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AFRICAAM 102B: Art and Social Criticism (AMSTUD 102, ARTHIST 162B, CSRE 102A, FEMGEN 102)

Visual artists have long been in the forefront of social criticism in America. Since the 1960s, various visual strategies have helped emergent progressive political movements articulate and represent complex social issues. Which artists and particular art works/projects have become key anchors for discourses on racism, sexism, economic and social inequality, immigrant rights and climate change? We will learn about a spectrum of political art designed to raise social awareness, spark social change and rouse protest. The Art Workers Coalition's agit-prop opposing the Vietnam War and ACT-UP's emblematic signs and symbols during the AIDS/HIV crisis of the 1980s galvanized a generation into action. Works such as Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party (1979), Fred Wilson's Mining the Museum (1992), and Glenn Ligon's paintings appropriating fragments from African-American literature all raised awareness by excavating historical evidence of the long legacy resisting marginalization. For three decades more »
Visual artists have long been in the forefront of social criticism in America. Since the 1960s, various visual strategies have helped emergent progressive political movements articulate and represent complex social issues. Which artists and particular art works/projects have become key anchors for discourses on racism, sexism, economic and social inequality, immigrant rights and climate change? We will learn about a spectrum of political art designed to raise social awareness, spark social change and rouse protest. The Art Workers Coalition's agit-prop opposing the Vietnam War and ACT-UP's emblematic signs and symbols during the AIDS/HIV crisis of the 1980s galvanized a generation into action. Works such as Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party (1979), Fred Wilson's Mining the Museum (1992), and Glenn Ligon's paintings appropriating fragments from African-American literature all raised awareness by excavating historical evidence of the long legacy resisting marginalization. For three decades feminist artists Adrian Piper, Barbara Kruger and the Guerilla Girls have combined institutional critique and direct address into a provocative form of criticality. Recent art for social justice is reaching ever broadening publics by redrawing the role of artist and audience exemplified by the democratization of poster making and internet campaigns of Occupy and the Movement for Black Lives. We will also consider the collective aesthetic activisms in the Post-Occupy era including Global Ultra Luxury Faction, Climate Justice art projects, and the visual culture of Trump era mass protests. Why are each of these examples successful as influential and enduring markers of social criticism? What have these socially responsive practices contributed to our understanding of American history?
Last offered: Autumn 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

AFRICAAM 112B: Introduction to African Literature (ENGLISH 112B)

This course will be an exploration of the major writers and diverse literary traditions of the African continent. We will examine various elements (genre, form, orality, etc.) across a variety of political, social, and literary categories (colonial/postcolonial, modernism/postmodernism, gender, class, literary history, religion, etc.). We will also address issues such as African literature and its relationship to world literature and the question of language and of translation. Writers to be discussed will include Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Kamel Daoud, Tayeb Salih, and NoViolet Bulawayo, among others.nThe class will be structured around the close-reading of passages from individual texts with an attempt to relate the details derived from the reading process to larger areas of significance within the field. Students should make sure to bring their texts to class with them and must be prepared to contribute to class discussions.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II
Instructors: Quayson, A. (PI)

AFRICAAM 117J: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary American Film (AMSTUD 117, ASNAMST 117D, CSRE 117D, FEMGEN 117F)

This course introduces students to the theoretical and analytical frameworks necessary to critically understand constructions of race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary American film. Through a sustained engagement with a range of independent and Hollywood films produced since 2000, students analyze the ways that cinematic representations have both reflected and constructed dominant notions of race, gender, and sexuality in the United States. Utilizing an intersectional framework that sees race, gender, and sexuality as always defined by one another, the course examines the ways that dominant notions of difference have been maintained and contested through film in the United States. Films to be discussed include Coco, Get Out, Moonlight, Mosquita y Mari, and The Grace Lee Project.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Gow, W. (PI)

AFRICAAM 127A: Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History Of The Hip-Hop Arts (CSRE 127A)

This course explores the history and development of the hip-hop arts movement, from its precursor movements in music, dance, visual arts, literature, and folk and street cultures to its rise as a neighborhood subculture in the Bronx in the early 1970s through its local, regional and global expansion and development. Hip-hop aesthetics, structures, and politics will be explored within the context of the movement's rise as a post-multicultural form in an era of neoliberal globalization. (This course must be taken for a letter grade and a minimum of 3 units to satisfy a Ways requirement.)
Last offered: Winter 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

AFRICAAM 133: Literature and Society in Africa and the Caribbean (AFRICAST 132, COMPLIT 133A, COMPLIT 233A, CSRE 133E, FRENCH 133, JEWISHST 143)

This course aims to equip students with an understanding of the cultural, social, and political aspects at play in the literatures of Francophone Africa and the Caribbean of the 20th and 21st century. Our primary readings will be Francophone novels and poetry. We will also read some theoretical texts. The assigned readings will expose students to literature from diverse French-speaking regions of the African/Caribbean world. This course will also serve as a "literary toolbox," with the intention of facilitating an understanding of literary genres, and terms. Students can expect to work on their production of written and spoken French, in addition to reading comprehension. Special guest: Moroccan author Meryem Alaoui. Required readings include: Aime Cesaire, Maryse Condé, Fatou Diome, Dany Laferriere, Leonara Miano, Albert Memmi. Taught in French. Prerequisite: FRENLANG 124 or consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
Instructors: Seck, F. (PI)

