This department is supervised by the Africana Studies Committee: 

Chair:  Celia E. Naylor (Africana Studies/History)

Core Faculty: Yvette Christiansë (Africana Studies/English); Kim F. Hall, (Africana Studies/English); Monica M. Miller (Africana Studies/English); Celia E. Naylor (Africana Studies/History); Colin W. Leach (Psychology/Africana Studies); Tamara Walker (Africana Studies)                                                                                                                                    

Secondary Faculty: Abosede George (History); Kaiama L. Glover (French); Maja Horn (Spanish and Latin American Cultures);  

Affiliated Faculty: Severine Autesserre (Political Science); Brian Larkin (Anthropology); Rose Razaghian (Africana Studies); Mignon Moore (Sociology)

Requirements for the Major

I. The Africana major consists of ten courses (a minimum of 38 credits) to be distributed as follows: 

I: Introductory Courses
Each student will take 2 (of the 3) introductory Africana Studies courses. We strongly suggest students take Introduction to African Studies (AFRS 2004) AND either Caribbean Cultures and Societies (AFRS 2005) OR Introduction to the African Diaspora (AFRS 2006)
AFRS BC2004Introduction to African Studies3
AFRS BC2005CARIBBEAN CULTURE & SOCIETIES3
AFRS BC2006Introduction to African Diaspora3
II. Language
Each student must demonstrate proficiency in any of the languages of Africa or the diaspora (including Arabic, Dutch, English, French, Hausa, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swahili) by completing at least the fourth semester of that language, or its equivalent. This requirement is not in addition to the general foreign language requirement.
III. Harlem
Each student will take a course on Harlem, chosen in consultation with her advisor, from among the offerings at Barnard or Columbia.
IV. Electives
Each student will, with the approval of her advisor, select five electives. Of these five, one must be on Africa and one must concern issues of gender.
V. One Semester Colloquium in Africana Studies
AFRS BC3110THE AFRICANA COLLOQUIUM4
VI. Senior Seminar
Students will complete a one-semester program of interdisciplinary research in preparation of a senior essay.

Requirements for the Minor

Although the college requires students to declare the minor formally after they have completed course work for the minor, the Africana Studies program strongly encourages students to meet with the Africana Studies Director (or the minor advisor) to plan a course of study and fill out an "intent to minor" form.

The Africana minor consists of five courses to be distributed as follows: Two of the introduction courses below.

AFRS BC2004Introduction to African Studies
AFRS BC2005CARIBBEAN CULTURE & SOCIETIES
AFRS BC2006Introduction to African Diaspora
One course on Harlem, chosen in consultation with her advisor, from among the offerings at Barnard or Columbia. Two electives chosen by students in consultation with the minor advisor.

AFRS BC2004 Introduction to African Studies. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).

Interdisciplinary and thematic approach to the study of Africa, moving from pre-colonial through colonial and post-colonial periods to contemporary Africa. Focus will be on its history, societal relations, politics and the arts. The objective is to provide a critical survey of the history as well as the continuing debates in African Studies.

Spring 2023: AFRS BC2004
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 2004 001/00005 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
203 Diana Center
Abosede George 3 40/40

AFRS BC2005 CARIBBEAN CULTURE & SOCIETIES. 3.00 points.

This course offers a chronological study of the Anglophone, Hispanophone, and Francophone insular Caribbean through the eyes of some of the region’s most important writers and thinkers. We will focus on issues that key Caribbean intellectuals--including two Nobel prize-winning authors--consider particularly enduring and relevant in Caribbean cultures and societies. Among these are, for example, colonization, slavery, national and postcolonial identity, race, class, popular culture, gender, sexuality, tourism and migration. This course will also serve as an introduction to some of the exciting work on the Caribbean by professors at Barnard College and Columbia University (faculty spotlights)

Spring 2023: AFRS BC2005
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 2005 001/00015 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
324 Milbank Hall
Khemani Gibson 3.00 20/20

AFRS BC2006 Introduction to African Diaspora. 3 points.

Interdisciplinary and thematic approach to the African diaspora in the Americas: its motivations, dimensions, consequences, and the importance and stakes of its study. Beginning with the contacts between Africans and the Portuguese in the 15th century, this class will open up diverse paths of inquiry as students attempt to answer questions, clear up misconceptions, and challenge assumptions about the presence of Africans in the 'New World.'

Spring 2023: AFRS BC2006
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 2006 001/00184 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
324 Milbank Hall
Tamara Walker 3 25/25

AFRS BC2010 Colonialism in Africa. 3 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

This course will prepare students to examine diplomatic interactions involving African and European polities during the eighteenth and nineteenth century and the role that military force played in helping European nations secure access to territory and control of resources on the African continent. Students will also examine the vast array of forensic evidence (the broad range of ritual compacts and treaties, the forms of proof and the legal debates) that European merchants and political representatives used to secure entitlements to land and resources.

AFRS BC2115 BLACK FEMINIST PORTAL: TRANSFORMATIVE TEXTS. 4.00 points.

In the Spring of 2021, Black Feminist Portal will invite students engage a multi-generational literary and activist archive of survival and change. Using the emerging technology of the digital oracle, the course empowers students to engage the complexity of their own lives in this moment of historic change supported by the writing of Black women writers whose work is central to the formation of Black feminist theory, practice and possibility. Topics considered include: how the personal and the political shape each other, community accountability and responses to violence, and race and educational institutional change. There is also ample space in the course for students to focus on the transformations currently occurring in their own lives. This course will take place through a combination of asynchronous resources and live meetings via video conference and is made possible by a partnership with Black Feminist Film School which allows for the creation of in-depth materials that students can engage on their own time

AFRS BC2510 Food, Ethnicity & Globalization. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None

When people produce, consume or refuse food, choices that often seem "natural," unthinking and highly personal are in fact daily acts of identity and belonging that place individuals in the global circulation of goods, people and resources. This course examines representations of food and foodways as a way of understanding the politics of representation and the complex interplay of race, ethnicity and gender. The course's units on Ethnicity, Migration and Identity; Food & Globalization; Food and Power; and the Politics of Pork, will allow students to understand foodways as key expressions or embodiments of cultural affiliations and food choices as linked to questions of morality and values.

AFRS BC3001 Politics of Gender in Contemporary South Africa. 1.5 point.

This course will only take place from September 23rd through October 9th.

This module is designed to offer mid-senior level students with an interest in African Studies an intensive engagement with the politics of gender and sexualities in specific African contexts of the c21. Although the module will include discussion of aspects of the sexual and gendered operations of colonial praxis, the concentration will be on the ways in which post-flag democracy cultures have taken up the question of gender and sexualities. We will explore debates on the representation and realities of lesbian and transgendered experiences, the meaning of race-based identity-politics within “new” democracies, the narratives of “the body” as they emerge through medical and religious discourses on “women,”  and discourses of “e-masculinization” and militarism.     Note that this course will only run from September 16th through September 30th.

AFRS BC3002 HARLEM MOVEMENT LEGACIES. 4.00 points.

Harlem Movement Legacies is intended for you to explore the geography and culture of Harlem, New York City through movement. This course embodies the Akan principle of sankofa, looking back to move forward: We will explore the cultural roots of movement styles we engage with, come to understand their influence within the community, and their importance to the lives of their participants and viewers, all while looking toward the futures of these movement traditions. Students will engage with a mixture of concert, popular, and vernacular dance forms, exploring venues for dance practice and performance from The Apollo to the street. The topics covered during the semester are not intended to be exhaustive or reflect a chronological ordering, but rather a survey of the breadth of movement practices in Harlem. Students will have the opportunity to witness, embody, critically discuss and write about dance forms that have emerged and thrive Uptown. Most imp​​ortantly, the work students produce by the semester’s end will contribute to critical archival documentation of Harlem’s movement culture bearers. Experiential learning will take place through lectures, films, site visits, and attending classes, performances, or rehearsals. During the semester, you will be asked to apply critical thinking, reading, and writing skills to Dance­ related texts and choreography. By the end of the semester, you should be able to understand and interpret the language and form of movement work in the context of time and place. The big questions we will tackle during this course include: How do we see, write about and talk about dance? What is legacy? What are the dance and movement traditions in Harlem? What are the artistic impulses, pertinent issues, communities and contexts that bring this work to life? How are Harlem movement legacies honored and sustained? What is the future of these traditions? Dance itself is the primary source material for this course, and we will learn to read it closely as we ask these questions. The major assignments for this course will ask students to capture and interpret Harlem’s movement legacies through movement, oral storytelling, and writing

AFRS BC3020 Harlem Crossroads. 3 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Studies Harlem in the context of African-American and African diaspora culture and society as well as American urbanization. Primarily focusing on Harlem of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the course offers students opportunities to discuss political economy, immigration, migration and the role of the city in social life.

