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 2023 Courses
Core Courses

AAAD 200: Introduction to AAAD 

Section 4101 | Amina Saidou | M-F 2:30pm - 4:30pm

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 (Cluster 4). Required for AAAD minor.

Elective Courses

AAAD 401: Internship in AAAD Studies

Section 8201 | Case Watkins | TBD

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.

ENG 260: Survey of African American Literature

Section 4101 (4W1); 4201 (4W2) | Mollie Godfrey | Asynchronous Online 

This course introduces students to major authors, literary forms, and movements in African American literature. 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. By way of readings made up entirely of literary works by Black authors, this course also interrogates systems of power, oppression, and discrimination, and introduces foundational theories of Black resistance, resilience, intersectionality, and liberation.  

Fall 2023 Courses
Core Course Offerings

AAAD 200: Introduction to AAAD

Section 0001 | David Owusu-Ansah | MW 8:00am - 9:15am

Section 0002 | Rachel Rhoades | TR 9:35am - 10:50am

Section 0003 | Leonard Richards, Jr. | TR 11:10am - 12:25pm

Section 0004 | Amina Saidou | TR 2:20pm - 3:35pm 

Section 0005 | Kathryn Hobson | MW 1:50pm - 3:05pm 

Section 0006 | Sofia Samatar | MW 1:50pm - 3:05pm

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 (Cluster 4). Required for AAAD Minor.

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

Section 0001 | Kathryn Hobson | Asynchronous Online 

AAAD 489 is a one-credit hour, culminating experience for those in the African, African American, and Diaspora (AAAD) Studies minor program. AAAD 489 requires a substantive research paper and/or other approved project(s), as well as a public presentation, that demonstrate the student’s ability to synthesize learning gained throughout the minor program. Students work with one or more AAAD faculty members to determine the topic, research methods, and project structure. The public presentation must occur at an approved academic venue. Students may build upon coursework that they have completed at the 300 and 400 level. Note: It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that they are registered into the AAAD 489 course. 

Elective Courses

AAAD 401: Internship in  AAAD Studies

Section 0001; 0002; 0003 | Case Watkins | TBD

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: Art of Ancient Egypt

Section 0001 |Adéronké Adésànyà | TR 11:10am- 12:25pm

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: New African Diaspora Art 

Section 0001 | Adéronké Adésànyà | TR 2:20pm - 3:35pm

This course will consider the study of two or more artistic traditions that intersect at the advanced level. Topics vary. See MyMadison for current topics.

DANC 146: Jazz Dance

Section 0001 | TBD | TR 12:45pm - 2:00pm

Fundamentals of jazz technique, basic vocabulary and combinations. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): School of Theatre and Dance majors and minors only.

DANC 246: Intermediate Jazz

Section 0001 | Matthew Pardo | TR 12:45pm - 2:00pm

Intermediate skills in jazz dance technique, vocabulary and movement combinations. May be repeated for creditPrerequisite(s): DANC 146. Jazz Dance (0, 4)None for School of Theatre and Dance majors and dance minors. Non-majors: DANC 146 or permission of the instructor.

DANC 246: Intermediate Jazz II/Musical Theatre Styles

Section 0001 | Suzanne Miller-Corso | TR 11:10am - 12:25pm

Intermediate Jazz II / Musical Theatre Styles is a continuation of the jazz dance techniques in the dance program at the upper-intermediate level. The primary focus of this class will be on the study and training of historic and contemporary musical theatre jazz movement and its cultural influences. The course may be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): DANC 246 or permission of the instructor.

ENG 260: Survey of African American Literature

Section 0001 | Mollie Godfrey | MWF 12:40pm - 1:30pm

This course introduces students to major authors, literary forms, and movements in African American literature. 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. By way of readings made up entirely of literary works by Black authors, this course also interrogates systems of power, oppression, and discrimination, and introduces foundational theories of Black resistance, resilience, intersectionality, and liberation.  

