Undergraduate Bulletin 1996-1998

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Course Descriptions

01850/African American Studies


0024. Elementary Yoruba (3 s.h.) 96-98
An introductory course in the understanding, reading, and speaking of Yoruba, an African language which has had a major impact on the African cultures of Brazil, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and the United States. Students will be taught grammar, vocabulary, and conversation in the language. The course will be a lecture-demonstration.

0025. Elementary Hausa (3 s.h.) 96-98
An introductory course in the understanding, reading, and speaking of Hausa, a language spoken by more than 70 million people in West Africa. Students will be taught grammar, vocabulary, and conversation in the language. The course will be a lecture-demonstration.

0044. The Black Church (3 s.h.) S
An examination of the significant role the black church has played in creating an African-American response to social, political, and economic obstacles and barriers in America. Introduction to Richard Allen, Henry McNeal Turner, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other church leaders. Students learn to appreciate how the church builds the community, maintains culture, and produces leaders.


0050. Afrocentricity (3 s.h.) FS
An introduction to the theories and methods of Africa-centeredness. Discussion of cultural, scientific, historical, and psychological consciousness. Critique of African world-voice by examining Pan Africanism, Negritude, and African Nationalism.

W051. Introduction to African American Studies (3 s.h.) FS
An introduction to the field. The history, philosophic and pedagogical basis, methodology, and relevance of African-American Studies within a liberal arts education.

0052. Introduction to Black Aesthetics (3 s.h.) (D-1) FS
An overview of the cultural experience of African peoples. An examination of the culture of peoples in Africa, America, and the Caribbean in a comprehensive and structurally integrated manner. An introduction to black aesthetics and the interrelationship of the humanities course in African American Studies. Designed to acquaint students with important historical and philosophical investigations of the creative process and to explore interrelationships, similarities, and differences in the various cultural expressions of African peoples.

0053. Blacks in World History (3 s.h.) (D-3) S
(Formerly 0003.) Prerequisite for all history courses to be applied to the major. An introduction to the entire field of black history, both in Africa and the New World. A basic course, comprehensive in scope, to provide a firm grounding for students interested in taking subsequent history courses.

W054. Politics of Colonization: An Introduction to the Politics of the Black World (3 s.h.) 96-98
Prerequisite for all political science courses to be applied to the major. Fundamentals of the political reality of blacks in Africa, the U.S., and the Caribbean; basic concepts, approaches, and methods in politics; black politics as a reaction to colonization and its legacy; and colonialism, the basic concept. Dealt with in terms of definition, motivating factors, methods, effects, and ramifications.

0056. Introduction to African Dance- Umfundalai Technique (3 s.h.) FS
Introduction to the classical dances of west and southern Africa. Analysis, study, and performances of Umfundalai techniques in African dance. Course designed for general student population. (Cross-listed with Dance 0356.)

C061. Africa in the 20th Century (3 s.h.) (IS) FS
A summary of the major political, economic, social, and cultural developments in Africa since 1900. The impact of indigenous and foreign philosophies on industrialization, urbanization, and peasantization during the twentieth century.

C068. African American History Since 1900 (3 s.h.) (AC) FS
A general treatment of the turbulent twentieth century in African American history. Attention given to the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, the anti-lynching campaigns, northern migration, the Marcus Garvey Movement, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Civil Rights Movement.

0086. History of the Black Theater (3 s.h.) F
A survey of the development of African American drama, its African origins and its impact on black theater; rituals, images, and symbols in a wide range of plays in the works of representative playwrights. Topics to be covered also include Harlem Renaissance, civil rights, black arts eras and contemporary African American theater.

H091. Honors Africa in the 20th Century (3 s.h.) (IS) 96-98
Honors majors only.


0100. African Civilization (3 s.h.) FS
A survey of Africa's contributions to world history and civilization from 5000 B.C. to 1800 A.D. An intensive analysis of the major issues in African civilization.

0110. African Politics (3 s.h.) 96-98
This course is intended to provide students with the necessary historical background to the socio-political aspects of African society. Topics to be covered will include: the pre-colonial political system, enslavement and colonialism, liberation movements, and independence.

