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Academics > Majors & Minors > Africana Studies



Fred Hord

Professor & Chair of Africana Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Requirements for the major

10 credits in the program as follows:

  • Core Courses: Introductory courses: AFST 101, AFST 145 and AFST 263
  • Five electives selected from other Africana Studies courses including at least one credit at the 300-level and no more than one credit at the 100-level. No more than one credit is counted from AFST 250, AFST 350 and/or internship (see below)
  • AFST 389
  • AFST 399
  • (Optional) An internship for credit, practicum or other approved community-based work may be substituted for up to one elective credit. Approval of the Chair of Africana Studies is required.

Requirements for the minor

5 credits in the program as follows:

  • AFST 101
  • 4 additional credits in Africana Studies, of which one may be taken as an independent study
  • A student project that applies the perspectives of Africana Studies to material experience outside the context of an explicitly Africana Studies course. The project may be done within the context of: (a) an Honors project (b) an internship, work experience, or community action. Students doing such an action-oriented project submit a written report of their activities.

The choice of a project is made in consultation with the Chair of Africana Studies.

Course Descriptions

AFST 101. Introduction to Africana Studies. (1)

An interdisciplinary broad survey of the experience of people of African descent. Although focus is on the African American facet, the African and Black Caribbean experiences are examined, especially where they connect with the African American dimension. Disciplines explored include history, religion, sociology, political science, economics, art, music, literature, and psychology. HSS; DV; F. Hord; K. Shabazz;

AFST 145. Introduction to African Studies. (1)

An interdisciplinary introduction to African history and culture, with consideration given to the philosophies, religions, politics, economics, social life, education, and the arts of African peoples. Beginning with African classical civilization, the course explores the early African presence in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, traditional African philosophies and religions, the impact of Islamic and European slavery, the experiences of colonialism, neo-colonialism and apartheid, and the ideas of twentieth-century leaders. We also explore the major problems of contemporary African development. Alternate years. HSS; Cross Listing: HIST 145; DV; F. Hord; K. Shabazz;

AFST 205. Race and Ethnic Relations. (1)

The course examines the development and role of race and ethnicity in comparative perspective. HSS; Cross Listing: ANSO 205; DV; W. Hunigan;

AFST 206. Theory in the Flesh: Writings by Feminists of Color. (1)

This course is an introduction to the rich and diverse contributions of women of color to feminist theory. We investigate the question of why many non-white, non-middle class women have challenged the claims and practices of Euro-American feminism. Black, Chicana, Asian-American and Native American feminists address race and racism as it affects their lives, and invite white feminists to do the same. The goal is to renegotiate a basis for feminist solidarity. HUM; Cross Listing: GWST 206; DV; M. Roy-Féquière;

AFST 207. Black Women in the Civil Rights Movement. (1)

An historical survey of Black women in the modern Civil Rights Movement, especially of their significant contributions. We shall explore the virtual silence regarding those contributions for almost a quarter of a century and how that silence was broken. The most prominent organizations will be examined and the gender and class issues that evolved. Finally, the sexism of Black men in the movement will be assessed, along with interracial relationships. Cross Listing: GWST 207; DV; F. Hord; K. Shabazz;

AFST 210. Jazz History. (1)

Survey course and topical seminar designed to broaden student's knowledge of the spectrum of recorded jazz with a heavy emphasis on listening, primary source readings, speaking, and critical writing. The course examines the basic musical elements that define jazz as a unique musical idiom by examining stylistic periods, major innovators, performers and composers, issues of improvisation, and musical practices. Primary source readings contextualize music through discussions of the complex relationships between jazz, ethnicity, gender, economics, politics and social history. HUM; Cross Listing: MUS 210; DV; N. Malley;

AFST 215. Black Psychology. (1)

An exploration of the different models--inferiority, deprivation/deficit, multicultural--in psychological research regarding critical issues in the African American experience, such as personality, psychological assessment, education, expressiveness, racism, mental health, counseling, family functioning, and male/female relationships. Using the major contemporary schools of black psychology, the different configurations of the reformist and radical models are analyzed regarding their implications for the self-actualization and mental health of all in a multicultural society. Alternate years. Cross Listing: PSYC 215; F. Hord; K. Shabazz;

AFST 220. Francophone African Literature. (1)

An introduction to African authors who write in French. The texts exist in an underlying conflict between two cultures: African and European. The course emphasizes the relationship between the texts and the socio-economic and political structures. HUM; Prerequisite(s): FREN 210 or FREN 211; Cross Listing: FREN 220;FREN 220; C. Akuetey;

AFST 227. The Black Image in American Film. (1)

