Africa and the Americas

Deb Clark, Tomson 283
507-786-3907

wp.stolaf.edu/africa-americas

Throughout history, African and African American peoples have played a central role on the world’s stage, and they continue to offer perspectives critical to understanding the post-modern world. The Africa/African diaspora experience has been most commonly expressed and understood through its history, arts, religion, and politics, and the program draws expertise from an array of disciplines. As students explore the values and lifestyles deriving from communities of African heritage, they gain a fuller understanding of the significance of these global communities’ contributions to the larger world.

Overview of the Concentration

The Africa and the Americas concentration integrates studies of African history and culture, the forced movement of African peoples to the New World, and the consequences of slavery and post-slavery relations in the United States. The concentration in Africa and the Americas provides students with the opportunity to study the ways in which Africans and peoples of African descent understand and interpret their interactions with global cultures and traditions.

The concentration requires a minimum of five courses. The interdisciplinary seminar, AFAM 231 Africa and the Americas: The Diaspora Experience is required of all students electing this concentration, and students are strongly advised to enroll in this course during their first or sophomore year. One independent study may be counted toward the concentration.

Students are also encouraged to include off-campus study, either domestic or overseas, in their programs. See the program director for information on the HECUA program and programs available in Namibia, South Africa, Ghana, and Tanzania, as well as in the British and French Caribbean.

Required Seminar

AFAM 231: Africa and the Americas: The Diaspora Experience

This interdisciplinary course examines the ties that bind Africans and African Americans. Africans on the African continent and in the diaspora share historical, cultural, and religious lives that prove richly diverse. Students explore ways that peoples of African descent interact. From colonial times to the present day whether in the New World, or in Africa their lives intersect to create institutions and powerful influences in the world. Counts toward American studies major and race and ethnic studies major and concentration.

AFAM 294: Academic Internship

AFAM 298: Independent Study

AFAM 394: Academic Internship

AFAM 396: Directed Undergraduate Research

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.
Prerequisite: Determined by individual instructor.

AFAM 398: Independent Research

Elective Courses

Elective courses must be relevant to the focus of the concentration. For some electives, students may be required to negotiate specific assignments with the instructor and the director of the concentration. Other courses not identified in this list may also be acceptable, depending on the relevance of their content to the concentration.

ART 269 African Art History

ENGL 108 The Hero and the Trickster in Post-Colonial Literature

ENGL 205 American Racial and Multicultural Literatures

ENGL 207 Women of the African Diaspora

ENGL 210 Post-Colonial Literatures (with a focus on Africa)

ENGL 399 The Major Seminar (when the topic pertains to Africa and the Americas)

FREN 271 The Francophone World

FREN 372 Topics in Francophone Studies

FREN 373 Genre Studies

HIST 151 Slavery in African History

HIST 165 Slavery in the Americas

HIST 181 Civil Rights Revolution

HIST 256 Slavery in West Africa: Ghana (abroad)

HIST 277 African-American History

HIST 288 America in the Civil War and Reconstruction Era

HIST 291 Introduction to African History

HIST 292 Muslim Societies in Sub-Saharan Africa

HIST 370 American Seminar (when the topic pertains to Africa & the Americas)

RACE 122 Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies

SOAN 128 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (with a focus on Africa)

SOAN 261 Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective

SOAN 264 Race and Class in American Culture

SOAN 266 Crime and Inequality (with a focus on Africa)

SOAN 268 Class, Status, and Power

SWRK 280 Social Realities in South Africa (abroad)

 

Director, 2016-2017

Joan Hepburn

Associate Professor of English

African American literature; drama; race and ethnic literature; western African drama in English

Mary S. Carlsen (on leave Interim and spring)

Professor of Social Work and Family Studies

social policy; global social work; professional ethics; end of life care; family studies

Michael W. Fitzgerald

Professor of History

African-American history; Civil War and Reconstruction; Southern America

David Hagedorn

Artist in Residence in Music

jazz bands; percussion; percussion methods; world music

Abdulai Iddrisu

Associate Professor of History

African history; Islam in Africa

Joseph L. Mbele

Associate Professor of English

folklore; English post-colonial and third world literature

Jonathan T. Naito (on leave)

Associate Professor of English

20th- and 21st-century British and Irish literature; postcolonial studies; black and Asian British literature; Samuel Beckett

David C. Schalliol

Assistant Professor of Sociology/Anthropology

social stratification; urban sociology; visual sociology; criminology; education