UVa Course Catalog (Unofficial, Lou's List)
Catalog of Courses for African-American & African Studies    
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These pages present data mined from the University of Virginia's student information system (SIS). I hope that you will find them useful. — Lou Bloomfield, Department of Physics
African-American and African Studies
AAS 1010Introduction to African-American and African Studies I (4.00)
This introductory course surveys the histories of people of African descent in Africa, the Americas, and the Caribbean from approximately the Middle Ages to the 1880s. Emphases include the Atlantic slave trade and its complex relationship to Africa; the economic systems, cultures, and communities of Africans and African-Americans in the New World, in slavery and in freedom; the rise of anti-slavery movements; and the socio-economic systems that replaced slavery in the late 19th century.
AAS 1020Introduction to African-American and African Studies II (4.00)
Offered
Spring 2018
This introductory course builds upon the histories of people of African descent in Africa, the Americas, and the Caribbean surveyed in AAS 1010. Drawing on disciplines such as Anthropology, History, Religious Studies, Political Science and Sociology, the course focuses on the period from the late 19th century to the present and is comparative in perspective. It examines the links and disjunctions between communities of African descent in the United States and in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. The course begins with an overview of AAS, its history, assumptions, boundaries, and topics of inquiry, and then proceeds to focus on a number of inter-related themes: patterns of cultural experience; community formation; comparative racial classification; language and society; family and kinship; religion; social and political movements; arts and aesthetics; and archaeology of the African Diaspora.
AAS 1559New Course in African and African American Studies (1.00 - 4.00)
New course in the subject of African American Studies.
Course was offered Fall 2016, Spring 2010
AAS 2224Black Femininities and Masculinities in the US Media (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2018
This course, taught as a lower-level seminar, will address the role the media has played in creating images and understandings of 'Blackness' in the United States, particularly where it converges with popular ideologies about gender.
AAS 2450The Health of Black Folks (3.00)
An interdisciplinary course analyzing the relationship between black bodies and biomedicine both historically and in the present. The course is co-taught by Norm Oliver, M.D. (UVa Department of Family Medicine), and offers political, economic, and post-structuralist lenses with which to interpret the individual and socio/cultural health and disease of African-Americans. Readings range across several disciplines including anthropology, epidemiology/public health, folklore, history, science studies, political science, sociology and literary criticism. Topics will vary and may include: HIV/AIDS; reproductive issues; prison, crime and drugs; and body size/image and obesity; the legacy of the Tuskegee Syphilis Trials. Cross listed as ANTH 2450.
AAS 2559New Course in African and African American Studies (1.00 - 4.00)
New course in the subject of African and African American Studies
AAS 2657Routes, Writing, Reggae (3.00)
In this course, we will trace the history of reggae music and explore its influence on the development of Jamaican literature. With readings on Jamaican history, we will consider why so many reggae songs speak about Jah and quote from the Bible. Then, we will explore how Marcus Garvey's teachings led to the rise of Rastafarianism, which in turn seeded ideas of black pride and black humanity into what would become reggae music.
AAS 2700Festivals of the Americas (3.00)
Communities throughout the Caribbean, and South, Central and North America celebrate festivals which are rooted in religious devotion, and which serve to mark sacred time and and to assert claims about religious, ethnic, and national identities. The class will read ethnographic accounts and listen to musical recordings of signature religious festivals--such as Saint Patrick's Day in Boston, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and Carnival in Brazil.
Course was offered Fall 2013, Fall 2012, Fall 2011, Fall 2009
AAS 2740Peoples and Cultures of Africa (3.00)
In this course, students will gain an understanding of the richness and variety of African life. While no course of this kind can hope to give more than a broad overview of the continent, students will learn which intellectual tools and fundamental principles are necessary for approaching the study of the hundreds of cultural worlds that exist today on the African continent. This course will draw from ethnographic texts, literary works and film.
