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.

Summer 2024

AAAD 200: Introduction to African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

Amina Saidou | TBA 

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.

SOCI 336: Race and Ethnicity

Bethany Bryson | Online, asynchronous

This course examines the social construction of race and ethnicity around the world and how they influence social processes, institutions, change and ideology. The course will include discussions concerning the intersection of race and ethnicity with other aspects of social inequality such as class, gender, sexuality and nationality in contemporary society. 

There shouldn’t be an issue getting summer seats, but if the course fills, overrides will be given freely. Email for overrides up until the first day of class. Overrides are not given after the class begins.

Fall 2024

Core Classes

AAAD 200: Introduction to African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

Section 0001 | Rachel Rhoades | WeFr 1:50PM - 3:05PM | Darcus Johnson Hall G009

Section 0002 | Amina Saidou | TuTh 2:20PM - 3:35PM | Gabbin Hall 0201

Section 0003 | Kathryn Hobson | MoWe 1:50PM - 3:05PM | Darcus Johnson Hall 1010

Section 0004 | Diane Phoenix-Neal |  MoWe 9:35AM - 10:50AM | Miller Hall 2106

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.

AAAD 489: African, African American, and Diaspora Studies Senior Research Experience

Section 0001 | Rachel Rhoades | TBA | TBA

In this research-oriented experience, students design and complete research projects relevant to their interests in African, African American and Diaspora studies, as well as connect their projects to previous course work and experiences within the AAAD studies minor. Prerequisite(s): AAAD 200, senior standing and permission of the instructor.


Minor Elective Classes 

AAAD 401: Internship in African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

Section 0001 | Case Watkins | TBA |TBA

Section 0002 | Case Watkins | TBA |TBA

Section 0003 | Case Watkins | TBA |TBA

This internship course provides the student with the opportunity to apply knowledge learned in the classroom in a practical/real-world setting(s). It prepares students for working independently in the field. Any internship experience must be approved by the internship coordinator in advance, and details of supervision and evaluation should be spelled out in advance by the supervising faculty member. If the internship is through an academic unit, it must be approved for credit by the African, African American and Diaspora Studies internship coordinator in advance of the experience.

ARTH 424: Arts of Ancient Egypt

Section 0001 |  Aderonke Adesanya | TuTh 11:10AM - 12:25PM | Duke Hall 1041

A study of the arts and culture of Ancient Egypt (c. 3000 B.C. to c. 300 B.C.). This course will focus on the art and architecture of the Old and New Kingdoms and also examine the enduring fascination with this unique artistic heritage from the excavations of Napoleon to the present.

ARTH 426: Advanced Topics in Cross-Cultural Art

Topic: New African Diaspora Art

Section 0001 |  Aderonke Adesanya | TuTh 2:20PM - 3:35PM | Duke Hall 2040

This course will consider the study of two or more artistic traditions that intersect at the advanced level.

EDUC 310: Teaching in a Diverse Society

Section 0001 | Diana Meza | TuTh 12:45PM - 2:00PM | Memorial Hall 3140

Section 0002 | Diana Meza | TuTh 11:10AM - 12:25PM | Memorial Hall 3140 

Section 0003 | Ruthie Bosch | MoWe 9:35AM - 10:50AM | Memorial Hall 3140 

Section 0004 | Ruthie Bosch | MoWe 1:30PM - 3:05PM | Memorial Hall 3140

This course will examine how personal and professional values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors affect teaching and learning. The pre-service teachers 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. Corequisite(s): MIED 211 and LED 212 for middle students.

ENG 239: Studies in World Literature

Section 0001 | Debali Mookerjea-Leonard | TuTh 9:35AM - 10:50AM | Burruss Hall 036

Introduction to masterpieces of world literature with emphasis on nonWestern literature. (May be focused regionally or topically). May be used for general education credit.

ENG 260: Survey of African American Literature

Section 0001 | Mollie Godfrey, Courtney Swartzentruber | MoWeFr 10:20AM - 11:10AM | Health & Behavioral St G010

Survey of literature by African American authors from the 18th century to the present. May be used for general education credit. 

