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2015-2016 Catalog

African and African American Studies

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Interdepartmental Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate Study

African and African American Studies, a cross-disciplinary program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, offers students the opportunity to explore the African Americans’ experience and African American contributions to American culture. Students in the program analyze and learn about African American experiences through the study of history, literature, art, religion, and society. They gain knowledge and develop skills and sensitivities to help them function effectively in today’s diverse society.

African and African American Studies at Iowa State University is an expanding program. Most of the courses in the program satisfy general education requirements in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the human relations requirement for teachers, and the university’s diversity requirement. Students can minor or even design their own Interdisciplinary Studies major with an emphasis in African American Studies. Relevant courses are offered through other departments.

A minor in African and African American Studies requires six courses in the program with a minimum of 18 credits, including AF AM 201 Introduction to African American Studies Introduction to African American Studies and AF AM 460 Seminar in African American Culture Seminar in African American Culture. The remaining credits must come from at least two departments, with at least two courses taken at the junior level or above. Independent study and internship opportunities are available for credit, but do not count in the minimum requirements for the minor.

Graduate Study

Several courses can be applied to a graduate program as electives.


Courses primarily for undergraduates:

AF AM 201. Introduction to African American Studies.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.
An interdisciplinary introduction to the study of African American culture. Includes history, the social sciences, literature, religion, and the arts, as well as conceptual frameworks for investigation and analysis of the African American experience.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

AF AM 330. Ethnic and Race Relations.

(Cross-listed with SOC). (3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.SS. Prereq: SOC 134
Analysis of ethnic and race relations, particularly in America; emphasis on the sociology and psychology of race and ethnic relations.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

AF AM 334. African American Religious Experience.

(Cross-listed with RELIG). (3-0) Cr. 3. F. Prereq: Prior course work in Religious Studies or African American Studies recommended
Examination of African-American experience from the perspective of black religion with attention to political, economic, social, theological and artistic expressions, including music, that serve the life of African-American communities.”.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

AF AM 347. Studies in African American Literature.

(Cross-listed with ENGL). (3-0) Cr. 3. Repeatable, maximum of 6 credits. Prereq: ENGL 250
Literature by African Americans, which may include study of individual authors, movements, themes, genres.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

AF AM 350. Women of Color in the U.S.

(Cross-listed with W S). (3-0) Cr. 3. S. Prereq: 3 credits in Women's Studies or African American Studies
Economic, social, political and cultural roles of Women of Color in the U.S. Includes literary, philosophical, and artistic expressions. Myths and realities explored.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

AF AM 353. History of African Americans I.

(Cross-listed with HIST). (3-0) Cr. 3. Prereq: Sophomore classification
Examines African roots of black culture and the African American experience in the United States from the colonial period through the Civil War. Topics include Atlantic Slave Trade, slavery and American identity, abolition, the emergence of Black Nationalism, and black participation in the Civil War.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

AF AM 354. History of African Americans II.

(Cross-listed with HIST). (3-0) Cr. 3. Prereq: Sophomore classification
Explores African American political thought and political action from Reconstruction to the present. Topics include rise of Jim Crow segregation, urban migration, Garvey movement, Harlem Renaissance, Depression and world wars, Pan-Africanism, civil rights, Black Power, and black feminism.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

AF AM 460. Seminar in African American Culture.

(3-0) Cr. 3. S.
Intensive study of a selected topic in African-American Studies in one or more disciplines. Selected readings of various authors, movements, eras, or genres. Primary and secondary source materials.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

AF AM 473. Civil Rights and Ethnic Power.

(Cross-listed with HIST, US LS). (3-0) Cr. 3. Prereq: Sophomore classification
Comparative history of the civil rights and ethnic power movements (African American, Chicano, American Indian, Puerto Rican, among others) in the U.S. from World War II to the present. Topics include institutional foundations, leadership, gender and racial dynamics, and the convergences and divergences of these differing ethnic struggles for rights.
Meets U.S. Diversity Requirement

AF AM 490. Independent Study.

Cr. 1-3. Repeatable, maximum of 3 times.