0118. Psychology of the African American Experience (3 s.h.) S
Examines contemporary perspectives and research on the African experience in America and the relationship of that experience to social and psychological functioning among African Americans. The course also examines the origins of some of the traditional psychological theories about persons of African descent, and examines emerging theories shaped by new perspectives.

0130. Creative Writing Workshop (3 s.h.) F
This course provides an opportunity for students to explore and develop their writing talents under the influence and direction of an established writer. African and African American subjects, themes, and materials used. Students read works of African American writers.

0134. The Literature of American Slavery (3 s.h.) 96-98
Slaves, slaveowners, and abolitionists, men and women, perceived slavery in distinctive ways and recorded those perceptions in songs and poems, folk tales, autobiographical narratives and novels, speeches and tracts, travel accounts, journals, diaries, and letters. Through an examination of this rich oral and written literature, such themes as the character of slave culture, the relations between slaves and masters, the oppression of women under slavery, and the connection between abolitionism and feminism are explored. Lectures provide historical background and a context in which to read the selections. (Cross-listed with American Studies 0134.)

0140. African Literature (3 s.h.) (D-1) FS
Survey introduces the literature of Africa through epic, drama, poetry, short stories, and novels. Literary and thematic trends examined in the works of major writers, e.g., Soyinka, Ngugi, Emecheta, Aidoo, La Guma, Abrahams, Achebe, Ba, Ousmane, Kunene, Brutus, and Head.

0150. Blacks in Cinema (3 s.h.) FS
An overview of portrayals in cinema from its inception to the present, including developments from Hollywood, independent film makers, and experimental foreign films. The story of the "race movies" treated in depth. Also contemporary trends such as the independent black film movement in Africa and the U.S.

0151. Mass Media and the Black Community (3 s.h.) FS
An examination of the peculiar role mass media plays in the African American community. Ownership, access, and image making are a few of the topics discussed. The aim is to develop an appreciation and awareness of the role media play in shaping opinions.

0155. Introduction to Research Methods (3 s.h.) F
Introduction to basic research in African American Studies. Theories and methods of conceptualization, instrument development, and data collection.

0160. Politics and Change in the Third World (3 s.h.) 96-98
An examination of the Third World in the context of the international political situation. Discussion of the African nations, Southeast Asia, and Latin America in terms of communication, commerce, technology, the balance of power, and national debts.

0170. African Women in Historical Perspective (3 s.h.) S
The history of the African woman from Hatshepsut to Yaa Asantewaa. Discussion of the roles played by women in politics, religion, military, education, and resistance. An overview of historical problems and future prospects for women in Africa.

0180. Black Folklore: African and Afro-American (3 s.h.) S
An overview of the folk literature and orature of African peoples on the African continent and in the Americas. Tales, stories, myths, and proverbs, and their function in society. Brer Rabbit, Ananse, the Flying African, High John de Conquerer, John Henry, Shinek, and many other characters are examined.

0257. Black Social and Political Thought (3 s.h.) S
The thoughts and philosophies of black leaders as they relate to the struggle of black people for liberation; from Booker T. Washington to Karenga, Nkrumah to Mugabe.

0270. History of Pan African Thought (3 s.h.) F
A study of the works and thoughts of Sylvester Williams, W.E.B. DuBois, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, M.K.O. Adiola, and others. Analysis of the Pan African Congresses from 1919 to 1987.

0276. Contemporary Black Poets (3 s.h.) F
An examination of the major works of contemporary poets of African descent. Students are introduced to the writings of poets such as Sonia Sanchez, Amiri Baraka, Atukwei Okai, and Haki Madhubuti.

W286. The Black Family (3 s.h.) S
This course examines historical and contemporary issues relevant to the functioning of African American families. Students write critiques of selected text chapters and work in small groups to interview local community members; use interview and other research sources to develop and implement a community action plan (CAP) for improving some aspect of family life.

0300. Workshop in Performing Arts (3 s.h.) S
Workshop in contemporary African-American performing arts. Music, dance, and theatre included. By permission of instructor.