AAS 3000Women and Religion in Africa (3.00)
This course examines women's religious activities, traditions and spirituality in a number of different African contexts. Drawing on ethnographic, historical, literary, and religious studies scholarship, we will explore a variety of themes and debates that have emerged in the study of gender and religion in Africa. Topics will include gendered images of sacred power; the construction of gender through ritual; sexuality and fertility; and women
AAS 3157Caribbean Perspectives (3.00)
Breaking with popular constructions of the region as a timeless tropical paradise, this course will re-define the Caribbean as the birthplace of modern forms of capitalism, globalization, and trans-nationalism. We will survey the founding moments of Caribbean history, including the imposition of slavery, the rise of plantation economies, and the development of global networks of goods and peoples.
Course was offered Fall 2010, Fall 2009
AAS 3200Martin, Malcolm and America (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2018
An intensive examination of African-American social criticism centered upon, but not limited to, the life and thought of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. We will come to grips with the American legacy of racial hatred and oppression systematized in the institutions of antebellum chattel slavery and post-bellum racial segregation and analyze the array of critical responses to, and social struggles against, this legacy.
AAS 3210Slavery Since Emancipation (3.00)
This intermediate seminar offers a historical and intersectional approach to understanding how slavery has evolved in the United States since the end of the Civil War.
AAS 3231Rise and Fall of the Slave South (3.00)
A history of the American South from the arrival of the first English settlers through the end of Reconstruction in 1877. Cross-listed with HIUS 3231.
AAS 3240Plantations in Africa and the Americas (3.00)
Comparative analysis of plantation culture, economy and polity in Africa, the US, and the Caribbean. Prerequisite: ANTH 1010 or permission of instructor.
AAS 3245Slavery in the Contemporary Literary Imagination (3.00)
This course will examine the work of African American authors whose work forms a subgenre of African American letters sometimes called the neo-slave narrative, concerned to explore and expand the historical and creative representation of slavery in the US and the UK. We will explore the limits of literary forms, racial (mis)representation and the historical records that have yielded this compelling production of writing in the past 30 years.
AAS 3250MotherLands: Landscapes of Hunger, Futures of Plenty (3.00)
This course explores the legacy of the "hidden wounds" left upon the landscape by plantation slavery along with the visionary work of ecofeminist scholars and activists daring to imagine an alternative future. Readings, guest lectures, and field trips illumine the ways in which gender, race, and power are encoded in historical, cultural, and physical landscapes associated with planting/extraction regimes such as tobacco, mining, sugar, and corn.
Course was offered Spring 2012
AAS 3280Reading the Black College Campus (3.00)
Historically Black Colleges and University campuses are records of the process of democratizing (extending to excluded social groups such as African-Americans) opportunities for higher education in America. Through landscapes, we trace this record, unearthing the politics of landscapes via direct experience as well as via interpretations of representations of landscapes in literature, visual arts, maps, plans, and photographs.
Course was offered Fall 2013, Fall 2011
AAS 3300Social Science Perspectives on African American and African Studies (3.00)
This course will focus on major debates, theories, and methodological approaches in the social sciences that contribute to African American Studies. The course helps students to consider how a multidisciplinary approach enriches efforts to analyze such issues as health disparities, education, and incarceration as they relate to the African Diaspora.
AAS 3351African Diaspora Religions (3.00)
This seminar examines changes in ethnographic accounts of African diaspora religions, with particular attention to the conceptions of religion, race, nation, and modernity found in different research paradigms. Prerequisite: previous course in one of the following: religious studies, anthropology, AAS, or Latin American studies.
AAS 3356Culture, Race and World Politics (3.00)
This course explores the role of culture and race in international politics. Cultural and ethnic factors have long influenced international relations, especially in the post Cold War era. These "identity" issues raise new questions about the role of national sovereighty and the prospects for democracy in countries around the world. We focus on several broad themes structured around the pivot of identity and otherness.
