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Course Descriptions

African and Diaspora Studies Course Listings - Spring 2013

AFSD 492 00. AFSD Senior Project
2.00 credits
Rosenberg, S.
Prerequisite: Permission of Program Director

Note: Students must submit an Independent Study –Senior Project Proposal-- to the Registrar’s office, Recitation Hall, for final approval. After final approval, the student will be officially registered for the credits.
During the senior year, our minors are required to complete a two-credit Senior Project that explores the Black Diasporic connections between academic disciplines. Students often study and analyze the intersection of Africana Studies and their major. For example, one student produced and directed a compilation of scenes from plays by two important African American playwrights while another planned a Black Knowledge Conference for the Wittenberg community in conjunction with the Office of Multicultural Student Programs.

English 180 – “By Any Means Necessary”: African-American Literature and Political Resistance
4 semester hours
Askeland, Lori
Prerequisite: ENGL 101E

400 years of trans-Atlantic slavery, 100 years of Jim Crow, and a legacy of structural racism. Black writers in the “land of the free” have had no choice but to fight the power. Writing is, in itself, a non-violent act of resistance in a world that commits the violence of keeping some people in ignorance—but so were the spirituals that enslaved people sang in the fields, often containing coded messages of freedom or literal escapes. And while some black writers consistently advocate non-violent resistance, some used their pens to call for the sword. Or the bullet. David Walker, for example, printed an Appeal to black people in 1829 that justified violence against white people in self-defense. (He was found dead on his doorstep a little while later). His friend Maria Stewart, was so radical that she angered both blacks and whites—and she was the first black woman to speak in public in the U.S., at a time when few white women dared to speak publicly (women weren’t even allowed to clap after performances!). Frederick Douglass justified stealing from any slaveholder, and called black men to arms in the Civil War. And then the great Ida B. Wells in the post-Reconstruction era wrote exposes of lynching that very nearly resulted in her death. And of course we’ll spend a lot of time with 20th century writers—Nella Larson, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Loraine Hansberry, Angela Davis, TuPac Shakur, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Toni Morrison. This is a writing intensive course—which means you’ll write some papers, but you’ll get a lot of support. Can be taken as a CLAC course. Cross-listed: WMST and AFSD.

AFSD 492 00. AFSD Senior Project
2.00 credits
Rosenberg, S.

Prerequisite: Permission of Program Director
Note: Students must submit an Independent Study –Senior Project Proposal-- to the Registrar’s office, Recitation Hall, for final approval. After final approval, the student will be officially registered for the credits.
During the senior year, our minors are required to complete a two-credit Senior Project that explores the Black Diasporic connections between academic disciplines. Students often study and analyze the intersection of Africana Studies and their major. For example, one student produced and directed a compilation of scenes from plays by two important African American playwrights while another planned a Black Knowledge Conference for the Wittenberg community in conjunction with the Office of Multicultural Student Programs.

English 180 – “By Any Means Necessary”: African-American Literature and Political Resistance
4 semester hours
Askeland, Lori
Prerequisite: ENGL 101E

400 years of trans-Atlantic slavery, 100 years of Jim Crow, and a legacy of structural racism. Black writers in the “land of the free” have had no choice but to fight the power. Writing is, in itself, a non-violent act of resistance in a world that commits the violence of keeping some people in ignorance—but so were the spirituals that enslaved people sang in the fields, often containing coded messages of freedom or literal escapes. And while some black writers consistently advocate non-violent resistance, some used their pens to call for the sword. Or the bullet. David Walker, for example, printed an Appeal to black people in 1829 that justified violence against white people in self-defense. (He was found dead on his doorstep a little while later). His friend Maria Stewart, was so radical that she angered both blacks and whites—and she was the first black woman to speak in public in the U.S., at a time when few white women dared to speak publicly (women weren’t even allowed to clap after performances!). Frederick Douglass justified stealing from any slaveholder, and called black men to arms in the Civil War. And then the great Ida B. Wells in the post-Reconstruction era wrote exposes of lynching that very nearly resulted in her death. And of course we’ll spend a lot of time with 20th century writers—Nella Larson, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Loraine Hansberry, Angela Davis, TuPac Shakur, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Toni Morrison. This is a writing intensive course—which means you’ll write some papers, but you’ll get a lot of support. Can be taken as a CLAC course. Cross-listed: WMST and AFSD.

