Chair, Professor DAVID L. SMITH

Advisory Committee: Professors: SINGHAM*, A. WILLINGHAM*. Associate Professors: E. D. BROWN***, MUTONGI, WILDER*. Assistant Professor: HICKS. Senior Lecturer: E. GRUDIN.

African-American Studies is an interdisciplinary program that examines the history, the cultures, and the social and political experiences of people of African ancestry in the Western Hemisphere. The program encourages students to take advantage of its interdisciplinary focus and to examine the vibrant and varied intellectual traditions that constitute the study of the African Diaspora.

All candidates for a concentration in African-American Studies must complete a total of five courses: one United States subject, one Caribbean or South American, one African, and two electives. At least one of these courses must be in the performing or fine arts.

Students may select their required courses from the following:

One course in a United States or Canadian subject:

English/American Studies 220 Introduction to African-American Writing

History 281 African-American History Through Emancipation

History 282 African-American History From Reconstruction to the Present

Music 122 African-American Music

Music 130 History of Jazz

Political Science 213 Theory and Practice of Civil Rights Protest

Theatre/American Studies 211 Topics in African-American Performance: Theatre, Film, and Dance of the Harlem Renaissance

One course in a Caribbean/South American subject:

History 242 Latin America From Conquest to Independence

History 249 The Caribbean From Slavery to Independence: A Comparison of Empires

History 331 The French and Haitian Revolutions

History 346 History of Modern Brazil, 1822 to the Present

History 443 Slavery, Race and Ethnicity in Latin America

History 472 Slavery, Capitalism, and Revolution: The Impact of the New World on Europe, 1700-1900

One course in an African subject:

History 102 /Environmental Studies 116 Environmental History of Africa

History 202 Early-African History Through the Era of the Slave Trade

History 203 Sub-Saharan Africa Since 1800

History 304 South Africa and Apartheid

History 402 African Political Thought

Music 125 Music Cultures of the World

Two electives (from the above or the following):

AAS 491 or 492 Senior Project

Economics 204/Environmental Studies 234 Economic Development in Poor Countries

Economics/Environmental 212 Sustainable Development (Deleted 2002-2003)

History 164 Slavery in the American South

History 180/Religion 222 "The God of History": Slavery and Race in Christian Thought (Deleted 2002-2003)

History 364 History of the Old South

History 365 History of the New South

History 370 Studies in American Social Change

History 382 The Black Radical Tradition in America (Deleted 2002-2003)

History 456 Civil War and Reconstruction

History 467 Black Urban Life and Culture

History 478 The Ghetto From Venice to Harlem (Deleted 2002-2003)

Music 140 Introduction to the Music of Duke Ellington

Music 141 Introduction to the Music of John Coltrane

Music 209 Music in History III: Musics of the Twentieth Century

Music 212 Jazz Theory and Improvisation I

Music 213 Jazz Theory and Improvisation II

Political Science 235 Multiculturalism and Political Theory

Political Science 239 Political Thinking About Race: Resurrecting the Political in Contemporary Texts on the Black Experience

Political Science 318 The Voting Rights Act and the Voting Rights Movement

Political Science 331T Non-Profit Organization and Community Change

Political Science/American Studies 332 Fugitive Identities: Slavery and the Boundaries of American Politics (Deleted 2002-2003)

Political Science 343T Multiculturalism in Comparative Context

Psychology 341 Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

Sociology 103 Behind the Rhetoric of Race: Race, Ethnicity and Public Policy (Deleted 2002-2003)

Theatre 210 Multicultural Performance


A candidate for honors in African-American Studies must maintain at least a B+ average in the concentration and be admitted to candidacy by the program faculty. An honors candidate must complete her/his project in a semester (and Winter Study). A candidate will enroll for either AAS 491 or 492 (and Winter Study) during her/his senior year to write a forty-page thesis or to do an equivalent project in the performing and studio arts. A faculty advisor, in consultation with the chair, can change the particulars of an honors project.
An honors project should demonstrate unusual creativity, depth, and intellectual rigor. A candidate for honors is permitted and encouraged to pursue non-traditional projects, such as presentations in the performing arts, visual arts, or creative writing, as well as more traditional interdisciplinary studies. The advisor will evaluate an honors project, and the program faculty will decide whether to confer honors. A student wishing to become a candidate for honors in African-American Studies should secure a faculty sponsor and inform the program chair in writing before spring registration of her/his junior year.


Several courses in African-American Studies count for credit in the American Studies major. Therefore, students in American Studies can easily complete requirements for an African-American Studies concentration by electing one course in an African subject and by taking African-American Studies 491. Another three courses must be chosen which satisfy both American Studies and African-American Studies requirements.