Aas 101 Introduction to African and African-American Studies



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[rev. 8/22/02 - final]

AAS 101




Introduction to African and African-American Studies


(Fall 2002)
Coordinator: Joseph C. Miller
Telephones: 924-6395 (office)

E-mail: or

Office: Levering 210 (East Range - “Hotel F”)

Hours: Tuesdays 2:00-3:30 PM, Wednesdays 2:00-3:30 PM


Class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12:30-1:45 PM, Minor Hall 125

Discussion sections, as scheduled

Teaching Assistants – Sarah Maxwell and Calvin Schermerhorn
Sponsored by the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies

Discussion section, 4 credits, satisfies Non-Western Perspectives, Historical Studies requirements


This course introduces lower-division undergraduates to the various academic modes of studying the experiences of people of African descent in Africa, South and North America, and the Caribbean from antiquity to the last third of the nineteenth century. Emphases include the origins of these people in Africa; the Atlantic slave trade and its complex relationship to their backgrounds; and the economic systems, cultures, and communities of Africans and African-Americans in the New World, in slavery and – belatedly – in freedom.
To provide the range of perspectives vital to this multi-disciplinary agenda, six distinguished faculty from different departments at the University of Virginia will present most of the lectures for AAS 101. Click on our names to learn more about our respective research and teaching backgrounds and interests.
Adria LaViolette, Department of Anthropology

Joseph C. Miller, Department of History

George Mentore, Department of Anthropology

Steven Innes, Department of History

Deborah McDowell, Department of English

Corey D. B. Walker, Woodson Institute

Scot French, Woodson Institute
These lecturers will present materials divided into three units, as outlined below. At the end of each unit, I will lead a discussion that will tie together that unit's themes and explain how it leads to the material to follow. This discussion will immediately precede an in-class exam on the material thus reviewed.
Grading – Grading for AAS 101 rests on the assumption that in this course nearly all of you will encounter academic disciplines in which you have little experience, materials about parts of the world that you do not know well, perspectives different from those common in American popular culture, and subjects on which you may hold intense personal opinions. To allow you time to recognize possible differences between what you think and what you will learn here, and to explore the implications of the latter, the first mid-term will be weighted as only 10% of your grade; discussion sections will contribute another 20%, with emphasis on how you develop your performances there as the semester proceeds.1 Four short map quizzes, given in the discussion sections, must be passed, with an average score of 7, out of a possible 10; higher averages will shade grades for discussion up by one third of a grade (e.g. an “8” raises a B- to a B, a “9” to a B+, and a “10” to A- ). A short paper, due later in the term, contributes a further 20%. A second mid-term exam will count 25%, and the final examination similarly. Your grade for the course will represent the level of performance that you maintain consistently by the end of the term.

Required textbooks


All of the books assigned are available at the University bookstore. Copies are also on reserve at Clemons library. The rest of the required readings (all marked on the syllabus with an asterisk *) are on-line at the TOOLKIT website for this course, http://toolkit.virginia.edu Click “A” under Fall 2002 classes, then click AAS 101, then click “Materials.” You will need there to log in as “student” and enter by providing the password “Africa”.

John K. Thornton, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 (2nd ed. New York: Cambridge, 1998) $20.00

Roland Oliver, African Experience: Major Themes in African History from Earliest Times to the Present (2nd ed. Boulder: Westview Press, 2000) $31.00

William R. Scott and William G. Shade, eds., Upon These Shores: Themes in the African-American Experience, 1600 to the Present (New York: Routledge, 2000) $26.00

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., ed. and intro, The Classic Slave Narratives (New York: Signet/Penguin, 2002) $6.95

C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (2nd rev. ed., New York: Vintage, 1989) $15.00

Timothy H. Breen and Stephen Innes, “Myne Owne Ground”: Race and Freedom on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, 1640-1676 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980) $17.95
Total, new = $116.90]

Also recommended: Herbert S. Klein, The Atlantic Slave Trade (New York, 1999) $18.00

S Y L L A B U S
“Believe those who are seeking truth. Doubt those who find it.”

