2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog

Africana Studies

Students may complete a minor in Africana Studies.

Coordinator
Francis Higginson, French and Francophone Studies

Steering Committee

Michael Allen, Political Science
Linda-Susan Beard, English
Francis Higginson, French and Francophone Studies
Philip Kilbride, Anthropology
Elaine Mshomba, University of Pennsylvania
Kalala Ngalamulume, History
Mary Osirim, Sociology
Diala Toure, History of Art
Robert Washington, Sociology

The Africana Studies Program brings a global outlook to the study of Africa and the African Diaspora. Drawing on analytical perspectives from anthropology, economics, history, literary studies, political science and sociology, the program focuses on African people and African cultures within the context of increasing globalization and dramatic social, economic and political changes.

Bryn Mawr's Africana Studies Program participates in a U.S. Department of Education-supported consortium with Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges and the University of Pennsylvania. Through this consortium, Bryn Mawr students have an opportunity to take a broad range of courses beyond those offered in our program by enrolling in courses offered by the three other participating institutions. Also, Bryn Mawr's Africana Studies Program sponsors a study abroad semester at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and participates in other study abroad programs offered by its consortium partners in Zimbabwe, Ghana and Senegal.

Students are encouraged to begin their work in the Africana Studies Program by taking Introduction to African Civilizations (HIST B102). This introductory level course, which provides students with a common intellectual experience as well as the foundation for subsequent courses in Africana Studies, should be completed by the end of the student's junior year.

Minor Requirements

The requirements for a minor in Africana Studies are the following:

  1. One-semester interdisciplinary course Bryn Mawr HIST B102: Introduction to African Civilizations
    (ICPR 101 at Haverford).
  2. Five additional semester courses from an approved list of courses in Africana studies.
  3. A senior thesis or seminar-length essay in an area of Africana studies.

Students are encouraged to organize their course work along one of several prototypical routes. Such model programs might feature:

  1. Regional or area studies; for example, focusing on blacks in Latin America, the English-speaking Caribbean or North America.
  2. Thematic emphases; for example, exploring class politics, ethnic conflicts and/or economic development in West and East Africa.
  3. Comparative emphases; for example, problems of development, governance, public health or family and gender.

The final requirement for the Africana Studies minor is a senior thesis or its equivalent. If the department in which the student is majoring requires a thesis, she can satisfy the Africana Studies requirement by writing on a topic that is approved by her department and the Africana Studies Program coordinator. If the major department does not require a thesis, an equivalent written exercise—that is, a seminar-length essay—is required. The essay may be written within the framework of a particular course or as an independent study project. The topic must be approved by both the instructor in question and the Africana Studies Program coordinator.

ANTH B200 The Atlantic World 1492-1800

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the way in which peoples, goods, and ideas from Africa, Europe, and the Americas came together to form an interconnected Atlantic World system. The course is designed to chart the manner in which an integrated system was created in the Americas in the early modern period, rather than to treat the history of the Atlantic World as nothing more than an expanded version of North American, Caribbean, or Latin American history. Counts towards Africana Studies, Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Peoples and Cultures and Peace and Conflict Studies.
Division I or Division III
CROSS-LISTED AS HIST-B200
1.0 units
Gallup-Diaz,I.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ANTH B253 Childhood in the African Experience

An overview of cultural contexts and indigenous literatures concerning the richly varied experience and interpretation of infancy and childhood in selected regions of Africa. Cultural practices such as pregnancy customs, naming ceremonies, puberty rituals, sibling relationships, and gender identity are included. Modern concerns such as child abuse, street children, and other social problems of recent origin involving children are considered in terms of theoretical approaches current in the social sciences. Prerequisites: anthropology major, any social sciences introductory course, Africana studies concentration, or permission of instructor.
Division I: Social Science
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
1.0 units
Kilbride,P.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ANTH B341 Cultural Perspectives on Marriage and Family

