African Studies

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Dean: Andrew Harris

African Studies Program

Humanities Building, Room 461
Phone: (415) 338–2495
Director: Aguibou Yansané

Program Scope

The African Studies Minor is a multidisciplinary program in African history, politics, economics, and cultures, designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the issues facing African communities, societies, and nation-states in the past as well as the present. Courses from multiple departments and programs are incorporated into the African Studies Minor, offering different disciplinary bases for the examination and analysis of African contributions to world civilizations. It enables students to integrate and apply knowledge in the evolution of African societies from being the cradle of humanity to providing labor for the use of other civilizations and through colonial and post-colonial linkages, technological expansion and economic liberalization. Students will examine African accomplishments, mores, traditions, cultures and civilizations to finish the minor with a greater degree of understanding of, and tolerance for, cultural differences and ethnic pluralism as well as the problems inherent in the process of social change in Africa and the African Diaspora.

Students who select this minor are presented with different disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. Common to all these perspectives is the critical examination of social change/modernization/development/ globalization. It is hoped that students will be provided the tools to enable them to build their own frames of reference, syntheses of concepts, data, and theories, to enrich their social attitudes and cultural values concerning Africa and to appreciate its richness and its unity in diversity.

Career Outlook

Students will be encouraged to take advantage of the African Studies Minor to apply their knowledge, understanding, and interest in things African to their career goals (teaching, journalism, business, and international endeavors in the public sector, non-governmental agencies, and multilateral institutions).

Professors

Clavier, Getz, Richards, Yansané

Associate Professors

Akom, McDougal, Steier

African Studies Minor  — 24 units

Students interested in this minor should see one of the African Studies faculty to choose the courses most appropriate to them. (Note: No more than six units may be taken on a CR/NC basis; no more than nine units may be transferred from other campuses.) All students completing the minor are required to demonstrate intermediate level competency in a relevant language other than English. For specific information on how to meet the requirement, students should consult with the coordinator of the minor program.

The African Studies Minor consists of a core curriculum of three courses which contain material and perspectives which reach across the normal disciplinary divisions of the University, plus 15 units of upper division courses taken from the following list, on advisement.

Core Requirements (9 units)

Select one from each of the following areas:9
Classical Africa
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptian Civilization
Africa: Tradition and Transition
Black Diaspora
History of Africa
Modern Africa
Africa in Global Perspective
Modern Africa
Styles of African Cultural Expression

Electives (15 units)

Units selected on advisement with at least one course from each group and no duplication of courses that were taken as part of the core curriculum

Behavioral and Social Sciences
ECON 620Economic Development3
HIST 610History of Africa3
HIST 611Modern Africa3
I R/PLSI 321Development and Foreign Policy--Africa4
I R/GEOG 428International Political Economy of Food and Hunger4
I R 520Globalization and Development4
I R 540The Rich and the Poor Nations4
I R 632Regional Economic Communities4
Ethnic Studies
AFRS 300From Africa to Olmec America: Ancient African Prehistory and History3
AFRS 301Africa in Global Perspective3
AFRS 302Black Diaspora3
AFRS 305Ancient Egypt3
AFRS 411African and African American Literature3
Humanities and Arts
CLAR 500Ancient Egyptian Civilization3
CLAR 502Ancient Egyptian Language and Literature3

Language Requirement

All students completing the African Studies Minor are required to demonstrate intermediate level competency in a language (other than English), relevant to the area. This requirement may be met by completing the university entrance requirement of two years of high school language study, one year of successful college level language study, or by demonstration of equivalent competency.

AFRS 100 General Studies Colloquium (Units: 3)

Developing the individual's awareness of race and ethnicity as it impacts educational achievement and attainment from preschool to the university level. Social, economic, and political relationship between schools and community. Survey of theories, characteristics, methodologies, and application of innovative research methodologies to the African American educational experience and connection to other cultural communities.

AFRS 101 Introduction to Africana Studies (Units: 3)

Development of Africana Studies as an academic discipline. Topics include history, literature, psychology, politics, and others.

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AFRS 110 Critical Thinking and the Black Experience (Units: 3)

Developing the basic skills involved in understanding, criticizing, and constructing arguments by using materials reflective of experiences of Blacks and the third world culture in the United States.

AFRS 111 Black Cultures and Personalities (Units: 3)

The cultural influence on the development of Black personality configurations.

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AFRS 125 Black Community Involvement Workshop (Units: 3)

Exploration of community organizations through actual involvement in various community agencies. Social, economic, and political resources in the community. May be repeated once.

