African and African American Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Courses

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.

200-Level Courses

AFAM 200: Introduction to African American Studies (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Spring 2017 Fall 2017 

Interdisciplinary introduction to the field of African American studies. Includes comparative analysis of approaches, methodologies, and key concepts related to the study of people of African descent in the United States, continental Africa, and throughout the African diaspora. Lectures and discussion integrate attention to such issues as diversity and multiculturalism from national and global perspectives.

HIST 261: Survey of African History (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Focuses on the sub-Saharan region and examines evolving systems of kinship power, spirituality, and slavery. Explores the interactions between Africans and global influences from the religions of the book and colonialism to the politics of development and continuities and changes in production. HISTÊ261 surveys African history from the earliest times to 1800. HISTÊ262 surveys African history from 1800 to the present.

HIST 262: Survey of African History (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Focuses on the sub-Saharan region and examines evolving systems of kinship power, spirituality, and slavery. Explores the interactions between Africans and global influences from the religions of the book and colonialism to the politics of development and continuities and changes in production. HISTÊ261 surveys African history from the earliest times to 1800. HISTÊ262 surveys African history from 1800 to the present.

300-Level Courses

EDUC 301: Educationally Diverse Populations: Handicapped, Gifted, Multicultural (3 Credits)

Check the schedule of classes for upcoming sessions.

Educating Diverse Population. Introduction to educational issues; not applicable in graduate-level teacher education programs. Introduces psychological, sociological, educational, and physical aspects of diverse populations in today’s schools for early and middle education. Emphasizes litigation and legislation pertaining to education of diverse populations.

CONF 302: Culture, Identity, and Conflict (3 Credits)

Check the schedule of classes for upcoming sessions.

Covers deeply rooted, intractable, or protracted social conflicts around core issues of identity, including race, ethnicity, religion, and nationalism. Explores cultural, symbolic, and discursive approaches to identity conflict.

CRIM 307: Social Inequality, Crime, and Justice (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Spring 2017 Summer 2017 Fall 2017 

Explores the significance of social inequality (especially race and gender inequality) for several crime and criminal justice issues. Examines the effect of gender and race on rates of criminal offending and victimization and explanations for the variation in offending and victimization.

SOCI 308: Race and Ethnicity in a Changing World (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Spring 2017 Fall 2017 Summer 2017 

Explores how race and ethnicity have been shaped by policies and practices in Western and non-Western societies. Explores the evolution of racial and ethnic attitudes from a global and historical perspective. Examines how changing demographic racial patterns may affect definitions of race and ethnicity and the ways in which people individually and collectively act to create new futures.

WMST 309: Black Social Movements: Gendering of Violence and Activism (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Spring 2017 

Examines racialized gendered conceptions of popular culture, violence, and the legal system and their role in structuring systems of segregation, discrimination and exclusion. Looks at the gendered strategies and conflicts of organizations that arose to combat racial violence and overturn legal and social barriers to equal opportunity and citizenship rights.

WMST 316: Gendered Pan-Africanism (3 Credits)

Check the schedule of classes for upcoming sessions.

Gendered Pan-Africanism. Explores the writings and activism of African Americans who traveled to Africa in search of a shared cultural past and present or an opportunity to build pan-African allegiances. Examines these encounters within the context of the Cold War, US civil rights and African anti-colonial movements, and racial and gender ideologies of the time.

ENGH 318: Introduction to Cultural Studies (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Spring 2017 

Introduces interpretive practices associated with cultural studies.

INTS 320: Construction of Differences: Race, Class, and Gender (6 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Investigates race, sex, sexual orientation, and social class in contemporary American society. Examines commonalities in the construction of these categories and experiences of those who occupy them.

CONF 325: Dialogue and Difference (3 Credits)

Check the schedule of classes for upcoming sessions.