Since the beginning of the American film industry, white, black and other filmmakers have used the black image to interrogate American identity. This course focuses upon the often contentious dialog between white and black filmmakers, critics, and activists over the creation and control of the black image - a struggle that has been a fundamental component of the American film industry since its creation. Examination of this artistic conflict helps students to explore the larger social struggles and issues surrounding race in American society, as well as to experience the richness of African American culture and the vibrant history of American film and criticism. Above all, students learn to see the political, social and economic context in which film is created, viewed, and understood. Some of the issues to be discussed include: the black aesthetic; representations of the black family, religion, and gender/sexuality by Hollywood vs. independent black films; the changing black image in film over time; the business and economics of filmmaking. Prerequisite(s): sophomore standing or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: AMST 227;FILM 227;HIST 227; DV; M. Roy-Féquière; K. Hamilton;

AFST 228. Environmental Racism. (1)

This course focuses upon issues of environmental quality, and how the cost to human health and access to environmental benefits is often distributed according to race and poverty. Proposals devised by environmental and civil rights groups working within the growing environmental justice movement are also explored. The goal is to help students understand more fully how decisions affecting the health of neighborhoods, regions, and groups of people are made, and what individuals can do about it. The link between environmental issues and past and present discrimination is examined from an interdisciplinary perspective, requiring students to do work in both the natural and social sciences. Fieldwork will also be required. Cross Listing: ENVS 228;ENVS 228;HIST 228; DV; P. Schwartzman; K. Hamilton;

AFST 233. African American Literature. (1)

A survey of African American literature from the mid-eighteenth century to the present. Major literary movements, major writers, and folk literature are studied in historical, cultural, and purposive context. Consideration is given to the form and language of the literature, as well as to the dynamics of cultural repression. Alternate years. HUM; Cross Listing: ENG 233; DV; F. Hord;

AFST 234. African and Black Caribbean Literature. (1)

A survey of twentieth-century African and Black Caribbean literature. After tracing the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century backgrounds of that literature, we explore the Indigenism, Negritude, and Negrista movements, including the interaction between African and Black Caribbean writers. Post-World War II writing includes emphasis on its increased visibility in the 1950s; the art, nationalism/Pan-Africanism, and orality orientations since 1960; and the question of language. Alternate years. HUM; Cross Listing: ENG 234; DV; F. Hord;

AFST 235. African American Women Writers. (1)

A broad survey of the poetry, fiction, autobiographies and literary criticism of African American women. Beginning with late eighteenth-century poetry, we explore the themes and images of black women and men, language, settings, and form of that literature. With African American women at the center of discourse speaking as subjects, we further examine the interlocking of gender, race, and class and the uniqueness of their experience as reflected in their literature, as well as how the historical context of internal colonialism has affected their voices. Alternate years. HUM; Cross Listing: ENG 235;GWST 235; DV; M. Roy-Féquière;

AFST 236. Culture and Identity in the Caribbean. (1)

This course offers a study of the diversity and distinctiveness of cultural practices and social contexts of the Pan-Caribbean, understood broadly. We examine the rhythms of everyday life of Caribbean people and how these articulate with historic and contemporary experiences of migration - both forced and free - of remembrances and forgetting, of social organization and political economy, and of the affective power of cultural expressions and identities. We foreground these vantage points through a series of stories, essays, films, music, and selected ethnographic case studies. Prerequisite(s): Two courses in ANSO or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: ANSO 234; W. Hope;

AFST 240. Caribbean Literature and Culture. (1)

The course surveys literary, historical and political works that have shaped ideas on race and culture in the Caribbean context. Special attention is given to critical readings of such texts as Columbus' letters to the Spanish crown; the 19th century Cuban anti-slavery narrative; and to the highly original literature of the Negritude movement. In addition we reflect on the significance of popular culture as a creative response to racial and social oppression. Cross Listing: LAST 240; M. Roy-Féquière;

AFST 254. Music of the African Diaspora. (1)

This course examines the transmission of music from Africa throughout Europe, South America, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the U.S. We examine the ways in which African musical systems have traveled, changed, and incorporated new sounds, how the African experience differs around the globe and how displaced communities share core social processes and characteristics. Students examine the concept of blackness as a broad and heterogeneous set of qualities that extend beyond the boundaries of Africanism and African-Americanism. Music studied includes West, North and South Africa, Reggae, Jazz, Blues, Afro-Cuban Santeria, Samba, Candomble, Copeira, Merengue, and World Beat. Prerequisite(s): sophomore standing or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: MUS 254; O; DV; N. Malley;

AFST 260. African Dimensions of the Latin America Experience. (1)

A survey of the African relationships with the Latin American peoples in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Beginning with the Pre-Columbian contacts, we focus on Mexico, Brazil, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Cuba, with some attention given to Guatemala, Argentina, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. Alternate years. Prerequisite(s): sophomore standing or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: LAST 260; F. Hord;

AFST 263. Slavery in the Americas. (1)