This course considers various theoretical perspectives that inform our understanding of cross-cultural constructions of marriage and the family. Sociobiology, deviance, feminism, social constructionism, and cultural evolutionary approaches will be compared using primarily anthropological-ethnographic case examples. Cultural material from Africa and the United States will be emphasized. Applications will emphasize current U.S. socially contested categories such as same-sex marriage, plural marriage, gender diversity, divorce, and the blended family. Prerequisites: any history, biology, or social science major.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Kilbride,P.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ARCH B101 Introduction to Egyptian and Near Eastern Archaeology: Egypt and Mesopotamia

A historical survey of the archaeology and art of the ancient Near East and Egypt.
Division III: Humanities
Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
1.0 units
Evans,J., Ataç,M-A.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ARCH B230 Archaeology and History of Ancient Egypt

A survey of the art and archaeology of ancient Egypt from the Pre-Dynastic through the Graeco-Roman periods, with special emphasis on Egypt's Empire and its outside connections, especially the Aegean and Near Eastern worlds.
Division III: Humanities
Inquiry into the Past (IP)
1.0 units
Ataç,M-A.

CITY B237 Urbanization in Africa

The course examines the cultural, environmental, economic, political, and social factors that contributed to the expansion and transformation of preindustrial cities, colonial cities, and cities today. We will examine various themes, such as the relationship between cities and societies; migration and social change; urban space, health problems, city life, and women.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS HIST-B237
1.0 units
Ngalamulume,K.
Not offered in 2011-12.

CITY B266 Schools in American Cities

This course examines issues, challenges, and possibilities of urban education in contemporary America. We use as critical lenses issues of race, class, and culture; urban learners, teachers, and school systems; and restructuring and reform. While we look at urban education nationally over several decades, we use Philadelphia as a focal "case" that students investigate through documents and school placements. Enrollment is limited to 25 with priority given to students pursuing certification or the minor in educational studies and to majors in Sociology and Growth and Structure of Cities. This is a Praxis I course (weekly fieldwork in a school required).
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS EDUC-B266
CROSS-LISTED AS SOCL-B266
1.0 units
Cohen,J.
Not offered in 2011-12.

CITY B269 Black America in Sociological Perspective

This course provides sociological perspectives on various issues affecting black America: the legacy of slavery; the formation of urban ghettos; the struggle for civil rights; the continuing significance of discrimination; the problems of crime and criminal justice; educational under-performance; entrepreneurial and business activities; the social roles of black intellectuals, athletes, entertainers, and creative artists.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS SOCL-B229
1.0 units
Washington,R.
Not offered in 2011-12.

CITY B338 The New African Diaspora: African and Caribbean Immigrants in the United States

An examination of the socioeconomic experiences of immigrants who arrived in the United States since the landmark legislation of 1965. After exploring issues of development and globalization at "home" leading to migration, the course proceeds with the study of immigration theories. Major attention is given to the emergence of transnational identities and the transformation of communities, particularly in the northeastern United States.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS SOCL-B338
1.0 units
Osirim,M.
Not offered in 2011-12.

COML B279 Introduction to African Literature

This course examines major themes in modern Middle Eastern literatures through selected prose works by prominent modern writers in translation from Arabic, Hebrew, Persian and Turkish. Topics include tradition versus modernity, gender and the family, the individual and the state, and the impact of regional conflict.
Division III: Humanities
CROSS-LISTED AS ENGL-B279
1.0 units
Beard,L.
Not offered in 2011-12.