AFRS 200 Introduction to Black Psychology (Units: 3)

Theories, characteristic methodologies, and applicability to the African American behavioral experiences and interface with other cultural communities.

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AFRS 201 Kemet, Afrocentricity, and the Dawn of Science (Units: 3)

Kemetic Science and the primacy of Kemet (Egypt) in the development of modern science. The structured whole, the Nubian Vortex, Cartesian vs. Alchemical cosmologies, and the Afrocentric thought and achievement of African American scientists and engineers.

Course Attributes:

  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AFRS 202 Black Men's Studies (Units: 3)

Exploration of diverse lives, experiences, and development of Black men and boys within the context of their families, communities, and society at large, and of the experience and development of Black manhood and masculinity from a cultural and historical lens within several societal dimensions.

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AFRS 203 Black Social Sciences (Units: 3)

Methodical principles, key theoretical concepts of western social sciences, and applications in third world critical perspective. Work of Black social scientists that have added to understanding black experience. Relevance of western methods and theories to Black development.

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AFRS 204 Black Creative Arts (Units: 3)

Culture of Black Americans through examination of the creativity of its women artists.

Course Attributes:

  • C1: Arts
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AFRS 208 Introduction to African American History (Units: 3)

Examination of black history in the United States from Colonial times to the present. Critical review of major themes including enslavement, abolitionism, the Civil War, urbanization, freedom, and civil rights. The aftermath of each theme will be analyzed. (Plus-minus ABC/NC, CR/NC grading)

Course Attributes:

  • U.S. History
  • D2: Social Sciences: U.S. Hist
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AFRS 210 Introduction to Africana Literature (Units: 3)

Role of literature in the formulation, maintenance, and articulation of a cultural ethos.

Course Attributes:

  • C3: Humanities: Literature
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AFRS 213 Science and Spirituality in Ancient Africa (Units: 3)

Science and mathematics, in an African religious-spiritual context, used to conduct business, build monuments, study star and planetary motion, and explain the origin and evolution of the universe. Basic systems of measurement and calculation from ancient and modern Africa.

AFRS 214 Second Year Written Composition: Africana Studies (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent with a grade of CR or C- or better.

Development of expository and analytic writing skills through the study and appreciation of Black literature. Various authors and genres of Black literature from different historical and cultural periods. Literary criticism. Must be taken after student has completed 24 units and before completing 60 units. (Plus/minus ABC/NC, CR/NC allowed)

Course Attributes:

  • A4: Written English Comm II
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AFRS 215 Introduction to Black Family Studies (Units: 3)

Theories and research about Black families in America. Emerging trends in Black families: ethnic stratification, family, and marital stability, socialization processes, and research issues.

Course Attributes:

  • E1: Lifelong Learning Develop
  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AFRS 221 African American Music: A 20th Century Survey (Units: 3)

History, growth, and development of African American music during the 20th century.

Course Attributes:

  • C1: Arts
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities

AFRS 225 Images and Issues in Black Visual Media (Units: 3)

Historical and developmental survey of black media; overview of the cultural economic, social and political forces that influence and shape black media in America (which in turns affects black images and identities all over the world); analysis of aesthetics, social theories, research methods and activist strategies that are associated with blackness, race and representation in film and television and in alternative media outlets.

AFRS 230 African American Gospel Workshop (Units: 3)

Workshop on gospel music: traditional African antecedents of gospel music, religious, and secular forms developed, and economic and political factors shaping gospel music. Guest appearance by a known gospel artist. Culminates in a student performance.

Course Attributes:

  • C1: Arts
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities

AFRS 256 Hip Hop Workshop (Units: 3)

History, aesthetics, mechanics, and politics of Rap music and Hip Hop culture. African American aspects and African-centered qualities of the cultural movement known as Hip Hop.

Course Attributes:

  • E1: Lifelong Learning Develop
  • C1: Arts
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AFRS 260 Power, Racism and Africana Liberation (Units: 3)

Behavioral and social sciences used to compare and analyze across time, space, and geographical region, responses to racism by world culture and civilization of people of African descent. [Formerly ETHS 260]

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AFRS 266 Black On-line: Cyberspace, Culture, and Community (Units: 3)

The impact of the information revolution and the digital divide on Black people worldwide. Understanding the need to blend cyber technology with the issues of Black culture and community. Fully on-line class; must have an e-mail address.

