2012 FALL GRADUATE COURSES

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AFASG4510: Section 001
Critical Approaches to African-American Studies
Wednesday:  2:10:pm - 4:00pm

Room: 758 Schermerhorn Extension 
Instructor: Mio Matsumoto
 
This seminar examines the classical black intellectual traditions and recent innovative/provocative scholarships in the interdisciplinary field of African American studies.  In the first part of the course we will read and discuss works by black intellectuals who influenced the formative ideas and actual formation of African American studies. In the 2nd part of the course we will read recent researches in social sciences and humanities that call for new ways of interpretation, critiques, and socio-political engagements.  Students will also engage in discussions on several normative key concepts in African-American studies and other academic fields including race, Diaspora, community, difference, and identity.  In all students are expected to approach the materials with the notion that African American studies is a critical field of intellectual, rich, and complex debates over what ideas, policies, movements, and politics serve best to identify and challenge the problems of racism and other manifestations of inequality and to understand African American responses to these problems.
 
[Course is open to graduate, senior undergraduate students]
 

 
AFASG4080: Section 001
Topics in the Black Experience: African-American Studies Pro-Seminar
Tuesday:   2:10pm - 4:00pm

Room: 758 Schermerhorn Extension 
Instructor: Farah J. Griffin
 
This course introduces students to central questions and debates in the fields of African American 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.
 
[Course is open to African-American Studies Masters Students Only]
 

 
AFASG4080: Section 002
Topics in the Black Experience: Philosophical Perspectives on Race and Racism
Monday:  2:10pm – 4:00pm 

Room: 758 Schermerhorn Extension
Instructor: Vivaldi Jean-Marie
 
The goal of the course is to investigate race discourse in the texts of the modern philosophers and the current philosophical discourse about race. The course begins with a close reading of Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics and Politics to situate Aristotle’s discussion of slavery and the slavish nature as the forerunner of Hume’s, Kant’s, and Hegel’s account of Negroes. The second goal of the course is to engage the contemporary philosophical discourse about race.Accordingly, participants will ponder the rise of race as a socio-political concept, which is linked to the Atlantic Slave Trade and the role of modern philosophers in shaping the prevailing perception of people of African descent in the West and the implicit justification of slavery, which pervades their texts. Also, the course will show that racism is a process which strives continuously to reify its victims and that it acts as the conceptual reinforcement of race in reducing its victims to means and not as ends in themselves.
 
[Course is open to graduate, junior & senior undergraduate students]
 

 
AFASG4080: Section 003
Topics in the Black Experience: Beyond Civil Rights: Martin Luther King & the Case for Radical Democracy
Monday:  11:00am - 12:50pm
Room: 758 Schermerhorn Extension
Instructor: Obery Hendricks
 
When Martin Luther King, Jr., proclaimed, “America, you must be born again,” he was speaking in much more than religious or even racial terms. Clearly he had in mind something long sought for but not yet achieved: a truly democratic America ruled by the demos, the people, rather than by the entrenched forces of capital. For King, a “reborn” America meant a radical reconfiguration of the priorities of market-driven capitalism, which he believed distorted the human personality and moral values; a serious consideration of key aspects of democratic socialism, which he felt was crucial for a truly just political economy; a more comprehensive economic safety net that would allow every American to live with dignity and without want; and a body politic and policy-making process based on uncompromising moral principles rather than political expediency.
 
Using King’s writings, sermons, speeches and historical accounts of his deeds and strategies, as well as key readings in political economy, religion, and basic political theory, we will explore the implications of King’s vision for today and the kinds of policies and social actions implicit in his vision that could make today’s America more politically, socially and economically just – in other words, a more fair and democratic democracy for all Americans.
 
[Course is open to graduate & senior undergraduate students]
 

 
AFASG4080: Section 004
Topics in the Black Experience: Graphic Good
Wednesday: 11:00am -12:50pm
Room 758 Schermerhorn extension 
Instructor: Tanji Gilliam
 
This course is designed to introduce students to the multiple media methods of engaging global humanitarianism, particularly within Diasporic contexts. Alongside a thorough review of both popular and independent activist media, students will be trained to use accessible technology to participate in International humanitarian communications networks. We will explore projects as seemingly diverse as WorldBank, Unicef and Benetton Institutional Campaigns; the architecture of David Adjaye; Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski's, Born Into Brothels; and Majora Carter's Sustainable South Bronx.
 
[Course is open to graduate, junior & senior undergraduate students]