Courses

Note: MPC = Miami Plan Capstone; MPF = Miami Plan Foundation; MPT = Miami Plan Thematic Sequence.

BWS 101 - Introduction to Strategic Learning Tools in BWS (1)

Provides students with basic skills for social science and humanities research, writing, note and test taking and orients students to the unique forms of research and knowledge basis specific to Black World Studies.

BWS 151 - Introduction to Black World Studies (4) MPF, MPT

Introduces the Afrocentric perspective as it has developed in anthropology, history, political science, geography, sociology, religious studies, mass communications, theatre, art, etc. Covers theories, research, methodologies, and practice of Africana studies. Students develop historical and contemporary understanding of the African Diaspora.
IIC, Cul, H. CAS-C.

BWS 156 - Introduction to Africa (4) MPT

A survey course of Africa's varied and complex history and culture. It focuses on African geography, environment, history, economics, politics, as well as its rich cultural heritage. It approaches the study of Africa from a comparative historical and interdisciplinary perspective as well as situates it within the context of global developments.
IIB, CUL.

BWS 204 - Brazilian Culture Through Popular Music (3)

Through music, lyrics and rhythms this course raises questions about history, national identity, social, religious, and ethnic diversity in Brazil.
Cross-listed with FST/LAS/MUS/POR.
IIB, GCRS, CUL.

BWS 209 - Civilization of Africa (3) MPF

Survey of cultural, political, economic, and social developments in sub-Saharan Africa, viewed in geographical and historical perspective with attention to images of the area prevalent in our society.
Cross-listed with GEO/REL.
IIC, Cul, H.

BWS 210 - Psychology Across Cultures (3) MPF

A topics course, focused on the examination of culture and cultural perspectives, within the United States and globally, as frameworks through which theories and findings of the field of psychology may be critically evaluated.
Prerequisite: PSY 111.
Cross-listed with AAA/PSY.
IIC, IIIB, Cul.

BWS 211 - Writing with Purpose: Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Communication (3)

This is an intermediate level course which enables students to investigate and discuss interdisciplinary practices of knowledge creation and dissemination. Students will practice a variety of writing and other communication strategies necessary for the effective dissemination of ideas to interdisciplinary audiences and the general public, and can expect to gain experience in working with a wide spectrum of interdisciplinary research, tools and methods while engaging intellectually in interdisciplinary modes of thinking, reading, listening, and speaking.
Cross-listed with AAA/AMS/LAS/WGS.

BWS 221 - African-American History (3) MPT

Survey of African-American history, concentrating upon the black experience in the United States. Black America from African origins to the 20th century.
Cross-listed with HST.

BWS 222 - Race and Ethnicity in Antiquity (3) MPT

Relies on a variety of primary evidence to study how the Greeks and Romans defined race and ethnicity and how they defined themselves as individual peoples when they confronted cultures and peoples distinctly different from themselves. Examination of the relationship between current theories of race and ethnicity and the theories and practices of the Greeks and Romans.
Cross-listed with CLS.

BWS 224 - Africa to 1884 (3) MPF

Survey course focusing on the changing historiography of Africa, African ancient civilizations, the emergence and development of the Bantu and Nilotes, Eastern Africa and the Orient, early Christianity and Islam, trans-Saharan trade, the medieval Sudanic Empires, statelessness and state formation, Africa and the West between 1400 and 1800, South Africa to 1870, the Mfecane, the Sudanic Jihads, long-distance trade, and African-European relations in the 19th century.
Cross-listed with HST.
IIB, Cul, H.

BWS 225 - The Making of Modern Africa (3) MPF

Survey of the transformation of Africa, south of the Sahara, from the time of the scramble for, and partition of, the continent among European powers in the second half of the 19th century to the present. Emphasizes economic, social, cultural, political, and intellectual features. This is done through reading monographs, articles, and literary works (novels, plays, poems, etc.) on African experiences with colonialism, the rise and triumph of nationalism, African womanhood, popular culture and the experiences of change, and the rise and nature of post-colonial economic and political crises in the region.
Cross-listed with HST.
IIB, Cul, H.