(André Gide)


“If you wish to know who I am,

If you wish me to teach you what I know,

Cease for the while to be what you are

And forget what you know”

(Tierno Bokar, sage of Bandiagara)

Week 1 - Introduction to the Course [Prof. Miller]

August 29 - Course requirements; African and African-American Studies

You will take: a practice map quiz (in class)

Discussion in classDiscuss (time available): your assumptions about African and African-American Studies

Some reliable initial resources for further information --

Joseph O. Vogel, ed., Encyclopedia of Precolonial Africa: Archaeology, History, Languages, and Environments (Walnut Creek CA: AltaMira Press, 1997).

John Middleton, ed., The Encyclopedia of Sub-Saharan Africa (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997), 4 vols.

Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, eds., Encarta Africana (Redmond WA: Microsoft, 1999). [CD-ROM]

Print equivalent: Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., eds., Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience (New York: Civitas/Persius, 1999).

Africa

Archaeology

Week 2 – Geography and Prehistory in Africa [Prof. Adria LaViolette, Department of Anthropology]

Sept. 3 – How archaeologists think, particularly about Africa

Reading - *Michael McNulty, “The Contemporary Map of Africa,” in Phillis Martin and Patrick O'Meara, eds., Africa (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 3rd ed. 1995), pp. 10-45.

Roland Oliver, The African Experience: Major Themes in African History from Earliest Times to the Present (2nd ed. Boulder: Westview Press, 2000), pp. 43-56 (or 38-50 in used 1992 1st edition).

*David W. Phillipson, African Archaeology (2nd ed., New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 1-11, 102-16.

Sept. 5 – What they know about Africa <1500



Reading - * Bruce Williams, “Egypt and Sub-Saharan Africa: Their Interaction,” in Joseph O. Vogel, ed., Encyclopedia of Precolonial Africa: Archaeology, History, Languages, and Environments (Walnut Creek CA: AltaMira Press, 1997), pp. 465-72.

Also Recommended: *Susan Keech McIntosh, “Urbanism in Sub-Saharan Africa,” pp. 461-72; *Fekri A. Hassan, “Egypt: Emergence of State Society,” pp. 472-84; and *Chapurukha M. Kusimba, “Swahili and the Coastal City-States,” pp. 507-13 – all in Vogel, ed., Encyclopedia of Precolonial Africa.

Also: Oliver, The African Experience, pp. 57-101 (or 51-89 in used 1992 1st edition)..

Discussion sectionsBe prepared to discuss: what do we know about early Africa, and how do we know it? What would we like to know but lack information to glimpse it?

History - in Africa

Week 3 – African Agendas [Prof. Joseph C. Miller, Department of History]

Sept. 10 – How historians think – Africa “baseline” (< ca. 1500)

Reading - Oliver, The African Experience, pp. 116-31.

John K. Thornton, Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800 (2nd ed. New York: Cambridge, 1998), pp. 13-42.



Recommended: Thornton, Africa and Africans, pp. 1-9.

Sept. 12 – Video -- Basil Davidson, Africa: A Voyage of Discovery, Program 1 - “Different but Equal” (VHS 1741).



Discussion sectionsBe prepared to discuss: your assumptions about Africa, and how they may differ from “how historians think” and/or how the Davidson video presents the past there; be prepared to take: the first map quiz (African geography and early history).

Week 4 – Africa Engaged

Sept. 17- Africa and the Atlantic (1500-1800)

Reading - Joseph C. Miller, “Africa, the Slave Trade, and the Diaspora,” in William R. Scott and William G. Shade, eds., Upon These Shores: Themes in the African-American Experience, 1600 to the Present (New York: Routledge, 2000), pp. 21-60.