COML B388 Contemporary African Fiction

Noting that the official colonial independence of most African countries dates back only half a century, this course focuses on the fictive experiments of the most recent decade. A few highly controversial works from the 90's serve as an introduction to very recent work. Most works are in English. To experience depth as well as breadth, there is a small cluster of works from South Africa. With novels and tales from elsewhere on the huge African continent, we will get a glimpse of "living in the present" in history and letters.
Division III: Humanities
CROSS-LISTED AS ENGL-B388
1.0 units Beard,L.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ECON B324 The Economics of Discrimination and Inequality

Explores the causes and consequences of discrimination and inequality in economic markets. Topics include economic theories of discrimination and inequality, evidence of contemporary race- and gender-based inequality, detecting discrimination, and identifying sources of racial and gender inequality. Additionally, the instructor and students will jointly select supplementary topics of specific interest to the class. Possible topics include: discrimination in historical markets, disparity in legal treatments, issues of family structure, and education gaps. Prerequisites: At least one 200-level applied microeconomics elective, Economics 203 or 204, and Economics 200 or 202.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B334
1.0 units
Lanning,J.

EDUC B200 Critical Issues in Education

Designed to be the first course for students interested in pursuing one of the options offered through the Education Program, this course is also open to students who are not yet certain about their career aspirations but are interested in educational issues. The course examines major issues in education in the United States within the conceptual framework of educational reform. Fieldwork in an area school required (six visits, 1.5-2 hours per visit). Enrollment is limited to 25 students with priority given to students pursuing certification or the minor in educational studies. Writing intensive.
Division I: Social Science
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
1.0 units
Cohen,J.

EDUC B266 Schools in American Cities

This course examines issues, challenges, and possibilities of urban education in contemporary America. We use as critical lenses issues of race, class, and culture; urban learners, teachers, and school systems; and restructuring and reform. While we look at urban education nationally over several decades, we use Philadelphia as a focal "case" that students investigate through documents and school placements. Enrollment is limited to 25 with priority given to students pursuing certification or the minor in educational studies and to majors in Sociology and Growth and Structure of Cities. This is a Praxis I course (weekly fieldwork in a school required).
Division I: Social Science
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B266
CROSS-LISTED AS SOCL-B266
1.0 units
Curl,H.

ENGL B219 Facing the Facts/Essaying the Subjective

Nonfictional prose genres, which may well constitute the majority of all that has been written, are very seldom the focus of literature courses. This class will address that gap, by exploring the use-value of the category of non-fictional prose in organizing our experience of, and our thinking about, literature. Might our attending to such texts alter our sense of what literature is?
Division III: Humanities
Critical Interpretation (CI)
1.0 units
Dalke,A.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ENGL B234 Postcolonial Literature in English

This course will survey a broad range of novels and poems written while countries were breaking free of British colonial rule. Readings will also include cultural theorists interested in defining literary issues that arise from the postcolonial situation.
Division III: Humanities
Critical Interpretation (CI)
CROSS-LISTED AS COML-B234
1.0 units
Tratner,M.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ENGL B235 Reading Popular Culture: Freaks

This course traces the iconic figure of the "freak" in American culture, from 19th c. sideshows to the present. Featuring literature and films that explore "extraordinary Others", we will flesh out the ways in which our current understandings of gender, sexuality, normalcy, and race are constituted through images of "abnormality."
Division III: Humanities
1.0 units
Schneider,S.

ENGL B262 Survey in African American Literature

Pairing canonical African American fiction with theoretical, popular, and filmic texts from the late-19th Century through to the present day, we will address the ways in which the Black body, as cultural text, has come to be both constructed and consumed within the nation's imagination and our modern visual regime.
Division III: Humanities
Critical Interpretation (CI)
1.0 units
Schneider,S.

ENGL B263 Toni Morrison and the Art of Narrative Conjure

All of Morrison's primary imaginative texts, in publication order, as well as essays by Morrison, with a series of critical lenses that explore several vantages for reading a conjured narration.
Division III: Humanities
Critical Interpretation (CI)
1.0 units
Beard,L.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ENGL B264 Black Bards: Poetry in the Diaspora

An interrogation of poetric utterance in works of the African diaspora, primarily in English, this course addresses a multiplicity of genres, including epic, lyric, sonnet, rap, and mimetic jazz. The development of poetic theories at key moments such as the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement will be explored. Prerequisite: Any course in poetry or African/American literature.
Division III: Humanities
Critical Interpretation (CI)
1.0 units
Beard,L.

