2016-17 Edition

Department of African American Studies

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Bridget R. Cooks, Director
3000 Humanities Gateway
949-824-2376
http://www.humanities.uci.edu/afam/

Overview

African American Studies is an interdisciplinary program which offers undergraduate students an opportunity to study those societies and cultures established by the people of the African diaspora. The Department’s curriculum encourages students to investigate the African American experience from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and theoretical approaches. Among the topics explored in the course offerings are the process of colonization and the forced migration of African people, the positionality of African people in the racialized symbolic and social orders of the western hemisphere, the rhetoric produced by and about African people, and the cultural and aesthetic values associated with “blackness” and “Africanness.” The Department offers a B.A. degree program in African American Studies and a minor.

Career Opportunities

UCI graduates with a B.A. degree in African American Studies enhance their chances of success in the job market and in the highly competitive arena of graduate and professional school admissions, especially in the fields of medicine and other health professions, law, and business. Employers and admissions officers understand that many of their employees and graduates will one day work in communities with significant African American populations, and for this reason they give due consideration to applicants who have in-depth knowledge of African American culture.

Requirements for the B.A. Degree in African American Studies

All students must meet the University Requirements.
All students must meet the School Requirements.
Requirements for the Major
A. Complete the following African American Studies introductory series:
AFAM 40A African American Studies I
AFAM 40B African American Studies II
AFAM 40C African American Studies III
B. Select three courses, with one from three of the following five rubrics:
Humanities (AFAM 110–119)
Gender/Sexuality (AFAM 120–129)
History (AFAM 130–139)
Fine Arts (AFAM 140–149)
Social Sciences (AFAM 150–159)
C. Select five additional upper-division electives from AFAM 110–159, 163.
D. Complete:
AFAM 162W The Black Protest Tradition

Residence Requirement for the Major: A minimum of five upper-division courses required for the major must be completed successfully at UCI.

Requirements for the Minor in African American Studies

Requirements for the Minor
A. Complete the following African American Studies introductory series:
AFAM 40A African American Studies I
AFAM 40B African American Studies II
AFAM 40C African American Studies III
B. Select three courses, with one from three of the following five rubrics:
Humanities (AFAM 110–119)
Gender/Sexuality (AFAM 120–129)
History (AFAM 130–139)
Fine Arts (AFAM 140–149)
Social Sciences (AFAM 150–159)
C. Select one additional upper-division elective from AFAM 110–159, 163.

Residence Requirement for the Minor: Four upper-division courses required for the minor must be completed successfully at UCI. Two of the four may be taken through the UC Education Abroad Program, provided course content is approved in advance by the appropriate department chair.

Courses

AFAM 40A. African American Studies I. 4 Units.

Discusses main contours of African American experience from the forced importation of Africans into the Americas in the late fifteenth century to the development of social movements in post-emancipation societies of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

((III or IV) and VII ).

AFAM 40B. African American Studies II. 4 Units.

Introduction to the history of modern racial thinking in Western society and its relationship to the material contexts of racial oppression, with emphasis on its development in British colonies and U.S.

((III or IV) and VII ).

AFAM 40C. African American Studies III. 4 Units.

Introduction to theories of racial blackness in the modern world, with emphasis on developments in British colonies and U.S. Traces emergence of blackness as term of collective identity, social organization, and political mobilization.

((III or IV) and VII ).

AFAM 50. Introductory Topics in African American Studies. 4 Units.

Introduction to a broad range of topics in African American studies, exploring history, literature, art, culture, politics, and contemporary social issues. Topical organization of courses addresses issues that have been of importance historically and are reshaping the African diaspora today.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 111A. Modern African American Art. 4 Units.

Investigates the history of modern African American art; emphasis on the politics of representation. Examines art in a variety of media from material culture and textiles to painting and photography. Issues of migration, nationalism, gender, sexuality, and hybridity are discussed.

Same as ART HIS 164A.

AFAM 111B. Contemporary African American Art. 4 Units.

Investigates the history of contemporary African American art; emphasis on the politics of representation. Explores art in a variety of media: painting, sculpture, photography, installation, and new media. Cultural politics, appropriation, identity, gender, sexuality, hybridity and civil rights issues discussed.

Same as ART HIS 164B.

AFAM 112A. Early African American Literature. 4 Units.

Examines the earliest forms of black literary practices, including the jeremiad, the slave narrative, the pamphlet, poetry, the short story, and how these literary forms are related to the historical experiences of enslavement and emancipation.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 112B. African American Literature 1900-Present. 4 Units.

Examines individual literary forms and/or authors, as well as movements such as the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement. Explores how black literary practices represent the conditions of modern subjectivities and environments.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 113. African American Cinema and Media. 4 Units.