Oliver, The African Experience, pp. 132-65 (or 116-29 in used 1992 edition)



Recommended: Thornton, Africa and Africans, pp. 43-125.

Also recommended: Herbert S. Klein, The Atlantic Slave Trade (New York, 1999), pp. 1-73, 103-29.

Sept. 19 - The Middle Passage – numbers and directions, and how historians think



Reading - *Joseph C. Miller, Way of Death: Merchant Capitalism and the Angolan Slave Trade (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988), pp. 3-7, 379-442.

*Handler, Jerome S. “Survivors of the Middle Passage: Life Histories of Enslaved Africans in British America,” Slavery and Abolition, 23, 1 (2002), pp. 23-56.

Klein, Atlantic Slave Trade, pp. 130-60.

WEBSITE – Jerome S. Handler, “The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record”



< http://gropius.lib.virginia.edu/SlaveTrade/index.html >.

Discussion sectionsBe prepared to discuss: How can we understand the experience of “the middle passage” to Africans? What place do our (perhaps different) concerns about it have in a historical discussion? ; be prepared to take: the second map quiz (the Atlantic world)

The Atlantic

African and African-American Cultures in the New World - Anthropology

Week 5 – Latin America and the Caribbean [Prof. George Mentore, Department of Anthropology]

Sept. 24- How anthropologists think (and what they think about New World cultures) – -“In this hollow place”: Ships of slavery, shores of solitude

Reading - Olaudah Equiano: The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings, ed. Vincent Carretta (New York: Penguin, 1995), pp. 31-146.

Recommended: Klein, Atlantic Slave Trade, pp. 161-82.

Sept. 26- Concealment and display: Tactics for Appropriating violence and labor



Reading - C. L. R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (2nd rev. ed., New York: Vintage, 1989), pp. 1-117.

Recommended: Thornton, Africa and Africans, remainder.

Discussion sectionsBe prepared to discuss: How can we understand Africans’ experiences of enslavement in the Americas? How do anthropologists raise issues different from the ones that historians emphasize? ; be prepared to take: the third map quiz (slavery in the Americas)

Summary and Exam

Week 6 – Bringing it Together I – Africa [Prof. Miller]

Oct. 1 – Africa – summation (geography, archaeology, anthropology, history) [Prof. Miller]

Reading - Review all to date

Oct. 3 – FIRST MID-TERM EXAMINATION



Discussion sectionsBe prepared to discuss: all readings to date, and the differing insights that archaeology, history, and anthropology bring to the African experience.

The Literary Imagination

Week 7 – Equiano Revisited as Literature

Oct. 8 - Reading Holiday – no class

Oct. 10 - Equiano’s “Interesting Narrative” as Literature [Prof. Deborah McDowell, Department of English]



Reading - Olaudah Equiano, “The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano, or, Gustavus Vassa, the African,” in Henry Louis Gates, Jr., ed. and intro, The Classic Slave Narratives (New York: Penguin, 1987), pp. 11-66.

Discussion sectionsBe prepared to discuss: what insights does literary analysis bring to the writings of those who suffered enslavement and transportation to the New World? How did Equiano establish an identity for himself, recovering from the deprivation of his previous identity through enslavement?

Colonial Americas

History - in America

Week 8 – Africans in the English Atlantic World [Prof. George Mentore]

Oct. 15 – Concealment and Display: tactics for appropriating violence and labor - II

Reading/review - James, Black Jacobins, pp. 1-117.

Recommended: James, Black Jacobins, pp. 289-377.

Oct. 17 – The Shout from the Wilderness: Gender and the Erotics of Power



Reading - *Barbara Bush, Slave Women in Caribbean Society, 1650-1838 (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990), pp. 1-81.

Discussion sectionsBe prepared to discuss: The multiple insights that one can gain by looking at the “African and African-American experience” in terms of class and gender, in addition to race.

