2003-2004
UNDERGRADUATE RECORD
College of Arts and Sciences
General Information  |  Academic Information  |  Departments and Programs  |  Faculty
Course Descriptions

Program in African-American and African Studies

P.O. Box 400162
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4162
Phone: (434) 924-3109
Fax: (434) 924-8820
www.virginia.edu/~woodson

Overview African-American and African Studies (AAS) is an interdisciplinary program in which students examine various aspects of the black experience. The major consists of two core course requirements and seven area courses in the humanities and social sciences selected from the AAS Course Offering Directory, available in Minor Hall 108 or online at www.virginia.edu/~woodson. The AAS program provides a solid liberal arts education as well as broad exposure to African and African-American history and culture.

Faculty The African-American and African studies faculty comprises professors in departments Grounds-wide who teach courses directly related to topics in African-American and/or African studies. Departmental offerings vary from year to year, but currently these departments include anthropology, art history, drama, economics, English, French, history, linguistics, music, philosophy, politics, psychology, religious studies, Slavic, and sociology. Each year, the AAS program also supports the teaching of special AAS seminars by visiting scholars.

The current steering committee for the AAS undergraduate program is as follows, with departmental affiliation: Scot French, Director of the AAS Program; Reginald Butler, history; Ellen Contini-Morava, anthropology; Scott DeVeaux, music; Gertrude Fraser, anthropology; Dylan Penningroth, history; Adria LaViolette, anthropology; John Mason, history; Tejumola Olaniyan, English; Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton, religious studies; Benjamin Ray, religious studies; Milton Vickerman, psychology; and Melvin Wilson, psychology. These faculty are available as advisors to AAS majors and minors.

Students There are approximately 50 undergraduates majoring in African-American and African studies in a given year, quite a number of whom double-major with disciplines in the humanities or social sciences. Although there are distributional requirements within the AAS major, students have a great deal of freedom in shaping the major to reflect their particular area, topical, and disciplinary interests. Students also have ample opportunity for independent study with faculty members. In addition, some students study abroad in Africa or the Caribbean through the University or other programs, and receive credit in the AAS major for such experiences. Students minoring in AAS are usually either majoring in sciences or enrolled in non-College programs (in the Schools of Architecture, Engineering and Applied Science, or ›Commerce).

Graduates with a degree in African-American and African studies use their interdisciplinary training and skills as a basis for a wide variety of careers. Recent graduates are pursuing professions in such fields as law, international development, teaching, social work, small and corporate business, banking, and public administration. Every year AAS majors also begin graduate training, including M.A. and Ph.D. programs in the humanities and social sciences, law school, and medical school. Consider an AAS major a springboard from which anything is possible.

Special Resources
Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies ›The Woodson Institute provides a home base and support for the AAS major. The institute is named after Virginia-born historian Carter Godwin Woodson, who played a pioneering role in the institutionalization of the study of the black experience, and founded and was editor of the Journal of Negro History from 1916 until his death in 1950. The Woodson Institute supports advanced research in black studies, every year providing pre- and post-doctoral fellowships to scholars from within and outside the University. The Woodson Fellows conduct research in African-American and/or African studies on the premises of the institute, and undergraduates should consider them a resource. The Woodson Institute also sponsors an annual lecture series on topics related to African-American and African studies, open to the university community and the public.

Requirements for Major The African-American and African studies interdisciplinary major comprises 9 courses (29 credits) taken within a program approved by any member of the AAS steering committee, who acts as the student's advisor. These courses may include classes taken before declaration of the major. In order to declare a major, a student must have taken AAS 101 and 102, and earned a grade of C or better in each course. Students must have an average of 2.0 in the major for it to be considered complete.

The major requires a distribution of courses in the following areas and levels, all to be selected from the AAS Course Offering Directory:

  1. AAS 101 and 102;
  2. one course concerning race and politics in the U.S.;
  3. one course in the humanities (art history, drama, English, French, music, philosophy, religious studies);
  4. one course in the social sciences or history, in addition to AAS 101, 102 (anthropology, economics, history, linguistics, politics, psychology, Slavic, sociology);
  5. one course about Africa, which may fulfill requirements (3) or (4) above;
  6. four courses above the 300 level, which may fulfill requirements (2-5);
  7. one 400-level seminar requiring a research paper, which may count toward requirement (6) above.
Each semester the Carter G. Woodson Institute publishes a list of courses that satisfy the above requirements. Students should speak with an advisor if they have any questions about how to distribute these courses.