BWS 235 - The Gods are Here: Spirituality and Text in African Art (3)

Explores critical historical narratives and the many layers of meanings in the arts and cultures of the African peoples. Examines the role of African art as agent of social control and emphasizes the role of African gods and deities in ascribing form and use to African art and spirituality.
Cross-listed with ART.

BWS 243 - History of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1400s to 1800s (3)

Development of European slaving activity in the African continent in the 15th through 19th centuries. Emphasis on the activities of Portuguese, Spanish, English, French and Dutch slavers, including the Middle Passage and also the less-studied slave trade in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean. Identifies the economic forces, as well as the social consequences, of the ongoing slave trade.
Cross-listed with HST/LAS.

BWS 250D - Language in the African American Community (3)

African American English is greatly misunderstood by the general public. Yet for linguists, it is the most widely researched and frequently cited dialect in the world. This course employs sociolinguistic methods to examine various dimensions of language use in the African American community. We will examine features of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation that characterize African American Vernacular English. We will also explore the expressive use of features of the variety in various discursive and rhetorical styles, as well as its use in genres of popular culture. In addition, we will examine and assess theories regarding the history of African American Vernacular English and its relation to Creole languages of the Caribbean, languages of West Africa, and early European English.

BWS 265 - Critical Inquiry: Penny Lecture Series (2)

Weekly lectures given by different Black World Studies Affiliates. See the Spring 2016 Schedule.
Credit/No Credit.
Cross-listed with DST/GTY/SJS/SOC.

BWS 267 - National Cinemas: African Film (3)

Explores the cinematography of Black Africa. Topics may vary but will focus on the social and ideological implications of African cinema and the way films produce a critique of cultural mores.
Cross-listed with FST.

BWS 276 - Introduction to the Art of the Black Diaspora (3)

Introduces visual arts produced by black artists in Africa, the U.S., and the Black Diaspora. Examines seminal creative ideas, philosophies, and movements and focuses on the work of key artists in analyzing the contextual significance of art in society.
Cross-listed with ART.

BWS 279 - African Americans in Sport (3) MPF

Socio-historical analysis of participation of African Americans in sport and society, and examination of the role sport has played in African Americans' integration into the larger society. Investigates the way the image of African Americans has been constructed and maintained through sporting practices. Sociological theories and concepts used to examine the impact of historical events, such as Reconstruction, black migration, and World Wars, on African American involvement in sport and other institutions.
Cross-listed with KNH/SOC.
IIC, H.

BWS 292 - Dance, Culture, and Contexts (3)

Critically explores relationships among signs, symbols, and images in dance and processes and effects of aesthetic ideology. Through large and small group discussions, video analyses of various dance styles and genres, critical writings and reflections, concert attendances, field observations, and creative movement and analytical experiences, students come to know that a critical analysis of how and what dance means constitutes a particular politics of sociocultural interpretation. Students also come to understand that the various ways in which interpretations are made are socially constructed and constituted in the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors we hold and in our definition and treatment of ourselves and others.
Cross-listed with KNH.
IIB, H.

BWS 301 - Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa (4) MPT

Analysis of physical and cultural features of that area south of the Sahara Desert.
Cross-listed with GEO.

BWS 325 - Identity, Race, Gender, Class (3) MPT

Develops conceptual tools and critical perspectives that enable students to better understand and analyze the processes through which identities are constructed and experienced. Learning activities facilitate analysis of individual identities as experienced through the life cycle and across diverse cultural and subcultural contexts, and build a systematic understanding of the processes and dynamics through which identities and identity groups develop and interact.
Cross-listed with ATH/LAS/WGS.

BWS 336 - African American Writing, 1746-1877 (3) MPT

Survey of the beginnings of African American literature to the end of Reconstruction. Among the various writers discussed are Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglas, Frances E.W. Harper, William Wells Brown, Linda Brent, and Harriet Wilson. Particular attention given to the origins of poetry, fiction, slave narratives, and drama as well as to the relative importance of speeches, political tracts, newspaper writing, and folk forms of literature.
Cross-listed with ENG.
CAS-B-LIT.
Offered infrequently.