AFRS BC3021 Queer Caribbean Critique. 4.00 points.

This seminar analyzes the different critical approaches to studying same-sex desire in the Caribbean region. The region’s long history of indigenous genocide, colonialism, imperialism, and neo-liberalism, have made questions about “indigenous” and properly “local” forms of sexuality more complicated than in many other regions. In response, critics have worked to recover and account for local forms of same-sex sexuality and articulated their differences in critical and theoretical terms outside the language of “coming out” and LGBT identity politics. On the other hand, critics have emphasized how outside forces of colonialism, imperialism, and the globalization of LGBT politics have impacted and reshaped Caribbean same-sex desires and subjectivities. This course studies these various critical tendencies in the different contexts of the Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanophone, and Dutch Caribbean

AFRS BC3055 Slave Resistance in the United States from the Colonial Era to the Civil War. 3 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Analyzes the multifaceted nature of slave resistance, its portrayal and theorization by scholars.  Critically examines the various pathways of resistance of enslaved Africans and African-Americans, both individually and collectively (e.g., running away, non-cooperation, theft, arson, as well as verbal and physical confrontation, revolts and insurrections).  Considers how gender shaped acts of resistance.

AFRS BC3065 Writing Diasporic Cities. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.

This course considers representation of four cities in which diasporic communities have settled and negotiated the psychic and material terrain that stretches from a past homeland to a settled homeland.  We look at New York, London, Kinshasha, and Cape Town where communities of different African diasporas- historical and contemporary- as well as South Asian diasporas have settled.   Locally, we enter a space like the contemporary Malcolm Shabazz market to attend to the transnational, mercantilist as well as cultural public spheres that it creates.  We also look at earlier transmigrations by African Diasporic groups moving from Jamaica to Harlem to Marseilles.  We consider London in the 1980s and the early 2000s.   Thematically, we consider different kinds of displacement and their impact upon women.  We foreground race, ethnicity, nationalist discourses, global economies, and the publishing, distribution and marketing networks of the Arts produced in these cities.  We read across genres and consider graffiti in neighborhoods that have diasporic communities.

AFRS BC3100 Medicine and Power in African History. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Examines medical discourse and practice in Africa, emphasizing relationships between power and medical knowledge. Topics include: medicine and empire, tropical medicine, colonial public health and social control, labor, reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS.

AFRS BC3110 THE AFRICANA COLLOQUIUM. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: Students must attend first day of class and admission will be decided then. Enrollment limited to 18 students. Priority will be given to Africana majors and CCIS students (Africana Studies, American Studies and Women's Studies majors; minors in Race and Ethnic Studies).
Afrofuturism From slave narratives to science fiction, Afrofuturist art contests the boundaries of the real. Otherworldly visions, tales from the underground, sounds from the future, and alien bodies recur in Black literature, music, visual art, and performance. What is it about the Black experience that solicits the unreal? This course examines the speculative, futurist, and fantastic in African American literature and the arts. Drawing on a range of nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century literary and cultural production, we will explore the aesthetics of Afrofuturism and the afterlives of slavery

Spring 2023: AFRS BC3110
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 3110 001/00009 Th 2:10pm - 4:00pm
405 Barnard Hall
Maleda Belilgne 4.00 12/15
AFRS 3110 002/00010 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Ll017 Milstein Center
Celia Naylor 4.00 13/15
AFRS 3110 003/00794 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
404 Barnard Hall
Tamara Walker 4.00 3/14

AFRS BC3120 History of African-American Music. 3 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Survey interrogates the cultural and aesthetic development of a variety of interconnected musical genres - such as blues, jazz, gospel, soul, funk, R&B, hip-hop, classical and their ever changing same/names - viewed as complex human activities daringly danced at dangerous discourses inside and outside the American cultural mainstreams.

AFRS BC3121 Black Women in America. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Prerequisites: Students must attend first day of class and admission will be decided then. Priority will be given to CCIS students (Africana Studies, American Studies and Women's Studies majors; minors in Race and Ethnic Studies). Enrollment limited to 20 students.

Examines the roles of black women in the U.S. as thinkers, activists and creators during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing on the intellectual work, social activism and cultural expression of African American women, we examine how they understood their lives, resisted oppression and struggled to change society. We will also discuss theoretical frameworks (such as "double jeopardy," or "intersectionality") developed for the study of black women. The seminar will encourage students to pay particular attention to the diversity of black women and critical issues facing Black women today. This course is the same as WMST BC3121.

AFRS BC3125 Diasporic Women at Work. 4 points.

This course is an exploration of different ways of conceptualizing the relationships between gender and labor over time, including critiques linking gendered labor to race and class. Grounded primarily in ethnography and political economy, we will look at some of the changes and continuities in the relationship between gender and forms of labor ranging from women in factories to affective labor/caring work in the African Diaspora, particularly the Caribbean and Latin America.

AFRS BC3134 Unheard Voices: African Women's Literature. 4 points.

How does one talk of women in Africa without thinking of Africa as a 'mythic unity'? We will consider the political, racial, social and other contexts in which African women write and are written about in the context of their located lives in Africa and in the African Diaspora.

AFRS BC3144 Black Theater. 4 points.

Theatre is always reflecting, constructing, and resisting notions of community.  In this course we will explore the way in which Black Theatre, in particular African-American theatre, has served as an intervening agent in racial, cultural, and national identity by examining the relationship between Black theatre development and the historical circumstances surrounding that development.  In 1998, at a Theatre Communications Conference in Princeton New Jersey, August Wilson—one of the premier playwrights of the century as well as one of the most prolific African-American playwrights in American history—demanded a theatre for and by black Americans, “art that feeds the spirit and celebrates the life of black America.”  His statement raised considerable questions and inspired heated debates that crossed both racial and cultural boundaries.  In this course one of the questions we will explore is taken from August Wilson: Can we define American Black culture through plays written by Black playwrights (in particular African-American playwrights)?  Within the category of Black/African-American theatre, how does gender, culture, geography and class fit it?

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AFRS BC3146 African American and African Writing and the Screen. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Focuses on the context and history of representations of African Americans and Africans in early American and other cinematographies; the simultaneous development of early film and the New Negro, Negritude and Pan African movements; and pioneer African American and African cinema.

AFRS BC3148 Literature of the Great Migration. 3 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

(Also ENGL BC 3148) Examination of fiction, poetry, essays and films about the Great Migration (1910-1950) of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North, focusing on literary production in New York and Chicago. (This course satisfies the Harlem Requirement for the Africana Studies major).

AFRS BC3150 Race and Performance In The Caribbean. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Sophomore Standing. Enrollment limited to 18 students.

Analysis of the shifting place and perception of Afro-Caribbean performance in Caribbean societies. This course takes a cross-cultural approach that examines performance through the lens of ethnography, anthropology, music and literary criticism.

AFRS BC3516 Environmental Humanities in the Global South. 4.00 points.

