Trinity’s minor in Africana Studies is an interdisciplinary approach to studying and understanding the experiences of Africans and people of African descent throughout the Americas, Caribbean, and Latin America. The purpose of the Africana Studies Minor is to introduce students to the interdisciplinary and global understanding of the complex histories and diverse experiences of African people and their descendants. The courses will expand the worldview of students so that they can move beyond the limitations of Western thought about Blackness, migration, community, and human rights.
Students who complete the Africana Studies minor will be better prepared to tackle the rigors of careers in law, social work, media, nursing, education, and nonprofit management. Perhaps more importantly, the Africana Studies minor prepares students to become changemakers prepared to answer the call of Trinity’s mission to advance the principles of equity, justice, and honor.
An Africana Studies concentration is also available in the Global Affairs major program offered in the College of Arts and Sciences.
*asterisk indicates courses that count toward General Education Requirement
Required Courses (3 credits)
*AFST 200 Intro to Africana StudiesExplores the academic field of Africana Studies, including an intellectual genealogy of the discipline and introduction to the major concepts, methods, terms, and techniques used in thinking about the Africana experience through time and space. Follows a narrative progression of the Africana experience beginning with the origin of humanity and spanning human history; the African experience in the U.S. is a tiny fraction of that larger historical arc (one that has unfortunately framed the study of Africana in general). Moves beyond this debilitating circumstance to build knowledge incrementally using discussion and interpretation of evidence through disciplinary lenses; assigned texts provide evidentiary anchors and interpretive frames for discussion.
English Elective (3 credits)
One English course is required. Please choose from one of the following:
ENGL 220 African American LiteratureThis course introduces students to the study of African American literature, including the vernacular tradition, the New Negro Renaissance of the early twentieth century, periods of realism and modernism in the late 1940s and early 1960s, the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s, and newer voices at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century. Students will practice literary analysis and study the literary techniques and genres belonging to this literature, as well as the ways in which the texts attempt to reinvent, disrupt, or challenge traditional European/North American literary traditions and criticisms. Many of the texts will engage the meaning of race, the forced migration of Africans to the Americas, racism and black resistance to it, institutionalized enslavement and strategies for survival, economic oppression, the celebration of blackness, and the literary achievements of black authors. Biographical, historical, and political contexts will be examined as ways to enrich the reading of the texts.
General Education Requirement: Knowledge and Inquiry
ENGL 271 Literature of the African DiasporaIntroduces students to the study of literature written by authors of African descent in Europe and the Americas and explores the development of an international and multicultural consciousness with Africa and the Diaspora as its referents. Formerly ENG 204 Literature of the African Diaspora.
General Education Requirement: Knowledge and Inquiry
ENGL 273 African American PoetryExplores traditional and experimental poetry by African American writers. Formerly ENG 203 African American Poetry.
ENGL 341 Modernism and the Harlem RenaissanceExamines literature produced by Americans in the period immediately following the First World War and emphasizes the literature of the New Negro Renaissance. Students will read literature by Eliot, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Hughes, Larsen, Hurston, McKay, Toomer, and others.
Prerequisites: ENGL 107; one ENGL course at the 200 level, which may be taken concurrently.
ENGL 372 19th Century African-American NarrativeExamines African American literary tradition in the 19th century, which was inextricably bound with the history of slavery and freedom, Reconstruction and its failure, and the establishment of Black national identity. Readings include slave narratives, speeches, essays, and the emergence of African American fiction.
ENGL 373 African American Women WritersExamines the history and images of African Americans, especially women, in selected works by African American women writers ranging from Zora Neale Hurston to Toni Morrison. Formerly ENG 363 African American Women Writers.
ENGL 374 The Films of Spike LeeExamines the major films of African American director Spike Lee, concentrating on the political and social issues raised in his work and the tecniques he uses, including music, camera angles, and episodic storytelling, to support his narrative structures. This course fulfills the major figure requirement for English majors.
ENGL 378 African American Women in FilmConsiders the images of African Americans presented in film and especially in the work of African American actors, directors, screenwriters, and producers. Formerly ENG 369 African American Women in Film.
ENGL 470 Wright, Ellison, and BaldwinExamines the novels, short stories, and essays of Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and James Baldwin. Themes addressed may include racial and ethnic politics and literature, world conflict, Paul Gilroy's theory of "the Black Atlantic," jazz, queer theory and gender politics, and the development of the African American novel in the 20th century.
ENGL 471 The Major Works of Octavia ButlerExplores selected novels and short stories of Octavia Butler while paying close attention to the political context of Butler's work and the conventions of science fiction and fantasy literature.
Prerequisites: ENGL 107, ENGL 389
ENGL 475 Immigration, Identity, and PoliticsExplores the intersection between citizenship and identity in the work of Edwidge Danticat, Junot Diaz, and Chimamanda Adichie. Prerequisites: Formerly ENGL 475, Seminar on Edwidge Danticat.
