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Academics

The Major in Afro-American Studies

Sonia Sanchez and various undergraduate studentsMajoring in Afro-American Studies requires that a student complete a minimum of eleven (11) courses in the Du Bois Department in addition to AfroAm 365: Junior Year Writing. In their final year, students take a two-semester capstone sequence: AfroAm 494DI: The Du Bois Senior Seminar (offered in the FALL only), and AfroAm 496: The Du Bois Senior Project. Senior projects can be thesis papers or another type of project designed in consultation with a faculty advisor from the department. Independent study credits do not count toward the major requirements.

*Note: Only one departmental course may satisfy the Gen. Ed. Requirement (for Primary Majors only)

I. Introduction    (1 course)

  • 101 Introduction to Black Studies, 3 credits

II. Introductory Sequence (4 courses)

Humanities Group (2 courses required)

  • 117 Survey of Afro-American Literature I, 4 credits (AL,DU)
  • 118 Survey of Afro-American Literature II, 4 credits (AL,DU)
  • 151 Literature and Culture, 4 credits (AL,DU)
  • 155 Concepts in Afro-American Music I, 3 credits
  • 156 Concepts in Afro-American Music II, 4 credits (AT,DU)
  • MUSIC 102 Afro-American Music, 4 credits (AL,DU)
  • MUSIC 103 History of Jazz, 4 credits (AT,DG

History & Social Sciences Group (2 courses required)

  • 132 Afro-American History, 1619-1860, 4 credits (HS,DU)
  • 133 Afro-American History, Civil War to 1954, 4 credits (HS,DU)
  • 161 Introduction to Afro-American Political Science, 3 credits
  • ECON 144 Political Economy of Racism, 4 credits (SB,DU)
  • HISTORY 161 History of Africa since 1500, 4 credits (HS,DG)

III. Advanced Sequence (4 courses)

Four courses at the 200-400 level (History, Social Sciences, Literature, Creative and Performing Arts)

IV. Junior Year Writing (1 course)

  • 365 Composition: Style and Organization 

V. Senior Seminar Sequence (2 courses)

Both courses required for primary and secondary AfroAm majors: open to juniors and seniors

  • 494DI  Du Bois Senior Seminar, 3 credits  (IE designation, Fall offering only)
  • 496 Independent Project, 3 credits 

Advanced Courses in Afro-American Studies

222      The Black Church in the U.S.
232      History of Black Nationalism
234      Literature of the Harlem Renaissance, 4 credits  (AL,DU) 
235      Black Sociological Thought 
236      History of the Civil Rights Movement, 4 credits (HS,DU) 
238      Arts and Cultural Identity
243      Afro-American Folklore
244      Afro-American Poetry: Beginning to 1900
245      The Slave Narrative
246      Afro-American Literature of the 1930s
250      African American Short Stories
252      Afro-American Image in American Writing
253      Pre-Civil War Black Writing
254      Introduction to African Studies, 4 credits (HS,DU)  
257      Contemporary African American Novel
264      Foundations of Black Education in the U.S., 4 credits (HS,DU)
265      The Blues Came Down Like Dark Night Showers of Rain
297R    Race at Work: African Americans in the Labor Movement
326      Black Women in U.S. History, 4 credits (HS,DU)
330      Songbirds, Blueswoman, Soulwomen
331      The Life and Writings of W.E.B. Du Bois
332      Blacks and Jews
344      Black Speculative Fiction
345      Southern Literature, 4 credits (AL,DU)           
390A   Jazz and Blues Literature
390B    Life & Work of Richard Wright
390D   Langston Hughes
390E    Race, Ethnicity and Gender in U.S. History
390G    Uncle Tom’s Cabin: the Novel
390J     Cross-Disciplinary Contemporary Issues: War and Patriotism in African American Literature and History
390K   The Life and Art of Sterling Brown
390M   Race and the American Story
391A   Political Thought of Martin and Malcolm
391B    Modern Afro-American Women Novelists
391E    Afro-American Literature of the 1940s
391F    Afro-American Literature of the 1950s
391G    Critique of the Concept of Racism
391J     Buying and Selling Blackness
397A   Abolition and Antislavery
397B    Native Americans/African Americans I
397F    Native Americans/African Americans II
491C    Cuba: Social History of Race, Class and Gender

Courses accepted towards the Advanced Sequence from outside departments: You must contact Britt Rusert, Director of Undergraduate Studies, or Tricia Loveland prior to registering for any courses outside the Afro-American Studies Department.

Courses taught in other Five College departments or programs may count towards the major. Please contact department office or Chief Undergraduate Advisor.

  • ANTHRO 382                Caribbean Cultures
  • ANTHRO 470                Cultures of Africa
  • ANTHRO 497AA            African American Anthropology
  • FRNCH STDS  564        Literature of Africa and the Caribbean
  • JOURN 310                    The Press and the Third World
  • POLSCI 307                   Black Politics
  • POLSCI 341                   Government and Politics of Central America and the Caribbean
  • POLSCI 343                   Government and Politics of East Africa
  • POLSCI 345                   Revolutionary Nationalism and Imperialism in the Caribbean
  • POLSCI 346                   Government and Politics of West Africa
  • POLSCI 397                   Comparative Politics of Cuba, Puerto Rico and Haiti    
  • SOC 340                         Race Relations
  • SOC 397                         Martin Luther King Jr., and the Civil Rights Movement
  • WOST 292                      Black Women in U.S. History
  • WOST 394                      Black Feminist/Womanist Thought
  • WOST 297                      Afro-American Women in the Civil Rights Movement

Major Requirements (PDF)

General Education Requirements