Course Offerings - Catalog 2012-13

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African and African American Studies

Interdisciplinary Program

Students can minor (but not major) in African and African American studies at Centre College. The minor focuses on the regions of West Africa and the American South because they have been the primary sites of interaction between Africa and North America. The trans-Atlantic slave trade initiated a centuries-long exchange of foodways, religious practices, music, language, and populations that fundamentally changed the world. Students examine the social, political, economic, artistic, racial, and gendered experiences of African and African American peoples through a variety of disciplines including anthropology, sociology, history, government, music, and literature. Although the focus is on the African continent and the United States, African America is broadly defined to include Canada, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.


Nathan Link (chair), Andrea Abrams, Jonathan Earle, Ian Wilson

Requirements for the Minor

AAS 210 Music and Culture of the African Diaspora, ANT 335/SOC 320 Race and Ethnicity, AAS 500 Colloquium;
ONE of GOV 343 African Politics, GOV 441 African Politics/Civil Society: Case of Cameroon, HIS 339 Precolonial Africa;
One of ANT 336 Blackness in the Americas, ANT 337 African American Cultures, ENG 380 African American Literature, MUS 210/310 The History of Jazz;
One additional course from the previour two lists

1. Upon program committee approval, additional courses may be added to the list of courses fulfilling minor requirements.
2. Several courses listed above are not offered regularly or are offered only once every two or three years. Students interested in the minor are encouraged to consult with a program committee member early on to plan their preparation for the minor and to discuss course offering schedules.

African and African American Studies Courses

AAS 210 Music and Culture of the African Diaspora
This course is an introductory survey course which employs music as a lens to explore the history and culture of Africa and African America. Students learn about African musical genres on the continent and in the New World as well as the political, cultural, racial, class, and gender dynamics that shape and are shaped by them.  More specifically, this course focuses of West Africa and the United States and provides students an introduction to (a) the political and social histories of both areas, (b) the musical characteristics of varied genres, (c) the social and political forces which shaped the evolution of the more significant musical genres, (d) the contemporary cultural and identity politics influencing and influenced by the music and (e) the connections between West African and African American music.

AAS 500 Colloquium
An interdisciplinary colloquium focused on the development of an independent research project as a culmination of work in the minor. Students present the results of the independent study at the RICE symposium or at another public forum. Prerequisite: Minor in African and African American studies.