This course surveys the experiences of Africans enslaved in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States. It is designed to introduce students to the complex history and issues of slavery, and to help them understand the origins, nature and impact of this institution. Slavery is examined both as an international system with global impact, and as a comparison of the smaller local systems of individual slave societies. Some of the subjects addressed include: European economic motivation and gain; capture and enslavement in Africa; differences between slave systems in the Americas; comparisons of slave revolts and abolition movements; African cultural retention in different slave populations; comparison of racist ideology and race relations in different slave societies. This course serves as the first half of the African-American history series, and as a required course for the major in Black Studies. HSS; Cross Listing: HIST 263;HIST 263;LAST 263; DV; K. Hamilton;

AFST 278. Stereotypes and Prejudice. (1)

This course is an introduction to the psychological literature on stereotypes and prejudice. We study general concepts and theories, as well as examine stereotypes and prejudice directed at particular groups. Emphasis is placed on the evaluation and discussion of this material. Prerequisite(s): PSYC 100; Cross Listing: PSYC 278; DV; K. Shaw;

AFST 285. Black Philosophy. (1)

An introduction to the black philosophical tradition of self in community from its origins in ancient Egyptian myth and ritual to contemporary African American thinkers. Authors read include, among others, W.E.B. Du Bois, C.L.R. James, bell hooks, Kwame Nkrumah, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Angela Davis and Cornel West. Alternate years. HUM; Prerequisite(s): one course in Africana Studies, one course in Philosophy, or permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: PHIL 285; DV; F. Hord; K. Shabazz;

AFST 335. "Afridentity" and "Hispanicity" in Caribbean Literature from 19th Century to Present. (1)

This course examines the intersectionality of race, class, and color in the literatures of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic from the 19th century to the present. Through literature, film and other media, we analyze the images and experiences of blacks and mulattoes in relation to the conceptualization of Latin American identity in these countries. The course focuses on the relationship between literary texts and the socio-historical context in these post-colonial societies. Prerequisite(s): SPAN 235 or equivalent; Cross Listing: LAST 335;SPAN 335;SPAN 335; J. Dixon-Montgomery;

AFST 336. Science and Social Construction of Race and Gender. (1)

We will examine the social construction of race and gender and how social constructs influence scientific knowledge. We will use the social constructs of the past and present to discuss the following: (a) How does science define and how does it examine issues related to gender and race? (b) How do societal attitudes about race and gender influence scientific knowledge and scientific access? Cross Listing: GWST 336;IDIS 336;IDIS 336; DV; W; M. Crawford; D. Cermak;

AFST 366. The American Civil Rights Movement. (1)

This course covers the period of the Black Freedom Struggle generally referred to as the Civil Rights Movement--beginning with the Brown decision in 1954, and ending with Bakke decision in 1978. This is not a survey course, however. Students are expected to immerse themselves in some of the considerable scholarship on this period, and to discuss significant issues in class. Some of the topics covered include: the nature of mass social movements--origins, dynamics, strategies and tactics; the significance of black leadership and institutions; black separatism vs. coalition-building; the role of the federal government and political parties; the persistence of racism in American life; black militancy and white liberalism; radical and conservative critiques of the Civil Rights Movement. Prerequisite(s): sophomore standing; also HIST 285 and permission of the instructor; Cross Listing: HIST 366; DV; W; K. Hamilton;

AFST 383. Women Playwrights. (1)

Analysis of the works of female playwrights who represent diversity in race, nationality, perspective, and style. A brief review of the evolution of feminisms is traced in order to identify the areas of thought and conflict that most influence the condition of the female writer and specifically the playwright. Prerequisite(s): junior standing or permission or the instructor; Cross Listing: ENG 383;GWST 383;THTR 383; W; DV; E. Metz;

AFST 389. Theory and Method. (1)

This course primarily seeks to familiarize students with the range of theoretical paradigms and research methodologies applied within the field of Black/Africana Studies in preparation for the Advanced Seminar (AFST 399). The paradigms include Afrocentric, Feminist/Womanist, Nationalistic, Negritude, Pan-African and other related perspectives. Significant attention is also given to various mainstream paradigms in the social sciences and humanities which students can expect to encounter in other disciplines. Through the vehicle of these paradigms, the course provides a rigorous examination of the historical construction, political uses, and social meanings of race as a determinant factor in the distribution of power, status and resources throughout the African Diaspora. This course provides students adequate preparation to conduct supervised research on a wide range of topics within the field of Africana Studies. F. Hord; K. Shabazz;

AFST 399. Advanced Seminar. (1)

Based on the theory and method studied in AFST 389, students pursue a term-long independent research project. Research is presented to the group during the term and written up as a research paper. A wide range of research projects is possible, from library or archival research to community action projects. Prerequisite(s): 3 core courses in Africana Studies, 4 Africana Studies electives, AFST 389; or permission of the instructor; F. Hord; K. Shabazz;

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