Explores the diversity of Black creative production and the historical, social, and economic forces that shaped their emergence. May include Black film, hip-hop culture, fine art, photography, and others.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 114. International Cultures. 4 Units.

Explores the various cultures of the African diaspora and their impacts on a global scale. Examines a diverse range of media, including music (reggae, hip-hop), literature, film, and others and the links between culture and social movements throughout the diaspora.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 115. Race and Visual Representation. 4 Units.

Examines film, documentary, fine art, photography, and other visual media to explore the multiple ways in which ideas about race are projected and woven through the visual landscape and the impacts this has on perpetuating social inequalities.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 116. African Literatures. 4 Units.

Examines literary figures, forms, and movements of African societies. Explores how these literatures represent indigenous cultural practices, the conditions of modernity, and the relations between both.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 117. Asian American and African American Relations. 4 Units.

Addresses relationships of Asian American and African American communities in the United States. Topics include race, class, gender, labor, economic systems, political mobilization, community, civil rights, activism, cultural expression.

Same as HISTORY 152B, ASIANAM 167.

AFAM 118. Topics in African American Humanities. 4 Units.

Provides students with an opportunity to pursue advanced work in African American studies from one or more humanities approaches (literature, film and media studies, art history, and others).

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 123. African American Queer Theory. 4 Units.

Explores intersections of African American studies, women's studies, gay and lesbian studies, and queer theory to challenge dominant views of race, gender, and sexuality. Considers historical and social scientific approaches to topic as well as arts and humanities.

AFAM 125. African American Women in Art. 4 Units.

Examines depictions of and by African American women in art and popular culture through a variety of media including textiles, painting, sculpture, photography, and installation. Focuses on African American women's experiences, perspectives, and strategies for contemporary representation.

Same as ART HIS 164D.

AFAM 128. Topics in Gender/Sexuality. 4 Units.

Expressions of genders and sexualities across the spectrum of African American experience and creativity.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 134A. Caribbean History: Colonization to Emancipation. 4 Units.

Exploration of the history of the archipelago from pre-Columbian times to the end of slavery; examining the impact of European colonization, decimation of the indigenous populations, African slavery, resistance, and emancipation; the unity and diversity of experience in region.

Same as HISTORY 164A.

AFAM 134B. Caribbean History: Emancipation to Independence. 4 Units.

Post-emancipation and anti-colonial struggles ending with political independence for most of the region. Examines social, political, economic, cultural dimensions of post-emancipation period, including large-scale migration to Central America, the U.S., and Britain; the region's global cultural and political contribution.

Same as HISTORY 164B.

AFAM 137. History of the African Diaspora. 4 Units.

Examines the causes and consequences of the multiple diasporas of African peoples since the sixteenth century in the Atlantic world, especially the Americas and Europe.

Same as HISTORY 134E.

AFAM 138. Topics in African American History. 4 Units.

Studies in selected areas of African American history. Topics addressed vary each quarter.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

Same as HISTORY 150.

AFAM 142. Topics in African American Drama. 4 Units.

Considers African American theatrical performance and production, including acting, design and production, dramaturgy, criticism and theory, and stagecraft.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 143. Topics in African American Music. 4 Units.

Examines African American musical forms and traditions, such as blues, jazz, and reggae, in performance and/or critical and theoretical contexts.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 144. Topics in Expressive Forms. 4 Units.

Examines various forms of aesthetic expression in the African diaspora, including dance, music, and the plastic arts, as well as artistic visions of black cyberspace, digital activism, film, video, and aesthetic conceptions of the future.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 145. African Americans and Photography. 4 Units.

Explores depictions of and by African Americans through photography. Examines the history of photography in relationship to African American culture through a variety of media from early daguerreotype processes to digital imagery.

Same as ART HIS 164E.

AFAM 148. Advanced Studio Topics. 4 Units.

Provides an intensive and specialized working environment for practice of a variety of fine arts as practiced in African American traditions: painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video, music, digital arts, and performance.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 151. Comparative Minority Politics. 4 Units.

Examines the political experiences of Blacks, Latinos, and Asian Americans in the United States from roughly 1950 to the present. Focuses on how each group has pursued political empowerment via both conventional political channels and social movements.

Same as ASIANAM 132, CHC/LAT 147, POL SCI 124C.

AFAM 152. African American Politics. 4 Units.

Examines politics of African Americans in order to gain a broader perspective of the American political process. Major developments in African American politics (including the civil rights movement, Black presidential bids), continuing problem of racism, responsiveness of key governing institutions.

Same as POL SCI 124E.

AFAM 153. African American Psychology. 4 Units.

