2015 FALL GRADUATE COURSES

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African-American Studies  G4080
TOPICS IN THE BLACK EXPERIENCE:  Section 001
African-American Novelist and the Question of Justice
Call Number: 87747   Points:  3
Day/Time:  M  2:10pm - 4:00pm
Instructor:  Farah J. Griffin

This course asks, “What conceptions of Justice emerge from a selection of works by canonical African-American writers?” We open with an exploration of Justice in the works of the Greek dramatist, Aeschylus, the Hebrew Bible, and the contemporary Philosopher, Michael Sandel.  We then turn to texts by Charles Chesnutt, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Ernest Gaines, and Toni Morrison to examine the way these writers engage, negotiate and critique the relationship between Justice and Race in the United States. Draft  Text : Aeschylus; The Orestia The Bible: Ezekiel 18, Vs. 7-17; Matthew 25; Michael Sandel, Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?; Charles Chesnutt, The Marrow of Tradition; Zora Neale Hurston, Moses, Man of the Mountain; Richard Wright, Native Son; Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man; Ernest Gaines, A Lesson Before Dying; and Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon.

African-American Studies  G4080
TOPICS IN THE BLACK EXPERIENCE: Section 002
Beyond Civil Rights: Martin Luther King and the Case for Radical Democracy
Call Number:  93150  Points:  4
Day/Time:  M   11:00am - 12:50pm
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 Requirements Apart from the usual requirements of being prepared to fully participate in seminar discussions, each student must post a “commentary” on the Columbia CourseWorks website at least three times during the semester. The “commentary” should be at least 150 words in length. It may contain your thoughts about issues discussed in a previous class meeting, reflections on particular assigned readings, or a continuation of an exchange of opinions generated by another student’s commentary. Attendance, class participation, and three “commentaries” will comprise 25 percent of your final grade. Each student will be required to introduce one week’s topic and readings. The presentation can be as creative as you choose, but, in some way, it must: 1) summarize the main points of the week’s readings; 2) articulate three significant questions inspired by the readings; or 3) present an argument against some aspect of the readings with which you disagree. The presentation will count for 25 percent of your final grade. A final paper or project of 15-20 pages on a topic of your choosing, with the approval of the professor.

African-American Studies  G4080
TOPICS IN THE BLACK EXPERIENCE:   Section 003
The Political Thought of Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany
Call Number:  61074   Points:  4
Day/Time:   2:10pm - 4:00pm
Instructor:  Robert Gooding-Williams

An intensive examination of the political thought of Frederick Douglass and Martin Delany, giving special emphasis to their pre-Civil War writings, speeches and correspondence.


African-American Studies  G4100Section 001
African-American Pro Seminar
Call Number:  26296    Points:   4
Day/Time:  M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Instructor:  Marcellus Blount
Notes: AFAM MA STUDENTS ONLY

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.


African-American Studies  G4520  / Section 001
Race & The Articulation of Difference
Call Number:  28846   Points:   4
Day/Time:  R  4:10pm - 6:00pm
Instructor:  Steven Gregory

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 differences—claims that muster, mimic and articulate notions of differences associated with a variety of social distinctions, including sex/gender, class and nation-based identities.  This seminar will situate the process of racialization within the wider problematic of political subjectivity and direct attention to the symbolic and structural organization of modern, hierarchical social systems.


African-American Studies G4993 / Section 001
Editorial & Writing Colloquium I
Call Number:  64697    Points:  2
Day/Time:  W  4:10pm - 6:00pm
Instructor:  TBA
[African American Studies Graduate Students Only- Required Course]

This colloquium is designed to guide students through the various stages of writing and editing the Master's thesis: defining the field of research, formulating the problem, choosing an appropriate research methodology, gathering information, organizing the material, revising, developing a bibliography, and preparing a scholarly manuscript. In addition to weekly peer-editing sessions, students will read, evaluate, and discuss essays from major writers in the field as a way to identify the generic conventions of fine critical analysis.