"This interdisciplinary course studies how individuals and communities in the Global South attempt to make sense of the ‘sense of an ending’ that underlines all warnings about environmental crisis and climate change. Our interdisciplinary course has a doubled foundation out of which our readings and discussions will grow: communal understanding and knowledge about local environments, on one hand, and the relation between such knowledge and the data and information gathered by scientists." "We therefore begin with a simple question: what is the relation between the Humanities and the work of scientists? Scientists undertake painstaking, necessary research to provide communities and their governments with vital, necessary information. Individuals and communities interpret and translate this information, often affectively. An organization of scientists studying carbon levels across Africa can list the progressive increase in temperatures across Africa over a period of years and calculate anticipated increases. An image based on this data may visualize the projected rise:" "A glance reveals something dire based on the way we associate red with danger. Our course is oriented towards who lives beneath the surfaces of data and images that ‘draw a picture’ for us. We read for how communities and individuals explain and communicate their relation to the historical and changing environments. In other words, we attend to narration, in different forms—fiction, poetry, song, travelogue—to grasp how experiences are rendered comprehensible. There is a broad ‘where’ as well, and a fluid ‘when.’ ‘Where’ takes us into the portmanteau category of ‘The Global South.’ We bracket the scope of this category to focus upon specific places in the Indian Ocean, sub-Saharan Africa and diasporic African communities. ‘When’ permits us to think of time, the time of the world, the times of change and the times of aftermaths. Go into an archive, open a history book, a sacred text and you will encounter ‘endings.’ We enter British colonial archives to see how signs of ‘When’ also allows us to face an underlying dread that might be called a ‘sense of an ending’ and to see just how many such ‘endings’ have come to pass. This is how we enter the diasporic histories of environmental change related to colonialism and the enslavement and transportation of whose descendants live in the broader ‘Global South’ Africans

Fall 2022: AFRS BC3516
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 3516 001/00746 T 2:00pm - 4:00pm
502 Diana Center
Yvette Christianse 4.00 11/20

AFRS BC3517 African American Women and Music. 3 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None

Examines the music making practices of African-American women in blues, gospel, jazz, and rock at different periods in the 20th century. Considers the content and context of these musical productions as well as artist biographies in order to understand the significance of music for these producers and their audiences.

AFRS BC3519 Race Before Race: Premodern Constructions of Social Difference. 4.00 points.

This course expands the reach of traditional analyses of race and ethnicity by demonstrating the key role of premodernity (Classical, Medieval and Early Modern eras) in developing modes of race thinking that shape the modern world. We will use intersectional approaches and critical race theory to examine both theorizing about race and primary materials that (re)produce race across time and in the present moment. What does it mean to look at premodernity through the eyes of the African Diaspora? Our examination of the different types of premodern race thinking will culminate in a collaborative class project in which students will be asked to apply critical race theory inflected approaches to editing an early modern text

Fall 2022: AFRS BC3519
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 3519 001/00046 T 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Online Only
Kim F Hall 4.00 7/8

AFRS BC3528 Harlem on My Mind: The Political Economy of Harlem. 4 points.

Drawing on social histories, primary sources, fiction, and popular culture this course will explore the postwar history of Harlem. We will place Harlem in the broader context of New York City and explore how domestic and transnational migration patterns have shaped its history. Specific topics include: urbanization, migration and settlement patterns; racial liberalism and political incorporation; critical engagement with East Harlem as research cite for "culture of poverty" theorists; state criminalization of youth; underground, illegal and illicit economy from the 1960s to the 1990s; struggles over property and gentrification; and perhaps most importantly, exploring Harlem as cultural and political center of the Black World throughout the twentieth century.

AFRS BC3532 ROMARE BEARDEN:HOME IS HARLEM. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: This course is limited to 20 students
Prerequisites: This course is limited to 20 students Romare Bearden: Home is Harlem, is an exploration into one of the greatest American artists finding home in Harlem. The noted painter, collagist, intellectual and advocate for the arts, spent his childhood and young adult life in Harlem. Known for chronicling the African-American experience, he found rich sources for artistic expression in the Manhattan neighborhoods above 110th Street

Spring 2023: AFRS BC3532
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 3532 001/00006 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
113 Milstein Center
Deidra Harris-Kelley 4.00 17/16

AFRS BC3550 GAY HARLEM. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: This course is limited to 20 students and by permission only. This course explores Harlems role in the production of sexual modernity and in particular as a space of queer encounter. While much of our investigation will be devoted to the intersection of race and sexuality in African American life, we also consider Harlems history as a communal space for Italian, Puerto Rican, and more recent immigrants. Students will be encouraged to distinguish and connect contemporary sites of sexual culture in Harlem to the historical articulations of race and sexuality examined in the course

Spring 2023: AFRS BC3550
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 3550 001/00008 T 12:10pm - 2:00pm
113 Milstein Center
Maleda Belilgne 4.00 16/15

AFRS BC3551 Vibrations: Harlem, Jazz and Beyond. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Harlem Jazz Vibrations

AFRS BC3530 Performing Risk: James Baldwin's Harlem. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).

Considering James Baldwin’s fiction and non-fiction, and illuminating details of his biography, this seminar charts a critical geography of religion, sexuality, and race in mid-century Harlem. As part of Africana Studies ‘Harlem Semester’, students will engage and analyze a work-in-progress production of “The Gospel of James Baldwin” by MeShell Ndegeocello.

AFRS BC3552 Black Women, Performance and the Politics of Style. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Black Women, the Apollo, and the Politics of Style

Spring 2023: AFRS BC3552
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 3552 001/00004 Th 12:10pm - 2:00pm
113 Milstein Center
Shirley Taylor 4 20/20

AFRS BC3554 Blackness and Comedic Performance in the U.S.. 4 points.

This course explores the history of race and comedic performance and, in particular, how comedy has historically shaped as well as challenged racial, gender and sexual identities from the mid-1800s to the present. From the performance of blackness by white blackface minstrels in the 1830s and 40s to vaudeville at the turn of the 20 th century, early film comedies, and the work of more recent stand-up comedians, the course will seek to answer some of the social questions posed by these performers. For example, does comedy more often reflect gender, ethnic, and racial stereotypes or challenge them? How do we account for the persistent emphasis upon racial and gender differences? Can comedy be “politically correct” and still be funny? How important is “in-group” laughter to comedy’s success and what should we make of the uncomfortable laughter of those not in the in-group? We will explore the work of comics from Bert Williams, Stepin Fetchit, and Hattie McDaniel to Moms Mabley, Chris Rock and Wanda Sykes. We will investigate the work of these comics through the ideas of modern thinkers who have written on the cultural history of American humor and the social and personal aspects of jokes and comedy. We will read and view the works of these comedians as well as important theoretical texts on humor that provide us with analytical tools to investigate how comedic performance has historically constituted blackness and African-American intellectual history.

AFRS BC3556 Ethnography of Black America. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

This course critically examines ethnographic texts about Blacks in the United States, focusing as much on what they proffer about Black American culture as on the various socio-political contexts in which this body of scholarship has been produced. The goal is to advance an understanding of the larger social forces undergirding the production not only of formations of Black culture, but also of knowledge about Black America. A further goal is to foster a critical understanding of the anthropological enterprise itself.

AFRS BC3560 Human Rights and Social Change in Sub-Saharan Africa. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

Examines the evolution of the ideas, institutions and practices associated with social justice in Africa and their relationship to contemporary international human rights movement and focuses on the role of human rights in social change. A number of themes will re-occur throughout the course, notably tensions between norms and reality, cultural diversity, economic and political asymmetries, the role of external actors, and women as rights providers. Countries of special interest include Liberia, Senegal, South African and Tanzania.

AFRS BC3562 Caribbean Sexualities. 4 points.

The seminar offers an interdisciplinary study of sexualities in the Caribbean from the conquest to the contemporary moment. The principal focus will be on how sexualities intersect with questions of gender, race, nation, and diaspora in the Anglophone, Francophone and Spanish-speaking Caribbean. We will approach the study of Caribbean sexualities from various disciplines and areas of study, including history, anthropology, sociology, ethnomusicology, performance studies, literary studies, gender studies, cultural studies, and postcolonial theory. The first part of the seminar addresses Caribbean sexuality in the context of conquest, colonization and slavery, and then national independence. The remainder of the course addresses areas that have drawn particularly intense scholarly debates, including Caribbean family formation, masculinity, and same-sex desire, as well as sex tourism, and the gender and sexual politics of Caribbean popular music and dance.

