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Fall 2021

AAS 115 - Elementary Swahili
Fall 2021, Section 001 - Swahili Language and Culture

This course is an introduction to spoken and written Swahili. It is designed to help students learn elementary spoken Swahili and the proper written grammar of the language. The course provides some exposure to the people and cultures of the Swahili-speaking communities.


AAS 225 - Intermediate Yoruba I
Fall 2021, Section 001 - Yoruba

This intermediate level course sequence is designed for students who have successfully completed the Elementary sequence, or with the permission of the instructor. Instruction is offered through a distance-learning, course share program at Indiana University. It broadens speaking, reading and writing skills as students engage in discussions and writing on more complex topics. Videos, audio tapes, newspapers, magazines and the internet provide resources for the content of materials of the students’ interests as well as exposure to more advanced language. They are encouraged to discuss culture as well as news from Africa. Students begin to read short novels, plays, poetry, and essays. Using a variety of materials, students acquire a solid knowledge of morphology and syntax, vocabulary, and more complex practice in speaking and writing. Swahili is currently the only language available at the Intermediate level, but additional languages may be added in the future.

AAS 233 - Stayin' Alive: Performing Race in 1970s U.S. FilmFall 2021, Section 001 - Stayin Alive: Performing Race in 1970 US Film

Using Hollywood films as the primary texts, this course will introduce students to many of the debates surrounding the aesthetic, political, and social climate of the US in the 1970s marked by the increasing influence of identity politics, the Ethnic Revival, and black power.

AAS 275 - Black women in Popular Culture
Fall 2021, Section 001

We will examine how Black women construct and are constructed by U.S. popular culture. Developing a set of critical tools for navigating this terrain, we will explore topics such as the history of Black representation in the United States, representations of Black femininity and sexuality, stereotypes, and subversive media.

AAS 323 - Black Feminist Thought and Practice
Fall 2021, Section 001 - Black Feminism(s)

What is Black Feminism? In this course, we will explore the history of Black women’s gendered and racial politics in the United States and, in particular, how their beliefs and experiences have differed from other groups. How have Black women pushed back against and attempted to reshape traditional, Eurocentric, “white feminist” politics? How have Black Feminist responses to racism diverged from and challenged mainstream and Black masculinist political scripts? We will explore these questions as well as representations of Black women’s sexuality and political activism. Course readings are drawn from a variety of disciplines and time periods with the goal of exposing students to the history of Black Feminist thought and the breadth of Black Feminist scholarship, activism, and methodologies. By the end of the semester, students will be conversant in the major concepts of Black Feminism and Black Women’s Studies and have developed the analytical tools to understand how race, gender, and class interact to produce the unique experiences of Black women in the United States.

AAS 393 - Flawless/Formation/Freedom: Writing About Race, Gender and Popular Culture
Fall 2021, Section 001

This is a creative non-fiction writing workshop in which we will think about creative nonfiction writing as cultural reportage. We will read a survey of cultural reportage—primarily personal essays, reviews, and opinion pieces—for textual, cultural, and aesthetic analysis to think about the ways that race, gender, and sexuality intersect and operate thematically and politically in that writing. Our study of this writing will impact the main focus of this class: It is a writing workshop, in which each student will present her or his work for critique. Writing assignments will be expected of each student and possibly lead to the production of a class-produced blog or magazine at the end of the semester.

AAS 498 - DAAS In Action
Fall 2021, Section 001 - James Baldwin's Legacy

DAAS-In-Action gives students opportunities to collaborate on a class project that requires each student to apply the knowledge and skills they've gained in DAAS courses. This 3-credit capstone course would underscore the utility of majoring or minoring in DAAS; it would help students to recognize the concrete skills they have developed and might use to effect change in the world.

AAS 498 - DAAS In Action
Fall 2021, Section 002 - Filming the Future of Detroit

This course is a rare opportunity to engage Detroit simultaneously from theoretical and practical perspectives, from the perspectives of music history, social history, architectural history, cultural anthropology, literature, and film… We will read, we will write, and we will learn how to make films with the help of an award-winning filmmaker from Berlin. We will approach Detroit from the perspectives of race, gender, sexuality, democracy, urbanization, suburbanization, industrialization, de-industrialization, emergency management, and the future. In thinking about the future, we will think about the extent to which Detroit is representative of American and other urban futures, and to what extent is the exception. We will also examine Detroit's place in the world. How does it compare to Mumbai in India, Johannesburg in South Africa, and how does it compare to Berlin in Europe? Finally, we will work with a group of young people who live in and are growing up in Detroit. We will learn not only how to see Detroit from their perspectives, but also how to collectively produce films about it. The course will end in public screenings in Ann Arbor and Detroit.