0321. The Black Child: Development and Socialization (3 s.h.) S
A study of the development and socialization of the African American child. Discussion of family, peer group relationships, formal and informal education, and early racial consciousness.

0342. Nationalism in Africa 1900 (3 s.h.) 96-98
An examination of the history, philosophy, and practice of Nationalism in Africa through the works of Nationalist thinkers and leaders like Fanon, Cabral, Nkrumah, El Sadawi, and Dangrembga. Apart from themes like anti-colonialism, self-determination, self-sufficiency, and political pluralism, the question of women will be addressed as an issue of nationalism.

0346. Women Writers in Black Literature (3 s.h.) 96-98
A comparative exploration of the nature, form, themes, and techniques of major black women writers from Africa, the U.S., and the Caribbean. Cross-listed with Women's Studies 0301.

0348. Dimensions of Racism (3 s.h.) F
The course will explore interracial relationships from an Afrocentric conceptual framework. It will look at the various theoretical approaches to prejudice and will analyze the prejudiced personality. The course will examine the historical growth of racism and thought as well as seek explanations and examine the effects of racism on African Americans.

0361. Studies in African American Literature (3 s.h.) S
An examination of African American literary forms with certain emphasis on poetry, drama, fiction, and autobiography. Texts from earlier decades and contemporary movements are included. The aim is to develop an understanding and appreciation of African American literary experience. Phyllis Wheatley, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni are among writers whose works are looked into.

0366. African American Dance (3 s.h.) FS
Prerequisite: AAS 0056 or permission of instructor. Continuation of Instruction to African Dance: Umfundalai Technique. Analysis, study, and practice of African dance performance. Course involves reading, writing, and creative projects. (Cross-listed with Dance 0366.)

0378. Seminar: Special Topics in Political Development (3 s.h.) FS
Political changes for blacks and other racial and ethnic minorities result from increased voter participation and electoral success. Focus upon the impact of demographic change and heightened minority group political consciousness. Cross-listed with Political Science 0307 and Urban Studies 0270.

0395. Independent Study (1-3 s.h.) FS
(Formerly PAS 0388.) Field research in a Pan African Studies problem area (i.e., the U.S., Caribbean, and Africa). Each student identifies a task in a problem area and develops a research project around it. Research projects must be approved by the department chairperson in advance of registration for the course.

0397-0398. Junior/Senior Directed Research (3 s.h.; 2 s.h.) FS
Open only to majors who have completed the first semester of their junior year. A serious in-depth study of a specific topic within a traditional discipline in the African American Studies field for two consecutive semesters. Culminates in a concise, well-documented senior essay paper.

W398. Senior Seminar (3 s.h.) 96-98
A senior level course designed to provide majors with a culminating experience in which they must demonstrate mastery of the practice, theories, concepts, and issues central to the field of African American studies. Course stresses the integration of knowledge through a variety of experiential assignments. (Capstone W course)

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01852/American Studies


C051. American Lives (3 s.h.) (AC) FS
This course is an introduction to American Studies-life stories as presented by the individuals involved-to give us insights into "America." By looking closely at these American lives, students will meet people of various periods and backgrounds and become familiar with important developments, influential ideas, conflicting images, and realities in American society.

C062. Work in America (3 s.h.) (AC/D1) FS
A broad perspective of men and women on their jobs. Discussion of the ways in which Americans have been told they can "make it," looking at their actual experience at work and their prospects for the next decade or so. Writings by ordinary working people are discussed, commentaries by historians and sociologists of business and work examined, and several films used.

0065. Philadelphia Neighborhoods and Museums (3 s.h.) 96-98
A laboratory study of urban Philadelphia with emphasis on the interactions among American society and values, urban landscapes, city problems, and cultural resources. Includes field trips to representative neighborhoods and cultural institutions, integrated with background readings. Involves an independent project dealing with some phase of the city's history and resources. (Cross-listed with Urban Studies 0065.)