AFRS BC3563 Translating Hispaniola. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Students will look at the extent to which the nation-language border separating Haiti and the Dominican Republic represents the legacy of a colonial history whose influence in many ways undermines regional community in the Caribbean to the present day. Beginning with Christopher Columbus’ fraught “discovery” of Hispaniola and ending with the 2010 earthquake and its aftermath, the course explores social, political, and cultural phenomena common to both nations – among which, slavery and freedom, Euro-North American imperialist intervention, and diaspora and migration – as these issues manifest in primary and secondary works of creative fiction, history, anthropology, and political theory. From oral histories to newspaper articles to short fiction by Junot Diaz and Edwidge Danticat, this course traces the history of a divided Caribbean family. Students will engage with recently created digital humanities resources concerning Haiti and the Dominican Republic and also develop interactive, web-based tools that allow for a more nuanced and expansive understanding of Hispaniola’s transnational past, present, and futures. Please note that there is no language requirement for this course.

AFRS BC3567 "Blackness" in French: From Harlem to Paris and Beyond. 4 points.

Blackness in French

Fall 2022: AFRS BC3567
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 3567 001/00045 W 11:00am - 12:50pm
Ll016 Milstein Center
Kaiama Glover 4 13/16

AFRS BC3570 Africana Issues: Diasporas of the Indian Ocean. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

The Indian Ocean has been called the cradle of globalization, a claim bolstered by seasonal monsoon winds and the trade that these enabled. We will consider the aesthetic histories of such trade by engaging literary and other cultural exchanges (including film, visual arts, music, and dance). What did the Zulu prophet Isaiah Shembe learn from Gujarati poets? Other than a major slaving center and source of spices, what role did Zanzibar play in the development of music and literary forms that look to Oman as well as the East Coast of Africa? We focus on four sites: Durban (South Africa), Bombay (India), Zanzibar (Tanzania) and Port Louis (Mauritius). This course will be taught simultaneously between Barnard in New York and the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Students from both campuses will be encouraged to interact electronically and to establish a blog and website. The course will also have live-streamed guest speakers from chosen sites around the Indian Ocean.

AFRS BC3585 POOR IN AMERICA: THE EXPERIENCE AND IMPACT OF FINANCIAL DEPRIVATION. 4 points.

This course focuses on the life experiences and impact of poverty in the contemporary United States. We will be exploring the consequences of financial and material deprivation on work, housing, health, parenting, children, as well as the limits and opportunities for inter-generational mobility and how each of these intersect with gender, racial and ethnic identities. We will be learning about the experiences of individual persons as well as how these particular experiences reflect the overarching patterns of social, political and economic trends in the United States. The course will incorporate a diverse set of disciplinary perspectives to shed light on the challenges faced by persons living in poverty. In addition, there will be an emphasis on learning about and critically assessing methodological approaches applied in the literature. No prior knowledge of methods is required and any technical references will be explained in class.

AFRS BC3589 Black Feminism(s)/Womanism(s). 4 points.

Black Feminism(s)/Womanism(s)

AFRS BC3590 The Middle Passage. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: Admission to this seminar is by application only. Applications will be made available on the Africana Studies website: www.barnard.edu/africana

In addition to learning about the history of the Middle Passage, students will examine literary and political responses to this forced immigration out of Africa. Identifying responses to slave holding pasts, the seminar culminates in a visit to an historic site of importance in the Middle Passage.

AFRS BC3998 Senior Seminar. 4 points.

A program of interdisciplinary research leading to the writing of the senior essay. All Africana majors must complete the one-semester Africana Studies Senior Seminar in the fall and submit a senior essay as one of the requirements for this course. A student who has successfully completed the Africana Studies Senior Seminar, has demonstrated the ability to complete a senior thesis, and has obtained approval from the faculty member teaching the Senior Seminar may take an Independent Study with a Barnard or Columbia faculty member or a second thesis seminar in another department in order to complete a senior thesis in Africana Studies in the spring semester.

Fall 2022: AFRS BC3998
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 3998 001/00600  
Yvette Christianse 4 2/5

AFRS BC3532 ROMARE BEARDEN:HOME IS HARLEM. 4.00 points.

Prerequisites: This course is limited to 20 students
Prerequisites: This course is limited to 20 students Romare Bearden: Home is Harlem, is an exploration into one of the greatest American artists finding home in Harlem. The noted painter, collagist, intellectual and advocate for the arts, spent his childhood and young adult life in Harlem. Known for chronicling the African-American experience, he found rich sources for artistic expression in the Manhattan neighborhoods above 110th Street

Spring 2023: AFRS BC3532
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 3532 001/00006 W 10:10am - 12:00pm
113 Milstein Center
Deidra Harris-Kelley 4.00 17/16

AFRS GU4000 HARLEM AND MOSCOW. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: NA The Russian Revolution of 1917 is widely acknowledged as a watershed moment in the global struggle for worker’s rights, but it also played a considerable role in the fights against racism and colonialism (Lenin considered both tools of capitalist exploitation). In Soviet Russia’s project to make racial equality a central feature of communism, two urban locales featured prominently: its capital city of Moscow and the burgeoning Black cultural center that was Harlem, New York. This course will explore cross-cultural encounters between Moscow and Harlem as a way to ask larger questions about race, class, and solidarity across difference. Students can expect to read novels, memoirs, and cultural reportage from Harlem Renaissance figures (Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Dorothy West) who traveled to Moscow. Students will also learn about the role of race in early Soviet culture, particularly visual culture (films, children’s media, propaganda posters, etc.). This course includes a field trip to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem

AFRS GU4001 Afro-Latin America in the Artistic Imagination. 4.00 points.

How have painters, filmmakers, novelists, and other artists portrayed the history of Africans and their descendants in Latin America? How do those portrayals – of the Middle Passage, slavery, revolution, abolition, and contemporary social movements, to name a few examples – compare to scholarly approaches to those same subjects? To answer these and other questions, this class brings together a wide array of materials covering more than five hundred years of Afro-Latin American history. The course will move chronologically from the 15th century to the present, with each week devoted to grappling with a topic relevant to the history of Afro-Latin America in a given era, as viewed through both artistic and scholarly sources. Students will come to class prepared to consider what each has to offer to our understanding of the past. We will also debate the possibilities of using art to disseminate historical knowledge, and whether there any dangers to privileging artistic over scholarly approaches to history (or vice versa). In addition, because NYC is home to so many museums, archives, and cultural institutions relevant to our subject, it will serve as an experiential laboratory where we will spend several of our class meetings. Learning outcomes. By the end of the semester, students will be skilled at the following:  analyzing artistic and scholarly sources on their own terms  discussing them in relation to one another  evaluating the utility of these diverse materials to the process of understanding the past

Fall 2022: AFRS GU4001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
AFRS 4001 001/00745 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
404 Barnard Hall
Tamara Walker 4.00 14/20

AFRS GU4321 Pandemics of Harlem. 4.00 points.