Students frequently find that African-American and African studies works well as a double-major with another discipline in the humanities and social sciences. Up to 11 credits in another departmental major may count toward an AAS major, if the courses are among those listed in the AAS Course Offering Directory. Up to 6 transfer credits from relevant study abroad may be counted toward the major, with the advance written permission of the director of the major. Up to 3 credits of an appropriate language course may be counted toward the major.

Exceptions to any of these requirements is made only upon written petition to the director of the AAS major. No petitions are accepted after a student completes the seventh semester.

Requirements for Minor A Minor in African-American and African Studies consists of completion of AAS 101 and 102 with a grade of C or better in each course; twelve credits beyond AAS 101 and 102, chosen from the AAS Course Offering Directory; and an average of 2.0 in all courses counted under this requirement.

Independent Study AAS 401 allows students to work on an individual research project. Students wishing to pursue this should obtain an informational sheet at the Woodson Institute that explains the procedure and requirements. 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.

Distinguished Majors Program in African-American and African Studies Third-year students with superior academic performance are encourage to apply for the AAS Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) in which they conduct research and write a thesis demonstrating originality and independent study of high quality. Participants are eligible for graduation with distinction. The requirements for admission to the DMP are:

  1. satisfaction of all College requirements as stated in the Undergraduate Record with a GPA of at least 3.4 in all university courses;
  2. permission of an advisor. This person may be any faculty member who teaches courses listed in the AAS Course Offering Directory, willing to supervise the thesis. Permission should be sought no later than the second semester of the third year. The supervisor's written approval of the topic must be secured by the students and filed at the Woodson Institute;
  3. fulfillment of the distribution requirements for the major (see requirements 1-5 for the major above). Like the AAS major, the DMP comprises 29 credits. DMP participants must complete at least six credits of course work above the 400 level, in addition to the six credits specific to preparation of the thesis, outlined below.
Once the advisor has been secured, students should seek two additional faculty members who agree to read the thesis. The students register for three credits of AAS 451 (Directed Research) in the first semester of the fourth year. In this course, the students conduct research for, and write the first draft of their thesis. In the second semester, students register for AAS 452 (Thesis) and revise the draft based on the committee's recommendations, producing a finished thesis of about 8,000 words or 40 pages, which must be approved by the committee and deposited at the Woodson Institute. The thesis committee makes a recommendation AS Steering Committee for final approval of the thesis. Students who would like assistance in initiating this program should see their advisor.

Additional Information For more information, contact Scot French, Director of the Undergraduate Program in AAS, at the Carter G. Woodson Institute, University of Virginia, 108 Minor Hall, P.O. Box 400162, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4162; (434) 924-3109. www.virginia.edu/~woodson




Course Descriptions

TOP

The African-American and African Studies (AAS) courses in any given term comprise those offered by the Woodson Institute with an AAS number, and those offered in other departments that have an AAS-related content.

Core Courses
Students should check the AAS Course Offering Directory, produced every term, for the seminar topics to be offered in the next term.

AAS 101 - (4) (Y)
Introduction to African-American and African Studies I

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 102 - (4) (Y)
Introduction to African-American and African Studies II

This introductory course builds upon the histories of people of African descent in Africa, the Americas, and the Caribbean surveyed in AAS 101. 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 205, 206 - (3) (IR)
Introductory Seminar in African- American and African Studies

Reading, class discussion, and research on a special topic of African-American and African studies, intended for first- and second-year students. Subjects change from term to term, and vary with instructor.

AAS 401 - (3) (S)
Independent Study

See description under 'Independent Study' above.

AAS 405, 406 - (3) (S)
Advanced Seminar in African-American and African Studies

Reading, class discussion, and research on a special topic of 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 451-452 - (6) (Y)
Directed Reading and Research

Similar in format to AAS 401, but meant to be equivalent to twice as much work (6 credits), and taken over a full year. Students in the DMP enroll under these numbers for thesis writing.