AFRICAAM 145B: Africa in the 20th Century (HISTORY 145B)

(Same as HISTORY 45B. History majors and others taking 5 units, register for 145B.) The challenges facing Africans from when the continent fell under colonial rule until independence. Case studies of colonialism and its impact on African men and women drawn from West, Central, and Southern Africa. Novels, plays, polemics, and autobiographies written by Africans.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
Instructors: Cabrita, J. (PI)

AFRICAAM 146D: New Keywords in African Sound (AFRICAST 146M, CSRE 146D, MUSIC 146M, MUSIC 246M)

This course identifies and considers new keywords for the study of contemporary African music and sound. Each week we will foster discussion around a keyword and a constellation of case studies. The sonic practices we will encounter range from South African house music to Ghanaian honk horns; from Congolese rumba bands to Tunisian trance singers; from listening to the radio in a Tanzanian homestead to making hip hop music videos on the Kenyan coast. By exploring the unexpected interconnections between contemporary African musical communities, we will discuss new keywords arising in current scholarship, including technologies like the amplifier and the hard drive, spaces like the studio and the city, and analytics like pleasure and hotness. We will also engage with established concepts for the study of postcolonial African cultures, including nationalism, cosmopolitanism, globalization, diaspora, and Pan-Africanism. This is a seminar-based course open to graduate students, upper level undergraduate students, and other students with consent of the instructor. Proficiency in music is not required. WIM at 4 units only.
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

AFRICAAM 154G: Black Magic: Ethnicity, Race, and Identity in Performance Cultures (CSRE 154D, FEMGEN 154G, TAPS 154G)

In 2013, CaShawn Thompson devised a Twitter hashtag, #blackgirlmagic, to celebrate the beauty and intelligence of black women. Twitter users quickly adopted the slogan, using the hashtag to celebrate everyday moments of beauty, accomplishment, and magic. The slogan offered a contemporary iteration of an historical alignment: namely, the concept of "magic" with both Black people as well as "blackness." This course explores the legacy of Black magic--and black magic--through performance texts including plays, poetry, films, and novels. We will investigate the creation of magical worlds, the discursive alignment of magic with blackness, and the contemporary manifestation of a historical phenomenon. We will cover, through lecture and discussion, the history of black magic representation as well as the relationship between magic and religion. Our goal will be to understand the impact and history of discursive alignments: what relationship does "black magic" have to and for "black bodies"? H more »
In 2013, CaShawn Thompson devised a Twitter hashtag, #blackgirlmagic, to celebrate the beauty and intelligence of black women. Twitter users quickly adopted the slogan, using the hashtag to celebrate everyday moments of beauty, accomplishment, and magic. The slogan offered a contemporary iteration of an historical alignment: namely, the concept of "magic" with both Black people as well as "blackness." This course explores the legacy of Black magic--and black magic--through performance texts including plays, poetry, films, and novels. We will investigate the creation of magical worlds, the discursive alignment of magic with blackness, and the contemporary manifestation of a historical phenomenon. We will cover, through lecture and discussion, the history of black magic representation as well as the relationship between magic and religion. Our goal will be to understand the impact and history of discursive alignments: what relationship does "black magic" have to and for "black bodies"? How do we understand a history of performance practice as being caught up in complicated legacies of suspicion, celebration, self-definition? The course will give participants a grounding in black performance texts, plays, and theoretical writings. *This course will also satisfy the TAPS department WIM requirement.*
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

AFRICAAM 159: James Baldwin & Twentieth Century Literature (ENGLISH 159, FEMGEN 159)

Black, gay and gifted, Baldwin was hailed as a "spokesman for the race", although he personally, and controversially, eschewed titles and classifications of all kinds. This course examines his classic novels and essays as well his exciting work across many lesser-examined domains - poetry, music, theatre, sermon, photo-text, children's literature, public media, comedy and artistic collaboration. Placing his work in context with other writers of the 20C (Faulkner, Wright,Morrison) and capitalizing on a resurgence of interest in the writer (NYC just dedicated a year of celebration of Baldwin and there are 2 new journals dedicated to study of Baldwin), the course seeks to capture the power and influence of Baldwin's work during the Civil Rights era as well as his relevance in the "post-race" transnational 21st century, when his prescient questioning of the boundaries of race, sex, love, leadership and country assume new urgency.
Last offered: Winter 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

AFRICAAM 159A: Literature that Changed the World (CSRE 159I, ENGLISH 159A)

How does literary art get involved in politics? What is the border between propaganda and art? This class examines moments when writers seem suddenly not only to represent politically charged topics and themes, but to have a part in bringing about political change. We¿ll look at case studies from the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, the American Civil Rights struggle, 19th century Russia, and more.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED
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