of childhood in US History intersects with the interdisciplinary area of childhood studies. Within that, the histories of Black children and children of ethnic minorities and historically marginalized young people is a burgeoning subfield. This course examines how identities inclusive of (and structural inequities associated with) race, ethnicity, gender, social class, and sexuality have differently affected the lives and experiences of young people in the United States from the colonial period through to the 21st century. Effective Fall 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Historical Consciousness (HCO), Creativity/Innovation.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Creativity/Innovation
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • 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 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 2021. Section A1: Chinese Optics. Surveys different approaches to vision, from Chinese theories of light to contemporary photography in Beijing. The course explores ideas of visibility to address issues of gender and race. Examines optical devices, Buddhist caves, Jesuit court painting, cameras, etc. Section B1: American Art and the Civil War. Explores the ways that Northern and Southern painters, sculptors, photographers, illustrators, and popular image makers interpreted slavery and sectional strife in the years surrounding the Civil War.
  • CAS AH 503: Art Historical Methods
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing and at least two 300-level AH courses.
    This seminar explores a wide range of theories and methodologies (including semiotics, Marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, feminism, post-structuralism, postcolonial studies, and critical race theory) employed by art historians and critics to assess art produced in a global context 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 507: Digital Curation: Towards National Parks: Art and Nature, Nature and Nation
    Before national parks, wild locations attracted artists, photographers and poets. Their works made these areas known to tourist-viewers. Prepare a digital exhibition and map artist- advocates as they explored mountains, forests and waterfalls. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Aesthetic Exploration, Digital/Multimedia Expression, Creativity/Innovation.
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Digital/Multimedia Expression
    • Creativity/Innovation
  • CAS AH 520: The Museum and The 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 2021: Examines exhibition strategies of museums and curators to decentralize and decolonize paradigms of art, privilege and forefront previously marginalized histories and perspectives, and shape new and inclusive approaches to exhibition-making within current political debates
  • CAS AH 527: Topics in Art and Society
    May be repeated for credit as topics change. Three topics are offered Fall 2021. Section A1: Castles and Cathedrals. Course aims to develop students' ability to analyze monuments, iconography and the personal, didactic, propagandistic and entertaining functions of medieval objects, castles and cathedrals. Splendid treasures and vast buildings analyzed against their social, political, cultural and religious backgrounds. Section B1: The Art of the U.S. In Black and White. Examines efforts to integrate African American art history and the art history of the United States in ways that neither perpetuate the center-periphery topographies of the discipline nor elide questions of race in pursuit of a disingenuously colorblind art history. Section C1: TBA.
  • CAS AH 532: Japanese Print Culture
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing or permission of instructor.
    Seminar on print culture of Japan from the eighteenth century to the present. Study of woodblock prints, photographic prints, book art, print advertisements, postcards, and manga. Focus on their function as both artistic expression and instruments of mass communication.