African-American Studies Course Descriptions

AAS 101: Introduction to African-American Studies (3)

This multidisciplinary course will survey the various theories, frameworks and methods currently employed in examining the collective history, experience, contributions and status of African-Americans in the United States and abroad.

MUS 138: History of Jazz (3)

*Offered during the spring semester
An introductory survey course examining the historical development, traditions and artists of jazz music from its origins to the present day. Coursework will include lecture, discussion and music listening (recorded and live). Students attend musical performances together as a class to share and discuss this common musical experience. There is a $60 ticket fee attached to enrollment in this course to support live performances.

SOC 224: Invention of Race (3)

This course explores the origin of the concept of race from a folk ideology in late 17th century North America. It traces the evolution of this concept into a worldview that currently functions as the most fundamental way of understanding human differences.

SOC 225: Racial and Ethnic Relations (3)

*Offered annually
*NOTE: This course fulfills a requirement in the Latino Studies Program.

This course examines the sociological factors in racial and ethnic relations. Consideration is given to the nature of institutional racism. The dynamics of prejudice and discrimination are analyzed. 

HIST 220: History of Black Chicago (3) 

*Offered annually
This course examines the history of Black Chicago and the contributions of African-Americans to the life and culture of the city. Periods include Civil War to Reconstruction; World War I to World War II; Postwar Chicago and the Civil Rights years; the Harold Washington years; and 21st Century Black Chicago.

HIST 228: African-American History (3)

*Offered alternate years
This course explores the history of African-Americans from slavery to freedom, beginning with the slave trade and concluding with the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Topics include slave religions, abolitionism and the Harlem Renaissance, as well as leading African-American voices.

POLSC 242: African-American Political Thought (3)

*Offered alternate years
This course explores the central ideas of African-American political thought through an analysis of treatises, novels and speeches. Some of the thinkers treated in this course may include: Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. 

HIST 242: History of Africa (3)

*Offered alternate years
This course is a survey of major historical themes that have shaped African life over long periods of time and across the continent. Topics include trade and migration, ecology, human adaptation, the family and sexual division of labor, colonialism and the challenges of the post-Colonial period.

AAS 260: Special Topics (3)

Topics for this course will vary. Previous topics have included Arts of Africa, Black Catholic Experience and African-American Women's History.

EDU 315: Diversity in American Education (3) 

This course examines the historical, philosophical and social foundations that have shaped diversity in American education. It critically analyzes personal biases that affect teaching and learning. In addition, this course explores the role of schools as social-change agents that transmit cultural values and promote multiculturalism. It includes a service-learning component.

ENGL 331: Issues in African-American Literature (3)

*Offered alternate years
This course is a study of the major figures and issues involved in the African-American canon, one of these issues being the canon itself. Special attention is paid to such writers as Wheatley, Douglass, Jacobs, Chesnutt, Johnson, Toomer, Larsen, Hughes, Brooks, Hurston, Wright, Ellison and Morrison. 

ENGL 333: Modern African Literature (3) 

This course addresses selected works by modern African writers within their historical and cultural contexts. It satisfies the teacher certification requirement in non-Western and Third World cultures.

HIST 351: Colonial Legacy in Africa (3)

*Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in history
*Offered alternate years
This course explores the history of Africa during the period of European rule and the continuing importance of Colonial-era institutions and practices in post-Colonial Africa. Emphasis on Africa south of the Sahara with occasional comparative reference to North Africa and elsewhere in the colonized world.