The minor in African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Studies broadens students' world perspectives by enhancing their acquaintance with and understanding of the peoples, cultures, and institutions of Africa and the African Diaspora. The AAAD program engages cross disciplinary approaches to understand and to encounter Africa and the African Diaspora in a global context. The cross disciplinary character of the program is further enhanced by the fact that courses taken to fulfill program requirements are drawn from several departments. From these course offerings, students will examine and engage with some of AAAD Studies key contributing disciplines, concepts, methods and topics including the development of new identities.

The minor program in AAAD Studies is open to all undergraduate students at JMU. Courses taken to complete the AAAD minor can also be used to satisfy the student's major, as well as General Education requirements.

Click here to view the brochure with information about courses that count towards the minor.

Click here to view the minor catalog. 

Spring 2020 Courses 

AAAD 200: Introduction to Africana Studies

Section 0001 | Besi Muhonja | MW 2:30-3:45pm

Section 0002 | Lamont King | TuTh 8:00-9:15am

An introductory survey of basic theoretical concepts to analyze the Black experience, with special focus on the general historical process common to Africa and the African Diaspora. May be used for general education credit.

ARTH: 488 African American Art

Section 0001 | John Ott | TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

This course selectively surveys visual arts (including painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, material culture, performance, and video) produced by people of African descent in the United States from the colonial period until the present. In this seminar we will scrutinize and discuss a broad spectrum of artworks in relation to their larger historical, cultural, institutional, political, economic, and religious contexts. Course themes include debates about the connections between racial identity and artistic production; the complex relationships between African-American art and the visual and cultural traditions of Africa and Europe; black artists’ engagement with the history of popular representations of African-Americans; the influence of art education, patronage, markets, museums, and criticism; and the inter

Sections of race with class, gender, and sexuality.

EDUC 310: Teaching in a Diverse Society

Section 0001 | Lisa Schick |TuTh 2:00-3:15pm

This course will examine how personal and professional values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors affect teaching and learning. Students will develop an understanding of similar unique characteristics of Pre-K to 12 grade students and their families, including culture, race, ethnicity, heritage language and learning abilities, gender socialization and sexual orientation. This course encourages student reflection on their own development, perspective, and experiences in relation to themselves and the school environment.

ELED 310: Diversity in Elementary Education

Section 0001 | Kara Kavanagh |M 12:20-2:50pm

Section 0002 | Kara Kavanagh |Th 2:00-4:30pm

Section 0003 | Shin Kang |Tu 2:00-4:30pm

This course guides students in critically examining their own perspectives regarding diversity in our society. Through this course, students will expand their awareness and understanding of individuals and groups apparently different from themselves. Students will explore pedagogical issues and practices in the classroom that embrace the whole community of learners and their families. Prerequisite: Admission to teacher education. Corequisites: ECED 372, ELED 308, ELED 311 and READ 366.

ENG 260: Survey of African American Literature

Sec 0001 | Mollie Godfrey | MWF 12:20-1:20pm

This course introduces students to major authors, literary forms, and movements in African American literature. We study the emergence and flourishing of African American literature over the past two centuries, noting common as well as diverging themes, techniques, and arguments over the coherence of African American literature as a genre. Throughout the semester we will explore antebellum, Reconstruction, Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights, Black Arts, and contemporary writers in their historical contexts as well as make connections between texts across historical periods. Students can expect to complete in-class reading quizzes and group work, as well as three short essays and three exams.

ENG 332: Africana Women in the Media

Section 0001 | Besi Muhonja |MW: 5:00-6:15pm

The course will examine the positioning and representation of Africana women, narratives and politics in the U.S. media.

ENG 405: Epidemics in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction

Section 0001 | David Babcock | TuTh 2:00-3:15pm

This course considers the ways that obsessions with disease and contagion get coded within contemporary geo-cultural contexts. Its premise is that mass epidemics can act as historical catalysts that lead communities to envision themselves—both their problems and potentialities—in new ways. Often we hear about how the boundaries of communities are policed by stoking people‘s fears of disease and death, suggesting perhaps that contagion fiction is only capable of producing reactive, xenophobic feelings. In fact, contemporary fiction presents a much more multifaceted picture, one that includes possibilities for both community-building and communal self-critique.

