Welcome to AFR 140: Introduction to Africana Studies. This class is a “ZTC” (Zero Textbook Course), which means students do not have to purchase a texbook. This course introduces students to Africana Studies as a field of inquiry, and to the contributions of Africana peoples to world history, culture, and society. Students will examine the historic and contemporary experiences of peoples of African heritage both in Africa and in the African diaspora. Students will develop an awareness of the many factors that shape how Africana people construct their lives, how they are perceived by others, as well as the commonalities across racial experiences and contexts.
Themes such as identity, community, migration, nationalism, racism, patriarchy, freedom and struggle will be explored through the lens of people of African descent. Students will be exposed to theoretical discussions, interdisciplinary readings, as well as a wide range of media including film, oral history transcripts, historical documents, periodicals, music and art. These materials will provide a context for students to understand the theoretical aspects that anchor Africana Studies, and interpret its content from multiple disciplines.
Students will identify key historical events, socio-economic experiences, individuals, and movements that have and continue to influence people of African heritage.
Students will apply the vocabulary, theories, and formative ideas of an interdisciplinary field – Africana Studies – to understand the impact of Africana peoples on global cultural diversity.
Students will critically evaluate evidence and arguments about the experiences of peoples of African heritage in the United States, and compare them with the experiences of Africans and of African diaspora communities in the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
Students will build good research skills using a variety of scholarly sources and points of view, including primary texts, journals and databases.
Students will produce well-reasoned written and oral arguments using evidence, individually and in collaboration with others.