BWS 337 - African American Writing, 1878-1945 (3) MPT

Survey of African American writing from after the Reconstruction era to World War II, with special attention to the emergence and history of the New Negro Renaissance. Among the writers studied are Paul Laurence Dunbar, Charles W. Chesnutt, W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Sterling A. Brown, Alain Locke, Margaret Walker, and Richard Wright.
Cross-listed with ENG.
CAS-B-LIT.

BWS 338 - African American Writing, 1946-Present (3) MPT

Survey of African American writing since World War II, with special attention to literary and cultural contributions of such writers as James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Paule Marshall, Toni Morrison, and Alice Walker.
Cross-listed with ENG.
CAS-B-LIT.

BWS 339 - Contemporary African Politics (3)

An overview of major issues in African politics and the international politics of Africa. Its scope is "Africa south of the Sahara" and is intended to appeal to a variety of interests, from global and continental to modernization, gender and Marxist theories of development, conflict, inequality, and underdevelopment.
Prerequisite: POL 221.
Cross-listed with POL 338.

BWS 341 - East African History (3)

Examines how the modern states of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi came into being over the past century and a half, the ways their boundaries have been permeable, and the rise and persistence of the issue of regional integration.
Cross-listed with HST.

BWS 342 - Africa Since 1945 (3)

Addresses events and processes of change that informed sub-Saharan Africa after WWII, the meanings and experiences of decolonization, and the problems of political and economic development after independence.
Cross-listed with HST.

BWS 343 - African-American Religions (4)

An historical survey of the formulation and expression of African-American religions from slavery to the present, including culturally specific forms of Christianity and Islam, as well as reinventions and reinterpretations of African traditions.
Prerequisite: REL 101 or BWS 151 or BWS 221 or permission of instructor.
Cross-listed with REL.

BWS 348 - Race and Ethnic Relations (3) MPT

Description and analysis of emergence and trends of minority relations in the U.S.
Cross-listed with SOC.

BWS 352 - Medicine and Society in 20th Century Africa (3)

Explores the place of medicine in the political, economic, and social history of Africa as well as African responses to changing patterns of disease, health and health care during the 20th century.
Cross-listed with HST.

BWS 362 - Family Poverty (3)

Examines definitions, theories, causes and consequences of family poverty in the U.S. Identifies the extent and degree of U.S. poverty and demographic characteristics of those who are poor or likely to become poor. Consideration given to programs that reduce poverty and/or its negative effects, including those practiced in the past, those now practiced, and those that offer promise for improving the economic and social status of those who are poor. Costs and benefits of welfare and welfare reform and strategies for preventing poverty among future generations also discussed and evaluated.
Prerequisite: FSW 295 or SOC 262.
Cross-listed with FWS/SOC.

BWS 365 - Civil War and Reconstruction Era (3)

Origins and growth of sectionalism with emphasis on the period after 1850, secession and Civil War, Federal and Confederate governments, Reconstruction, and foreign issues.
Cross-listed with HST.

BWS 366 - African Oral Traditions (3) MPT

Explores interactions between language and culture among African peoples, especially sub-Saharan peoples. Surveys the indigenous languages of Africa, explores African meaning systems, and examines the uses of language in African societies.
Prerequisite: junior or senior status, or permission of instructor.
Cross-listed with ATH.

BWS 370 - Selected Topics: Black World Studies (3; maximum 9)

These courses examine specific aspects of the research, theories, roles, status, and experiences associated with blacks in America and throughout the world.

BWS 381 - African Lusophone Literature (3)

A focus on questions of gender, race, class and stereotypes in the African Lusophone countries. Taught in English.
Prerequisite: Any literature course.
Cross-listed with ENG/POR/FST.

BWS 383 - By or About (Afro-) Brazilian Women (3)

Addresses questions about gender, race, class and stereotype of women's bodies in 20th-century Brazil.
Cross-listed with POR/ENG/WGS.

BWS 385 - Race, Science, and Disease in the Americas (3)

Surveys a variety of debates over race and disease since the European overseas expansion to the Americas, particularly in those regions that developed plantation-based agriculture. Begins with the medical and scientific construction of ideas about race from the conquest to the eighteenth century. Places the development of racial theories of sickness and health in a broad social and political context, and, in particular, explains the medical salience of race in the settings of slavery and colonialism. Discussions will focus primarily on Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States, but will also explore the making of knowledge about race in global setting.
Cross-listed with HST/LAS.