Course Attributes:

  • E1: Lifelong Learning Develop
  • C2: Humanities
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AFRS 271 Elementary Kiswahili Language and Culture (Units: 3)

Introduction to speaking, listening and understanding, writing, and reading skills in Kiswahili and Swahili culture and worldview.

AFRS 290 Malcolm X in the Context of Black Nationalism (Units: 3)

Critical examination of Malcolm X--his political, spiritual, economic, and social philosophy and programs in the historical context of Black nationalism. Review of his legacy in contrast and comparison to other Black leaders such as Martin Luther King.

AFRS 300 From Africa to Olmec America: Ancient African Prehistory and History (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Early African civilization and pre-colonial era: history of the ancient empires of Nubia, Ethiopia, Congo, Zimbabwe, Zulus, etc. History of colonialism; patterns of annexation; journey of Africans from Africa to the Caribbean, Latin and South America, and the U.S.

Course Attributes:

  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives

AFRS 301 Africa in Global Perspective (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Physical, social, cultural, political, technological, economic, and business environment of Africa; policy determinants influencing economy; polity and business systems; interactions between modern development theory, world political economy, and domestic policy; strategies and constraints to reverse underdevelopment.

AFRS 302 Black Diaspora (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Dynamics of Black dispersal, 15th to 20th centuries; cross-currents and interactions within the Black world; constraints on the formation of Black solidarity movements; contemporary movements.

AFRS 303 African American History (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: AFRS 300, AFRS 301 or equivalent.

Recurrent themes and issues in Black history since the 19th century. Reconstruction and the emergence of mass movements and counter-ideologies.

AFRS 304 Black People and the American Experience (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

History of Black people and their American experiences from 1770 to 1954. Important constitutional, political, economic, and cultural issues as they developed nationally and locally.

AFRS 305 Ancient Egypt (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

History, religion, culture, economic system, and dynastic periods of the world's greatest ancient civilization, Egypt or KMT, the Black country.

Course Attributes:

  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AFRS 310 Anthropology of Blackness (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of anthropological theory, research, and practice as it relates to constructions of blackness as well as African-diasporic identities. African-diasporic contributions to anthropology, anthropological research, and theory concerning Africana identities will be explored.

AFRS 312 Kalifia: The Black Heritage of California (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

African American presence in the Golden State; the Black heritage in the establishment, development, and evolution of California from the Gold Rush era to the present.

AFRS 320 Black Politics, Mass Movements, and Liberation Themes (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Theoretical constructs and basic premises that draw on political experiences of Black people. Review of political science theories as they have been applied to Blacks in the U.S.

AFRS 326 Black Religion (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of the philosophical bases of contemporary Black religious movements. Reformation of traditional African, Islamic, African, Ancient Wisdom Mythology, Black Mysticism, Christian, and other current and historical religious concepts.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AFRS 335 The Black Woman: A Cultural Analysis (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Black women in the Americas, the Caribbean, and on the African continent: their struggles for rights as Blacks and as women, their contribution to the development of their societies, their political aptitude, and their artistic adeptness.

Course Attributes:

  • E1: Lifelong Learning Develop
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AFRS 340 Economics of the Black Community (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Economic problems of Black people. Role of Black labor in the American capitalistic economy. Welfare schemes and Black reaction to population control.

AFRS 345 Blacks in Urban America (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Structural and cultural conditions such as poverty, economics, welfare and political arrangements that impact urban America; particular attention to ways in which Black communities examine how poverty and race influence social policy and effective strategies and solutions for change.

AFRS 350 Black-Indians in the Americas (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Examines factors impacting on multiracial identity formation among Native communities throughout the Americas with a specific focus on Black-Indians; explores concepts and theories regarding blood quantum, sovereignty, and land rights, and the social, legal, and political understanding of mixed-race Native Americans.
(This course is offered as AIS 350, AFRS 350, and LTNS 355. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities

AFRS 370 Health, Medicine, and Nutrition in the Black Community (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Theoretical and practical implications of health and healing in the Black community today. Personal and community perspectives. Historical health disparities in Black community. Includes interactive class activities and presentations from people in the community working to address these issues.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Social Justice

AFRS 375 Law and the Black Community (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Contemporary and historical investigations of city, state, and federal laws and how they affect the human rights, self-determination, and survival of the Black community in America. Administration of justice by court, police, security, and legislative agencies.

