Africana Studies (AFST)
AFST 135. Introduction to Modern African History. 3 Units.
A general introduction to major themes in modern African history, with an emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics include oral tradition and narrative, economic structure and dynamics, religious movements, colonialism, nationalism, and the dilemmas of independent African states. Offered as AFST 135, ETHS 253A and HSTY 135. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course.
AFST 151. Introducing Africana Religions. 3 Units.
This "topics course" offers an introduction to the academic study of Africana Religions. Whether approached through a particular theme or as a general historical introduction, each section of this course provides students with a general introduction to the academic study of religion and basic religious literacy in religions of people of African origins in sub-Saharan African, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Americas and thus will explore forms of these traditions in a diversity of cultural contexts. Section topics could include, but are not limited to: Introducing Africana Religions: The Black Church in the U.S., Introducing Africana Religions: Yoruba Ifa Traditions, Introducing Africana Religions: Orisha Traditions in Latin America and the Caribbean, Introducing Africana Religions: African American Religions, Introducing Africana Religions: U.S. African-derived Religions. Students may repeat the course for credit (up to 6 credits), provided that the two sections are different. Offered as AFST 151 and RLGN 151. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course.
AFST 202. Race and Ethnic Minorities in The United States. 3 Units.
This course explores interactions between racial and ethnic majority and minority groups in the United States. We examine the historical origins and formation of racial/ethnic hierarchies, the institutional and normative processes for reproducing these hierarchies, and the social and economic significance of stratified racial and ethnic group identities. The course is taught from a macro perspective that examines larger structural forces (e.g., colonization, slavery, and immigration) to explain inter-group relations, and a constructionist perspective to understand the way that power fashions the social meaning of identities (e.g., symbolic violence and hegemonic discourse), social categories (e.g., panethnic Asian and Hispanic groups), and everyday interactions (e.g., stereotypes and white racial frame). Specific topics include the formation and significance of white and black identities, reactive ethnicity, the racial privilege of whiteness, the politics of immigration, and the intersectionality of class, race and gender. Offered as AFST 202 and SOCI 202. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course. Counts as a Human Diversity & Commonality course. Counts as a Moral & Ethical Reasoning course.
AFST 212. History of Rock and Roll. 3 Units.
This course surveys the musical practices of the rock and roll era, broadly defined to include much popular music since the 1950s. Music majors are to enroll in MUHI 312. Offered as AFST 212 and MUGN 212. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course.
AFST 219. Islam in America. 3 Units.
The United States is home to one of the most diverse Muslim communities in the world. Using a variety of primary and secondary sources, this course examines the rich history of Islam in the United States, from the 18th century to the present, as it relates to key moments within American politics, religion and culture, and to transnational developments in Islamic thought and practice. We will also explore important issues within contemporary Muslim communities, including gender, shari'a, and religious pluralism. In addition to studying the experiences of Muslim immigrants, students will also investigate the vital role of African-American Muslims and converts in the development of American Muslim institutions, beliefs and rituals. This course will also introduce students to the history of Islam in Cleveland, and provide them with the opportunity to contribute to original research on Muslim communities in our city. Offered as AFST 219, HSTY 279, RLGN 219, and WGST 219. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course.
AFST 258. History of Southern Africa. 3 Units.
A survey of southern Africa from about 1600. Topics include the social structure of pre-colonial African societies, the beginnings of European settlement, the rise of Shaka, the discovery of minerals and the development of industry, the rise and demise of apartheid, and comparison of apartheid to other systems of segregation. Through an examination of the complex society that has emerged the course addresses several categories of diversity: race, ethnicity, gender, class, among others. Offered as AFST 258, ETHS 258 and HSTY 258. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course. Counts as a Human Diversity & Commonality course. Counts as a Understanding Global Perspectives course.
AFST 260. U.S. Slavery and Emancipation. 3 Units.
Begins with the African encounter with Europeans during the emergence of the modern slave trade. Students are introduced to the documents and secondary literature on the creation and maintenance of slavery, first in colonial America, and then in the United States. The course concludes with the destruction of slavery. Offered as AFST 260, ETHS 260 and HSTY 260. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course.
