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University of Pennsylvania

Department of Africana Studies

Spring 2013
Graduate Courses

AFRC 516
The Artist in Africa
(x-list with Art History 518)
401 SEM T 3:00-5:00 CLARKE

This course foregrounds the study of the artist in Africa, considering issues of authorship, artistic identity, and
the creative process. It is intended to introduce a broad range of African artistry, primarily tradition-based but
also including contemporary art, and to encourage critical thinking about the cultural construction of the artist
in Africa and the West. The first weeks will focus on historiography, examining Modernist constructions of the
African artist that accompanied the Western discovery of African art and early studies linking ethnicity to
style. We then consider spheres of artistic production, looking at media and techniques and their relation to
gender and artistic identity. From there, we examine innovation and creativity within tradition and the role of
patronage and the market. Related issues of authorship and biography will frame our discussion of case studies
of artists hands among the Yoruba (Nigeria), Luba (Congo), and other African cultures. We will conclude by
looking at issues of artistic identity and representation in modern and contemporary African art. Weekly
meetings will be supplemented by visits to museums and galleries, including the Barnes Foundation and the
University of Pennsylvania Museum, as well as a lecture by a visiting artist.
Course Level: Graduate

AFRC 517
Elementary Yorub II
(x-listed with African Studies 171; Africana 171; African Studies 518)
680 LEC MW 5:00-7:00 AWOYALE

The Yoruba culture is well known for its artwork and its great influence on modern day Cuba and Bahia.
The course continues to introduce basic grammar, vocabulary, reading and the writing of Yoruba to new
Offered through the Penn Language Center
Can be used to fulfill College Language Requirement Course
Level: Advanced/Graduate

AFRC 522
Psychology of the African American
(x-listed with Education 522)
401 LEC M 12:00-2:00 STEVENSON

This course will explore several factors in the socio-cultural context of the Afro-American, which have
contributed to shaping black values and black psychology. The course aims to impart an understanding of
some of the forces, which have importantly influenced the development of the unique Afro-American frame of
reference. Topics such as the following, among others, will be considered within this framework: The nature of
human values; the black family, with attention to special issues affecting the roles of black males and those of
black females; the influence of the black church; and identity issues, from how we view ourselves to how our
identities change in relationships (family, social). A heavy emphasis will be placed on an African-centered
paradigm. The principle objectives of this portion of the course are to have students go through a process of
self-analysis and exploration in hopes that they can better understand their powers and weaknesses, their belief
systems, and the various roles that they play, while at the same time learning about their peers. The initial
phase of the course is key to the second phase, which will look at various community issues and research
topics. The overall objective of the course will be to have students engage in critical thought on several levels
(self, inter-personal, House, community, worldview) and merge this thought into a relevant research topic.
Note Dates: 01/15/14 - 05/13/14
Undergraduates need permission
Course Level: Advanced/Graduate

AFRC 527
Market Women & Madames: Gender, Sexuality & Race in the Caribbean & Latin America
(x-listed with Latin American and Latino Studies 527; Gender, Sexuality and Womens Studies 527)
401 SEM R 10:30-1:30 SANDERS JOHNSON

In this course, we will question some of the iconic representations of Caribbean and Latin American women
the racially mixed temptress, the pious matriarch, and the poor uneducated laborer to understand the meaning,
purpose and usages of these women s bodies as objects of praise, possession obsession, and ridicule by
communities, governments and religions within the Caribbean, Latin America, and North America. Beginning
with the late-18
century and ending with contemporary migration narratives, we will explore the local and
regional political conditions that inform gender norms, social movements, and characterizations of Caribbean
and Latin American sexualities. We will give particular consideration to the historical legacy of slave and
colonial societies on representations of women and gender constructions in the region. The course material will
include scholarship by Jennifer L. Morgan, Laura Putnam, Ana M. Lopez, Ann Twinam, Norma Morgrovjo,
Cynthia Enloe, M. Jacqui Alexander, Joan Dayan; and films by Iris Morales and Danny Laferriere.
Course Level: Graduate

