The Kenyon College faculty voted to change from Kenyon units to semester hours. This change will go into effect for all students who start at the College in the fall of 2024. Both systems will be used throughout the course catalog with the Kenyon units being listed first.

The course is designed specifically with first-year students in mind. The seminar 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 is developed by the crossroads faculty at the end of the preceding spring semester. The seminar typically will be taught as a colloquium where several crossroads faculty offer a set of lectures serving as discrete modules. Within this format, students will explore the cultures of the African diaspora and their influences on the global culture. Students will also focus on analytical writing and public vocal expression. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. No prerequisite. Generally offered every other year.

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 extensively 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 several other parts of the world. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. No prerequisite. Generally offered every spring.

The objective of this interdisciplinary seminar is to offer a clear understanding of what womanist and feminist theory are, as well as 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. Fictional and academic texts, films, audio-clips, and several other examples of womanist and feminist discourses will be used to cement the understanding of these theoretical paradigms. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Prerequisite: A mid-level course that may be counted toward the AFDS concentration.

The Individual Study course (IS) option within the African Diaspora Studies Program is a flexible concept to be negotiated between student, faculty member and the current program director. IS courses will typically be prompted by student initiative combined with faculty interest and availability. IS courses can sometimes be offered when students need to take a particular course within one of our faculty member's expertise in order to fulfill the requirements of the concentration. Even in this circumstance, however, the option for an IS depends upon faculty availability. While it is expected 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 during the course of the semester. This is viewed as an exceptional opportunity that we provide our students and, as such, we emphasize that this option is never to be expected as an ordinary course of events. As a matter of expedience and given the dynamic and interdisciplinary nature of the AFDS Program from one year to the next, the program director reserves the right to decline requests for individual study. Individual study courses in the AFDS Program will typically be one semester in duration. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the end of the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of the proposed individual study preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval before the deadline. An IS counts toward credit for the AFDS concentration but no student may take more than two IS courses toward satisfaction of the curriculum requirements for the concentration. This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement.


Courses that meet the requirement for this concentration:

AMST 221Soul Culture
AMST 302DThe History of Jazz
AMST 321Race, Education, and Student Rebellion
ANTH 113Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 300Archaeology of the African Diaspora
ARHS 116Introduction to African Art
ARHS 247African Art in Motion
DRAM 258South African Theater
ENGL 288African American Literature
ENGL 366African Fiction
ENGL 386Toni Morrison
ENGL 390Black Women Writers
ENGL 421Black Shakespeares
ENGL 487The Mulatto in American Fiction
FILM 256African American Film
HIST 102DUnited States History, 1865– Present
HIST 145Early Africa
HIST 146Modern Africa
HIST 175Early Black History
HIST 176Contemporary Black History
HIST 242Americans in Africa
HIST 246Urban Africa
HIST 307Great African American Migration: 1900–1970
HIST 310The Civil War
HIST 312Blacks in the Age of Jim Crow
HIST 313Black Intellectuals
HIST 341African Women in Film and Fiction
HIST 349Contemporary West African History through Fiction and Film
HIST 350Race, Resistance and Revolution in South Africa
HIST 373Women of the Atlantic World
HIST 374The Atlantic World
HIST 380Black History through Fiction and Film
HIST 411The Civil Rights Era
HIST 412Race, Politics and Public Policy
HIST 413Race, Crime and Criminal Justice
HIST 444Faith and Power in Africa
MUSC 207Music and the African American Experience
MUSC 302DHistory of Jazz
RLST 135African Spirituality in the Americas
RLST 242African American Religions
RLST 252Rastafari: Movement of the Jah People
RLST 280Religion and Popular Music in the African Diaspora
SOCY 232Sexual Harassment: Normative Expectations and Legal Questions
SOCY 244Race, Ethnicity and American Law
SOCY 250Systems of Stratification
SOCY 385Du Boisian Sociology
SOCY 421Gender Stratification
SOCY 422Topics in Social Stratification
SOCY 463Intersectional Theory