AFST 261. African-American History 1865-1945. 3 Units.
Explores the fashioning of a modern African-American culture between emancipation and the end of World War II. Emergence of a northern-based leadership, the challenge of segregation, emergence of bourgeois culture, the fashioning of racial consciousness and black nationalism, the shift from a primarily southern and rural population to one increasingly northern and urban, the creation and contours of a modern African-American culture, the construction of racial/gender and racial/class consciousness. Offered as AFST 261, ETHS 261 and HSTY 261. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course.
AFST 262. African-American History Since 1945. 3 Units.
Completes the three-term sequence of the African-American history survey (although the first two courses are not prerequisites for this course). Explores some of the key events and developments shaping African-American social, political, and cultural history since 1945. Offered as AFST 262, ETHS 262 and HSTY 262. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course.
AFST 285. Embodied Politics: Contemplative Practices and Social Justice. 3 Units.
The incorporation of contemplative practices (e.g. yoga, sitting and walking meditation, mindfulness, ceremony, pilgrimage, etc.) in civil and social justice movements is a growing trend. Scholars and activists, especially those interested in racial and gender equity, over the past two decades have raised interest in a broad set of contemplative practices that can address suffering and social justice issues in teaching, research and activism. What role does contemplative practices and spiritual activism play in efforts for social justice and social change? What might practices of social transformation look like when rooted in love and compassion? This course explores these questions among others, and examines the role of contemplative practices and spirituality for individuals and collectivities engaged in transformative social justice work. We explore the increasing incorporation of contemplative practices and 'self-recovery' approaches into current social justice movements including Black Lives Matter, indigenous land claims, feminism, LGBTQ rights, etc. In turn, we also examine how activists bring new insights and questions to traditional practices and use practices rooted in decolonizing efforts. In particular, we focus on the work of contemporary feminist, womanist and women of color scholars and activists. We also explore the writings and practices of contemplative practices from a range of traditions. Offered as AFST 285, RLGN 285, and WGST 285. Counts as a Full-Semester Wellness/Non-movement course. Counts as a Human Diversity & Commonality course.
AFST 295. The Francophone World. 3 Units.
The course offers an introduction to the Francophone World from a historical, cultural, and literary perspective. The Francophone World includes countries and regions around the globe with a substantial French-speaking population (and where French is sometimes, but not always, an official language): North America (Louisiana, Quebec, and Acadia); North Africa (Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, and Egypt); the Middle-East (Lebanon, Syria); the Caribbean (Martinique, Guadeloupe, Haiti); Southeast Asia (Vietnam); and Europe (France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Luxembourg). FRCH 295 provides a comprehensive overview of the Francophone World, while focusing on a particular area or areas in any given semester. Offered as AFST 295, ETHS 295, FRCH 295, and WLIT 295. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course.
AFST 302. The Lemonade Class: Religion, Race, Sex and Black Music. 3 Units.
Charles Long suggests that black musical forms are creative responses to the particular circumstances of black peoples' presence in the U.S and black notions of the sacred. In April of 2016, Beyoncé released her visual album Lemonade two days after the death of Prince. This course is organized around the album's title cuts and links these two artists together in an examination of religion and musical performance as creative response to the racial and gendered conditions of black life. The course investigates how both artists have used music as a platform to explore issues of race, gender, commerce, sexuality, power and divinity. The course also looks at examples from the works of earlier artists who address similar themes such as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Little Richard, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, and Aretha Franklin. Offered as AFST 302, ETHS 302, MUHI 316, RLGN 302, RLGN 402, and WGST 302. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course.
AFST 315. History of Jazz and American Popular Music. 3 Units.
Musical styles and structures of jazz and American popular music; emphasis on music since 1900. Recommended preparation: MUTH 202 or MUHI 302. Offered as AFST 315 and MUHI 315. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course.
AFST 318. History of Black Women in the U.S.. 3 Units.