ENGL B279 Introduction to African Literature

Taking into account the oral, written, aural and visual forms of African "texts" over several thousand years, this course will explore literary production, translation and audience/critical reception. Representative works to be studied include oral traditions, the Sundiata Epic, Chinua Achebe's Anthills of the Savannah, Ayi Kwei Armah's Fragments, Mariama Bâ's Si Longe une Lettre, Tsitsi Danga-rembga's Nervous Conditions, Bessie Head's Maru, Sembène Ousmane's Xala, plays by Wole Soyinka and his Burden of History, The Muse of Forgiveness and Ngugi wa Thiong'o's A Grain of Wheat. We will address the "transliteration" of Christian and Muslim languages and theologies in these works.
Division III: Humanities
Critical Interpretation (CI)
CROSS-LISTED AS COML-B279
1.0 units Beard,L.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ENGL B344 After Beloved: Black Women Writers in the 21st Century

This course focuses on fiction, poetry and drama by Black women (African and Caribbean American) published since 2000. Attendant to the diversity of aesthetic and thematic approaches in this body of literature, we will explore exploding notions of racial identity and allegiance, as well as challenges to the boundaries of genre. Prerequisites: one African or African-American literature course at the 200-level or permission of the instructor.
Division III: Humanities
1.0 units
Solomon,A.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ENGL B346 Theories of Modernism

This course will investigate a wide range of works that have been labeled "modernist" in order to raise the question, "Was there one modernism or were there many disparate and competing ones?"
Division III: Humanities
1.0 units
Tratner,M.

ENGL B362 African American Literature: Hypercanonical Codes

Intensive study of six 18th-21st century hypercanonical African American written and visual texts (and critical responses) with specific attention to the tradition's long use of speaking in code and in multiple registers simultaneously. Focus on language as a tool of opacity as well as transparency, translation, transliteration, invention and resistance. Previous reading required.
Division III: Humanities
1.0 units
Beard,L.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ENGL B369 Women Poets: Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, Sylvia Plath

In this seminar we will be playing three poets off against each other, all of whom came of age during the 1950s. We will plot each poet's career in relation to the public and personal crises that shaped it, giving particular attention to how each poet constructed "poethood" for herself.
Division III: Humanities
1.0 units
Hedley,J.
Not offered in 2011-12.

ENGL B388 Contemporary African Fiction

Noting that the official colonial independence of most African countries dates back only half a century, this course focuses on the fictive experiments of the most recent decade. A few highly controversial works from the 90's serve as an introduction to very recent work. Most works are in English. To experience depth as well as breadth, there is a small cluster of works from South Africa. With novels and tales from elsewhere on the huge African continent, we will get a glimpse of "living in the present" in history and letters.
Division III: Humanities
CROSS-LISTED AS COML-B388
1.0 units Beard,L.
Not offered in 2011-12.

GNST B103 Introduction to Swahili Language and Culture I

The primary goal of this course is to develop an elementary level ability to speak, read, and write Swahili. The emphasis is on communicative competence in Swahili based on the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning. In the process of acquiring the language, students will also be introduced to East Africa and its cultures. No prior knowledge of Swahili or East Africa is required.
Division I or Division III
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
1.0 units
Mshomba,E.

GNST B105 Introduction to Swahili Language and Culture II

The primary goal of this course is to continue working on an elementary level ability to speak, read, and write Swahili. The emphasis is on communicative competence in Swahili based on the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning. Students will also continue learning about East Africa and its cultures. Introduction to Swahili Language and Culture I or permission of the instructor is required.
Division I or Division III
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
1.0 units
Mshomba,E.