Historical overview of the development of black psychology and the African American frame of reference. Topics include personality development, psychological assessment, issues in education, black mental health, and the role of the African American psychologist in the community.

Same as PSYCH 174E.

AFAM 154. African American Social Formations. 4 Units.

Topics which promote critical investigation into the historical, political, and social formations associated with the Black Diaspora.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 155. Intercultural Studies. 4 Units.

Studies relationships between various cultural formations within the Black Diaspora and the exchange, amalgamations, and tensions between Black Diasporic formations and non-Black formations. Examines expressions of racialization as representation, adaption, and resistance.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 156. African Societies and Politics. 4 Units.

Examines the violent incorporation of Africa within European modernity. Places the discourse of Pan-Africanism, African Nationalisms, Negritude, African Marxism, and/or African Socialism in juxtaposition to the forces of capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism that restructure African history.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 157. Critical Race Theory. 4 Units.

Introduction to Critical Race Theory and key American cases on racial inequality. Using this literature, examines the possibilities and pitfalls of legal claims of race, gender, and sexuality discrimination in the age of colorblindness.

Same as CRM/LAW C178.

Restriction: Upper-division students only.

AFAM 158. Topics in African American Social Sciences. 4 Units.

Provides students with an opportunity to pursue advanced work in African American studies from one or more social science approaches (psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, and others).

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 162W. The Black Protest Tradition. 4 Units.

History and discourses of the black protest tradition. Traces emergence of black protest against racial slavery and white supremacy from the early colonial period to present and the complex elaboration of identity politics within black communities in the twentieth century.

Prerequisite: Satisfactory completion of the Lower-Division Writing requirement.

Restriction: Upper-division students only.

(Ib)

AFAM 163. Seminar in African American Studies. 4 Units.

Explores theoretical and methodological issues in Black Studies via concentrated work on a specific ensemble of questions. Emphasis is on generating student responses to the material covered through oral and written reports.

Repeatability: Unlimited as topics vary.

AFAM 198. Directed Group Study. 1-4 Units.

Special topics through directed reading. Paper required.

Repeatability: May be taken for credit for 24 units.

AFAM 199. Independent Study. 1-4 Units.

Investigation of special topics through directed reading. Paper required.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

AFAM 399. University Teaching. 4 Units.

Limited to teaching assistants.

Grading Option: Satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

Repeatability: May be repeated for credit unlimited times.

Restriction: Graduate students only.

Faculty

Nahum D. Chandler, Ph.D. University of Chicago, Director of the Graduate Program in Culture and Theory and Associate Professor of African American Studies; Comparative Literature; Culture and Theory; European Languages and Studies (modern intellectual history, history of the human sciences)
Bridget R. Cooks Cumbo, Ph.D. University of Rochester, Associate Professor of African American Studies; Art History; Culture and Theory; Visual Studies (African-American art, museum studies, feminist and post-colonial theory)
Douglas M. Haynes, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Vice Provost for Equity and Diversity and Professor of History; African American Studies; Culture and Theory; European Languages and Studies (social and cultural history of modern Britain, social history of modern medicine)
Jared Charles Sexton, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Program Director and Associate Professor of African American Studies; Culture and Theory; Film and Media Studies; Visual Studies (race and sexuality, policing and imprisonment, contemporary U.S. cinema and political culture, multiracial coalition, critical theory)
Darryl G. Taylor, D.M.A. University of Michigan, Professor of Music; African American Studies
Frank B. Wilderson III, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Professor of African American Studies; Culture and Theory; Drama (Afro-Pessimism, film theory, Marxism, dramaturgy, narratology.)
Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, Associate Professor of African American Studies; Culture and Theory (South Africa, poor whites, race in foreign policy, diaspora, comparative racial politics, third world feminisms, feminist pedagogy, black political thought)

Affiliate Faculty

Alex Borucki, Ph.D. Emory University, Assistant Professor of History; African American Studies (African diaspora, early modern Atlantic world, slave trade, colonial Latin America)
Sohail Daulatzai, Ph.D. University of Southern California, Associate Professor of Film and Media Studies; African American Studies; Culture and Theory; Visual Studies (African American studies, postcolonial theory, race, hip hop, Muslim diasporas)
Sora Han, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law and Society; African American Studies; Culture and Theory (law and popular culture, critical race theory, philosophies of punishment, feminism and psychoanalysis)
Jessica Millward, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Professor of History; African American Studies; Culture and Theory (U.S., slavery, African diaspora, African American gender and women)
Sheron C. Wray, M.A. Middlesex University, Associate Professor of Dance; African American Studies (jazz, choreography, improvisation)
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