2011 FALL GRADUATE COURSES

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AFASG4080: Section 001 
Topics in the Black Experience: Interdisciplinary Approaches to African American/Diasporan Studies-The Pro-Seminar
Thursday: 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Location:  758 Schermerhorn Extension
Professor Farah J. Griffin:  fjg8@columbia.edu
 
This course introduces students to central questions and debates in the fields of African American/African Diasporan Studies, and it explores the various interdisciplinary efforts to address them. The seminar is designed to provide an interdisciplinary foundation and familiarize students with a number of methodological approaches. Toward this end we will have a number of class visitors/guest lecturers drawn from members of IRAAS's Core and Affiliated Faculty. Graduate Pro-Seminar
 
*AF-AM MA Required Course- Graduate Students Only*
 

 
AFASG4080: Section 002 
Topics in the Black Experience: African-American Historical Memory
Wednesday:  2:00pm - 4:00pm
Location:  758 Schermerhorn Extension
Professor  Zoe Trodd:  zt2148@columbia.edu
 
This graduate-level seminar examines memory in African American literature and culture. We will discuss key concepts and methods in the study of memory, and explore theories of historical consciousness, collective memory, counter-memory, heroism, heritage, myth, trauma, marginalization, nostalgia, comedy and tragedy. Which pasts loom largest in black literature? How do black writers remember the Haitian Revolution, slavery, Emancipation and the Civil Rights Movement? What are these writers’ purposes in summoning the past? Can memory be a form of social and political action? How are memory’s symbols adapted to the present’s needs? We will consider memory’s use for a range of purposes, including social activism, and we will think about memory in terms of loss and recovery, haunting and exorcism, burden and inspiration. We also will consider whether literary form shapes memory’s expression and examine the particular characteristics displayed in drama, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, film and visual culture. Students will work towards a research paper in their particular area of interest.
 
*Graduate Students Only*
 

 
AFASG4080:  Section 003 
Topics in the Black Experience: The Spiritual Quest of August Wilson
Tuesday:   2:10pm - 4:00pm
Location:  758 Schermerhorn Extension
Professor Obery Hendricks:  oh2151@columbia.edu
 
Through a close reading of Wilson's plays supplemented by readings in religious theory, African and African American religions, the African American conjure tradition and drama criticism, this course will explore August Wilson's fascinating quest to survey the landscape of African American spirituality, valorize its manifold expressions and seek its meaning for America today.
 
*Graduate Students & Junior/Senior Undergraduates Only*
 

 
 
AFASG4080:  Section 004 
Topics in the Black Experience: The Short Story
Thursday:  6:10pm - 8:00pm
Location:  758 Schermerhorn Extension
Professor Tanji Gilliam:  IRAAS@columbia.edu
 
This course will engage the art of the accomplished, succinct statement in Afro-American and African Diasporic literature, cinema and society. This course is born out of the explicit desire to witness more black cast and black directed works, particularly in the genre of short film. It exposes the under-explored relationship between short stories and short film. The class projects encourage multiple literacies, across new media technologies, and equally attend to theory and practice. Course texts will include Es'kia Mphahlele's "Down the Quiet Street," Edwidge Danticat's The Dew Breaker, James Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues", Spike Lee's Iron Mike Tyson, Tamika Guishard's Blind Date and Kanye West's Runaway.
 
*Graduate Students & Senior Undergraduates Only*
 

 
AFASG4080:  Section 005 
Topics in the Black Experience: Racial and Social Formations: Theory & Method
Wednesday:  6:10pm - 8:00pm
Location:  758 Schermerhorn Extension
Professor Gary Okihiro:   gy03@colulumbia.edu
 
"The problem of the twentieth century," W.E.B. du bois famously observed, "is the problem of the color line." This seminar will examine the implications of that insight through the theories of racial and social formations in US and world history. 
 
*Graduate Students and Junior/Senior Undergraduates Only*
 

 
AFASG4520:  Section 001 
Race & the Articulation of Difference
Thursday:   4:10pm - 6:00pm
Location:  758 Schermerhorn Extension
Professor Steven Gregory:  sg820@columbia.edu
 
This seminar examines the intersection of race, gender and nation in the formation of hierarchical social systems and their legitimating ideologies. A leading premise of this course is that racial ideologies are, foundationally, claims about the heritability of socially produced and imagined difference – claims that muster, mimic and articulate notions of difference associated within the wider problematic of political subjectivity and direct attention to the symbolic and structural organization of modern, hierarchical social systems.
 
*AF-AM MA Required Class- Graduate Students & Senior Undergraduate Only*
 

 
AFASG4990:  Section 001
African-American Research & Writing
Monday:  11:10am - 1:00pm
Location:  758 Schermerhorn Extension
Professor Sudhir Venkatesh:  sv185@columbia.edu
 
This course examines research and writing on race/ethnicity and social difference. Each week, a set of readings will be explored from the perspective of enlivening our understanding of race and ethnic relations—and, of social difference generally. The course is intended to assist graduate students in their development of a proposal of research.
 
*AF-AM MA Required Class- Graduate Students Only*