HART B282 Arts of Sub-Saharan Africa

This course examines the significant artistic and architectural traditions of African cultures south of the Sahara in their religious, philosophical, political, and social aspects.
Division III: Humanities
Critical Interpretation (CI)
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
1.0 units
Toure,D.

HART B362 The African Art Collection

This seminar will introduce students to the African art holdings that are part of the Art and Archaeology Collections.
Division III: Humanities
1.0 units
Toure,D.

HIST B102 Introduction to African Civilizations

The course introduces students to African societies, cultures, and political economies in historical perspective, with emphasis on change and responses among African people living in Africa and outside.
Division I: Social Science
Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Critical Interpretation (CI)
1.0 units
Ngalamulume,K.

HIST B200 The Atlantic World 1492-1800

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of the way in which peoples, goods, and ideas from Africa, Europe, and the Americas came together to form an interconnected Atlantic World system. The course is designed to chart the manner in which an integrated system was created in the Americas in the early modern period, rather than to treat the history of the Atlantic World as nothing more than an expanded version of North American, Caribbean, or Latin American history.
Division I or Division III
Inquiry into the Past (IP)
CROSS-LISTED AS ANTH-B200
1.0 units
Gallup-Diaz,I.

HIST B235 Africa to 1800

The course explores the formation and development of African societies, with a special focus on the key processes of hominisation, agricultural revolution, metalworking, the formation of states, the connection of West Africa to the world economy, and the impact of European colonial rule on African societies in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Division I or Division III
Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
1.0 units
Ngalamulume,K.
Not offered in 2011-12.

HIST B237 Urbanization in Africa

The course examines the cultural, environmental, economic, political, and social factors that contributed to the expansion and transformation of preindustrial cities, colonial cities, and cities today. We will examine various themes, such as the relationship between cities and societies; migration and social change; urban space, health problems, city life, and women.
Division I: Social Science
Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B237
1.0 units
Ngalamulume,K.

HIST B243 Atlantic Cultures

The course explores the process of self-emancipation by slaves in the early modern Atlantic World. What was the nature of the communities that free blacks forged? What were their relationships to the empires from which they had freed themselves? How was race constructed in the early modern period? Did conceptions of race change over time? Through readings and discussion we will investigate the establishment of autonomous African settlements and cultures throughout the Americas, and examine the nature of local autonomy within a strife-torn world of contending empires and nation-states.
Division I or Division III
Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
1.0 units
Gallup-Diaz,I.
Not offered in 2011-12.

HIST B303 Topics in American History

This is a topic course. Recent topics have included medicine, advertising, and history of sexuality. Topic vary. Current topic description: Civil War and Memory. As we enter the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, this class looks at how this devastating conflict emerged as a central mythos for the American past. The Civil War has become enshrined with a host of contested meanings to generations of Americans ever since the Confederacy surrendered at Appomattox. During this semester we will explore some of those contested memories and attempt to understand the Civil War's deep presence in the American psyche.
Division I or Division III
1.0 units
Ullman,S.

HIST B336 Social and Cultural History of Medicine in Africa

The course will focus on the issues of public health history, social and cultural history of disease as well as the issues of the history of medicine. We will explore various themes, such as the indigenous theories of disease and therapies; disease, imperialism and medicine; medical pluralism in contemporary Africa; the emerging diseases, medical education, women in medicine, and differential access to health care. We will also explore the questions regarding the sources of African history and their quality.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Ngalamulume,K.

HIST B337 Topics in African History

This is a topics course. Topics vary. Enrollment limited to 15 students. Current topic description: History and politics of humanitarian aid. This course examines the consequences of the Cold War, civil wars and wars of independence in Africa as well as the humanitarian effort led by NGOs.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
Ngalamulume,K.

HIST B349 Topics in Comparative History

This is a topics course. Topics vary. Current topic description: This course will explore, in national and international contexts, the political economy, history and practice of post-colonial development aid, focusing (not exclusively) on the countries of South Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) and considering interventions, collaborations, conflicts and impacts of institutions ranging from local or "grassroots" NGOs to multi-lateral orgs like United Nations agencies, the World Bank, etc.
Division I or Division III
1.0 units
Kale,M.

