Undergraduate Courses

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1101 Introduction to African American and African Studies

Introduction to the scholarly study of the Africana experience, focusing on patterns of resistance, adaptation, diversity, and transnational connections.

1121 African Civilizations to 1870

Exploration of the political, social, and economic history of precolonial African civilizations, using a variety of interdisciplinary approaches and materials.

1122 African Civilizations, 1870 to the Present

Exploration of the political, social, and economic history of colonial and independent African countries, using a variety of interdisciplinary approaches and material.

2080 African American History to 1877

The study of African American experience in America from arrival through the era of Reconstruction, focusing on slavery, resistance movements, and African American culture.

2081 African American History from 1877

The study of the African American experience in the United States from the era of Reconstruction through the present.

2085 Exploring Race and Ethnicity in Ohio: Black Ohio in the 19th Century

Explores the lives and experiences of African Americans in 19th century Ohio.

2101 Introduction to African Art and Archeology

The Art and Archaeology of Africa with emphasis on the historic cultures of Rock Art (8,000 B.C.), Egypt (3,000 B.C.), Nok (900 B.C.), Igbo-Ukwu (695 A.D.), Ife (1200 A.D.), and Benin (1400-1900 A.D.). 

2201 Major Readings in African American and African Studies

An introduction to major authors and texts contributing to the discourses that have shaped and defined African American and African Studies from its inception to the present.

2218 Black Urban Experience

Examination of contemporary black urban experience focused on the impact of persistent residential segregation, increasing class polarization, and the global force of hip hop culture.

2251 Introduction to African Literature

An assessment of the oral prose tradition and written prose of African literature; specific emphasis placed on student reading from primary sources.

2253 Introduction to Caribbean Literature

An introduction to Caribbean literature with a focus on prose, poetry, and drama.

2270 Introduction to Black Popular Culture

A critical analysis of the commodity production and consumption of black popular culture products, such as fashion, film, urban fiction, music, vernacular expression, television and advertising.

2275 - Blackness and the Politics of Sports

This interdisciplinary course considers the role of Black athletes in society and culture, the racial politics involved, and the global implications of race on courts, playing fields, tracks, and other athletic arenas.

2281 Introduction to African-American Literature

A study of representative literary works by African-American writers from 1760 to the present.

2285 Afropop: Popular Music and Culture in Contemporary Africa

This course focuses on the rich variety, aesthetic beauty, and political significance of popular music in modern African cities. By closely attending to the genres, forms, styles, and social life of African popular music, students will encounter the dynamic soundscape of popular culture in Africa today.

2288 Bebop to Doowop to Hip Hop: The Rhythm and Blues Tradition

Examines the aesthetic and historical evolution of rhythm and blues: black music tradition including bebop, rock and roll, and hip hop, redefining American popular culture post-WWII.  

2290 Black Youth

Examines how differences of race, class, gender, nation and migration influence identity and experience of Black youth.


2300 - Issues in the Contemporary Black World

This interdisciplinary course examines contemporary issues affecting people of African descent on the continent and throughout its Diaspora. The course will call upon students to consider how race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexuality, and religion affect African-descended people in their daily lives, in cultural productions, and in relation to state power.

2327 Introduction to African Politics

Examination of dynamics of nation-building in African countries in transition from colonial dependencies to modern nation-states.

2367.01 African-American Voices in U.S. Literature

Discussion, analysis, and writing about issues presented through the diverse voices of African American literature.


2367.02 - Debates in African American Studies

This writing-intensive course will assist students in honing their rhetorical argumentation skills through the examination of debates in African American Studies from the arrival of Africans in the Americas through the current moment.

2367.04 Black Women Writers: Text and Context

Writing and analysis of black women's literary representations of issues in United States social history.


2367.07S - Literacy Narratives of Black Columbus

This service-learning course focuses on collecting and preserving literacy narratives of Columbus-area Black communities. Through engagement with community partners, students refine skills in research, analysis, and composition; students synthesize information, create arguments about discursive/visual/cultural artifacts, and reflect on the literacy and life-history narratives of Black Columbus.

3080 Slavery in the United States

The African American experience in slavery, focusing on the rise of the slave trade, slavery in the colonial and antebellum eras, the Civil War, and abolition.

3081 Free Blacks in Antebellum America

Explores the development of free Black communities in the era before the Civil War, focusing on emancipation, fugitive slaves, resistance movements and suffrage.

3083 Civil Rights and Black Power Movements

Examines the origins, evolution, and outcomes of the African American freedom struggle, focusing on the Civil Rights and Black Power movements.

3086 Black Women in Slavery and Freedom

Traces the experiences and struggles of African American women from slavery through the Civil Rights/Black Power era.

3089 Studies in African American History

Selected topics in African American history from the origins of slavery to the present.

3230 Black Women: Culture and Politics

Examination of the social, cultural, political, economic, and historical forces, dynamics, and processes affecting women throughout the Africana world.

3260 - Global Black Cultural Movements

This course focuses on hemispheric studies in the Americas, examining black cultural movements emerging after emancipation through the present. It considers the ways people of African descent in the Americas have used cultural productions--literature, poetry, film, music, visual art, and performance--to construct identities; agitate for equality;and understand aesthetics as political and beautiful.

3304 History of Islam in Africa

Africa from the emergence of Islam in the 600s to the Present. African contributions to Islam and the impact of Islam on African societies.

3308 History of US-Africa Relations, 1900 to Present

History of the United States' relations with Africa since World War I.

3310 Global Perspectives on the African Diaspora

Study of historical processes, key figures and ideas, and cultural expressions of the worldwide dispersion of people of African descent from different times and places.