This course will be co-taught by three people who worked in Harlem in the 1990s, in the middle of “mad” plagues: AIDS, HIV, crack cocaine addiction, violence, trauma and mental illness related to violence, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, asthma, obesity and sedentary lifestyles. The course will build on the experiences and published papers of the group, but also bring in contemporary conversations related to underlying issues of serial forced displacement, which created the context for the plagues. Conceived as a collaborative colloquium linking instructors and students across three institutions, the course will be on-line with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous work. Assignments are structured to promote collaborative learning across institutional boundaries. Conditions permitting, students from the three schools -- Barnard, The New School, BMCC -- will have the opportunity to participate in the CLIMB project, a collective recovery project in Northern Manhattan that addresses the connection between the health of people and the quality of the built environment. Jordan-Young (Barnard) will take responsibility for organizing course logistics, and all students will be given access to the Columbia Courseworks site for access to readings and other materials, discussion boards, and assignments. The instructors will rotate the role of “host”/facilitator for the modules. Synchronous sessions will use a combination of live and pre-recorded brief lectures, in-class exercises, and small group discussions. Non-Barnard instructors may opt in or out of specific assignments, and will grade the participation and assignments for their respective students. (The Barnard College students will be responsible for all assignments listed in this syllabus.) Instructors will closely collaborate throughout the semester to monitor and adjust the course, especially the processes for collaboration, as needed

AFEN BC3009 Toni Morrison: An Ethical Poetics. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Toni Morrison set herself a challenge: to engage language in complex literary ways in order to reveal the ‘fact’ of race in the lived experiences of Americans—those made to bear the burden of being ‘raced,’ those exercising the prerogative of ‘racing,’ and those who imagine that none of this applies to them. We travel with her artistic path from The Bluest Eye to her later novels to learn how her choice to create figurative, logical narratives seek their own understanding of the ethics of what she called the “manageable, doable, modern human activity” of living in ‘the house of race.’

AFEN BC3134 Unheard Voices: African Women's Literature. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

How does one talk of women in Africa without thinking of Africa as a 'mythic unity'? We will consider the political, racial, social and other contexts in which African women write and are written about in the context of their located lives in Africa and in the African Diaspora.

AFEN BC3815 The Worlds of Ntozake Shange and Digital Storytelling. 4 points.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 12 students. Permission of the instructor required. Interested students should complete the application at http://bit.ly/Ntozake2019. Students should have taken a course beyond the intro level from ONE of the following areas: American Literature (through the English Department), Africana Studies, American Studies, Theatre or Women's Studies. Students who successfully complete into this course will be eligible to take the second half of the course in Spring 2019. NOTE: There will be three extra sessions scheduled in the Digital Humanities Center.

A poet, performance artist, playwright and novelist, Ntozake Shange's stylistic innovations in drama, poetry and fiction and attention to the untold lives of black women have made her an influential figure throughout American arts and in Feminist history.  This semester will examine Shange's works in the context of political and artistic organizing by women of color in the 1970s and 80s. In addition to our analysis of primary texts, students will be introduced to archival research in Ntozake Shange’s personal archive at Barnard College.  This in-depth exploration of Shange's work and milieu is complemented with an introduction to digital tools, public research and archival practice. You can find more information and apply for the course at http://bit.ly/Ntozake2019. On Twitter @ShangeWorlds.

AFEN BC3816 The Worlds of Ntozake Shange and Digital Storytelling. 4 points.

Prerequisites: AFEN BC3815 or equivalent.

This course has a prerequisite and an application: http://bit.ly/AFEN3816. This hands-on, project based course introduces students to the use of digital tools and sources to organize and manage their archival research, creatively interpret their findings, and communicate their results to the public. This semester, the course is somewhat different from the usual research course in that, rather than simply going more deeply into the course focus, you will be asked to apply your knowledge to make new things. Working with the Barnard Digital Humanities Center, you will develop projects that teach some aspect of Shange's work and or feminist movements. But while making these new things, we will have ongoing discussions about the nature of digital life and evolving protocols for digital work. You will make plans to visit the archive appropriate to your project (in most cases this will be the Barnard Archives, but they might include sites such as The Billy Rose Theatre Division at the NYPL, or the Amiri Baraka collection at Columbia University) as well as doing background reading for your project.  By the end of the semester, you'll have sharpened your research skills while also acquiring digital, teamwork, and project management skills that will be useful in other classes and beyond.

AFEN BC3817 Black Shakespeare. 4.00 points.

This course examines Shakespeare’s role in shaping Western ideas about Blackness, in processes of racial formation, and in Black freedom struggle. As one of the most enduring representations of a Black man in Western art Shakespeare’s Othello will be a focal point. However, this course will examine other “race” plays as well as works perceived as “race-neutral” in tandem with Black “respeakings” of Shakespeare’s works. This class is antiracist in intent and is shaped by several interlocking questions: What is Black Shakespeare? Can creators and scholars separate Shakespeare from the apparatus of white supremacy that has been built around his works? What are the challenges for BIPOC actors performing Shakespeare on the dominant stage? What are the challenges and obstacles for BIPOC scholars working on Shakespeare in academia? Can performing Shakespeare be an activist endeavor

Cross-Listed Courses 

American Studies

Anthropology (Barnard)

ANTH UN1002 The Interpretation of Culture. 3 points.

The anthropological approach to the study of culture and human society. Case studies from ethnography are used in exploring the universality of cultural categories (social organization, economy, law, belief system, art, etc.) and the range of variation among human societies.

Fall 2022: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/10256 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
106 Jerome L Greene Hall
Naor Ben-Yehoyada 3 90/120
Spring 2023: ANTH UN1002
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ANTH 1002 001/12207 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Ren Kraft Center
Syantani Chatterjee 3 75/100

ANTH V3660 Gender, Culture, and Human Rights. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

     

ANTH V3943 Youth and Identity Politics in Africa. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 15.Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor is required.

Examines ways in which African youth inevitably occupy two extremes in academic writings and the mass media: as victims of violence, or as instigators of social chaos. Considers youth as generating new cultural forms, as historically relevant actors, and informed social and/or political critics. At the core of such critiques lie possibilities for the agentive power of youth in Africa. 

ANTH V3983 Ideas and Society in the Caribbean. 4 points.

Enrollment limited to 20.Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Focusing on the Anglo-Creole Caribbean, this course examines some aspects of popular culture, literary expression, political change, and intellectual movements over the past thirty years.

MDES W2030 Major Debates in the Study of Africa. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement, Recitation Section Required

This course will focus on key debates that have shaped the study of Africa in the post-colonial African academy. We will cover seven key debates: (1) Historiography; (2) Slavery and slave trades; (3) State Formation; (4) Colonialism; (5) Underdevelopment; (6) Nationalism and the anti-colonial struggle; (7) Political Identity and political violence in the post-colony. Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement.

ANTH UN3160 Body and Society. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: A 1000 level course in anthropology is strongly recommended but not required as a prerequisite

As an introduction to the field of medical anthropology, this seminar addresses themes of health, affliction, and healing across sociocultural domains.  Concerns include critiques of biomedical, epidemiological and other models of disease and suffering; the entwinement of religion and healing; technocratic interventions in healthcare; and the sociomoral underpinnings of human life, death, and survival.  A 1000 level course in Anthropology is recommended as a prerequisite, although not required.

Art History (Barnard)

AHIS UN3948 Jacob Lawrence's Harlem. 4 points.

The course has the heavy workload associated with seminars.

2017 is the centennial of the birth of the artist Jacob Lawrence, who grew up in Harlem, studied art as a child with some of its leading artists and frequented the cultural institutions established for the community at this time.  Along with his famous series of paintings dedicated to Black history, such as Migration, and Toussaint L'Ouverture, Lawrence made a large number of works recording the places and people of his home, seeking creative means to both document Black experience in this time and place and give it meaning.


In this seminar we will look at Harlem at Lawrence's eyes through three archives of Harlem at this time:  James Vanderzee's street photographs, Aaron Siskind's Harlem Document, and Lawrence's paintings of his community. We will study Harlem in the interwar years as a means of understanding what it is these artists chose to record.  We will look at the aesthetic debates of the Harlem Renaissance and each artist’s biography to investigate how they chose to depict Harlem The class will combine classroom discussions with excursions to the locations and institutions frequented by these artists as a means of tracing continuities and transformations from that period to the present.


The final project for our seminar will be a digital exhibition of select works from these archives.  Students will work together to develop the themes and each will create entries on specific works of art.  Please note that, while we will be having a digital exhibition workshop in class, students will also need to meet with IMATS staff outside of class time at least once as they conduct the work for this exhibition.


This course is part of Harlem Semester 2017.

