2019 SPRING GRADUATE COURSES

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AFAS GU 4080 004
Topics in the Black Experience: Black New York
Tuesdays 12:10pm-2:00pm;  RM. 758 Schermerhorn Extension
Frank A. Guridy; Email: fg2368@columbia.edu
 
This undergraduate 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. Drawing from the work of historians, geographers, novelists, and other knowledge producers, the course encourages students to explore the ways Black New York social and cultural practices have been shaped by the particular built environment of New York City. Students will examine the ways Black New Yorkers have left—and continue to struggle to leave—their imprint on 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 other parts of the city, 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, 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.  Students should be prepared to participate in required field trips to historically significant Black New York sites around the city.


GU 4080/ Section 001
Topics in the Black Experience: Epic Black

A study of long form works by Black artists that seek to give depth and dimension to Black history and culture.  We will explore works by a number of important artists including, but not limited to, Alvin Ailey, Romare Bearden, Beyoncé, Duke Ellington, Toni Morrison, Derek Walcott and August Wilson.
 
Farah J.  Griffin , fjg8@columbia.edu ; Wednesdays 2:10-4:00pm



 
GU4080/ Section 002
Topics in the Black Experience: With New Eyes: Visual Culture and Critical Social Analysis

How do artists, curators and performers engage, challenge and navigate visual representations of the social world? How have cultural practitioners created counter-narratives against stereotyping to produce alternative imagery thus shifting potential identies and politics? How does creative expression produce radical strategies to negotiate or to transgress the subjective binaries of sexuality, gender and further offer queer and transgender frameworks to understand race, culture and society? With a focus on the cultural production of the 20th and 21st century, this inter-disciplinary course examines the social construction of race, gender, sexuality and class within cultural and historical contexts. Applying a critical Ethnic studies framework, we study visual culture through the historical origins of world fair displays and museums (bodies and art objects as ethnographic study), fashion (dress, style, culturally-coded representation, and photography), popular culture and mainstream entertainment (film, television) to policy, social protest and cultural movements
 
Johanna Almiron, iraas@columbia.edu,  Thursdays 2:10- 4:00P,
 

 
GU 4080/ Section 003
Topics in the Black Experience
: 20 and Odd: The 400-Year Anniversary of Africans Landing at Jamestown in 1619
This course is designed as a research seminar focusing on the examination of images, documents, and ephemera that highlight the African presence in Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the United States.  The first Africans arrived in the British colony in 1619, and were recorded as “20 and odd Negroes,” who disembarked from an English pirate ship flying a Dutch flag. These Africans represent a small part of the lucrative, international slave trade dominated by the Portuguese, Dutch and English in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. They would come to signify the start of slavery in the United States that would transform the region into a center for agriculture, commerce and trade.
 
Using the collections at the Columbia Rare Book and Manuscript Library, New York Public Library, New York Historical Society, Museum of the City of New York, New York State Archives and the Library of Congress, we will identify key materials that provide insight on what the texture of life would have been like for Africans in colonial Virginia. This research will also be the foundation from which to consider documents that reflect attitudes, legal agreements, popular culture and personal accounts toward the general system of slavery that would fuel the economic engine of the United States until the late 19th century. The research generated from this seminar will support the development of an exhibition at Columbia in Fall 2019.
 
Kalia M. Brooks, kb3102@columbia.edu

GU4032/Section 001 Business & Society: Image & Identity in Contemporary Advertising
Advertising is a polyglot organizational field consisting of traditional advertising agencies, but also digital companies and social media firms that use creative marketing techniques, such as crowdsourcing and viral marketing.  We will consider the ways that creative agencies— and those in their service— produce and consume information and image, in an effort to shape individual and collective identities, and to market goods and services. This course focuses on the organization of contemporary advertising industry. A special emphasis is placed on the role of diversity and difference, including but not restricted to the ways that race, ethnicity, gender, age and other demographic/social difference impact both the profession and the creative process.
Course open to 2nd, 3rd & 4th year undergraduate students & MA Graduate students only
 
Sudhir VenkateshSV185@columbia.edu