Prerequisites: ENGL 107
General Education: Civic Knowledge
ENGL 476 Seminar on Toni MorrisonExamines the novels and selected shorter writings of Toni Morrison, with special interest in the literary commentary on race, gender, and oppression. Formerly ENG 303 Seminar on Toni Morrison.
FLC Seminar II
Additional electives related to Africana Studies (12 credits)
Choose FOUR additional courses across disciplines from the list below. Student can also select from the English offerings above:
Global Affairs Courses
*HIS 138 The African DiasporaExplores the collective historical and contemporary experiences of the African Diaspora. Examine the social, cultural and political relationships between Black communities, knowledge, and movements across the Diaspora. Examines the interwoven concepts of memory, culture and resistance, and span themes such as consciousness of Africa; the Haitian Revolution and resistance to slavery; African cultural transformation in the Americas; maroonage; Garvey and the UNIA; pan-African movements and global liberation struggles; women and resistance; Black Power, and issues of identity and race. Explore primary sources, historical terminology and themes and practices of the African Diaspora. Introduces students to major scholars of the African Diaspora through readings, films, group projects, and guest lectures.
Core Area II: Understanding Self and Society
General Education: Knowledge and Inquiry
HIS 339 African American HistorySurveys African American history. Topics covered include the impact of slavery and the consequences of Reconstruction, with a major emphasis on the social and intellectual history of African-Americans since 1877.
HIS 343 20th Cent African American Liberation MovementExamines the nineteenth-century origins of African American protest; provides an in-depth exploration of the earliest national protest organizations, the prologue to the Movement in the 1930's and 1940's, the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965, the Black Power Movement, changing strategies after 1970; special emphasis on the role of women from the 1890's to the present.
HIS 345 Civil Rights Movement in the Twentieth CenturyThis course explores the origins, evolution, and consequences of the Civil Rights Movement from the beginning of the twentieth century through the Black Power Movement and the liberation movements of the 1970's.Topics include the origins of protest in the 1890's and the first decade of the twentieth century, the transition from protest to resistance in the social movements of the 1930's and 1940's, the emergence of the mass movements of the 1950's and 1960's, and the Black Power Movement.
General Education: Civic Knowledge
HIS 371 Modern AfricaTraces the modern history of Africa from the eve of colonial rule to the early post independence period. Central themes the course considers include: the role of gender in the experiences of ordinary men and women; the European scramble for Africa and African responses; colonial rule; African independence movements; the development of African nationalism; and post-colonial challenges.
GLBL 250 Human Geography SeminarIntroduces world human geography with a partial emphasis on a particular region, such as Africa, Asia, the Middle East, or Latin America. Includes such concepts as the relationship between humans and the environment; gender; population; urbanization; globalization; and development.
GLBL 310 Global Hip Hop: NYC to the WorldThe Culture: Hip-Hop?s Journey from NYC to the World. Introduces hip-hop?s evolution from 1970?s American-based Black and Latinx cultures to global cosmopolitan status. Permeating all levels of society, hip hop has entered the mainstream as a universal language that connects people across the globe. Through hip-hop, this course discusses historical and contemporary themes of race, class, gender, religion, sexuality, nationality, politics and social activism, appropriation and defense of spaces, mixing of different cultures, migrations, multilingualism, and the search for self-identity. First focuses on hip-hop?s evolution in America from the 1970s through the present, emphasizing social, cultural, and geographic forces that shaped this evolution and the various ?elements? that comprise hip-hop. Considers political debates about the hip-hop generation?s influence on the American ethos. Then, takes students on hip-hop?s journey across the globe to France, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Cuba, and parts of West Africa and the Middle East. *3 credits
General Education: Capstone
POLS 201 Civil Rights and LibertiesProvides an introduction to legal opinions that focus on the 1st and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The cases and the societal issues surrounding them are presented in their historical context. Some specific topics examined in the course are Supreme Court decisions that affect the civil rights movement, free speech, and privacy issues involving Internet communications. Formerly PSC 216 Civil Rights and Liberties.
FLC Area V
General Education Requirements: Knowledge and Inquiry
POLS 337 Comparative Politics: AfricaExamines the political systems of the African states, their similarities and differences, regional distinctions, and approaches to modernization and development. Formerly PSC 307 Comparative Politics: Africa.
PHIL 226 Phil, Prot,& Resist Race&Gen InequalityThis practical philosophy course will explore the application of philosophical theories of inequality to three contemporary social and political issues: incarceration and reentry, housing, and immigrant rights, and consider current policy and public discourse debates around these issues. This course will include a service learning component at a local non-profit. Students will consider the three course themes in a broader context and ask how the marginalization and erasure of some bodies threatens not only individuals from oppressed groups but justice for the broader society.
PHIL 231 Current Issues in Social and Political PhilosophyExamines the theories of justice that inform our political and civic institutions, particularly contractarianism, libertarianism, and communitarianism. The course provides opportunities for analysis of these theories in light of critical perspectives on the social significance of race, class, and gender. We will also examine contemporary social problems through the lens of political philosophy.