0072. Historic Preservation in Philadelphia (3 s.h.) 96-98
Objectives are to explore the city's architecture as a manifestation of its social and cultural history, encourage increased concern for Philadelphia's built environment, promote the preservation of this aspect of the city's culture, and provide an introduction to the means for conserving this history. Lectures, discussions, and field trips. Students follow individual interests through written projects. Usually offered at the TUCC campus and taught by the Historian of the Philadelphia Historical Commission. (Cross-listed as Architecture 0248.)

0073. Philadelphia Neighborhoods- Past and Present (3 s.h.) 96-98
Examines the social structure of Philadelphia as an amalgamation of discrete communities. Explores the origins and significant social, cultural, economic, and political implications of the neighborhood structure. A combination of lectures, discussions, walking tours, and conversations with today's residents, with emphasis on markedly diverse communities including Chestnut Hill, the Northeast, Kensington, and Fishtown. Usually given at the TUCC campus and taught by the Historian of the Philadelphia Historical Commission.

C092. Work in America-Honors (3 s.h.) (AC) FS
See American Studies C062. Requirements arranged with the instructor include additional readings and preparations.


0100. Topics in American Culture (3 s.h.) 96-98
A special topics course, used for material and approaches to American Studies that are either experimental in nature or not yet a regular part of the curriculum. Course content varies each year and students can obtain a description of the current version at the American Studies office.

0102. Technology and American Culture (3 s.h.) (D1) S
Technology has been called the dominant force in American civilization, a part of our everyday material lives, work, beliefs, and behavior. Explores the way American values have shaped technology and how technology has shaped American life, placing contemporary problems in a historical perspective. Materials drawn from social history, literature, visual arts, film, advertising, and polemical prose.

0103. American Places: Home, City, Region (3 s.h.) (D1) 96-98
This course explores the importance of place in determining the character of American culture. A variety of materials, visual and textual, are used to examine the way our lives are shaped by the home, the design of the city, and the suburban and regional areas beyond the city. The extent to which places hold their identities in the face of mass culture and megalopolis is also explored. (Cross-listed with Geography and Urban Studies 0274.)

0104. The Arts in America (3 s.h.) (D1) F
Themes include the effect of the arts in America; their importance as part of culture; what different art forms at the same time have in common and how they influence each other. Examines how being an artist in America has changed over the last 100 or more years through representative figures within an interdisciplinary context including literature, photography, music, architecture, and painting. Possible artists: Whitman, Louis Sullivan, Charles Ives, Alfred Stieglitz, John Dos Passos, Frank Lloyd Wright, Norman Mailer, Robert Frank, John Cage, Robert Venturi.

0105. Ideal America: Reform, Revolution, and Utopia (3 s.h.) (D1) 96-98
Examination of some problems raised by key groups at various times, traditions and ideologies, and the successes or failures of each kind of response. Readings, films, lectures, and discussions. Includes the Shakers, Brook Farm, the Oneida Group, progressive reformers, vegetarianism and temperance, the I.W.W. (Wobblies), American Communism, agrarianism, and selected radical movements from the contemporary period.

0106. Literature and Political Change (3 s.h.) S
A study of major texts, fiction and non-fiction, which had a significant impact on public discourse and on the civilization of the United States. The social and historical contexts of the books will be discussed and major issues-for example, efforts to define freedom and democracy, the status of the individual, the role of the larger community-will be stressed.

0107. Leisure in America (3 s.h.) S
The development of leisure through various stages of American history. Evolution of pastoral and puritanical ideals into the concerns of commercial amusement, the recreation movement and professional sport. The diversity of contemporary leisure and the time and resources currently available in mass-consumption society are examined, as are alternative future scenarios. An interdisciplinary approach drawing on sources from both literature and the social sciences. (Cross-listed with Sociology 0107.)

0108. Immigrant Experiences in America (3 s.h.) S
An examination of major issues related to immigration, including belief in the U.S. as the land of opportunity where all immigrants will be "melted" into uniform Americanism. Topics considered include: government immigration policy, labor market needs, and anti-immigration social movements. Most important, however, is the focus of the course on the actual, complex and varied experiences of a number of historical and contemporary immigrant groups.

