Undergraduate Courses | Spring 2017 | African American & African Diaspora Studies

Undergraduate Courses | Spring 2017

Spring 2017 Courses

To view a list of the courses being offered for the Spring 2017 semester and to obtain CRNs to register for them, please click here.

Once you get to the course offering page, please click on the Spring 2017 term and select “African American / Africa Diaspora” in the subject drop down list. Below you will find the course descriptions for the Spring 2017 courses.

Spring 2017 Course Times & Descriptions
(GE = General Education)

ADS 200-01 – African American Art History (GE Core)
Frank Woods – 9:30 am – 10:45 am [TR]

Course Markers: ADS; GFA

This course examines and interprets selected works of art as a reflector of the perception of Blacks within American history and culture. This course also investigates the development of African American artists and their achievements and the inherent struggles involved in bringing their work to mainstream attention. The images chosen for study in this course define “Blackness” through the lens of race, slavery, stereotype, white privilege, and Black affirmation. Lectures and readings in this class focus on historical, political, social, and religious elements of African American artistic production and representation and frames their intersection with gender, class, and ethnicity.

ADS 201 – Introduction to African American Studies – (GE Core)
Michael Cauthen – ADS 201-01: 1:00 pm – 1:50 pm [MWF]
April Ruffin-Adams – ADS 201-02: 9:30 am – 10:45 am [TR]
April Ruffin-Adams – ADS 201-03: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm [TR]
Clinton Williams – ADS 201-04: 9:00 am – 9:50 am [MWF]

Course Markers: ADS; GHP; GMO
**Major Requirement
**Minor Requirement

This course acquaints students with historical, social, political and psychological perspectives on the African American struggle to gain acceptance in America. It covers major fundamental factors that shaped the African American experience and the field of African American Studies and examines the lives of key individuals that added greatly to the history of this country.

ADS 210 – Blacks in American Society (GE Core)
Michael Cauthen – ADS 210-01: 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm [MWF]
Armondo Collins – ADS 210-02: 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm [TR]; ADS 210-03: 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm [T]

Course Markers: ADS; GSB
**Major Requirement
**Minor Requirement

This course explores the African American experience from multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary perspectives; particularly the experiences of members of the African American community in the twentieth century, and early twenty first century. Central to the above exploration will be the critique of the foremost theories and methodologies of African American sociology, African American political science, and black economics. The course also reviews the accomplishments of leading African American historical figures of relevant eras; and analyzes the interplay of race, racism, and socio-culture in the full span of black life in the United States.

AFS 260-01 Understanding Race
Michael Cauthen – 11:00 am- 11:50 am [MWF]

Course Markers: ADS

Race is used as a fundamental organizing principle of American socio-culture, yet it is one the most profoundly misunderstood aspects of “the” human condition. Many courses offer a unit, chapter, or one-day debates on the subject. This course seeks to provide a comprehensive look at race (and its companion, racism)—especially in its socio-historical, bio-cultural, politico-economic dimensions.

ADS 305-01 – Black Lives Matter
Tara Green – 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm [TR]

Course Markers: ADS; WGS

Black Lives Matter has been a movement that has sparked controversy all over the country due to racially driven events that have happened this past year. In this course, students will dive into how this movement has shaped the African experience here in America.

ADS 305-02 – Race and Education
April Ruffin-Adams – 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm [TR]

Course Markers: ADS; GSB

In Race and Education we will explore the history of education and the development of the United States. Indeed we will critique the complex tangle of race, ethnicity and inequality in United States education.  We will ask questions about the purpose of education, who is education intended for and how do the purpose and intent of education contribute to the integration of African American students into the educational curriculum? The course will explore educational policies and sociological theories to understand how race, class, and gender contribute to educational inequalities.

ADS 305-03 – Poetry and Hip Hop
Demetrius Noble – 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm [R]

Course Markers: ADS

With increasing acceptance and thorough scholarly rigor, rap music and hip hop culture is interrogated within and relative to various Black (African American as well as the larger African Diaspora) intellectual, political and literary traditions. To properly contextualize hip hop—as both praxis and heterogeneous cultural group—it is imperative to historicize it within these disparate yet interconnected traditions. Moreover, it is critical to see how hip hop, particularly rap music, extends, embraces and disrupts these traditions in the contemporary historical moment relative to the ongoing Black liberation struggle.

This course aims to accomplish this by situating rap within the African American poetic tradition. African American poetry is a viable site of inquiry because it is much more than a literary genre. It is a malleable political tool, a dynamic and breathing cultural instrument reflecting the reflexive contours of Black political thought and intellectual engagement. This course will thereby scrutinize African American poetry’s political utility relative to the ongoing Black liberation struggle. How has African American poetry defined the Black liberation struggle in certain historical moments? How has it critiqued the Black liberation struggle in given historical contexts? How has African American poetry enhanced, enabled or even retarded the Black liberation struggle? This course will leverage Marxism and Black Liberation Theology as the primary theoretical tools to investigate the political merits of African American poetry and rap music when answering these questions.

ADS 315 – Theories and Paradigms in African American Studies
Michael Cauthen – 10:00 am – 10:50 am [MWF]

Course Markers: ADS
**Major Requirement

This course will offer a concentrated examination of the theories (or systematic explanations) of the social, cultural, and historical phenomena and/or experiences of African Americans. It will explore the history, development, and reception of African American public intellectuals of the 20th and 21st Centuries, including Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Cornel West, and Thomas Chatterton Williams. Additionally, the course will focus on various intellectual traditions and turns, with themes such as cultural memory, Jazz and Blues, post/modernism, historiography, black existentialism, gender and sexuality, aesthetics, “Soul,” folklore, afrocentricity, and social/political resistance.