POLS B243 African and Caribbean Perspectives in World Politics

This course makes African and Caribbean voices audible as they create or adopt visions of the world that explain their positions and challenges in world politics. Students learn analytical tools useful in understanding other parts of the world. Prerequisite: POLS 141.
Division I: Social Science
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
1.0 units
Allen,M.
Not offered in 2011-12.

SOCL B207 The Social Dynamics of Oppression

This course offers an introduction to prejudice and the dynamics of oppression at the individual, institutional and socio-cultural levels. The course provides a theoretical framework for understanding social oppression and inter-group relations. This course will also examine the theory behind how social identity groups form and how bias develops.
Division I: Social Science
1.0 units
MacDonald-Dennis,C.
Not offered in 2011-12.

SOCL B225 Women in Society

A study of the contemporary experiences of women of color in the Global South. The household, workplace, community, and the nation-state, and the positions of women in the private and public spheres are compared cross-culturally. Topics include feminism, identity and self-esteem; globalization and transnational social movements and tensions and transitions encountered as nations embark upon development.
Division I: Social Science
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
1.0 units
Osirim,M.
Not offered in 2011-12.

SOCL B229 Black America in Sociological Perspective

This course provides sociological perspectives on various issues affecting black America: the legacy of slavery; the formation of urban ghettos; the struggle for civil rights; the continuing significance of discrimination; the problems of crime and criminal justice; educational under-performance; entrepreneurial and business activities; the social roles of black intellectuals, athletes, entertainers, and creative artists.
Division I: Social Science
Inquiry into the Past (IP)
Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B269
1.0 units
Washington,R.
Not offered in 2011-12.

SOCL B266 Schools in American Cities

This course examines issues, challenges, and possibilities of urban education in contemporary America. We use as critical lenses issues of race, class, and culture; urban learners, teachers, and school systems; and restructuring and reform. While we look at urban education nationally over several decades, we use Philadelphia as a focal "case" that students investigate through documents and school placements. Enrollment is limited to 25 with priority given to students pursuing certification or the minor in educational studies and to majors in Sociology and Growth and Structure of Cities. This is a Praxis I course (weekly fieldwork in a school required).
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS EDUC-B266
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B266
1.0 units
Cohen,J.
Not offered in 2011-12.

SOCL B338 The New African Diaspora: African and Caribbean Immigrants in the United States

An examination of the socioeconomic experiences of immigrants who arrived in the United States since the landmark legislation of 1965. After exploring issues of development and globalization at "home" leading to migration, the course proceeds with the study of immigration theories. Major attention is given to the emergence of transnational identities and the transformation of communities, particularly in the northeastern United States.
Division I: Social Science
CROSS-LISTED AS CITY-B338
1.0 units
Osirim,M.
Not offered in 2011-12.

Africana Studies courses currently offered at Haverford include:

Fall 2011

ANTH H249 Colonialism, Law, Human Rights in Africa
ENGL H265 African American Literature
HIST H114 Origins of the Global South
HIST H243 African American Political History Since 1865
ICPR H101 Introduction to African and Africana Studies
POLS H345 Islam, Democracy and Development
RELG H137 Black Religion and Liberation Theology

Spring 2012

ANTH H155 Themes in the Anthropology of Religion
BIOL H124 Perspectives in Biology: Tropical Infectious Disease
ENGL H270 Portraits in Black: The Influence of an Emergent African-American Culture\
ENGL H275 Thinking Globally, Writing Locally
ENGL H363 Topics in American Literature
POLS H235 African Politics
RELG H132 Varieties of African American Religious Experience
RELG H242 Topics in Religion and Intellectual History: The Religious Writings of James Baldwin
SPAN H340 The Moor in Spanish Literature