Supporting Courses
The AAS program's Course Offering Directory, produced each term, lists the courses grounds-wide that fulfill the AAS major requirements for the coming term. Below is a listing of those courses which appear most consistently, but students should check the most recent AAS Directory, available at the Woodson Institute, for complete and updated information.

ANTH 227 - (3) (Y)
Race, Gender, and Medical Science


ANTH 225 - (3) (Y)
Racism, Nationalism, and Multiculturalism


ANTH 232 - (3) (IR)
Symbol and Ritual


ANTH 234 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Folklore


ANTH 256 - (3) (Y)
Peoples and Cultures of Africa


ANTH 281 - (3) (Y)
Human Origins


ANTH 329 - (3) (Y)
Culture of Underdevelopment


ANTH 341 - (3) (Y)
Introduction to Sociolinguistics


ANTH 357 - (3) (Y)
Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean


ANTH 358 - (3) (IR)
Creole Narratives


ANTH 388 - (3) (Y)
African Archaeology


ANTH 549 - (3) (IR)
African Language Structure


ARTH 380 - (3) (IR)
African Art


ECON 415 - (3) (Y)
Economics of Labor


ENLT 247 - (3) (Y)
Black Writers in America


ENAM 313 - (3) (Y)
African-American Survey I


ENAM 314 - (3) (Y)
African-American Survey II


ENAM 385 - (3) (IR)
Folklore in America


ENAM 482 - (3) (Y)
Advanced Studies in American Literature II: Harlem Renaissance


ENTC 331 - (3)(IR)
Major African-American Poets


FREN 411 - (3) (Y)
African Film and Literature


FREN 570 - (3) (IR)
Francophone Literature of Africa


PLAP 344 - (3) (Y)
Urban Government and Politics


PLAP 351 - (3) (Y)
Minority Group Politics


PLCP 212 - (3) (Y)
Government and Politics of Developing Areas


PLCP 581 - (3) (Y)
Government and Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa


PLCP 583 - (3) (Y)
Government and Politics of South Africa


HIAF 202 - (3) (Y)
Africa Since the 1800s


HIAF 203 - (4) (Y)
Africa Diaspora to 1850


HIAF 302 - (3) (Y)
History of Southern Africa


HIAF 401 - (3) (Y)
Seminar in African History


HILA 306 - (3) (Y)
Modern Brazil


HIME 201 - (3) (Y)
History of the Middle East and North Africa, ca. 570-1500


HIME 202 - (3) (Y)
History of the Middle East and North Africa, ca. 1500 to 1980


HIST 507 - (3) (IR)
Internship: African-American Interpretation at Monticello


HIUS 201 - (4) (Y)
American History 1607-1865


HIUS 202 - (4) (Y)
American History since 1865


HIUS 323 - (3) (IR)
The American South in the 19th Century


HIUS 324 - (3) (IR)
The American South in the 20th Century


HIUS 346 - (3) (IR)
History of Urban America


HIUS 365 - (3) (IR)
African-American History Through Reconstruction


HIUS 366 - (3) (IR)
African-American History, 1865 to Present


HIUS 367 - (3) (S)
History of the Civil Rights Movement


LNGS 222 - (3) (IR)
Black English


MUSI 208 - (3) (IR)
Contemporary African American Music


MUSI 212 - (3) (Y)
History of Jazz Music


MUSI 260 - (3) (Y)
Jazz Improvisation


MUSI 369 - (3) (Y)
African Drumming and Dance Ensemble


PSYC 311 - (3) (Y)
Psychology of Language


PSYC 465 - (4) (Y)
Oppression and Social Change


PSYC 467 - (3) (Y)
Psychology of the African-American Athlete


PSYC 487 - (3) (Y)
The Minority Family: A Psychological Inquiry


RELA 275 - (3) (IR)
African Religions


RELA 410 - (3) (Y)
Yoruba Religion


SOC 341 - (3) (Y)
Race and Ethnic Relations


SOC 368 (3) (Y)
Problems of Urban Life


SOC 410 - (3) (Y)
African-American Communities


SOC 453 - (3) (Y)
Sociology of Education


SWAH 101 - (3) (S)
Introductory Swahili


SWAH 102 - (3) (Y)
Introductory Swahili, Part II



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