BWS 386 - Race in U.S. Society (3)

Examines the historical contexts within which major transformations in racial practices and policies have taken place and analyzes racialized customs and behaviors in the United States across time and place.
Cross-listed with HST.

BWS 395 - The American South to 1877 (3)

History of culture, society, and politics of the American South from 18th century to the end of reconstruction.
Cross-listed with HST.
Offered infrequently.

BWS 415 - Cuba in Revolution: Its History, Politics, and Culture (4) MPC

A history of Cuba in the 20th Century with emphasis on Cuban relations with other Latin American countries, the U.S. and Soviet Union. Examines economic, social, political and cultural issues with attention to race, class and gender.
Priority given to LAS minors.
Cross-listed with LAS and FST.

BWS 427 - The American City Since 1940 (3)

Examination of the American city and its physical transformation since 1940. Studies how different experiences of the city are conditioned by issues of class, race, gender, culture.
Cross-listed with ARC.

BWS 432 - Feminism and the Diaspora: U.S. Women of Color (3)

Concerns issues of language, history, geography, social-psychology, and culture for U.S. women of color (black, Asian-American, Latina, American Indian, and others). Includes works by and about women on gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and other differences.
Cross-listed with ENG/WGS.

BWS 437 - Black Feminist Studies (3)

Examines critical and theoretical issues in black feminism from slavery to the present. One of the central goals of the course is to study constructions of race, gender, class, and sexuality in the context of black women's thoughts and experiences. The class will read, discuss and analyze a wide variety of texts including critical essays, films, selected fiction, print and visual media.
Cross-listed with ENG/WGS.

BWS 438 - Africa in the Global Economy (3)

The interactions of politics and economics in sub-Saharan Africa. Attention to relationships between domestic African economies and the global economy, particularly how these affect patterns of economic and social development, inequality, and political conflict. Exploration of efforts at African political and economic renewal, development efforts to overcome economic, social and political challenges, and the role of international economic institutions.
Prerequisite(s): POL 271, 221 and 338 or permission of instructor.
Cross-listed with POL.

BWS 448 - The African-American Experience (3)

Concentrates on a socio-historical analysis of the African-American experience. Purpose is to investigate and understand the interaction between race, power, privilege, institutional structures, and ideas associated with this experience in America; provides alternative perspective for viewing this experience.
Cross-listed with SOC.

BWS 455/555 - Race, Urban Change, and Conflict in America (3) MPT

Since the 1960s, changes at both global and local levels have affected the American city. Traditional study of the city has not focused on race and the effect of such changes on race. Conflicts with racial undertones occur on a daily basis in most American cities. More often these are conflicts over production, distribution, and consumption of public and private goods and are manifest in the housing market, job market, and access to education and social services amongst others. This seminar focuses on race in urban America within the context of conflict and change.
Cross-listed with GEO.

BWS 470 - Social/Political Activism (3) MPC

Provides students with the opportunity to explore how indigenous groups effect change in their communities.
Prerequisite: SOC 151 or BWS 151.
Cross-listed with DST/SJS/SOC.

BWS 472/572 - Race, Ethnicity & Aging (3) MPT

Examines aging among U.S. minority and ethnic groups. Topics include theoretical perspectives, demographics, economics, health, social support, public policy and service delivery systems, and the role of culture in adaptation to aging.
Prerequisite: (472) GTY 154; GTY 602 or permission of instructor.
Cross-listed with GTY.

BWS 492 - African & American Sexualities (3)

Drawing from post-structural theory, the cultural politics of sexuality within and across Africa and African American cultural formations will be examined. Through various instructional activities, upper level undergraduate students will critique the ways competing discourses on Christianity and Marxism shape the meaning(s) of sexualities of "black" color.

BWS 495 - Modern African Environmental History (3)

Offers a multidisciplinary approach to the social, economic, and political aspects of environmental change in sub-Saharan Africa. Explores the utility of social science and historical analyses for understanding long-term changes in the region’s environment. Concerned with the way the idea of development has been conceptualized and applied in the region in the last 100 or so years. Considers how Africans perceived and responded to environmental crises in the 20th century.
Cross-listed with HST.
Offered infrequently.