Comparative Literature (Barnard)

CLRS W4190 Race, Ethnicity, and Narrative, in the Russian/Soviet Empire. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

This course examines the literary construction of ethnic and cultural identity in texts drawn from the literatures of ethnic minorities and non-Slavic nationalities that coexist within the Russian and Soviet imperial space, with attention to the historical and political context in which literary discourses surrounding racial, ethnic, and cultural particularity develop. Organized around three major regions -- the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Russian Far East --readings include canonical "classics" by Aitmatov, Iskander, and Rytkheu as well as less-known texts, both "official" and censored. 

Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race

CSER W1012 History of Racialization in the United States. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

The History of Racialization in the United States examines the development of race and racism through the study of significant historical circumstances that define the institutional structure of American Empire and of the resulting interactions among its peoples. Race is not static. Consequently, it is not an ahistorical object, nor a predetermined identity, nor a uniform category of analysis. Traditionally, the history of American race relations is the contact between racially defined groups over time and space of the effort required to maintain social and economic differences among them. Racialization, then, refers to the process by which one population group or many are "placed" in distinct racial categories. 

Dance (Barnard)

DNCE BC2580 Tap as an American Art Form. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).

Prerequisites: DNCE BC1446 or equivalent experience.

Studio/lecture format focuses on tap technique, repertory, improvisation, and the development of tap explored through American history, jazz music, films, videos, and biographies.

DNCE BC3570 Latin American and Caribbean Dance: Identities in Motion. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Examines the history and choreographic features of Latin American and Caribbean dance forms. Dances are analyzed in order to uncover the ways in which dancing shapes national, racial, and gender identities. Focuses on the globalization of these dances in New York City.

DNCE BC3578 Traditions of African-American Dance. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: The Visual and Performing Arts (ART).
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Traces the development of African-American dance, emphasizing the contribution of black artists and the influence of black traditions on American theatrical dance. Major themes include the emergence of African-American concert dance, the transfer of vernacular forms to the concert stage, and issues of appropriation, cultural self-identification, and artistic hybridity.

DNCE BC3980 Performing the Political: Embodying Change in American Performance. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: An introductory course in dance or theatre history or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 12 students.

Exploration into the politics of performance and the performance of politics through the lens of 20th-century American dance.

Economics

ECON W4438 Economics of Race in the U.S.. 3 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: ECON W3211 and ECON W3213. ECON W4400 is strongly recommended.

What differences does race make in the U.S. economy? Why does it make these differences? Are these differences things we should be concerned about? If so, what should be done? The course examines labor markets, housing markets, capital markets, crime, education, and the links among these markets. Both empirical and theoretical contributions are studied.

English & Comparative Literature

English (Barnard)

ENGL BC3129 Explorations of Black Literature: Early African-American Lit. 1760-1890. 3 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 18 students.

Poetry, prose, fiction, and nonfiction, with special attention to the slave narrative. Includes Wheatley, Douglass, and Jacobs, but emphasis will be on less familiar writers such as Brown, Harper, Walker, Wilson, and Forten. Works by some 18th-century precursors will also be considered.

ENTH BC3144 Black Theatre. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Exploration of Black Theater, specifically African-American performance traditions, as an intervening agent in racial, cultural, and national identity. African-American theatre artists to be examined include Amiri Baraka, Kia Corthron, W.E.B. Du Bois, Angelina Grimke, Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Adrienne Kennedy, Suzan-Lori Parks, Adrian Piper, and August Wilson. Fulfills one (of two) required courses in dramatic literature for Theatre/Drama and Theatre Arts major.

ENGL BC3190 Global Literature in English. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

  Selective survey of fiction from the ex-colonies, focusing on the colonial encounter, cultural and political decolonization, and belonging and migration in the age of postcolonial imperialism. Areas covered include Africa (Achebe, Aidoo, Armah, Ngugi); the Arab World (Mahfouz, Munif, Salih, Souief); South Asia (Mistry, Rushdie, Suleri); the Carribean (Kincaid); and New Zealand (Hulme).

ENGL BC3194 LITERARY THEORY. 4.00 points.

In this course, we will trace the complex category of imitation from its ancient roots to some of its modern theoretical and literary manifestations. Interpreted differently by different thinkers, imitation can refer to the problem of art’s imitation of things in the world (e.g., your portrait looks like you), art’s imitation of other artistic works (e.g., your portrait looks like a Rembrandt), people’s imitation or even mimicry of one another (who does she think she is?). The latter form of imitation raises the most overtly socio-political questions, whether by replicating social power structures in order to “pass” in a potentially hostile environment or by subverting these same structures through mimicking, outwitting, critiquing, or mocking them. At its core, the category of imitation focuses our attention on what is so central to artmaking that it almost eludes our notice: the question of resemblance. Put in its simplest form: What are we doing (philosophically, artistically, socially) when we make one thing resemble another?

Spring 2023: ENGL BC3194
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
ENGL 3194 001/00519 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
318 Milbank Hall
Rachel Eisendrath 4.00 14/14

ENGL BC3196 HARLEM RENAISSANCE LITERATURE. 4.00 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

In the summer of 2021, Home to Harlem will focus on the writing and collaboration of Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes in the 1920s. We will explore the cultural history and aesthetic debates that animated Harlem in the 1920s by reading them through the work (poetry, fiction, essays, plays) of Barnard and Columbia’s own, who, for a time juggled student life in Morningside Heights and the joys and challenges of being major players in the Harlem or New Negro Renaissance. Hurston and Hughes navigated the demands of being an artist and representative of "the race" in both similar and different ways. They worked together to shape the Renaissance according to their radical visions and were friends and collaborators until they famously fell out. The goal of this class is to plot the individual and collective artistic growth and experimentation of Hurston and Hughes, as well as create a digital timeline and rendering of their individual and collaborative development. To that end, this class will use either or both of the digital tools Scalar and Timeline.js in creative and collaborative ways. The class will partner with the Digital Humanities Center at Barnard for workshops on these digital tools that will be linked to all of the course assignments and final projects. No prior experience with these tools is necessary.

French and Francophone Studies

FREN UN3421 Introduction To French and Francophone Studies II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: FREN UN3405 Advanced Grammar and Composition or an AP score of 5 or the director of undergraduate studies' permission.

Universalism vs. exceptionalism, tradition vs. modernity, integration and exclusion, racial, gender, regional, and national identities are considered in this introduction to the contemporary French-speaking world in Europe, the Americas, and Africa. Authors include: Aimé Césaire, Léopold Sedar Senghor, Frantz Fanon, Maryse Condé.

French (Barnard)

FREN BC3070 Negritude. 3 points.

Prerequisites: FREN BC1204: French Intermediate II or the equivalent level is required.

Analysis of the theoretical and literary precursors of négritude; major figures of the movement; relations with the Harlem Renaissance; and the formulation of creolity by contemporary Caribbean writers and thinkers. Authors will include Gobineau, Maran, Price-Mars, Hughes, McKay, Césaire, Senghor, Damas, Fanon, Sartre, Glissant, and Chamoiseau. Taught in French.General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).

FREN BC3071 Major Literary Works of the French-Speaking World. 3 points.

Introduction to major works of fiction from the French speaking countries of the Caribbean, West Africa, North Africa and Indochina. Considers some of the principal authors of these regions, and examines the sociopolitical, historical, and aesthetic considerations that have influenced Francophone literary production in the twentieth century. FREN BC1204: French Intermediate II or the equivalent level is required.

FREN BC3072 Francophone Fiction: Special Topics. 4 points.

Looks at the portrayal of women as unsettling figures in the Francophone Caribbean literary universe. Examining the uncanny heroines in the novels of both male and female writers, students will identify the thematic commonalities and specific configurative strategies that emerge in the fictional representation of women in the region. The symbolic import of zombies, schizophrenics, and other "disordering" characters will be analyzed as indicators of and reflections on broader social realities. FREN BC1204: French Intermediate II or the equivalent level is required.

Fall 2022: FREN BC3072
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
FREN 3072 001/00082 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
103 Milstein Center
Kaiama Glover 4 15/16

FREN BC3073 Africa in Cinema. 3 points.

Considerations of African-directed twentieth century films concerning French-speaking, sub-Saharan West Africa. Reflections on tradition and modernity, politics and popular culture, the status of women, youth problems, identity construction. Placement of African film within its own tradition. Class taught in English.