0109. Courtroom in American Society (3 s.h.) 96-98
An examination of American culture and society as it is expressed through its judicial system. The course will attempt to answer the question "What is American about American law?" by viewing various landmark cases in the social contexts in which they occurred. Through a format of lectures, discussion, and visits from various practitioners of the law (judges, attorneys) students will learn whether and how the legal system works, what values it stresses, and what it says about us as a people.

0111. The Modern Arts in America: Philadelphia as a Living Laboratory (3 s.h.) S
Philadelphia is the perfect place to study the development of the modern arts in America. A center for art and architecture, for music and dance, as well as for literature, it offers living proof of the human factors that generate art and demonstrates clearly the conflicting radical and conservative impulses that have moved our artists and institutions during the past half century. Visits to both artists and institutions, as well as study of the artists' work.

0112. African American Experiences (3 sh.) F
A summary of historical, social, political, and cultural developments with regard to African American experience in the U.S. Various themes, such as the enslavement, the Civil War and Reconstruction, Harlem Renaissance, Garveyism, the great migration, depression and labor unions, the New Deal and the WPA, African-American involvement in the nation's wars, Civil Rights, Black Power, black arts movement and Black Panthers, are examined in an interdisciplinary context.

0114. Growing Up in America: An Historical Perspective (3 s.h.) S
Follows the changing perception and experience of growing up in America from colonial times to the present. Explores the emergence of childhood and adolescence as separate stages in the life cycle, the evolving role of family, and increasing importance of formal institutions, such as the school. Considers the differences between growing up rich or poor, black or white, male or female, and rural or urban in the 19th century as well as the shift from precocity to purity as ideal in youth. Students report on the childhood experiences of their own family or of that of a friend. (Cross-listed with History 0200.)

W118. The American Woman: Visions and Revisions (3 s.h.) 96-98
An examination of images and roles of women in American culture. Using fiction, poetry, and autobiography, we develop an understanding of stereotypes and myths and we relate these images to the real-life experiences of American women. The readings include all classes and many ethnic groups, and focus primarily on the twentieth century. (Cross-listed with Women's Studies W206)

0121. America in the 1950s (3 s.h.) 96-98
This course explores the effects of McCarthyism and the Cold War on American intellectual and cultural life in the 1950s. It will also examine dissents from the consensus that gave rise to the rebellions and counterculture of the 1960s. Special attention will be paid to McCarthyism, and the origins of the civil rights movement. Renewed stirrings of discontent amongst women will be considered, as well as the start of a new left and counterculture represented by the Beat Generation.

0124. Political Protest and Culture in the 60's (3 s.h.) 96-98
The political, cultural, economic, and social developments that characterized the period from about 1954-1974 are the basis of this course on the 1960s. Using primary and secondary readings, we will explore the intellectual and moral issues that occupied a place in the mainstream and underground presses as the country became embroiled in a non-war and struggled for equality and access to the "American Dream." Challenges to traditional voices of authority and the decline of a liberal American political tradition will also receive our attention.

0125. Photography in America (3 s.h.) FS
An overview of photography in America from 1850, emphasizing its relation to society and the arts. Photography in factual and artistic forms explored through representative photographers and movements, including: Civil War and frontier photography; the work of Muybridge, Riis and Hine, and Walker Evans and the FSA photographers of the 1930s; Alfred Stieglitz, Steichen, and Strand; and portrait, street and snapshot photography, abstraction, narrative, and fantasy (Frank, Arbus, Winogrand, Michals, etc.). Slides and readings on photography and American culture, and on how the camera affects our seeing and thinking. (Cross-listed with Art History 108.)

0126. Documentary Film and American Society (3 s.h.) 96-98
An examination of the place of documentary films within American culture, beginning with the early efforts of Robert Flaherty and continuing to the present. Topics include: the documentary of the 1930s and the New Deal; the evolution of documentary styles: the social power of documentary film; the subject in documentary; the self-conscious documentary.