AFRC 533
Race, Science and Society
(x-listed with Sociology 530)
404 SEM M 2:00-5:00 ROBERTS

What is the role of the life sciences in shaping our understanding of race? How has racial stratification
influenced scientists and how have scientists constructed racial difference and helped to maintain or contest
racial inequities in society? This seminar draws on an interdisciplinary body of biological and social scientific
literature to explore the connections between race, science, and society in the United States from the
eighteenth century to the current genomic age. After laying a historical foundation, we will focus on the
recent expansion of genomic research and technologies that treat race as a biological category that can be
identified at the molecular level, including race-specific pharmaceuticals, commercial ancestry testing, and

racial profiling with DNA forensics. We will discuss the significance of this increase in race consciousness in
genomic research and technology at a time when colorblindness and post-racialism are gaining popularity.
Students will investigate further specific topics related to race, genetics, and biotechnologies in their research
Course Level: Graduate

AFRC 534
Intermediate Yoruba II
See Special Message in African Studies Center Header
(x-listed with African Studies 271; Africana Studies 271; African Studies 532)
680 LEC TR 7:00-9:00 AWOYALE

This course continues to introduce students to basic grammar, vocabulary and the reading and writing of
Yoruba to new speakers.
Offered through the Penn Language Center
Can be used to fulfill College Language Requirement Course
Level: Advanced/Graduate

AFRC 541
Elementary Amharic II
See Special Message in African Studies Center Header
(x-listed with Africana Studies 241; African Studies 241, 541; Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations 482)
680 LEC MW 5:30-7:30 HAILU

Amharic belongs to the southern branch of Hemeto-Semitic languages, which is also referred to as "Afrasian."
Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia and is spoken by 14 million native Amharas and by approximately
18 million of the other groups in Ethiopia. This course continues to introduce basic grammar, vocabulary, and
the reading and writing of Amharic to new speakers.
Offered through Penn Language Center
Fulfills College Language Requirement
Course Level: Advanced/Graduate

AFRC 544
Intermediate Amharic II
See Special Message in African Studies Center Header
(x-listed with Africana Studies 243; African Studies 243, 544; Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations 484)
680 LEC TR 6:00-8:00 HAILU

Amharic is a Semitic language belonging to the Afro-Asiatic or Hemeto-Semitic family. It is spoken by
approximately 13 million people in Ethiopia, where it is the official language. Students will use both written
and oral exercises to gain a greater knowledge of the language and culture.
Offered through Penn Language Center
Can be used to fulfill College Language Requirement
Course Level: Intermediate

AFRC 545
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
(x-listed with Graduate Education 543)
401 SEM W 2:00-4:00 GASMAN

Students taking this course will learn about the historical context of HBCUs in educating African Americans,
and how their role has changed since the mid-1800's. Specific contemporary challenges and successes related
to HBCUs will be covered and relate to control, and enrollment, accreditation, funding, degree completion, and
outreach/retention programming. Students will become familiar with MBCUs in their own right, as well as in
comparison to other postsecondary institutions.
Note Dates: 01/15/14 05/13/14
Undergraduates need permission
Course Level: Advanced/Graduate

AFRC 549
Elementary Zulu: Accelerated
(x-listed with Africana Studies 149; African Studies 149 & 549)
680 LEC TR 6:00-9:00 MBEJE

The Accelerated Elementary Zulu course is intensive, and can be taken to fulfill a language requirement, or for
linguistic preparation to do research on South Africa, Southern Africa/Africa-related topics. The course
emphasizes communicative competence to enable the students to acquire linguistic and extra-linguistic skills in
Zulu. The content of the course is selected from various everyday life situations to enable the students to
communicate in predictable common daily settings. Culture, as it relates to language use, is also part of the
course content.
Course Level: Advanced

AFRC 587
Race, Nation, Empire
(x-listed with Anthropology 587; Latin American and Latino Studies588)
401 SEM T 1:30-4:30 THOMAS