AAS 3400Changing Worlds, Making Tradition: Culture and Identity in South Africa (3.00)
Students will have a unique opportunity to explore another culture that of the Venda region in South Africa with linguists from that region. Students will work with visiting faculty to consider the forces shaping Venda culture today. In particular, we will discuss the ways in which indigenous knowledge is constructed and contested in contemporary Africa, and the intersections of this practice with post-colonial thought.
Course was offered Summer 2014
AAS 3456The Supreme Court and the Civil Rights Movement (3.00)
This course explores the role of the United States Supreme Court in defining the legality of racial distinctions in the United States in the post-Civil War era. Special attention is paid to the role of the court's landmark 1954 decision, Brown v. Board of Education. The class will be taught in a discussion format based upon assigned readings.
AAS 3457Issues in Civil Rights Law (3.00)
An exploration of critical issues in modern civil rights law. We engage competing visions of racial equality through law by examining topics such as school desegregation, affirmative action, urban policymaking, and the crisis of mass incarceration. This course will also highlight the limitations of civil rights law and consider the ways in which the law is often complicit in perpetuating race, gender and class hierarchies.
Course was offered Summer 2011
AAS 3471History of American Labor (3.00)
This course examines the economic, cultural, and political lives of the US working classes from the end of the Civil War to the present.
AAS 3500Intermediate Seminar in African-American & African Studies (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2018
Reading, class discussion, and written assignments on a special topic in African-American and African Studies Topics change from term to term, and vary with the instructor. Primarily for fourth-year students but open to others.
AAS 3559New Course in African and African American Studies (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2018
New course in the subject of African and African American Studies.
AAS 3645Musical Fictions (3.00)
Over the course of the semester, we will explore the genre of the contemporary musical novel in order to better understand why writers and readers are so intrigued by the figure of the musician as a literary trope. Pairing close listening and music theory with close readings of seminal blues, jazz, reggae, mambo, calypso and rock novels set in the US, UK, Jamaica, Trinidad, France and Germany.
AAS 3652African American History since 1865 (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2018
This course surveys the major political, economic, and cultural developments in black America from the end of the Civil War to the present. Through an engagement with various primary and secondary texts, and multimedia, students examine African Americans' endeavors to build strong families and communities, create socially meaningful art, and establish a political infrastructure capable of bringing into existence a more just and humane world.
AAS 3671History of the Civil Rights Movement (3.00)
This course examines the history and legacy of the African American struggle for civil rights in twentieth century America. It provides students with a broad overview of the civil rights movement -- the key issues, significant people and organizations, and pivotal events -- as well as a deeper understanding of its scope, influence, legacy, and lessons for today.
AAS 3710African Worlds through Life Stories (3.00)
This course examines an array of African cultural worlds from the perspective of a variety of different life story genres. We will be addressing biography, autobiography, autofiction, memoirs, diaries, biographical documentary film and various artistic representations. Some critics claim that such genres, concentrating on the 'individual' in Western terms, are not appropriate for representing African experiences of personhood.
AAS 3745Currents in African Literature (3.00)
In this course, we will read a sampling of some exciting new works of fiction from Africa's young and established writers. In particular, we will examine the literary innovations that African writers use to narrate issues affecting the continent such as dictatorship, the lingering effects of colonization, the postcolonial nation state, the traumas of war and geo-politics, religion, gender and sexuality, and migration, among others.
AAS 3749Food and Meaning in Africa and the Diaspora (3.00)
This course investigates the traditions and symbolics of food and eating in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora -- wherever people of African descent have migrated or have been forced to move. This course will help students to investigate the way the foods people eat' or don't eat' hold meaning for people within a variety of cultural contexts.Topics will include symbol, taboo, sexuality, bodies, ritual, kinship & beauty, among others.
AAS 3810Race, Culture and Inequality (3.00)
This course will examine how culture matters for understanding race and social inequality. It will survey social science research about cultural forms such as everyday discourse, styles of dress, music, literature, visual arts, and media as they relate to race and inequality.
