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AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES (AAST)

Office: 104 Manly Hall

AAST 201 Introduction to African American Studies (same as AMS 201). 3 hours.

A basic outline of the diversity and complexity of the African American experience in the United States: the early academic and social concerns of Black Studies advocates; the changes in the field’s objectives that arise from its connections to contemporary social movements for Black Power, women’s liberation, and multiculturalism; and its major theoretical and critical debates.

AAST 202 African American Lives (same as AMS 202). 3 hours.

A cultural approach to African American lives, exploring the role of the individual, biography, and narrative in African American history and culture.

AAST 226 African Diaspora Religions (same as REL 226). 3 hours.

Examination of African influence throughout the Americas (e.g., Candomblé in Brazil, Vodou in the Caribbean, African American religions in North America), focusing on the interplay between religion, culture, and politics.

AAST 249 African American Literature (same as EN 249). 3 hours.

Survey of African American literature from its earliest expressions to the present. In order to identify the aesthetics of the African American literary tradition, the course material includes spirituals, slave narratives, poetry, drama, autobiography, fiction, and nonfiction.

AAST 280 Rock, Soul, and Country (same as AMS 280). 3 hours.

After 1965, rock and roll became rock, representing the counterculture; rhythm and blues became soul, representing Black Power; and country music became the emotional voice of the post-Civil Rights white South. This class contrasts these three dominant American popular music genres, looking as well at a later generation of “alternative” rock, hip-hop, and “new country.”

Unless otherwise stated, the prerequisite for 300- and 400-level courses is junior standing or higher or permission of the instructor.

AAST 302 The Black Church (same as AMS 302). 3 hours.

A survey of mainstream Christian expressions of black spirituality as well as other forms of sacred collective consciousness. Study of local churches and theology is encouraged.

AAST 303 Education of Southern Blacks (same as AMS 303). 3 hours.

A study of the “miseducation” of Africans in America. The course explores education for blacks from West Africa at the middle of the second millennium and early American society to the emergence of the separate school system of the 19th and 20th centuries.

AAST 319 Nineteenth-Century Black History (same as HY 319). 3 hours.

Role of black Americans in American life from the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th century, with emphasis on the institutions and events of the 1800s.

AAST 320 Twentieth-Century Black History (same as HY 320). 3 hours.

The interrelationship of blacks and the industrial-urban environment of the United States.

AAST 340 Women in the South (same as AMS 340). 3 hours.

Examination of the cultural concepts, myths, and experiences of black and white Southern women from a variety of economic and social backgrounds. Special attention is given to the interaction of race, class, and gender in Southern women’s lives. Texts include historical studies, autobiographies, biographies, oral histories, and novels written by and about women in the 19th- and 20th-century South.

AAST 341 African American Art (same as AMS 341). 3 hours.

An examination of the work of formally trained 20th century African American painters, sculptors, and photographers in relation to broader currents in the social and cultural history of the United States. Examines ways in which African American art has alternately reflected, shaped, and challenged such important historical events and currents as the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression, the Cold War, the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, the women’s movement, and contemporary identity politics. Also evaluates the contributions of selected artists in relation to such key art movements as Modernism, Social Realism, and Postmodernism.

AAST 350 Topics in African American Literature (same as EN 350). 3 hours.

A cross-genre survey of African American literature, historical events, and critical movements. Authors may include Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larson, Langston Hughes, and Toni Morrison.

AAST 352 Social Inequality (same as SOC 352 and WS 352). 3 hours.

Analysis of inequities of wealth, power, and prestige; major theories of racial and cultural minorities; behavioral correlates of stratification; social mobility.

AAST 395 Special Topics in African American Studies. 3 hours.

An examination of selected African American topics. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours.

AAST 401 African American Experience (same as AMS 401). 3 hours.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

An interdisciplinary investigation of the complexities of the African American experience in American culture, ranging from emergence of the Atlantic world and the slave trade to critical issues of the early 21st century. Topics may include the influence of African traditions on American culture; chattel slavery and its historical legacy; the role of religion in the social history of African Americans; the contributions of African Americans to the creative arts; and the critical role played by African Americans in American freedom struggles. To address such topics—and the intersection of these topics with one another—the course will explore insights from various scholarly disciplines and examine several kinds of cultural artifacts such as autobiography, oral history, film, literature, music, and the visual arts.

AAST 402 Special Topics in African American Studies (same as AMS 402). 3 hours.
Prerequisite: AAST 201 (or AMS 201) or permission of the instructor.

An examination of selected African American topics. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours.

AAST 412 Slavery in American Popular Culture, 1845-present (same as HY 412). 3 hours.
Prerequisite: AAST 201 (or AMS 201) or permission of the instructor.

An examination of slavery in popular culture from the 1840s to the present. Topics and media include fiction, autobiography, film and television, advertising, and confederate celebrations.

AAST 413 Communication and Diversity (same as COM 413 and MC 413). 3 hours.
Prerequisite: AAST 201 (or AMS 201) or permission of the instructor.

Study and analysis of issues of diversity as they relate to groups in society and in communication fields. Emphasis is on the media’s treatment of various groups in society.

AAST 415 African American Rhetoric (same as COM 415). 3 hours.
Prerequisite: AAST 201 (or AMS 201) or permission of the instructor.

A historical-critical investigation of African American public discourse from the Revolutionary era to the present, exploring rhetorical strategies for social change and building community.

AAST 488 Advanced Studies in African American Literature (same as EN 488). 3 hours.
Prerequisite: AAST 201 (or AMS 201) or permission of the instructor.

A special topics course that focuses on issues in African American literature.

AAST 495 Special Topics. 3 hours.
Prerequisite: AAST 201 (or AMS 201) or permission of the instructor.

An examination of selected African American topics. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours.

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