Week 9 – Africans in the English Atlantic World [Prof. Steven Innes, Department of History]

Oct. 22 – Caribbean

Reading - Jean R. Soderlund, “Creating a Biracial Society, 1619-1720,” in Scott and Shade, eds., Upon These Shores, pp. 63-82.

Oct. 24 – North America



Reading - Peter H. Wood, “Africans in Eighteenth Century North America,” in Scott and Shade, eds., Upon These Shores, pp. 83-101.

Timothy H. Breen and Stephen Innes, “Myne Owne Ground”: Race and Freedom on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, 1640-1676 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980).



Discussion sectionsBe prepared to discuss: How did the experiences of Africans, and African Americans in mainland North America differ from those of their counterparts in the West Indies? What about those enslaved in other parts of the Americas? ; be prepared to take: the fourth map quiz (the Caribbean and North America).

African and African-American Religions [Prof. Corey D. B. Walker, Department of Religious Studies]

Week 10 – Religion in the experience of enslavement and slavery

Oct. 29 – An Approach to the Study of Africana Religions – Part I

Reading - *John S. Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy (Lagos: Heinemann, 1969), pp. 1-14.

*Harold W. Turner, “The Way Forward in the Religious Study of African Primal Religions,” Journal of Religion in Africa, 13, 1 (1981), pp. 1-15.

Oct. 31 – An Approach to the Study of Africana Religions – Part II

Reading - *Charles H. Long, Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Interpretation of Religion (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986), pp. 133-41.

*Walter F. Pitts, Jr., Old Ship of Zion: The Afro-Baptist Ritual in the African Diaspora (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), pp. 91-131.



Discussion sectionsBe prepared to discuss: How we approach the study of religion in different historical and cultural contexts; how and in what manner does the study of religion contribute to our knowledge of African and African diasporic life and culture?

Week 11 – Phenomenology

Nov. 5 – Religion in Africa

Reading - *Patrick J. Ryan, “‘Arise, O God!’ The Problem of ‘Gods’ In West Africa,” Journal of Religion in Africa, 11, 3 (1980), pp. 161-71.

*Elizabeth Isichei, A History of Christianity in Africa (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1995), pp. 45-73.

Nov. 7 – Religion in the African Diaspora

Reading - *Sylvia R. Frey and Betty Wood, Come Shouting to Zion: African American Protestantism in the American South and British Caribbean to 1830 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), pp. 35-62.

Internet edition also available – see VIRGO catalogue

*Eddie Glaude, Exodus! Religion, Race, and Nation in Early Nineteenth-Century Black America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), pp. 107-25.

Discussion sectionsBe prepared to discuss: The role(s) of religion in public life, with specific attention to questions of gender, race, and nation.

Summary and Exam [Prof. Miller]

Week 12 - Bringing it Together II – Colonial Americas

Nov. 12 - Summation of colonial Americas (anthropology, American history, religious studies) – with notes on Brazil

Reading - Review all since last examination

Nov. 14 - SECOND MID-TERM EXAMINATION



Discussion sections – [review]

The United States

American and African-American History

Week 13 – Race and Slavery in the Early American Republic [Prof. Scot French, Woodson Institute]

Nov. 19 – Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings: Race, Science and Citizenship

Reading - *Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (Query XIV, Laws, and Query XVIII: Manners) [published 1781-82 - electronic edition, available through on-line syllabus]

Also http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/JefVirg.html

*Excerpt from David Walker’s Appeal [published 1829]

Peter S. Onuf, “Every Generation Is an ‘Independent Nation’: Colonization, Miscegenation, and the Fate of Jefferson’s Children,” William and Mary Quarterly, 52, 1 (2000), pp. 153-70.

