African Diaspora Studies
Note: This page contains all of the regular courses taught by this department. Not all courses are offered every year. Check the searchable schedule to see which courses are being offered in the upcoming semester.
The Crossroads seminar is a course designed specifically with first-year students in mind. Crossroads is taught by an interdisciplinary group of Kenyon faculty members who have interests in teaching, researching, and engaging with others in the discussion of issues and concerns pertaining to African and African diaspora studies. The specific topic to be addressed each year in the Crossroads seminar is developed by the Crossroads faculty at the end of the preceding spring semester. The Crossroads seminar will typically be taught as a colloquium where several Crossroads faculty offer a set of lectures serving as discrete modules of the course. Within this format, the course is intended to be an exploration of the cultures of the African diaspora and their influences on the global culture. Students will also focus on analytical writing, scientific investigation, and public vocal expression. This course will typically be offered every other academic year. The Crossroads seminar will satisfy .50 unit of diversification in AFDS or AMST.
This discussion-based course introduces students to several of the most important approaches to the study of African diaspora experiences. Students taking this course will find themselves engaged with a variety of disciplines (e.g., anthropology, history, literary study, psychology, sociology, and visual and performing arts). Though some of the texts may change from year to year, the focus of this course will be to undertake a preliminary investigation into the connections and the relationship between Africa and other parts of the world. This course is typically offered each spring semester.
One of the more important intellectual movements of the last decade, black British cultural studies deserves attention because it offers us important intellectual tools that are used to think about race, ethnicity, gender, class, and nationality in a rapidly changing world. This course begins with a brief consideration of cultural studies as a general proposition, then turns to the specifics of black British cultural studies. One of the central threads of the course will be a consideration of how the various terms of analysis that were developed in the study of Great Britain and its former colonies might be usefully applied to the United States. Authors to be considered will include Hazel Carby, Paul Gilroy, Stuart Hall, and others. We will also read the work of thinkers who critically engage black British cultural studies, such as Aijaz Ahmad. English majors may count this course toward departmental major requirements. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors only. This course is typically offered every two years.
The objective of this interdisciplinary upper-level seminar is to offer a clear understanding of what feminist theory is, what womanist theory is, and how the two often overlap in history, social commentary, and methodology. As such, the materials used in the course make explicit reference to the many academic and social contexts that have given rise to both feminist theory and womanist theory. During the course of the semester, we will trace several elements of the African American experience, predominantly pertaining to women, in order to understand how disparate voices have been informed by each theoretical paradigm. We will specifically discuss fictional and academic texts, films, audio-clips, and several other examples of womanist and feminist discourses to cement your understanding of these theoretical paradigms. Prerequisites: AFDS 110 and one mid-level course that may be counted toward the AFDS concentration or permission of the instructor.
The senior seminar will be offered each year by a member of the AFDS faculty. Students should consult with the director to find out which courses are being taught in any given year that satisfy the AFDS Senior Seminar requirement.
The individual study option is a flexible concept to be negotiated between students and faculty members along with the director of the African Diaspora Studies Program. Typically, an individual-study course emerges from student initiative and depends on faculty interest and availability. Less frequently, individual study can be offered when students need to take a particular course in order to fulfill the requirements of the concentration and can draw on the expertise of a faculty member. Even in this circumstance, however, the option depends upon faculty availability. While we expect that students will broach the possibility of doing individual study, faculty will have the ultimate authority in determining how any individual study course is to be conducted. We view this option as an exceptional, not routine, opportunity. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the program, and the fact that aspects of the program change from year to year, the director has the right to decline requests for individual study. Individual study courses in African Diaspora Studies will typically run for one semester and carry .5 unit of credit. In those very rare cases where the course has to be halted mid-semester, .25 unit of credit will be awarded.
Additional courses that meet the requirements for this concentration:
AMST 110: August Wilson and Black Pittsburgh
ANTH 113: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 471: Ethnomedicine: Africa
DRAM 257: Dramatic Literature of the African Diaspora
ENGL 281: Fictions in Black
ENGL 288: Introduction to African-American Literature
ENGL 316: Postcolonial Poetry
ENGL 366: African Fiction
ENGL 378: Race in the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination
ENGL 388: Studies in Twentieth-Century African-American Literature
ENGL 487: The Mulatto in American Fiction
HIST 102D: United States History, 1865-Present
HIST 145: Early Africa
HIST 146: Modern Africa
HIST 175: Early Black History
HIST 176: Contemporary Black History
HIST 210: History of the South, 1607-Present
HIST 242: Americans in Africa
HIST 310: The Civil War
HIST 312: Blacks in the Age of Jim Crow
HIST 313: Black Intellectuals
HIST 316: Jazz Age: 1900-1930
HIST 341: African Women in Film and Fiction
HIST 349: Contemporary West African History through Fiction and Film
HIST 350: Race, Resistance, and Revolution in South Africa
HIST 373: Women of the Atlantic World
HIST 411: The Civil Rights Era
HIST 412: Race, Politics, and Public Policy
HIST 444: Faith and Power in Africa
PSCI 332: African-American Political Thought
PSYC 424: Research Methods in Cross-Cultural Psychology
RLST 232: Afro-Caribbean Spirituality
RLST 235: African Spirituality in the Americas
RLST 342: Religion and Popular Music in the African Diaspora
SOCY 230: Sociology of Race and Ethnicity in the United States
SOCY 232: Sexual Harassment: Normative Expectations and Legal Questions
SOCY 244: Race, Ethnicity, and American Law
SOCY 250: Systems of Stratification
SOCY 421: Gender Stratification
SOCY 440: Blackface: The American Minstrel Show
SOCY 463: Intersectional Theory