ADS 330 – Black Music / Cultural History
Frank Woods – 11:00 am – 12:15 pm [TR]

Course Markers: ADS
**Major Requirement

This course examines African American urban music from the 1960s and 1980s as cultural history. The music and the musicians who created it will be explored and examined as a reflector of social, political, and economic conditions within Black America and its impact on mainstream America’s perception of black character, behavior and creativity. This course will focus on the musical genres of rhythm and blues, soul, disco and funk and analyze their insights into the black perspective and aesthetic.

ADS 356 – The Making of the African Diaspora
Omar Ali – 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm [TR]

Course Markers: ADS
**Fulfills Major History 

The course will explore the making of the African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean and Atlantic worlds. How did Africans and their descendants come to populate and shape the cultures, economies, and politics of the Middle East, South Asia, the Caribbean, and the Americas? The course will begin with an examination of African cultures in the centuries prior to the Atlantic slave trade. The spread of Islam and Christianity and the growth of empires in East and West Africa will be discussed as part of understanding the traditions and practices which Africans brought with them across the Indian Ocean and the Americas. By surveying the African Diaspora as a whole, the course seeks to provide students with a broad perspective of the creation of the modern world. Primary sources to be examined include speeches, songs, letters, newspaper articles, visual arts, and oral history.

ADS 376 – Africana Literature – (GE Core)
Tara Green – 11:00 pm – 12:15 pm [TR]

Course Markers: ADS; WI; WGS (as an elective)
**Fulfills Major Literature Requirement

Travel the African World through Literature! The focus of this course is on introducing students to cultures of the African diaspora through an analysis of literature written by people of African descent. Students will read, analyze, and discuss novels, narratives, and poetry written by Black writers from Africa, the Caribbean, and America from the seventeenth century through the twenty-first. Themes include: racism, class disparities, colonization, sexism, and religion. Written course assignments include quizzes and essays.

ADS 400 – Independent Study

Course Markers: ADS; WI

Intensive independent study on special topics related to the African American experience. The student must reach out to the professor they are interested in completing an independent study with and will be granted course credit based on approval from the respective professor.

ADS 410 – Seminar in African American & African Diaspora Studies – (GE Core)
Sarah Cervenak – 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm [TR]

Course Markers: ADS; SI; WI; WGS (as an elective)
**Major Requirement

This course is the capstone for those majoring in African American Studies. In it, we will have occasion to reflect on our various relationships to African American Studies as a field.  Particularly, we will think about the debates surrounding the field itself, as they concern its relationship to the university system and other institutional formations, identity and community, gender and sexuality, and the politics of representation. In addition to engaging in a set of critical dialogues about the field and what you’ve learned (in particular) while studying AFS at UNCG, you are expected to complete a final research paper. While half of the semester will be organized around critical readings and discussion, the other half will be dedicated to the cultivation, development, and presentation of an original research paper.

ADS 492 – Internship in African American Studies

Course Markers: ADS

This course provides practical experience at sites serving populations of people of African descent. It requires two semester meetings with program director. Students must complete in-office hours each week under the direct supervisor of the program coordinator, attend AADS sponsored events and assist with event planning as well as CACE.

Spring 2017 AADS-Related Courses Offered with
Other Programs

Major and minor students can complete courses with other programs that count for course credit with their AADS program completion. To view a comprehensive list of the courses that can count towards your degree, please click here.

Below is a listing of the current courses being offered in the Spring of 2017:

  • CST 520-01 African American Culture / Identity
    Course Markers: ADS; WGS
    Instructor: Cerise Glenn
  • DCE 132-01 African Dance I
    Course Markers: ADS; GHP; GMO
    Instructor: Nekeshia Wall
  • ENG 374-01 The Slave Narrative Novel
    Course Markers: ADS; WI
    Instructor: Sallyann Ferguson
  • ENG 376-01 African American Writers After the 1920s
    Course Markers: ADS; WI
    Instructor: Sallyann Ferguson
  • HIS 204-01 History of Africa from 1870
    Course Markers: ADS, GHP, GMO, GN, IGS
    Instructor: Colleen Kriger
  • HIS 302-01 Race & Segregation
    Course Markers: ADS; GHP; GMO
    Instructor: Watson Jennison
  • HIS 356-01 Making of the African Diaspora**
    Course Markers: ADS; IGS
    Instructor: Omar Ali
    ** This course is cross-listed with ADS 356-01, Making of the African Diaspora. This section of the course is reserved for History students only.
  • HIS 502-01 African American History: Select Topics
    Course Markers: ADS
    Instructor: Watson Jennison
  • HIS 581-01 Topics: Perspective on Rwandan Genocide
    Course Markers: ADS
    Instructor: Colleen Kriger
  • SOC 425-01 Contemporary Gangs in America
    Course Markers: ADS; WI
    Instructor: Steven Cureton

Archive of AADS Courses for Undergraduates

For a comprehensive list of all the courses that are offered from AADS in the past and information on an elective that is currently being offered, please follow this link to the official UNCG Undergraduate Bulletin for AADS:

UNCG Undergraduate Bulletin Archive of AADS Courses

For the home page of the official UNCG Undergraduate Bulletin, please use this link:

UNCG Undergraduate Bulletin for AADS