AAS 3820Race, Medicine and Incarceration (3.00)
This intermediate seminar course explores selected topics in the history of race, medicine, and incarceration (broadly defined) and the ways in which the captive black body has functioned as a site of medical exploitation and profit from the period of slavery to the present.
AAS 3830Being Human: Race, Technology, and the Arts (3.00)
This course is an introduction to Afrofuturism, exploring race and alienness, race and technology, and race and modernity through global futuristic representations of blackness in TV, film, music, art, and literature.
AAS 3853From Redlined to Subprime: Race and Real Estate in the U.S. (3.00)
This course examines the history of housing and real estate and explores its role in shaping the meaning and lived experience of race in modern America. We will learn how and why real estate ownership, investment, and development came to play a critical role in the formation and endurance of racial segregation, modern capitalism, and the built environment.
AAS 4070Directed Reading and Research (3.00)
Students in the Distinguished Majors Program should enroll in this course for their first semester of thesis research.
AAS 4080Thesis (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2018
Second-semester DMP students should enroll in this course to complete their theses.
AAS 4109Civil Rights Movement and the Media (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2018
Course examines the crucial relationship between the Civil Rights Movement and mass media from 1950s through early 1970s, looking at a variety of media forms: Hollywood cinema, network television, mainstream newspapers, photojournalism, the black press, and news as primary documents that can tell us something about American race relations during this period and how the nation responded to challenges posed by a powerful social change movement.
Course was offered Spring 2017, Spring 2014
AAS 4471Black Women and Work (3.00)
This advanced seminar explores selected topics in the history of black women and work (broadly defined) in the United States. Using gender, race, and class as essential categories of analysis, this course is designed to help students better understand the myriad contributions working class black women have made to American history--across time and space--as slaves, convict laborers, domestic servants, sex workers, labor activists, and more.
AAS 4500Advanced Seminar in African-American and African Studies (3.00)
Reading, class discussion, and research on a special topic in African-American and African Studies culminatiing in the composition of a research paper. Topics change from term to term, and vary with the instructor. Primarily for fourth-year students but open to others.
AAS 4501Advanced Research Seminar in History & AAS (4.00)
Reading, class discussion, and research on a special topic in African-American and African Studies culminating in the composition of a research paper. Topics change from term to term, and vary with the instructor. Primarily for fourth-year AAS and History students--double majors and others. Crosslisted with the History major seminar.
AAS 4559New Course in African and African American Studies (1.00 - 4.00)
New course in the subject of African and African American Studies.
Course was offered Spring 2015, Spring 2014
AAS 4570Advanced Research Seminar in African-American & African Studies (3.00)
Offered
Spring 2018
Reading, class discussion, and research on a special topic in African-American and African Studies culminating in the composition of a research paper. Topics change from term to term, and vary with the instructor. Primarily for fourth-year students but open to others.
AAS 4724Africa in the U.S. Media (3.00)
This course will address the role the media has played in creating images and understandings of "Africa" and "Blackness" in this country. We will focus primarily on the context of the present-day United States. However, we will also address pre-colonial and colonial periods and touch on the role of popular media in particular contemporary African contexts.
AAS 4845Black Speculative Fiction (3.00)
This course seeks to explore the world of African American 'speculative' fiction. This genre of writing largely includes science fiction, fantasy fiction, and horror. In this class, we will read, watch, and discuss narratives by black writers of speculative fiction to better understand the motivation, tone, and agenda in the work of black writers. We will also consider the role of black culture and representation in the larger field.
Course was offered Spring 2011, Spring 2010
AAS 4993Independent Study (1.00 - 12.00)
Offered
Spring 2018
Allows students to work on an individual research project. Students must propose a topic to an appropriate faculty member, submit a written proposal for approval, prepare an extensive annotated bibliography on relevant readings comparable to the reading list of a regular upper-level course, and complete a research paper of at least 20 pages.
AAS 5559New Course in African and African American Studies (1.00 - 4.00)
New course in the subject of African and African American Studies.
Course was offered Fall 2012, Fall 2010