Gen Ed Applications
PHIL 491 InternshipOffers the student an opportunity for service learning by special permission of the program faculty and under the supervision of a faculty member. This class is taken for a letter grade.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
SOCY 321 Inequality and SocietyExamines classical and contemporary theories of social stratification. Are we all created equal? Can we become equal? Particular emphasis is on the American class structure, its impact on social institutions, and the importance of gender and race as factors contributing to inequality in society. Formerly SOC 378 Inequality and Society.
Prerequisites: SOCY 100
SOCY 323 Race and Racism in SocietyTraces the history of race relations, prejudice, and racism within the United States. Special emphasis will be given to the relationship of racism and the changing economic, political, demographic, and educational structure of society. Examines the roots of prejudice, its expression, and its impact on individual, families, communities, and societal institutions. Addresses the critical role of social science theory and research in increasing understanding of race relations and racism, and suggests intervention strategies for improved relations. Formerly SOC 350 Race and Racism.
FLC Area V
Prerequisite: SOCY 100.
SOCY 333 Women and the Developing WorldExamines insights that the feminist perspective brings to the issues of development, challenging the assumption that "integrating women into development" will solve problems caused by plans and policies that neglect women. This course is meant to be a guide to recent thinking and literature about women and development, and to the feminist critique of these. The course focuses on multinationals, rural development, and food production, including appropriate technology and income generation, health, migration, education, and communication. Formerly SOC 310 Women and Third World Development.
Prerequisite: SOCY 100.
SOCY 361 The Black FamilyProvides a multidisciplinary approach to the study of Black families, including immigrant families from Africa and the Caribbean. The course covers four broad content areas: historical/theoretical approaches to the study of Black families; Black family patterns (including socioeconomic, demographic, and intergenerational patters); socialization within Black families; and advocacy for and gender relations within Black families. Formerly SOC 302 The Black Family.
Prerequisite: SOCY 100.
PSYC 314 African-Centered PsychologyPresents a framework for understanding Black psychology and factors that influence the structure, function, and evolution of the African presence in the United States and the Diaspora by examining historical and cultural aspects of the Black experience from an African-centered perspective. Builds critical thinking skills via application of African and psychological concepts to analyses of the African Diaspora and experiences that shaped people of African descent in America.
PSYC 385 Ethnic & Cross Cultural-PsychologyExplores cultural components in theory and research in psychology. The interplay of individual, ethnic, and societal factors in psychosocial development will be emphasized.
Prerequisites: PSYC 101, SOC 100, and at least three additional credits in Psychology
Criminal Justice Courses
CJUS 303 Inequality, Discrimination, and Gender in Criminal JusticeRace, ethnicity, sex, and other characteristics may define individuals as minorities who deserve equitable treatment in the criminal justice system. This course examines the roles of racism, sexism, and homophobia in theories of crimes and the treatment of minorities by various components of the criminal justice system. Formerly CJUS 303 - Women and Minorities in CJ.
COM 305 Minority Images in American MediaExamines how minorities (racial, ethnic, sexual, etc.) and other categories of the socially marginalized (the poor, the homeless) have been portrayed throughout the twentieth century in American entertainment media, from being made "invisible" to being stereotyped, and the impact of these images. Combines theoretical approaches and insights with a historical overview to increase students' awareness of the ideological nature of media images.
Fine Arts Courses
FNAR 103 African American Art IAfrican American Art I is a survey course that will begin in pre-colonial slave trade West Africa, considering the visual culture and creativity of the peoples who would, through an unjust forced labor system, become the first African Americans. Topics and movements will include, but are not limited to: Slavery and the Antebellum South, Life after Emancipation, The Harlem Renaissance and The Jim Crow Era. This course will explore questions of representation and inclusion, and will investigate the many historical, cultural, social and political factors that have influenced African American creativity and art making from approximately 1492 to 1945.
FNAR 104 African American Art IIAfrican American Art II is a survey course that will continue a chronological examination of the visual culture and creativity of African American artists, beginning with The Civil Rights Movement, The Black Power Movement, Modernism, Post-modernism, and Contemporary art movements. This course will explore questions of representation and inclusion, and will investigate the many historical, cultural, social and political factors that have influenced African American creativity and art making from approximately 1945 to 2015.
Credits earned through AP examinations do not fulfill requirements of the minor.
Credits earned through CLEP examinations do not fulfill requirements of the minor.
Grades in Required Courses:
Students are required to earn a grade of “C” (2.0) or better in all courses counted to fulfill requirements for the minor.
With the exception of internships, courses fulfilling minor requirements may not be taken pass/no pass.
Students may meet minor requirements with courses taken during study abroad.
The Africana Studies Program supports and encourages Trinity’s TELL Program. Students applying for experiential learning credit should consult with the program faculty.
Transfer credit from appropriately accredited institutions of higher learning may be counted for minor requirements, dependent on program review and approval. Associations recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEA) confer appropriate accreditation; these associations include but are not limited to regional accreditors.