2017 Spring Graduate Courses

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AFAS GU4035 section 001 - HISTORIES OF RACE, POLICING, AND THE CARCERAL STATE
Samuel K. Roberts, Jr. SKR2001@columbia.edu
Call# 73452
 
This course provides an introduction to historical and contemporary concepts and issues in the U.S. criminal justice system, including state violence; the evolution of modern policing; inequality and criminal justice policy; drug policy as urban policy; and the development of mass incarceration and the “Carceral continuum.” The writing component to this course is a 20-25 page research paper on a topic to be developed in consultation with the instructor. This course has been approved for inclusion in the African-American Studies and History undergraduate curricula.  


AFAS GU4080/ 001 - TOPICS IN THE BLACK EXPERIENCE: BLACK NEW YORK
Dr. Frank Guridy, FG2368@columbia.edu
Call #23039
 
This graduate seminar examines the historical experiences of people of African descent in New York City from slavery to the present. As central figures in the past and present of the cultural capital of the United States, Black New Yorkers have endured unique experiences of racial, class, gender, and sexual oppression while offering creative and transformational self-making strategies in the face of these forms of domination. Thus Black New Yorkers have routinely widened our understanding of the Black experience in the United States and the broader African diaspora. The course encourages students to consider the ways Black New York identities and cultural practices have been shaped by the built environment. In this way, students can explore the ways Black New Yorkers have left their imprint on, and also have been erased from, the city’s urban landscape. Although Black Manhattanites will figure prominently in the course, the class will also explore the histories of Black New Yorkers in the other four boroughs, particularly the Bronx and Brooklyn. Far from being a comprehensive examination of Black New York history, the course will focus on the following topics: slavery and abolition in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the diverse cultural practices of Black New Yorkers from the Harlem Renaissance period until the era of Hip Hop; social movements and political activism, the role of sport and recreation in the constitution of Black communities; and the impact of neoliberalism and gentrification on Black New York communities in recent years. 
 


AFASGU4080/002 Topics in the Black Experience: The Spiritual Quest of August Wilson
Obery Hendricks, OH2151@columbia.edu
Call#27825
 
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


AFASGU4080/003 - Topics in the Black Experience: Bessie Smith to Beyoncé:  The Century of African American Women Performers 
Salamishah Tillet, smt2190@columbia.edu
Call#26019
 
African American women performers from blues woman Bessie Smith to French cabaret star Josephine Baker, from jazz darling Billie Holiday to rock icon Tina Turner, from disco queens LaBelle to pop vocalist Whitney Houston, and from hip hop legend Lauryn Hill to millennial star Beyoncé, have constantly redefined and expanded American popular music. Using the long 20th century as our historical marker, this course will explore how African American women performers have consciously and sometimes contradictorily used new media technologies, blended musical genres, and defied the racial and sexual limits placed on them in American culture in order to assert their own narratives of artistic and political freedom.