This course introduces students to the vibrant and multifaceted field of Africana Studies by critically exploring and analyzing the links and disjunctures in the cultural, political, and intellectual practices and experiences of people of African descent throughout the African diaspora. Throughout this term, we will explore some of the major ideological, political, and intellectual challenges that are faced by people of African descent, and the evolution of those challenges throughout history.

Africana Studies is both a discipline in the traditional sense, as well as an area of inquiry to which one brings tools from various disciplines and applies them to this particular discipline in creative and meaningful ways. This semester we will examine the rise of Africana Studies in the United States and explore some of the major themes that structure the research of Africana scholars. Topics of study include: Pre-colonial African societies, Anti-Bellum and Post-Bellum periods, Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, Black Nationalism, Negritude, colonization and decolonization in Africa and the African Diaspora, the Civil Rights Movement and Africana Studies in the 70s, gender relations, globalization, constructions of Blackness, and music/hip-hop.