May 21, 2024  
Course Catalog 2023-2024 
    
Course Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Add to Portfolio (opens a new window)

AAST 223 - Africa, Memory, and Diasporic Identity

FC ARHU CD WINT
4 credits
The diremptive nature of the Atlantic Slave Trade forced the dramatic reconstruction of the lives of the millions of enslaved captives within hostile and alienating circumstances. Yet despite what James Baldwin would call the “strange grafting” (sic) of these captives and their descendants onto “Western” societies, the question of the role of pre-Western (African) forms and the idea of these forms on their social, cultural and political lives remains an active question. Africa, its histories, peoples and meaning, as an existential question lies heavily on its Diasporic descendants. This course addresses the question of African Americans as African peoples and how that idea has informed the social, political and cultural expressions of the African Diaspora. Starting from the presumption that the millions of Africans brought to the West were not tabula rasa but were human beings stuffed with their persona, cultural, and historical memories, this course explores the discovered and imagined effect of that presumption up on the 400-year sojourn of African descendants across the Atlantic world. Utilizing the works of historians, anthropologists, poets, novelists, filmmakers, musicians, philosophers, and political theorists/activists, this course will explore across disciplines and media the question posed by Countee Cullen almost a century ago in the poem “What is Africa to Me.”



Add to Portfolio (opens a new window)