3320 History of African Cinema

Emergence and development of African cinema as a film genre and part of material culture. European colonial and ethnographic to modern African cinema.

3361 Psychology of the Black Experience

An analysis of personality theories commonly applied to Black Americans and the Black experience.

3370 - Being African in America

We examine the particular experiences of first and second generation Africans in America, for whom today's amplified "us vs. them" rhetoric threatens to fracture what W.E.B. Du Bois called an African American sense of "two-ness." What are the constraints on a doubly conscious "African" and "American" identity in the United States? What are the challenges of sustaining a fragile social pluralism?

3376 Arts and Cultures of Africa and the Diaspora

An overview of African and African diaspora cultures from a historical perspective. Cultural media will include art, literature, film, dance, and photography.

3440 Theorizing Race

Introduction to issues of "race," consideration of the historical emergence and development of ideas of "race" and of racist practices, along with their contemporary formations.


3450 - The Art and Politics of Hip-Hop

Explores the world of Hip-Hop, from its birth in the Bronx to its infiltration of music, fashion, television, film, dance, print culture, and politics. It considers critically the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, nation, and geography as well as the ways in which Hip-Hop functions simultaneously as aesthetic, analytic, and politic.

3956 Black Cultures and Classical Education

Study the role of classics in African and the African Diaspora (US, Caribbean, Brazil). Major themes include: adaptations of classical literature, impact of classical education, classics as a tool of colonial oppression, classics as a tool of anti-colonial resistance, theories of race, classical and classicizing depictions of black bodies.

4250 African Politics

An introductory survey of Sub-Saharan African politics from the pre-colonial period to the contemporary era. It will examine the common themes, issues, and trends that shape politics and development across forty-nine countries. Students will gain an understanding of how context shapes political behavior and how historical and political forces have influenced African politics.

4326 Topics in African American and Public Policy

Examination of the impact of public policies on African American communities in the U.S. from the New Deal's Welfare State policies and programs of the 1930's to the present.

4342 Religion, Meaning, and Knowledge in Africa

While the practice of religion in Africa is as diverse as its people, three major belief systems define the practice: African Traditional Religion, Islam, and Christianity. This course will examine classical and contemporary definitions of African Traditional Religion/s and the introduction and adaptations of Islam and Christianity in Africa.

4460 Theories in Africana Literature

Examination of various theoretical perspectives that underlie African and Caribbean literature in both its oral and written expressions.

4504 Black Politics

Economic, political, and social constraints on the development of black political power, the efforts made by black people in recent times to organize for effective political action.

4515 Ethnicity, Development, and the State in Sub-Saharan Africa

Takes a theoretical and comparative historical approach to analyzing problems of development and ethnic conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa.

4530 African Political Economy

A comparative examination of problems of nation-building and national integration faced by selected nations in the postcolonial period.

4535 Topics in Black Masculinity

A theoretical analysis of constructions, perceptions, and performances of black masculinity locally and globally.

4551 Topics in Africana Literature

Topics selected will relate to varying issues in the literatures of the Africa and the African Diaspora.

4557 History of South Africa

An examination of the political and social developments in South Africa from the 19th century to the present.

4565 Topics in African Diaspora Studies

Selected topics which examine the origins, dimensions, and dynamics of the African Diaspora; topics vary each term.

4571 Black Visual Culture and Popular Media

An examination of African Americans in visual culture and the theories of representation in popular media.

4582 Special Topics in African-American Literature

Focuses on themes in African-American Literature.

4584H Literature and Modern Experience in African

A comprehensive view of the dominant thematic directions of African literature in the European languages, and their formal realization in aesthetic and symbolic terms.  


4610 - African Americans and the Law

This is an interdisciplinary course that puts major legal cases affecting African Americans into conversation with their historical underpinnings, as well as the social contexts and how those contexts manifest in African American cultural productions. A central goal of the course is to interrogate the idea of a "colorblind" justice system.

4921 Intersections: Approaches to Race, Gender, Class, and Sexuality

Examines intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality in various sites within American culture (e.g., legal system, civil rights discourse, social justice movements).

5189S Community Development: Field Research and Seminar

A service-learning course that draws on the principles of experiential learning by immersing students in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs.

5240 Race and Public Policy in the United States

This course explores Race and Public Policy in the United States from Reconstruction to the present. In particular, the class is designed to look at the long list of "hot topics" in the current policy landscape, including policing, housing, wealth gap, immigration, voting, political representation, and others.

5485.01 Southern Africa: Society and Culture

A comparative study of the social, political, cultural, and economic changes in Africa and the impact on contemporary black world. A study of the social and cultural developments in Southern Africa, and the environment.

5485.02 West Africa: Society and Culture

A comparative study of the social, political, cultural, and economic changes in Africa and the impact on contemporary black world. A chronological and interdisciplinary exploration into the cultures and societies of West Africa.

5485.03 Afro-Brazilian Society and Culture

Preparation of students to study abroad in the South American country of Brazil, particularly in Salvador, the Bahia region, which is home to the world's largest Afro-Brazilian population. The course will enable students to survey, understand, appreciate and participate in the richness and dynamic nature of Brazil's history, culture, politics, economy and people.


5650 - Blackness and the Body in Science and Medicine

This course considers the need for and pursuit of social justice when black bodies are subjected to commodification and systemic subordination. The course focuses on what Frantz Fanon called the "corporeal schema" of blackness as well as the social construction of blackness to think about the relationship between black bodies and social justice pursuits in medicine and science.

5798.04 Study Abroad in Africa and the Diaspora

A study tour of Africa and the Diaspora to accompany the 5485 pre-requisite courses. Students will pay all travel and subsistence costs. Successful application to eligible study abroad program required.