Nov. 21 – Runaways, Rebels, and Race Traitors

Reading – *“The Confessions of Nat Turner, the Leader of the Late Insurrection in Southampton, Va.” (Baltimore: T. R. Gray, 1831) [electronic edition, available through on-line syllabus]

Also http://docsouth.unc.edu/turner/turner.html

Norrece T. Jones, Jr., “In Search of Freedom: Slave Life in the Antebellum South,” in Scott and Shade, eds., Upon These Shores, pp. 102-17.

Discussion sections -- Be prepared to discuss: Why did Thomas Jefferson insist on the colonization of blacks outside the United States as a condition of their emancipation? Was colonization a viable option as a solution to the problem of slavery? In assessing Jefferson's views on race and slavery, does it make any difference whether he fathered children by one of his slaves, Sally Hemings? Did slavery foster a “slave mentality”? How did African Americans resist their enslavement?

Week 14 – African-American Lives and Labors Under Slavery

Nov. 26 – Kinship and Community in Antebellum Slave Society

Reading - William G. Shade, “‘Though We Are Not Slaves, We Are Not Free’; Quasi-Free Blacks in Antebellum America,” in Scott and Shade, eds., Upon These Shores, pp. 118-38.

*Herbert G. Gutman, The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925 (New York: Vintage Books, 1977), pp. 45-100.

NO Discussion sections this week

THANKSGIVING BREAK

American Literature

Week 15 – Bringing it Together III – Final Views

Dec. 3 – The Fugitive Ex-Slave Narrative [Prof. Deborah McDowell]

Reading – “Preface,” “Letter from Wendell Phillips,” chs 1-4 of Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, pp. 245-67, and pp. 289-99 (from ch 10), all in Gates, Jr., ed. and intro, The Classic Slave Narratives.

Electronic editions: http://docsouth.unc.edu/douglass/douglass.html, and multiple internet versions available through Alderman Library.

*James Olney, “The Founding Fathers: Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington,” in Deborah McDowell and Arnold Rampersad, eds., Slavery and the Literary Imagination (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1989), pp. [??].

Dec. 5 - Final review – the integrity of African and African-American Studies [Prof. Miller]



Reading – review all materials from the course

Discussion sections -- Be prepared to discuss: How representative of African-Americans in general was Douglass? And how do we disentangle his personal issues from the social and political issues of “slavery”?

FINAL EXAMINATION – Monday 9 December, 2:00-5:00 PM

-----------------

AAS 101

Introduction to African and African-American Studies


(Fall 2002)
Term Paper Assignment

You will write a short (4-5-page) paper commenting on one or more of the images presented on the website “The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record” , for submission in class on Monday 3 December. Your grade will be reduced by one-third (A to A-, etc.) for submission later that day, and by an additional third each day through the remainder of the week. No papers will be accepted after Friday 7 December at 4:00 PM.


You should compose the paper to demonstrate what you have learned in AAS 101, referring to relevant lectures and assigned materials; you should not rely on intuition or uninformed opinion, yours or anyone else’s. Try to compose your remarks around a single leading point and introduce other ideas primarily as they may support or qualify your major argument.
You may cite internet sources, provided that you provide a note identifying the site and authenticating its academic integrity. Be wary of the personal idiosyncrasies that abound in cyberspace.
Download the images you select and submit them, along with a one-sentence statement of your main point and a substantive (draft) title alluding to it on Tuesday 12 November. We will respond with whatever guidance seems appropriate. You should feel free to consult the TAs or the course coordinator about your ideas as you develop them.
The final paper should be word-processed, double-spaced with adequate margins, in a standard font; number your pages. Include formal footnotes or endnotes indicating all the course materials (or other sources) that you cite. Follow this syllabus for a correct (historical) footnote/endnote form. The paper must have a substantive title referring to your main point.
Good luck.

1 The standards for discussion sections are: (A) active leadership, (B) consistent participation, (C) regular presence but only occasional responsiveness, (D) silence and/or irregular presence, and (F) repeated absence or inattention. The only basis for creditable participation is careful preparation, guided by advance alerts to plans for the sections that you will receive in class.



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