This graduate seminar examines the dynamic relationships among empires, nations and states; colonial and
post-colonial policies; and anti-colonial strategies within a changing global context. Using the rubrics of
anthropology, history, cultural studies, and social theory, we will explore the intimacies of subject formation
within imperial contexts- past and present- especially in relation to ideas about race and belonging. We will
focus on how belonging and participation have been defined in particular locales, as well as how these notions
have been socialized through a variety of institutional contexts. Finally, we will consider the relationships
between popular culture and state formation, examining these as dialectical struggles for hegemony.
Course Level: Graduate

AFRC 606
The Interpretation of Oral Traditions
(x-listed with Music 606)
401 SEM R 2:00-5:00 RAMSEY

Topics may draw on methodologies derived from jazz studies, chant studies, and ethnomusicology.
Course Level: Graduate

AFRC 610
Colloquium in American History
(x-listed with History 610)
401 SEM T 2:00-5:00 SAVAGE

No description available at time of printing.
Course Level: Graduate

AFRC 620
Law in Africa
(x-listed with Africana Studies 420; Sociology 460; Sociology 660)
401 SEM M 4:30-7:30 FETNI

This course will deal with Law and Society in Africa. After surveying the various legal systems in Africa, the
focuswill be on how and to what extent the countries of Africa re-Africanized their legal systems by
reconciling their legalsystems that are used as instruments of social change and development. Toward this
end, the experiences of various African countries covering the various legal traditions will be included.
Specific focus will be on laws covering both economic and social relations. This emphasis includes laws of
marriage, divorce and inheritance, laws of contracts andcivil wrongs and Africans law of investments and
International Relations, among other laws. Throughout this course a comparative analysis with non-African
countries will be stressed. Readings include research papers, reports, statutes, treaties, and cases.
Course Level: Graduate

AFRC 638
Race and Criminal Justice
(x-list with Africana Studies 437; Political 437 & 638)
401 SEM W 2:00-5:00 GOTTSCHALK

Why are African Americans and some other minority groups disproportionately incarcerated and subjected to
penal sanctions? What are the political, social, and economic consequences for individuals, communities, and
the wider society of mass incarceration in the United States? What types of reforms of the criminal justice
system are desirable and possible? This advanced seminar analyzes the connection between race, crime,
punishment, and politics in the United States. The primary focus is on the role of race in explaining why the
countrys prison population increased six fold since the early 1970s and why the United States today has the
highest incarceration rate in the world. Topics to be covered include: the early history of race in the
development of the criminal justice system, including an examination of lynchings and the convict-leasing
system; the relationship between the crime rate, patterns of offending and arrests, and the incarceration rate;
public opinion and law-and-order" politics; U.S. penal policies compared with other industrialized countries;
the intersection of race and gender in penal policy; capital punishment; the growth of the prison-industrial
complex; the "war on drugs"; the courts, prisoners rights, and political prisoners; felon disenfranchisement,
elections, and democracy; and the future of penal reform. The class will likely take field trips to a maximum-
security jail in Philadelphia and to a state prison in the Philadelphia suburbs.
Course Level: Graduate

AFRC 640
Proseminar in Africana Studies
301 SEM W 2:00-5:00 BUTLER
This course focuses on the historical and cultural relationship between Africans and their descendants abroad.
Course Level: Graduate

AFRC 682
Race 20th Century A.P.T.
(x-list with Political Science 682)
401 SEM T 6:00-9:00 REED

This seminar focuses on major texts on race and ethnicity in the United States in order to reconstruct the
changing conceptions of each over the last hundred years. The emphasis is on a close reading of primary
sources in their respective social and historical contexts. More limited attention is given to secondary debates
about specific texts and periods. Readings are drawn from a range of disciplines including history, sociology,
anthropology, and political science.
Course Level: Graduate
Undergraduates will need permission from instructor

AFRC 999
Independent Study

To obtain permission and a sequence number contact:
Department for Africana Studies
Ste. 331A, 3401 Walnut/6228