French and Romance Philology

FREN UN3421 Introduction To French and Francophone Studies II. 3 points.

Prerequisites: FREN UN3405 Advanced Grammar and Composition or an AP score of 5 or the director of undergraduate studies' permission.

Universalism vs. exceptionalism, tradition vs. modernity, integration and exclusion, racial, gender, regional, and national identities are considered in this introduction to the contemporary French-speaking world in Europe, the Americas, and Africa. Authors include: Aimé Césaire, Léopold Sedar Senghor, Frantz Fanon, Maryse Condé.

History

HIST W3540 History of the South. 3 points.

A survey of the history of the American South from the colonial era to the present day, with two purposes: first, to afford students an understanding of the special historical characteristics of the South and of southerners; and second, to explore what the experience of the South may teach about America as a nation. Group(s): D Field(s): US 

HIST W3772 West African History. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

This course offers a survey of main themes in West African history over the last millenium, with particular emphasis on the period from the mid-15th through the 20th century. Themes include the age of West African empires (Ghana, Mali, Songhay); re-alignments of economic and political energies towards the Atlantic coast; the rise and decline of the trans-Atlantic trade in slaves; the advent and demise of colonial rule; and internal displacement, migrations, and revolutions. In the latter part of the course, we will appraise the continuities and ruptures of the colonial and post-colonial eras. Group(s): C Field(s): AFR 

HIST W4429 Telling About the South. 4 points.

A remarkable array of Southern historians, novelists, and essayists have done what Shreve McCannon urges Quentin Compson to do in William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!--tell about the South--producing recognized masterpieces of American literature.  Taking as examples certain writers of the 19th and 20th centuries, this course explores the issues they confronted, the relationship between time during which and about they wrote, and the art of the written word as exemplified in their work. Group(s): D Field(s): US  Limited enrollment. Priority given to senior history majors. After obtaining permission from the professor, please add yourself to the course wait list so the department can register you in the course.

HIST W4518 Research Seminar: Columbia and Slavery. 4 points.

In this course, students will write​ ​ original, independent​ ​ papers of around 25 pages, based on research in both​ ​ primary and secondary sources, on an aspect of the relationship between Columbia​ ​ College​,​ and its colonial predecessor King's College, with the institution of slavery​.​

HIST W4768 Writing Contemporary African History. 4 points.

Prerequisites: the instructor's permission. SEE UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR SECTION OF THE HISTORY DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE.

An exploration of the historiography of contemporary (post-1960) Africa, this course asks what African history is, what is unique about it, and what is at stake in its production. Field(s): AFR

HIST W4928 Comparative Slavery and Abolition in the Atlantic World. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: seminar application required. SEE UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR SECTION OF THE HISTORY DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE.

This seminar investigates the experiences of slavery and freedom among African-descended people living and laboring in the various parts of the Atlantic World. The course will trace critical aspects of these two major, interconnected historical phenomena with an eye to how specific cases either manifested or troubled broader trends across various slaveholding societies. The first half of the course addresses the history of slavery and the second half pertains to experiences in emancipation. However, since the abolition of slavery occurs at different moments in various areas of the Atlantic World, the course will adhere to a thematic rather than a chronological structure, in its examination of the multiple avenues to freedom available in various regions. Weekly units will approach major themes relevant to both slavery and emancipation, such as racial epistemologies among slaveowners/employers, labor regimes in slave and free societies, cultural innovations among slave and freed communities, gendered discourses and sexual relations within slave and free communities, and slaves’ and freepeople’s resistance to domination. The goal of this course is to broaden students’ comprehension of the history of slavery and freedom, and to promote an understanding of the transition from slavery to freedom in the Americas as creating both continuities and ruptures in the structure and practices of the various societies concerned. Group(s): ABCD Field(s): US/LA 

HIST W4769 Health and Healing in African History. 4 points.

This course charts the history of health and healing from, as far as is possible, a perspective interior to Africa. It explores changing practices and understandings of disease, etiology, healing and well-being from pre-colonial times through into the post-colonial. A major theme running throughout the course is the relationship between medicine, the body, power and social groups. This is balanced by an examination of the creative ways in which Africans have struggled to compose healthy communities, albeit with varied success, whether in the fifteenth century or the twenty-first. Field(s): AFR

History (Barnard)

HIST BC1760 Introduction to African History: 1700-Present. 4 points.

Survey of African history from the 18th century to the contemporary period. We will explore six major themes in African History: Africa and the Making of the Atlantic World, Colonialism in Africa, the 1940s, Nationalism and Independence Movements, Post-Colonialism in Africa, and Issues in the Making of Contemporary Africa.

Spring 2023: HIST BC1760
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 1760 001/00143 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
203 Diana Center
Abosede George 4 40/40

HIST BC2180 Merchants, Pirates, and Slaves in the Making of Atlantic Capitalism. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).

Examines how the Atlantic Ocean and its boundaries were tied together through the flow of people, goods, and ideas. Studies the cultures of the communities formed by merchants, pirates, and slaves; investigates how their interactions and frictions combined to shape the unique combination of liberty and oppression that characterizes early modern capitalism.

HIST BC2980 World Migration. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC II).

Overview of human migration from pre-history to the present. Sessions on classical Rome; Jewish diaspora; Viking, Mongol, and Arab conquests; peopling of New World, European colonization, and African slavery; 19th-century European mass migration; Chinese and Indian diasporas; resurgence of global migration in last three decades, and current debates.

Spring 2023: HIST BC2980
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
HIST 2980 001/00148 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
203 Diana Center
Jose Moya 3 43/40

HIST BC3402 Selected Topics in American Women's History. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.

Critical examination of recent trends in modern U.S. women's history, with particular attention to the intersection of gender, sexuality, class, and race. Topics will include: state regulation of marriage and sexuality, roots of modern feminism, altered meanings of motherhood and work, and changing views of the body.

HIST BC3546 The Fourteenth Amendment and Its Uses. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.

The role of the 14th Amendment in shaping the modern American Constitution; theories of judicial review; the rise and fall of economic due process; the creation of civil liberties; the civil rights revolution; and the end of states' rights.

HIST BC3587 Remembering Slavery: Critiquing Modern Representations of the Peculiar Institution. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.

The enslavement of people of African descent signifies a crucial historical and cultural marker not only for African-Americans but also for Americans in general. We will interrogate how and why images of slavery continue to be invoked within the American sociocultural landscape (e.g., in films, documentaries, historical novels, and science fiction).

HIST BC3763 Children and Childhood in African History. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.

This course focuses on the history of childhood and youth in African societies and how young people as historical agents have impacted the social histories of their communities. How did young Africans live in past times? What forces shaped understanding of their status as children or youth? How have major historical processes such as colonialism, industrialization, apartheid, and liberation, neocolonialism, and neoliberalism impacted and been impacted by children and youth in Africa? What roles have young people themselves played in the making of African histories? These questions will be explored in course readings, discussions, and students' original research projects.

HIST BC3771 Critical Perspectives on the Mobilization of Race and Ethnicity on the Continent and in the Study of Africa. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: Sophomore Standing.

Critically examines the relationship between social difference and narratives and practices of power in historical and contemporary African publics. Race and Ethnicity are the key axes of social difference that will be examined. Other axes of difference such as gender, sexuality, class, caste, generation and nationality will also be examined through points of intersection with race and ethnicity.

HIST BC3905 Capitalism, Colonialism, and Culture: A Global History. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: Permission of Instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required.

From Indian Ocean worlds of the seventeenth century, to Atlantic world slavery, to the establishment of colonies in Asia and Africa during the nineteenth century, colonization was critical to the development of metropolitan ideas regarding politics and personhood. This seminar will examine these histories, along with emerging constructions of race and gender, as precursors to debates about human rights and humanitarianism in the twentieth century.