Chronologically arranged around specific issues in black women's history organizations, participation in community and political movements, labor experiences, and expressive culture. The course will use a variety of materials, including autobiography, literature, music, and film. Offered as AFST 318, ETHS 318, HSTY 318, and WGST 318.
AFST 328. Capitalism, Cities, and Inequality. 3 Units.
This course focuses on social inequality, but through an examination of cities in the U.S. and abroad. In many ways, cities provide a window onto the organization of the larger social world, including regional, state, national and global areas. As such, understanding cities goes far beyond their geographical boundaries. The purpose of this course then is to learn the central role that cities play within a larger capitalist economy, how public policies shape life in cities, how cities organize and reproduce social inequality, and how community groups and organizations challenge and negotiate the organization of power and inequality. The course will examine topics such as the formal and informal labor force, immigration, the growth of global cities and slums, urban poverty, racial segregation, housing and homelessness, crime, gentrification, policing, community organization and political resistance. Offered as AFST 328, SOCI 328 and SOCI 428. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course. Prereq: SOCI 101.
AFST 365N. Topics in African-American Literature. 3 Units.
Selected topics and writers from nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century African-American literature. May focus on a genre, a single author or a group of authors, a theme or themes. Maximum 6 credits. Offered as AFST 365N, ENGL 365N, ETHS 365N, WLIT 365N, ENGL 465N, and WLIT 465N. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course. Prereq: ENGL 150 or passing letter grade in a 100 level first year seminar in FSCC, FSNA, FSSO, FSSY, FSTS, or FSCS.
AFST 366. Racial Inequality and Mass Imprisonment in the US. 3 Units.
This course examines the relationship between racial inequality and mass imprisonment in the U.S. It begins by exploring the role of prisons in the Jim Crow south, with a particular focus on convict-leasing practices, and then turns to the north to examine the social forces that created the black urban ghetto and concentrated black urban poverty. The course also examines the impact that these same social forces have had on Puerto Ricans. We will then explore a series of topics including urban poverty and crime, the war on drugs, the politics of mass incarceration, the prospects that mass incarceration has become the new Jim Crow, and the effects that mass incarceration has had on voting rights, urban communities, families and children. We will conclude with a discussion of varying decarceration arguments, strategies, movements, and achievements. Offered as AFST 366 and SOCI 366. Prereq: SOCI 101 or SJUS 100.
AFST 386. Race and Racism. 3 Units.
Race and Racism will discuss the classical and contemporary understandings of the concepts of race and racism. We will begin by taking an historical approach, delving into processes of racialization and the first instances where distinctions in human race were noted. We will survey theories of race and use a social constructions approach to examine how sociologists approach the study of racial and ethnic group difference. We will examine how definitions of racial groups have evolved over time and differ across contexts, as well as some of the underlying social and structural processes that create racial hierarchies. At the end of the course students should have a strong understanding of the mechanisms that reproduce systems of racial classification. The course will also examine patterns and trends in racial and ethnic inequality over recent decades, centering our discussion on the legacies of racism, current discrimination, and new processes that are currently unfolding to reproduce inequality.While the course's main focus is to examine understandings of race and racism in the United States, we will devote some attention to how race and ethnicity emerge in different environments by examining race and racism in an international context. Offered as AFST 386, SOCI 386 and SOCI 486. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course. Prereq: SOCI 101.
AFST 389. Special Topics in American Politics and Policy. 3 Units.
Specific topic will vary but will consist of an in-depth investigation of a particular policy area or political phenomenon. Topics will involve policy controversies of some current interest. Offered as AFST 389, POSC 389, and POSC 489.
AFST 393. Advanced Readings in the History of Race. 3 Units.
This course examines the concept of race as a social construction that carries political and economic implications. We begin by examining the histories of the early racial taxonomists (e.g., Bernier, Linnaeus, and Blumenbach among others) and the contexts that informed their writings. We then assess how the concept of race changed from the nineteenth to the twentieth century in the United States. We conclude by evaluating how the ideology of race has influenced U.S. domestic life and foreign policy at specific historical moments. Offered as AFST 393, HSTY 393, HSTY 493, and ETHS 393. Counts as a CAS Global & Cultural Diversity course.