AAS 1060 - Introduction to African American Studies

Unlike most established disciplines, there is to be a lack of consensus among Africana Studies scholars as to what exactly is African American/Afro-American/Africana/Pan African/Black Studies, and/or what constitutes the nature and scope of the discipline. The National Council for Black Studies, the leading organization of Black Studies professionals in the world, defines it as a discipline that investigates African peoples' experiences from the perspective of their interests, aspirations, possibilities, and envisioned destinies. Experiences that range from the earliest human civilizations to the tragic era of enslavement, colonization, forced migration, displacement and the reconstruction of African peoples humanity and life ways. This introductory course investigates the foundation, nature, scope, and structure of African American/Africana Studies in American Universities. The course will basically explore various descriptions, definitions, and meanings of the discipline/field, as well as approaches to understanding its interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and trans-disciplinary nature; survey major disciplinary literature written about it, and the perspectives advanced by scholars. The course also critiques and systematically outlines essential components of and/or arguments advanced about, for, or against the discipline. Finally, a comparative exploration of the interrelationship between African American/Africana Studies, Area Studies, and Ethnic Studies, as well as some emerging intellectual developments in Africana Studies research, teaching, and service activities will help guide us later into the semester as we engage in our focused discussions and discoveries of a satisfactory definition of the discipline, and an operational description of its basics and essentials.
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Fall 2019, Fall 2018
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