Music

MUSI W4435 Music and Performance in the African Postcolony. 3 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

This course examines music and performance in various African contexts, focusing on the postcolonial period.  It will explore the complex interactions between music, politics, nation, race, and mediation through case studies from Ghana, Nigeria, DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa. In addition, discussions will involve what is meant to speak about "African music," and class will theorize about the conditions of musical production in the context of postcolonialism.

MUSI UN2020 Salsa, Soca, and Reggae: Popular Musics of the Caribbean. 3 points.

CC/GS/SEAS: Partial Fulfillment of Global Core Requirement

A survey of the major syncretic urban popular music styles of the Caribbean, exploring their origins, development, and sociocultural context.

Spring 2023: MUSI UN2020
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
MUSI 2020 001/11179 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Cin Alfred Lerner Hall
Christopher Washburne 3 284/265

MUSI GU4540 Histories of Post-1960's Jazz. 3 points.

Prerequisites: HUMA W1123 or the equivalent.

Historiographical issues surrounding the performance of jazz and improvised musics after 1960. Topics include genre and canon formation, gender, race, and cultural nationalisms, economics and infrastructure, debates around art and the vernacular, globalization, and media reception. Reading knowledge of music is not required.

Political Science (Barnard)

POLS BC3101 * Colloquium on Black Political Thought. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: POLS W1013 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only. Enrollment limited to 16 students. Barnard syllabus.

Advanced political theory colloquium treats black political thought as concerned with the universal problem of domination. Examines how black thinkers relate democracy, slavery and race; redefine race consciousness as linked fate; articulate new social theories to suggest new "meanings" for race; redefine the political to address social and aesthetic concerns.

POLS V3604 Civil Wars and International Intervention in Africa. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 110.Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: at least sophomore standing, except in consultation with the instructor.

This course analyzes the causes of violence in civil wars. It examines the debates around emergency aid, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. In addition, it focuses on recent conflict situations in Africa -- especially Congo, Sudan, and Rwanda -- as a background against which to understand the distinct dynamics of violence, peace, and international interventions in civil conflicts. (Cross-listed by the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race.)

POLS BC3810 *Colloquium on Aid, Politics & Violence in Africa. 4 points.

Prerequisites: POLS UN1601 or the equivalent. Admission by application through the Barnard department only.

Explores the concepts, theoretical traditions and debates around development and humanitarian aid, focusing on the relationships between aid, politics, and violence. It looks at the political and military impacts of aid, the linkage between humanitarian aid and conflict resolution, and aid's contribution to perpetuating subtle forms of domination. (Cross-listed by the Africana Studies and the Human Rights Programs.)

Political Science

POLS UN3619 Nationalism and Contemporary World Politics. 3 points.

The causes and consequences of nationalism. Nationalism as a cause of conflict in contemporary world politics. Strategies for mitigating nationalist and ethnic conflict.

POLS GU4496 CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN POLITICS. 3.00 points.

This course aims to teach students what, if any, answers social scientists have to the questions that concern anyone with an interest in African politics: 1) Why have democratic governments flourished in some countries and not others? 2) What institutions may enable Africans to hold their leaders accountable? 3) How do people participate in politics? 4) In what ways do aspiring African political leaders build public support? 5) To what extent does persistent poverty on the continent have political causes? and 6) Why is violence used to resolve some political disputes and not others?

Fall 2022: POLS GU4496
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
POLS 4496 001/12741 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
307 Pupin Laboratories
Kimuli Kasara 3.00 20/25

POLS W4445 Politics of the Middle East and North Africa. 3 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: POLS V1501 or the equivalent. Enrollment limited to 70 students. L-course sign-up through eBear. Barnard syllabus.

This course has two objectives: studying the political economy and history of the Arab states, Israel, Turkey, and Iran, and reviewing major themes in the Middle East political science literature. Topics include: historical legacies of colonialism, the political economy of state-society relations, the politics of religion, the politics of democratization, and burgeoning forms of new media.

Religion 

RELI V2615 Religions of Harlem. 3 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Through a range of field exercises and classroom guests, this course will introduce students to the rich religious history of Harlem, while also challenging them to document and analyze the diversity of Harlem's contemporary religious scene.

RELI V3630 Religion and Black Popular Cultures. 3 points.

As an exploration of the relationship between religion, race, and popular culture, the course will begin with theoretical readings that expose students to a variety of definitions of and approaches to each of these categories. After tackling these theoretical concerns, the remainder of the course will entail a cross genre and thematic engagement with the terrain of black popular culture(s) in which students will be challenged to apply new theoretical resources in order to interpret a wide range of "religious" phenomena.

RELI V3650 Religion and the Civil Rights Movement. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Historical Studies (HIS).
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Examination of the role of religion in the drive for civil rights during the 1950s and 1960s. The course will look at the role of activists, churches, clergy, sermons, and music in forging the consensus in favor of civil rights.

RELI W4826 Religion, Race and Slavery. 0 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

This course explores the religious aspects of race and slavery from the Bible through the abolition of slavery in and around the Enlightenment, ending in the post-colonial era.  The focus is mostly on the Atlantic World.

Sociology (Barnard)

SOCI UN3235 SOCIAL MOVEMENTS. 3.00 points.

Prerequisites: One introductory course in Sociology suggested.
Prerequisites: One introductory course in Sociology suggested. Social movements and the theories social scientists use to explain them, with emphasis on contemporary American activism. Cases include the Southern civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter, contemporary feminist mobilizations, LGBTQ activism, immigrant rights and more recent forms of grassroots politics

Fall 2022: SOCI UN3235
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
SOCI 3235 001/00119 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
307 Milbank Hall
Andrew Anastasi 3.00 39/45

SOCI V3247 The Immigrant Experience, Old and New. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Social Analysis (SOC I)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL).
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

The immigrant experience in the United States. Topics include ideologies of the melting pot; social, cultural, and economic life of earlier immigrants; the distinctiveness of the African-American experience; recent surge of "new" immigrants (Asians, Latinos, West Indians); and changing American views of immigration.

SOCI BC3913 Inequalities: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality in U.S. Law and Society. 4 points.

This class will examine the historical roots and ongoing persistence of social, economic, and political inequality and the continuing role that it plays in U.S. society by examining how such issues have been addressed both in social science and in law.

Drama and Theatre Arts (Barnard)

ENTH BC3144 Black Theatre. 4 points.

Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 16 students.

Exploration of Black Theater, specifically African-American performance traditions, as an intervening agent in racial, cultural, and national identity. African-American theatre artists to be examined include Amiri Baraka, Kia Corthron, W.E.B. Du Bois, Angelina Grimke, Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Adrienne Kennedy, Suzan-Lori Parks, Adrian Piper, and August Wilson. Fulfills one (of two) required courses in dramatic literature for Theatre/Drama and Theatre Arts major.

Women's Studies (Barnard)

WMST BC3134 Unheard Voices: African Women's Literature. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Cultures in Comparison (CUL)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Literature (LIT).
Not offered during 2022-23 academic year.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 14 students.

How does one talk of women in Africa without thinking of Africa as a ‘mythic unity’? We will consider the political, racial, social and other contexts in which African women write and are written about in the context of their located lives in Africa and in the African Diaspora. This course is the same as AFRS BC3134 Unheard Voices: African Women's Literature.

WMST GU4305 Decolonization and Feminist Critique. 4.00 points.

This advanced seminar examines historical, social, cultural, and theoretical propositions for decolonizing praxis and their complex relations to feminist critique. How do we understand Western European colonialism and coloniality as modes, conditions, and institutions of power, dispossession, subjugation, and subjection continuing into the present? What are the methods, practices, and vision enacted and proposed by the colonized for undoing and radically transforming the determinate logics, instruments, and structures of colonialism as these persist in the present moment? We will consider how gender and sexuality as well as race – as technologies of social organization, codes of valuation, and modes of survival – shape colonialism and the struggles against it. We will inquire into their significance to projects of decolonization. How might decolonization envision and make possible other ways of life?

Fall 2022: WMST GU4305
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
WMST 4305 001/00702 Th 12:00pm - 1:50pm
119 Milstein Center
Neferti Tadiar 4.00 17/18