School of Interdisciplinary Studies African American Studies and Research Center

AASRC Graduate Concentration

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African American Studies Graduate Concentration

Although African American Studies does not offer graduate degrees, graduate students are able to make African American Studies a concentration in their M.A. and Ph.D. degree programs. African American Studies is an interdisciplinary field with theories, methods, and approaches particular to it.  The African American experience represents an important global dimension of American culture.  Students wishing to conduct research on African American subjects with a specific interest in gaining expertise in African American Studies practices, theories, and methods. This focus of the graduate concentration in African American Studies introduces students to methods, theories, and approaches to the study of African American life that are widely agreed upon as most efficacious and ethical. Students are encouraged to explore African American social and economic life, cultural developments, engagement with the wider world, and its people and institutions in all their complexity. 

Two courses in this concentration are offered by the African Americans Studies program and taught only by African American Studies faculty.  This includes AAS 574 and 575.  Students must take AAS 574: Research Methods in African American Studies and 575: Theories of African American Studies along with 6 additional hours or two courses on the African American experience which together will provide an interdisciplinary exploration of the African American experience.  The purpose of AAS 574 is to explore research methods used to investigate race, class, and gender from an African American perspective, which will give students some experience utilizing African American Studies research methods.  The purpose of AAS 575 is to provide a history of the black intellectual tradition, which will then provide an important perspective for use in other course work.  Students will gain an understanding of the major theories and intellectual debates of African American Studies.

AAS 574: Research Methods in African American Studies

This course covers research techniques used by researchers to observe and to interpret scholarly investigation on race, class and gender from an African American perspective.

AAS 575: Theories of African American Studies

This course addresses the development of an African American intellectual tradition.  The course will span disciplines and swathes of time in order to understand how scholars not only created new ideas but developed theories that shaped and changed academic inquiry.

MA students must complete an additional two courses from the list below, while PhD students may take as many additional courses as necessary to provide expertise in their specific area of concentration. The courses must be determined in consultation with their advisor and/or committee.  Many of the 600 level courses are special topics courses and thus are not on this list, but may be

Of the 6 remaining credit hours, graduate students may elect courses from the list of courses offered through any one of the following academic units:

AAS 590:  Directed Reading in African American Studies

HIST 594: Afro-American Thought & Ideology

HIST 65100: Reading Seminar in American History [when the focus is Race/Civil Rights in the US]

ENGL 55700: 19th Century African American Narrative

ENGL 58300: US Ethnic/Multicultural Literature [when the focus is African American Literature]

ENGL 59700: Contemporary Black Feminist Literature

ENGL 67200: Seminar in Women's Literature and Feminist Theory [when offered as African American Women Writers]

LC 60100:  Seminar in Latin America and the African Diaspora

PHIL 54200: Rationality and Relativism: African American Perspectives

SOC 51500: Black Americans

SOC 61100 - Social Inequality: Class, Race, and Gender

WGSS 68100: Black Sexuality

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