ENG 408: Advanced Studies in African American Literature: African American Women’s Writing and the Wintergreen Women Writers’ Collective

Section 0001 | Mollie Godfrey | M 4:00pm - 6:45pm

In this course, students will both learn about and work directly with the individual artists of the Wintergreen Women Writers’ Collective, which includes such incredible Black women writers as Nikki Giovanni, Camille Dungy, Sonia Sanchez, Nikky Finney, Toi Derricotte, Joanne Gabbin, and many more. Students will be invited not only to learn about the place of this Black women writers’ collective in African American literary history but to participate in the process of preserving that history by supporting the preservation of Wintergreen Women Writers’ papers and other archival materials. This course will include an exploration of the Furious Flower Poetry Center’s archival collection, held by JMU Special Collections; a field trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C., which features the work of several Wintergreen Women Writers; and a presentation and class visit from archival curators from Yale University’s Beinecke Library, which houses some of the largest collections of Black literary collectives’ papers in the world. Students will then conduct research on individual writers of the Wintergreen Women Writers’ Collective; write biographical notes of individual writers; and will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with their assigned writer to review, reimagine, and revise their biographical notes. These biographical notes and recorded one-on-one meetings will directly support JMU archivists in assessing the collective’s archival holdings for future preservation and will also themselves be preserved as part of the future collection. 

FR 300: Grammar and Communication

Section 0001 |  Amina Saidou | TR 11:10am - 12:25pm

Intensive training in grammatical structures and their application to oral and written communication. Instruction is in French. Fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major. Prerequisite(s): FR 212 or FR 232 or placement exam score.  

This course teaches French from an Africana perspective.  

HIST 339: Topics in American History: Terror and Survival in American Lynching

Section 0001 | Steven Reich | MW 1:50pm - 3:05pm

Selected themes are studied in depth. See MyMadison for current classes. Course may be repeated when content changes.      

HIST 374: The Southern Plantation: Race, Space and Gender in an American Landscape

Section 0001 | Philip Herrington | TR 11:10am - 12:25pm

This course explores the plantations of the American South, both physical and imagined spaces. It challenges students to consider the spatial boundaries of the plantation, offering an examination of African trading posts, American slave markets and small courthouse towns along with the dwellings, outbuildings, fields and gardens of antebellum commercial slave agriculture. This broader spatial history framework uses a number of historical subfields, particularly architectural, environmental and public history, exposing students to a variety of scholarly perspectives. The class incorporates a wealth of primary material from diverse authors and points of view, including slave narratives, government records, travel accounts, letters, novels, paintings and architectural drawings, in order to demonstrate that the same physical landscape can be perceived differently depending on the viewer’s perspective and experience. The course also includes on-site visits to two historic plantations.

HON 300/IDLS 385: The Unfinished Journey of People of Color in the United States 

Section 0008 | H. Gelfand | TR 3:55pm - 5:10pm

This course is an in-depth interdisciplinary study of people of color in Contemporary America, centered on the experiences of people who identify as African American, Asian American, Hispanic and Latinx, Native Alaskan, Native American, and Native Hawaiian, as well as the many communities that make up each of these identities and cross the boundaries of these identitiesThe course focuses on cultural, economic, political, and social factors, and explores social activism, cultural perseverance, immigration, sexuality, discrimination, historical trends, environmental justice, governmental policies, and structural challenges that have helped to define these communities’ experiencesFinally, we will work together to contemplate paths forward toward making life in this country more equitable, fair, and accepting in a future in which people of color become the majority of the American population.

MUS 356: History of Jazz in America 

Section 0001 | Andrew Connell | MWF 10:20am - 11:10am

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; 0002 | Adam Larrabee; Charles Dotas | MW 11:30am - 12:20pm

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.

MUS 485:Advanced Jazz Topics Seminar

Section 0001 | Charles Dotas | TR 11:10am - 12:25pm

An intensive study of a single topic in jazz studies. Topics change each semester, and may include studies of a specific musical issue (performance practice, etc.), a single composer`s or performer`s music (Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, etc.), a single musical genre (the development of big band style, etc), or a sociological study (jazz in Europe, jazz and American culture, etc.). May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite(s): MUS 374 and MUS 356 or permission of the instructor.

POSC 326: Civil Rights

Section 0001 | Jenny Byrne | TR 2:20pm - 3:35pm

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 353: African Politics

Section 0001 | Melinda Adams | MWF 12:40pm - 1:30pm

A comparative study of the institutions and social, economic, and global processes that affect contemporary African states. Political developments explored include the construction and transformation of postcolonial states, ethnic conflict, economic crisis and reform, and regime change.

POSC 371: Topics in Comparative Politics (Black Politics)

Section 0001 | Jaimee Swift | MWF 11:30am - 12:20pm

In-depth exploration of specialized topics in the area of comparative politics. The topic for each semester will be announced on MyMadison.

POSC 371: Topics in Comparative Politics (Global Black Feminist Politics)

Section 0001 | Jaimee Swift | MW 1:50pm - 3:05pm

In-depth exploration of specialized topics in the area of comparative politics. The topic for each semester will be announced on MyMadison.

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