ENG 302: Seeding the Future with Black Poetry & Creative Writing

Section 0002 | Erica Cavanagh | In person MoWe / Zoom F 11:30-12:20 | Keezell 308

In this MWF course, we will discuss African American poetry on Mondays and Wednesdays and do our own creative writing, through prompts inspired by the poets we study, on Fridays. During the Furious Flower Poetry Conference, which runs from September 18-21, we will attend conference events and meet some of the poets whose work we are reading for class. The assigned poets and conference will offer students a rich and inspiring foundation from which to pursue their own research on a specific African American poet, the poet’s craft, and the circumstances that may have shaped the poet’s aesthetic choices and interests. At the end of the semester, you will turn in a portfolio that includes your creative writing and an essay on the African American poet of your choosing. This class counts toward the Core Courses requirement for the Creative Writing minor and also toward IDP requirements for the English major.

ENG 362: African American Poetry

Section 0001 | Mollie Godfrey | MoWeFr 1:50PM - 2:40PM | Keezell Hall 0310

Selected works of poetry by major African American writers. May be repeated for credit when course content changes.

HIST 365: Topics in Connected History

Topic: Africa & Global Connections

Section 0003 | David Owusu-Ansah | MoWe 8:00AM - 9:15AM | Harrison Hall 2241

The Connected History requirement offers classes that think historically about big-picture issues in a global context. Classes might consider regions or the globe. Topics and areas of the world will change with each instructor. Students may repeat this class for credit with different themes and instructors.

HIST 401: Research Capstone Topics

Topic: Problem of Slavery in Early US

Section 0003 | Kevin Hardwick | TuTh 11:10AM - 12:25PM | Wilson Hall 4033

History majors need to take two courses at the 400-level. These courses are designed to offer all students guided research experiences. Students may choose any two courses they wish at this level.

AAAD will count toward its minor those capstone topics that concern African, African Americans, and people of Africa’s diasporas.

HRD 123: Developing Multicultural Competency for Effective Facilitation

Section 0001 | TBA | TuTh 2:20PM - 3:35PM | Memorial Hall 3275

This course will provide students with a deeper understanding of social identities, and they will gain the necessary skills to facilitate training, programs and dialogues focusing on areas of diversity, multiculturalism, inclusion and access. Students enrolled in this course will be prepared to become a diversity educator in the Diversity Education Empowerment Program sponsored by the Center for Multicultural Student Services at James Madison University.

JUST 328: Race, Class, and Justice

Section 0001 | Gianluca De Fazio | TuTh 11:10AM - 12:25PM | Darcus Johnson Hall G009

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. Prerequisite(s): JUST 200 and one other 200 level JUST course, excluding JUST 225. 

JUST 357: Environmental Justice

Section 0001 | Case Watkins | TuTh 11:10AM - 12:25PM | Johnson Hall G004

This course provides students with an interdisciplinary introduction to environmental justice. Emphasizing how contemporary environmental issues are profoundly rooted in social, political, and economic conditions, students will apply principles and conceptions of justice to ecological challenges and sustainability efforts in local, national, and global contexts. Prerequisite(s): JUST 200 and one other 200 level JUST course, excluding JUST 225. 

MUS 240: Jazz Improvisation Laboratory I

Section 0001 | Greg Thomas | TuTh 11:10AM - 12:00PM | Forbes Roberts Center 1115

Presents the fundamentals of improvisation in both jazz and popular musical styles. The class emphasis will be on creative work although some theory and chord nomenclature will be taught. Both vocal and instrumental musicians will be permitted to enroll, including both the general student and the music major. Prerequisite(s): Music major or jazz minor or permission of the instructor.

MUS 305: Jazz Keyboard Skills

Section 0001 | Masayoshi Ishikawa | TuTh 9:35AM - 10:25AM | Music Building B080

This course introduces and develops the keyboard skills necessary to construct piano accompaniments in the jazz idiom using a progression of chord symbols or a lead sheet. Successful completion of this course is required in order to enroll in upper level courses in the Jazz Studies major. Prerequisite(s): MUS 101 or instructor permission

MUS 345: Small Ensemble Jazz Arranging

Section 0001 | Chuck Dotas | TuTh 11:10AM - 12:25PM | Music Building 0318

This course introduces students to the techniques of arranging for two-horn, three-horn, and four-horn jazz ensembles. Students will study the classic repertoire of small jazz groups between 1930 and the present day, and create and record small ensemble arrangements in various styles. Prerequisite(s): MUS 255, MUS 305 or permission of the instructor. 

