Digital Africana Studies

Exploring the intersections between Africana Studies, technology and Digital Humanities. It is through the use of digital tools that we are able to express our understanding of Africana Studies and affords faculty multimodal delivery approaches. 

AFAS 421 - When African Americans Came to Paris

African American expatriates in Paris were present before the turn of the 20th Century, going there for a variety of reasons: Racism in the States, opportunities abroad, and the ability to be oneself without the stigma of race attached to that identity were among those reasons. 

This course explores the fascinating history of African Americans in Paris from artists and musicians to writers, entrepreneurs and statesmen; when African Americans came to Paris, life for them at home and abroad changed forever.   

AFAS 497P - Global Africana Studies Experience: When African Americans Came to Paris, (short term study abroad trip to Paris, France)

This one-credit course offers students the unique opportunity to travel to Paris, France during Spring Break to experience that which we study throughout the term in AFAS 421, complete a collaborative video documenting that experience,  work on and implement an Augmented Reality Project broadcast and record in 360 video, create compelling and engaging digital stories and more. 

AFAS 160 -  Introduction to African American literature

In this course we will examine some of the major debates and central texts of African American literature from many different perspectives. The central theme of the course will be the relationship between race, representation and identity. The issues taken up by the writers and artists we will consider over the semester are still important and unresolved for us hundreds of years later.

AFAS 377 - Digital Africana Studies: Experiencing the Harlem Renaissance

In the 1920s and 1930s, the soulful rhythms of blues and jazz signaled an explosion of African American creativity. During this period, known as the New Negro Movement and later known as the Harlem Renaissance, musicians, dancers, visual artists, writers, and scholars sought to define their African heritage in American culture. During the period from just after World War I until a few years after the stock market crash in 1929, the vibrancy of the newly discovered African American art, music and literature were celebrated in Harlem, New York and reached even to the “city of light”, Paris, France.  Why Harlem? Why Paris? Several factors contributed to these places and this time.  These are a few of the many questions we will address in this course and explore through the use of digital technologies. The Harlem Renaissance is considered the first important movement of black artists and writers in the US, many of whom used experimental techniques to express their individuality. Likewise, our course methodology will incorporate interactive and experimental technologies to explore the movement, encouraging students to use a variety of digital tools to express an overall understanding of the Harlem Renaissance.

AFAS 378 - AfroFuturism and Black Speculative Fiction Through the Ages

Overall, this course will explore the construction of modern and future worlds from the perspective of global black experiences. To this end, our focus on issues of oppression on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender and class, and the analysis of key concepts related to economic production, literature, religion, culture and social interaction will be explored through Afrofuturism, literature, music, film and technology.