Covers challenges of communicating across differences of age, gender, language, culture, political orientation, and contextual situations. Students will engage in preparing and analyzing communication strategies in conflict situations and will participate in a dialogue over the term that explores the meaning and experience of difference on the Mason campus.

HIST 335: The African American Experience in the United States: African Background to 1885 (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Fall 2017 

History of African American experience in United States including African origins; trans-Atlantic slave trade; development of slavery in colonial, revolutionary, and antebellum periods; abolitionist movements; and African American participation in Civil War and during Reconstruction.

HIST 336: The African American Experience in the United States: Reconstruction to the Present (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

History of African American life in post-slavery America, and rise and consequences of racial segregation in 19th and 20th centuries. Examines African American response to continued racial inequality and repression. Covers great migration, urbanization, black nationalism, and civil rights era, as well as contemporary debates about race.

HIST 337: Race and Gender in American Sports (3 Credits)

Check the schedule of classes for upcoming sessions.

Examines how ideas about race and gender have affected sports in America from late 19th century to the 1980s. Will also consider how athletes and sporting activities have shaped American racial and gender paradigms.

HIST 342: History of the Olympics and the United States (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Traces history of American participation in the Olympics from 1896 to the present. Topics may include American leadership in the Olympic Movement, the historical legacy of American Olympic host cities, American Imperialism, Nazism, issues of race, gender and ethnicity in the Olympics, the Cold War and Olympic boycotts, and commercialization of sport.

ENGH 348: Beginnings of African American Literature Through 1865 (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Concentrating on such poets as Phillis Wheatley, Jupiter Hammon, Lucy Terry, and George Moses Horton, examines significant African American literary, social, and political texts produced through 1865. Special attention to narrative accounts of enslavement and freedom by Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and Olaudah Equiano; political writings and orations of David Walker and Sojourner Truth; fiction of Harriet Wilson and William Wells Brown; and nonwritten cultural artifacts such as slave songs and spirituals.

ENGH 349: African American Literature: Reconstruction to 1903 (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Emphasizes several major writers from Reconstruction to beginning of 20th century, concluding with W.E.B. DuBois's The Souls of Black Folk . Concentrating on evolution of African American fiction and poetry as well as political and social discourses on "race," explores how authors such as Frances E.W. Harper, Charles Chesnutt, Pauline Hopkins, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Anna Julia Cooper, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Booker T. Washington, and DuBois shaped the foundation for 20th-century African American literary art and aesthetics.

ENGH 350: African American Literature Through 1946 (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Focusing on fiction, poetry, drama, and autobiography, explores evolution of African American literature and aesthetics and major social, cultural, and historical movements such as the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and emergence of black naturalism, realism, and modernism in the 1930s-40s. Major authors include Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Jessie Fauset, James Weldon Johnson, Jean Toomer, Nella Larsen, Margaret Walker, Chester Himes, Richard Wright, and Ann Petry.

ENGH 351: Contemporary African American Literature (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Encompassing array of genres and forms, examines black writing from mid-20th century to present. Engages textual, critical, political, and theoretical issues related to cardinal literary movements, such as Black Arts Movement of 1960s and Third Renaissance of 1980s-90s. Examines how musical forms such as blues, jazz, and rap shaped literary production. Major authors include Ralph Ellison, Gwendolyn Brooks, James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Alice Walker, Ernest Gaines, Gloria Naylor, August Wilson, and Toni Morrison.

SOCI 355: Social Inequality (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Spring 2017 Fall 2017 

Studies class structures and implications for individuals and groups in modern society. Explores issues of race and ethnicity, language and immigration status, sex and gender, social class, age, and sexual orientation. Examines critically the theory and research that explore the construction, experience, and meaning of such differences.

HIST 360: History of South Africa (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Spring 2017 

Explores the historical processes that led to the rise of African kingdoms, colonialism, industrialization, resistance movements, and legalized segregation.

ECON 362: African Economic Development (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Spring 2017 

Issues of economic development as applied to Africa. Includes overview of early economic history in Africa and post-independence development, and contemporary development problems.

