Bard College Catalogue

The Bard College Catalogue contains detailed descriptions of the College's undergraduate programs and courses, curriculum, admission and financial aid procedures, student activities and services, history, campus facilities, affiliated institutions including graduate programs, and faculty and administration.

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Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Africana Studies


Myra Young Armstead (coordinator), Susan Aberth, Thurman Barker, Mario J. A. Bick, Diana De G. Brown, Teju Cole, Christian Crouch, Helen Epstein, John Esposito, Tabetha Ewing, Nuruddin Farah, Donna Ford Grover, Peter Rosenblum, John Ryle, Yuka Suzuki, Drew Thompson


Africana Studies is an interdisciplinary concentration that examines the cultures, histories, and politics of African peoples on the African continent and throughout the African diaspora. The Africana Studies concentration teaches students to use diverse historical, political, ethnographic, artistic, and literary forms of analysis. Through these interdisciplinary studies, students trace the historical and cultural connections between Africa and the rest of the world and explore their importance for African peoples and the nature of modern, global society.


Concentration in Africana ­Studies must be combined with a major in a traditional disciplinary program. Ideally, a student will moderate simultaneously in Africana Studies and the disciplinary program. Before Moderation, a student is expected to take at least three Africana Studies courses or Africana Studies cross-listed courses, including the core course, Introduction to Africana Studies (Africana Studies 101), or the equivalent. Before graduation, the student must take two additional Africana Studies or cross-listed courses, including one 300-level seminar. The Moderation and Senior Project boards should each include one Africana Studies core faculty member.

Introduction to Africana Studies
Africana Studies 101
cross-listed: gis
Africa and the African diaspora have both been central to the making of the modern world. From the trans-Atlantic slave trade to early Africans who shaped the social and religious landscapes of American culture, this course explores historical connections between the continent and other areas of the world. Topics include: African art, music, and diasporic religion; early explorers’ representations of the continent, slavery, and the Atlantic world; refugees and nature conservation; and the development of Africana Studies as an intellectual field. This course is required for students concentrating in Africana Studies.

Introduction to African States and Societies
Africana Studies 110
cross-listed: gis What are the assumptions embedded in the notion of African thought and society? How do these assumptions shape the social, political, and economic dynamics within and between the 54-plus African countries existing today? This course explores such overarching questions as it considers the key ideas of Frantz Fanon, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, and Léopold Sédar Senghor, and compares their notions of “being African.”

New Fiction Out of Africa
Africana Studies 120 / Literature 120
See Literature 120 for a full course description.

Precolonial and Colonial Africa
Africana Studies 2318 
An overview of the history of sub-Saharan Africa, with an emphasis on the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Encountering Africana
Africana Studies 248
cross-listed: gis
The course analyzes travel accounts of sub-Saharan Africa to understand how non-African travelers experienced this area, and how their writings contributed to the image of Africa by the West. Accounts are drawn from the end of the 18th century to the present by explorers, travelers, and journalists. African American and European American writers are the main focus.