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African-American & African Studies

Introduction to African American Studies
African American Studies 100 Oyogoa
3 credits
The African American experience spans four hundred years, from the initial settlement of the American continent by Europeans and the establishment of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and down through the present day. This course examines the historical, sociological, cultural, and political experiences of people of African descent in the United States. We will examine a variety of issues including African Americans’ cultural and historical roots in Africa, the experience of slavery, the Reconstruction era, the Harlem Renaissance, the interwar years, the American civil rights movement, African Americans in popular culture, the implications of Obama’s election, and a variety of contemporary issues in African American communities. In this course students will acquire a fuller understanding about the historical development and social construction of African Americans. No prerequisites.
This course is generally offered once a year.
Sociological Theories of Work and the Racialized “Other”
African-American Studies 206/306 Oyogoa
3 credits
The first part of this course will provide students with a broad overview of important sociological theories regarding work. We will read major theorists’ (eg. Marx, Weber, DuBois) contributions to the study of work. We will use these works to answer fundamental questions such as: Why do we work? Who controls our labor? How does work influence our quality of life? The second part of this course focuses on how work has been racialized in the U.S. labor market. Specifically, students will be exposed to various themes in African-American labor history and class formation. Although the cases of racialized labor focus on African Americans, students will be exposed to the work experiences of other subaltern groups. Prerequisites for 200-level: One 100-level Social Science or African American Studies course. Prerequisites for 300-level: One 100-level and one 200-level (or higher) Social Science or African American Studies course.
This course is generally offered once every two years. Last taught F11.
Critical Race Theory
African-American Studies 302 Oyogoa
4 credits
This is an upper level African American studies course that focuses on critical race theories and empirical research on African Americans in the U.S. “Traditional” academic research on African Americans documents and explains how racialized systems of inequality operate. Critical race theory is different because it also explicitly articulates the need for social justice. Various theoretical approaches will be applied to specific historical developments in U.S. racialized structures as they pertain to African Americans. This course investigates the myriad of ways in which race and racism intersect with gender, class, sexuality, and nationality. Although this class focuses primarily on African Americans, students will be exposed to critical race theory from “whiteness studies” scholarship. Prerequisite: 100-level African American studies or sociology course and a 200-level social studies course or Sophomore Seminar.
This course is generally offered once every two years. Last taught S11.