Course Attributes:

  • Calif State & Local Govt
  • U.S. Govt CA State Local Govt
  • U.S. History
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AFRS 376 Government, the Constitution, and Black Citizens (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Nature and source of constitutional power--federal and state. Interaction of the Supreme Court with the Congress and with the Presidency; constitutional issues involving poor and Black citizens. [CSL may be available]

Course Attributes:

  • U.S. Govt CA State Local Govt
  • U.S. History
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AFRS 382 African American Economic History (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Factors which have constrained historically the economic status of African Americans in the labor market; industries and occupations; relationships to trade unions. How all these affect the income position of African American families.

AFRS 400 Black Arts and Humanities (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Creative efforts of Black writers and artists. Values expressed in these works and their relation to African-American culture.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

AFRS 401 Pan African Black Psychology: A North American, South American and Caribbean Comparison (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of how the "identity" and "Consciousness" of Afro-Brazilian, African-American, and Haitian people have been complicated and confused by enslavement, westernization, and the imposition of a White Supremacist ideology. Comparison of the similarities and differences between Afro-Brazil, Haitian, and USA African American retention.

Course Attributes:

  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities

AFRS 411 African and African American Literature (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Literature of Blacks of two continents. Cultural phenomenon of the critical impact of American Black authors on African writing and perspective.

AFRS 450 African Philosophy and Cosmology (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Foundations of Black philosophy from ancient Africa to the present. Theories of knowledge and thought within the social and political context.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities

AFRS 515 Black Family Studies (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Structure, history, and functioning of the Black family: African cultural traditions related to Black family life.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Social Justice

AFRS 516 Research Methods (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Application of research methods to Black populations and the Black community.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Social Justice

AFRS 525 Black Child Development (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Analysis of both the traditional theoretical approaches to the study of Black children and innovative approaches: areas of cognitive development, socialization, education, personality development, and the social context of childhood.

AFRS 551 Fieldwork in Africana Studies (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Supervised fieldwork in community organizations enabling students to apply knowledge gained in classes to the solution of problems and the development of the community. Classwork, 2 units; fieldwork, 1 unit.

AFRS 600 Proseminar in Africana Studies (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Senior standing or consent of instructor.

Educational, sociological, psychological, political, economic, historical, and cultural aspects of the Black experience particularly as these pertain to Africana Studies curricula and programs.

AFRS 645 Literature of the Harlem Renaissance (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: AFRS 214 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

Reading of Harlem Renaissance writers including Countee Cullen, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes. Hone reading and analytical writing skills through essays, class discussion, and structured group work.

Course Attributes:

  • E1: Lifelong Learning Develop
  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

AFRS 646 Frantz Fanon's Psychology of Violence, Negation, and Liberation (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

A critical discussion of human oppression and liberation. A study of the writings of Frantz Fanon and their use to understand various paradigms of oppression, the psychology of liberations, objectification, and negation, and the psychological value of African-centered thought.

AFRS 660 Civil Rights Movement and Education (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

The civil rights movement and its impact on the education of Black children and youth. Implications of equal access and justice from Brown vs. Board of Education to contemporary issues in urban schools; desegregation and leadership; historically Black colleges and educational alternatives.

AFRS 665 Black Journalism (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

History, social role, function, and organization of print and broadcast journalism in relation to Black Americans. Writing, planning, and publication of papers and magazines. May be repeated for a total of 6 units.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities

AFRS 678 Urban Issues of Black Children and Youth (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of Black children and youth by understanding Black culture and history, behavior patterns, language, attitude, and family backgrounds; the role of education in African American traditions, stressing strategies for attaining excellence in an equitable environment.

AFRS 685 Projects in the Teaching of Africana Studies (Units: 1-4)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing and consent of instructor.

Academic service learning practicum/internship experience as an undergraduate instructional aide. Participation in the teaching of a regular instructionally-related class. Limited to undergraduate students only. (Students may earn a maximum of 4 units toward the baccalaureate degree for any course(s) numbered 685 regardless of discipline.)

AFRS 694 Community Service Learning (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisites: Upper division standing or consent of instructor; must be taken concurrently with an Africana Studies course supporting community service learning.

Community service learning activity course. May be repeated for a total of 6 units. [CSL may be available]

AFRS 699 Independent Study (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisites: Consent of major adviser, department chair, and instructor. Supervised, individual study of a particular problem in Africana Studies. The student must state the problem, the method of data gathering, and the method of data analysis. May be repeated for a total of 6 units.

AFRS 705 Seminar in Africana Studies (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Historical and intellectual foundation of the Africana Studies discipline: critical knowledge base, cultural grounding, intellectual orientation. Major philosophical, cultural, political, economic, and social developments and traditions found in African and African American society.