MUS 356: History of Jazz in America

Section 0001 | Andrew Connell | MoWeFr 10:20AM - 11:10AM | Music Building 0204

A study of American jazz with particular emphasis on its practices with reference to principal performers and composers of jazz-style periods. 

MUS 440. Jazz Improvisation Laboratory II

Section 0001 | Adam Larrabee | MoWe 11:30AM - 12:20PM | Music Building 0108

Section 0002 | Masayoshi Ishikawa | MoWe 11:30AM - 12:20PM | Music Building 0148

Presents intermediate to advanced improvisation skills in the jazz idiom alone. There is an emphasis on the theoretical analysis of chord progressions as well as on creative musical application. The course concludes by introducing some advanced musical improvisation concepts. May be repeated. Prerequisite(s): MUS 240 or permission of the instructor.

POSC 326: Civil Rights

Section 0001 | Jennifer Byrne | TuTh 2:20PM - 3:35PM | Miller Hall 1102

An examination of the judicial interpretation of civil rights in America with emphasis on freedom of speech, due process of law and equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

POSC 341: Social Movements in the US & Abroad

Section 0001 | Kristin Wylie | MoWe 1:50pm3:05pm | Miller Hall 2140

In recent decades, social movements have mobilized people concerned about issues ranging from the rights of ethno-racial minorities, women, sexual minorities and immigrants to the environment, human rights and world peace. This course will examine the origins, modes of action and impact of such movements. We will apply the comparative method to analyze social movements in the United States and abroad, investigating how different socioeconomic and political contexts shape social movements based on common issues. The course will emphasize how social movements emerge and function within and alongside existing structures of formal politics.

POSC351: Topics in American Politics: Race and Capitalism

Section 0003 | Brentus Green | MW 3:25-4:40 | Miller 2180

POSC366: Introduction to the Politics of Race and Ethnicity

Brentus Green | MW 1:50-3:05 | Miller 2180

This course is centered on the politics of race and ethnicity within the United States of America. More specifically, it discusses how the U.S. government has and continues to shape patterns of racial inequality through public policy. By the end of the course, students will develop a broad, conceptual understanding of how racism is woven into the fabric of our society.

POSC 376: Introduction to Black Politics

Section 0001 | Jaimee Swift | MoWeFr 11:30AM - 12:20PM | Miller Hall 2140

This course is an introduction to how Black political scientists and Black communities have developed and articulated a Weltanschauung or worldview that situates their political thought, behavior, productions, leadership and pathways to liberation from historical, contemporary, transnational and intersectional frameworks. Topics discussed in this course include political organizing for social justice; political thought and philosophy; formal and informal political leadership; race, gender, class and sexuality; electoral politics; and more.

POSC 377: Global Black Feminist Politics: On Power, Resistance and Transformation

Section 0001 | Jaimee Swift | MoWe 1:50PM - 3:05PM | Miller Hall 1102

This course explores how anti-Blackness, racialization, transphobia, misogynoir, violence and more impact the everyday lives of Black women and gender expansive communities from a transnational Black feminist lens.

SOCI 354: Social Inequality

Section 0001 | Bethany Bryson | TBA | Online

Course covers the systems of stratification and inequality in the United States including race, class, gender, religion, sexuality, ethnicity, and nationality. Discussion will center on their role in providing rationales for oppression and discrimination in society and their relationship to the distribution of power and ideological control.

This course will be restricted to sociology students during early enrollment and will fill on the first day or early morning on the 2nd day. So long as there are open seats, however, AAAD students may contact for an override to bypass the sociology restriction. No overrides are given once the course fills.

UNST 300: Integrative General Education 

Topic: The Unfinished Journey Of People Of Color

Section 0005 | H Gelfand | TBA | Online

This innovative topics course is designed to meet the General Education program’s learning outcomes for critical and integrative thinking by providing opportunities for students to synthesize prior learning and apply it to solve contemporary real-world problems. Students complete a portion of the class assignments in teams to develop essential real-world skills in collaboration and communication. Topics vary by instructor. May be repeated when course content changes.

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