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. Enrollment is limited to 15 students. This counts toward 0.5 units in AFDS or AMST. 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. No prerequisite. Generally offered every spring.

One of the more important intellectual movements of the last decade, black British cultural studies 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 also will 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.This interdisciplinary course does not count toward the completion of any diversification requirement. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Generally offered every two years.

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: AFDS 110 and one mid-level course that may be counted toward the AFDS concentration or permission of instructor.

The Individual Study course (IS) option within the African Diaspora Studies Program is a flexible concept to be negotiated between students, faculty members 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 registrar’s 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.

Concentration

Courses that meet the requirement for this concentration:

AMST 110August Wilson and Black Pittsburgh
ANTH 113Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ENGL 288African-American Literature
ENGL 366African Fiction
ENGL 386Toni Morrison
ENGL 487The Mulatto in American Fiction
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 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 411The Civil Rights Era
HIST 412Race, Politics and Public Policy
HIST 444Faith and Power in Africa
PSCI 332African American Political Thought
PSYC 424Advanced Research Methods in Cross-cultural Psychology
RLST 235African Spirituality in the Americas
RLST 342Religion 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 421Gender Stratification
SOCY 422Topics in Social Stratification
SOCY 463Intersectional Theory