HIST 172C 1W. Africa Since 1500
4.00 credits
Rosenberg, Scott
Prerequisite: none.

This course will examine how African political, cultural, religious, economic, and social institutions have responded to the penetration of outsiders over the last 500 years. These outsiders include European slave traders, missionaries, and colonizers as well as Arab traders and Islamic scholars. The impact of the slave trade and later European colonization will be explored in depth. Africans were not passive victims in their own history, and we will focus on how Africans responded to these challenges and struggled for their independence, and how these movements helped shape the fact of Post-Colonial Africa. It is this dynamic interplay between Africans and outsiders which has shaped the formation of modern Africa. Assessment will be based on discussions of the readings, four papers as well as a take-home midterm and final. Writing Intensive.

HIST 370 1W. Migrant Labor and AIDS in Southern Africa .
4.00 credits
Rosenberg, Scott
Prerequisite: One course in history or permission of instructor.

This class will examine the connection between colonial policies that led to the development of a migrant labor system and the eventual explosion of AIDS in southern Africa in the late 1980s through the present. The colonial powers stripped Africans of their land and imposed taxes on men to force them into migrant labor, tearing apart the African family. Once at the mines/urban areas, the colonial powers relied partially on alcohol and prostitution as a means of controlling African labor. The social and economic patterns established during colonial rule created the conditions for the spread of AIDS. We will also look at the origins of AIDS in Africa, and how it has spread. Lastly, this class will examine how African cultural attitudes have influenced the fight to stop the spread of AIDS. The class will mix lectures with the discussion of several monographs. Grades will be based on papers. Writing intensive.

POLI 234S 01 Black Politics
4 credits
Young, John

This course will introduce students to the nature of black politics and black political behavior. The course will inquire into the political dimensions of black life in America and how Black Americans have interpreted and responded to the democratic experiment. Considerable attention will be given to how individuals, institutions, and protest movements have shaped black political consciousness and black political participation. Finally, the course will examine the relative impact of black protest politics versus black electoral politics in addressing black political demands. Evaluation will be based on three exams, several quizzes, class participation, and short, one page writing assignments.


This course will examine how African political, cultural, religious, economic, and social institutions have responded to the penetration of outsiders over the last 500 years. These outsiders include European slave traders, missionaries, and colonizers as well as Arab traders and Islamic scholars. The impact of the slave trade and later European colonization will be explored in depth. Africans were not passive victims in their own history, and we will focus on how Africans responded to these challenges and struggled for their independence, and how these movements helped shape the fact of Post-Colonial Africa. It is this dynamic interplay between Africans and outsiders which has shaped the formation of modern Africa. Assessment will be based on discussions of the readings, four papers as well as a take-home midterm and final. Writing Intensive.

HIST 370 1W. Migrant Labor and AIDS in Southern Africa .
4.00 credits
Rosenberg, Scott

Prerequisite: One course in history or permission of instructor.
This class will examine the connection between colonial policies that led to the development of a migrant labor system and the eventual explosion of AIDS in southern Africa in the late 1980s through the present. The colonial powers stripped Africans of their land and imposed taxes on men to force them into migrant labor, tearing apart the African family. Once at the mines/urban areas, the colonial powers relied partially on alcohol and prostitution as a means of controlling African labor. The social and economic patterns established during colonial rule created the conditions for the spread of AIDS. We will also look at the origins of AIDS in Africa, and how it has spread. Lastly, this class will examine how African cultural attitudes have influenced the fight to stop the spread of AIDS. The class will mix lectures with the discussion of several monographs. Grades will be based on papers. Writing intensive.

POLI 234S 01 Black Politics
4 credits
Young, John

This course will introduce students to the nature of black politics and black political behavior. The course will inquire into the political dimensions of black life in America and how Black Americans have interpreted and responded to the democratic experiment. Considerable attention will be given to how individuals, institutions, and protest movements have shaped black political consciousness and black political participation. Finally, the course will examine the relative impact of black protest politics versus black electoral politics in addressing black political demands. Evaluation will be based on three exams, several quizzes, class participation, and short, one page writing assignments.

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