0127. Mass Media and American Popular Culture (3 s.h.) F
This course will explore the role of media in the development of American popular culture, with particular emphasis on the cultural transformations brought about by mass media after 1880. Historical analysis will demonstrate the profound shift in media roles within the past century; from media expressions of popular culture before 1880, to media as generators of popular culture after that point. A by-product of this analysis will be the formulation of a critical definition of mass media in terms of a specific relationship between the media and the audience.

0129. The Twenties (3 s.h.) 96-98
The arts in the period between World War I and the depression. Reactions to World War I, rejection of gentility, the search for new forms of expression, creation of new ways of seeing the world, and celebration of things American. Literature of the decade (Hemingway, Faulkner, Eliot, Stevens, and others), painting (American cubism, precisionism), architecture (Art Deco) and other art forms. (Cross-listed with English 0147.)

0130. Architecture, Urban Design, and American Culture (3 s.h.) S
An exploration of ways U.S. cities have been physically shaped over the past 100 years, paying special attention to the leading movements and theories concerning the growth and design of urban space. Readings are from topics such as: Olmstead and the park movement; the city beautiful movement; the modern city and the skyscraper; Lewis Mumford and the garden city movement; the organic city of Jane Jacobs; the postmodern city of Robert Venturi; the dystopian city. In addition to studying the literature of cities, the class explores Philadelphia as a case study, with students developing techniques of observation and analysis, in an effort to understand the city of Philadelphia within the broader framework of thinking about American cities.

0131. American Frontiers (3 s.h.) F
Reexamined from the perspective of the late twentieth century, the American frontier becomes contested terrain between diverse groups of settlers and natives. With a geographic focus on America west of the Mississippi, this course looks at elements that were used to construct the myth of the frontier and the many elements that were left out. It incorporates Euro-American women, and persons of Latin American heritage, Asians, African Americans, and especially Native Americans into the story of the frontier of the 19th century and the west of the 20th.

R134. The Literature of American Slavery (3 s.h.) S
Slaves, slave owners, and abolitionists, men and women, perceived slavery in distinctive ways and recorded those perceptions in songs and poems, folk tales, autobiographical narratives and novels, speeches and tracts, travel accounts, journals, diaries, and letters. Through an examination of this rich oral and written literature, themes such as the character of slave culture, the relations between slaves and masters, the oppression of women under slavery, and the connection between abolitionism and feminism are explored. Lectures provide historical background and a context in which to read the selections. (Cross-listed with African-American Studies 0134.)

W140. Radicalism in the United States (3 s.h.) S
A study of issues and traditions in the history of radical thought and behavior. Emphasizing the twentieth century, the course focuses on major social contexts and ideologies such as anarchism, militant unionism, socialism, and communism-each of which has had a long and vibrant history in the U.S.-as well as less structured but no less fundamental theories of social change. (Capstone W course)

0194. Field Work in American Studies (3 s.h.) FS
The Field Study internship offers students the opportunity to relate academic interests to a variety of cultural and civic institutions in the Philadelphia area. Each three credits earned normally require ten hours work per week (during the summer sessions the number of hours is doubled) under faculty and institutional supervision. Individual readings and a final report or research paper provide a perspective of American culture. Multiple credit available. Students must see the Field Study Coordinator, American Studies office (215-204-7351), before registering.

0195. American Places: Home, City, Region-Honors (3 s.h.) FS
(Formerly 0291.) See American Studies 0103. Requirements arranged with the instructor include additional readings and preparations.

0199. Ideal America-Honors (3 s.h.) 96-98
See American Studies 0105. Requirements arranged with the instructor include additional readings and preparations.

0294. Independent Study (3 s.h.) FS
The student devises a program for independent study with his adviser and an instructor. Designed for those students whose research interests are not met in any established course.

0392-0394. Senior Independent Study (3 s.h.) FS
Prerequisite: American Studies major. Provides option of writing a senior essay on a theme or topic related to student's program of study.

W393. Senior Seminar in American Studies (3 s.h.) S
The capstone class required of all American Studies majors. Open to others with permission of instructor. A single topic is explored in an interdisciplinary context. Students write a major paper. (Capstone W course)

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