COMM 365: Gender, Race, and Class in the Media (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Summer 2017 

Introduces concepts of power, influence of mass media. Allows students to see themselves as products, producers of media influence, and gives sense of the roles in the media or lack thereof, of groups based on their gender, race and/or class.

ANTH 365: Human Variation (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Examines biological dimensions of human variation and the beginnings of race as a concept. Discusses evolution of human biodiversity in culturally distinct human groups related to environment, physiology, genetics, nutrition, and disease. Explores use of scientific analyses of human biodiversity.

AVT 378: The African American Experience in the Performing Arts (3 Credits)

Check the schedule of classes for upcoming sessions.

Through lectures, slides, audio recordings, videos, and films, students examine African American contributions to cultural fabric of American forms and institutions. Artistic contributions examined in aesthetic, political, historical, and social contexts.

ARTH 380: African Art (Topic Varies) (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Focuses on sub-Saharan African art in terms of styles and aesthetics; materials and techniques; and geographical, social, cultural, and religious contexts. Specific focus of course may vary with instructor.

HIST 387: Topics in Global History (3-6 Credits)

Scheduled for Fall 2017 Spring 2017 Summer 2017 

Study of historical topics or periods of special interest in global, Latin American, African, Asian, or Middle Eastern history.

HIST 389: Topics in U.S. History (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Spring 2017 Fall 2017 Summer 2017 

Study of historical topics or periods of special interest.

AFAM 390: Special Topics in African and African American Studies (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Fall 2017 Summer 2017 Spring 2017 

Study of selected topics related to the study of people of African descent in Africa, the United States, the Caribbean, Latin Americas and throughout the African Diaspora.

SOCI 395: Special Topics in Sociology (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Spring 2017 Fall 2017 

Introduces the research interests of the faculty, offering new courses that reflect current issues not yet incorporated into the curriculum. Offers, in addition, advanced study into topics covered in the standing curriculum. Topics change by semester.

400-Level Courses

MGMT 412: Diversity in Organizations (3 Credits)

Check the schedule of classes for upcoming sessions.

Builds on MGMT 301 by emphasizing intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, and societal phenomena relevant to issues of diversity. Examines phenomena and processes in general and with regard to specific dimensions such as gender, race, and ability. Designed to increase students’ knowledge of diversity in organizations, understanding of others’ perspectives, and ability to work well with people who differ from themselves.

GOVT 414: Politics of Race and Gender (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Examines political, economic, and social impact of public policies and implications for race, gender, and age.

GOVT 423: Constitutional Law: Civil Rights and Liberties (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Studies First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, and religion; right to privacy; and Fourteenth Amendment equal protection.

GOVT 445: Human Rights (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Explores philosophical, legal, and political issues at heart of modern international human rights movement. Examines historical background legal architecture of modern human rights movement.

ANTH 488: Gender, Sexuality, and Culture (3 Credits)

No sections are currently scheduled.

Examines how gender, sexuality, race, and class come together as analytically distinct, yet practically intertwined, systems of meaning and practice. Examples highlight questions of political economy and history while focusing on specific ethnographic or historical readings.

AFAM 490: Internship (2-6 Credits)

Scheduled for Fall 2017 

Approved work-study program in cooperation with specific organizations including area museums; NGOs; and local, state, and federal agencies. Students should arrange for an internship in the semester before they wish to enroll. Requires approval of department.

AFAM 499: Independent Study (1-3 Credits)

Scheduled for Fall 2017 Spring 2017 

Investigation of an area related to African American studies according to individual interest, with emphasis on research.

600-Level Courses

WMST 600: Special Topics (3 Credits)

Scheduled for Fall 2017 

Study of selected topics central to contemporary women and gender studies. Topics vary but include representation and images, violence, public policy, international development, transmigration of labor, myth and ritual, history and politics of sexuality, psychoanalysis, and religion.

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