GEOG 335: Geography of Africa

Section 0001 | Wayne Teel | TuTh 9:30-10:45am

The course covers the physical geography of Sub-Saharan Africa (land, climate, hydrology, vegetation, ecology) a brief historical geography that connects then to political geography, with lots of reference to the colonial era, false borders, independence and finally economic colonialism. The second part of the course looks a sub-regions focusing on economic geography and cultural geography within the political dynamic. There is a strong emphasis on agriculture and natural resources throughout the class since this is one of the professors strengths.

HIST 263: Africa Sec 0001 | Lamont King | TuTh 12:30-1:45pm

History 263 examines the development of African societies from their earliest beginnings to the end of the nineteenth century. It discusses major societal transformations, including: the spread of languages, agricultural techniques, and metallurgy; the political and economic organization of societies; indigenous religious practices and their inter

Section with Islam and Christianity; the transatlantic slave trade; and the colonization of the continent.

HIST 356: African American History since 1865

Section 0001 | Steve Reich | TuTh 9:30-10:45am

A survey of the experience and changing status of African-Americans in the United States from Reconstruction to the present, emphasizing the strengthening of social and cultural institutions; Afro-American leadership; the impact of segregation; the Great Migration; labor, protest and cultural movements; pan-Africanism; the Civil Rights Movement; and contemporary issues.

HIST 470: Modern Africa Sec 7101 | D. Owusu-Ansah | MWF 8:00-9:55am

History 470 will examine the major political and economic developments in Africa in the twentieth century and evaluates how they continue to impact current developments. The approach will be both chronological and thematic. Topics to be considered include: The Partition of Africa: Collaboration and Resistance; Colonial Rule: Economics, Education, and Nationalism; Decolonization and Neocolonialism; The Independent African State System; Contemporary Crisis: Health Care, Democracy, and the African Environment.

HUMN 201: Intro to Humanitarian Affairs Sec 0001 | D. Beers | TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm

This course is designed to offer a balanced, historically grounded, and theoretically informed overview of the contemporary humanitarian system. Drawing on academic analyses, insights from practitioners, and a host of historical and contemporary case studies, the course highlights both the promise of humanitarian action, as well as the many practical and ethical challenges confronting humanitarian actors in the world today, including within humanitarian emergencies in Haiti, Somalia, Rwanda and South Sudan.

JUST 301: Solutions to Global Poverty

Section 0002 | Daniel Beers | TuTh 2:00-3:15pm

Extreme poverty is arguably one of the greatest challenges facing the global community. This course will critically examine a range of approaches to addressing global poverty, from international trade and aid, to microfinance and mobile banking, to grassroots anti-poverty innovations, with a focus on case studies from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.

JUST 328: Race, Class and Justice

Section 0001 | G. De Fazio | TuTh 2:00-3:15pm

This course provides students with an overview of contemporary justice issues in a comparative perspective. It includes an introduction to case-studies, comparative research methods and cross-national comparisons of justice issues concerning race and class.

POSC/WGSS 383: Women & Politics in Comparative Perspective

Section 0001 | Kristin Wylie | MW 2:30-3:45pm

Women constitute the majority of electorates and social movement activists in countries throughout the world, yet are just over 10 and 20 percent of the world’s elected chief executives and legislators. This course is designed to explain the causes and consequences of women’s political marginalization and explore the possibilities for remedying gender inequities in the formal political sphere. By introducing gender and its intersections with race and sexuality into our analyses of domestic and international politics in the US and abroad, we will enhance our understanding of how power has been stratified along such dimensions and the consequences for representation and governance. We will apply an inter

Sectional feminist lens to explore political dimensions of gender inequality, questioning universal ideals of power, citizenship, and representation. We will examine how women have worked outside and within the state to confront obstacles to their political empowerment, and the implications thereof for both the quality of politics and the lives of women.

POSC 391: Politics and Policy of Motherhood

Section 0001 | Jatia Wrighten | TuTh 3:30-4:45pm

What does it mean to be a mother? What does being a mother look like across different cultures? Race, gender, age, and other characteristics create a person’s identity. A person’s identity influences the way in which they behave politically, socially, and economically. This course will explore what it means to be a mother across different cultures and how this identity of motherhood influences a woman’s political, social, and econom-ic behavior. We will do this by examining policies pertaining to women’s reproductive rights, which include work policies and healthcare policies. For example, FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) and the higher costs associated with regular medical care for women. Also, we will take a look at landmark court cases that have influenced the way in which women’s bodies are viewed in society and the effect that this has on women, specifically, mothers. Finally, this course will look at how race and culture shape society’s ideals of motherhood.


Back to Top