Skip to main content
IMPORTANT: Check your courses' instruction modes on UNC-Chapel Hill Course Search Engine or Connect Carolina before enrolling

African, African American, and Diaspora Studies

Battle Hall, CB# 3395
(919) 966-5496

First Session, 2023

AAAD 101 Introduction to Africa (3)

This course introduces students to the continent of Africa. It surveys historical and contemporary political, economic, and social processes in the continent. Students will explore the African continent’s changes over the years due to significant processes from within and without. Readings in this course are drawn from several fields, including geography, history, anthropology, literature, economics, language, and education.

AAAD 102 Introduction to Media in Africa (3)

This course explores the precolonial, colonial and the contemporary media in Africa. It focuses on the different types of media, its impact on socioeconomic and political development, and the growth and development of Internet in the region. It introduces students to the inventors, copyright regulations, African governments’ media regulation statutes, and careers in the media industry in the continent. Further, the course explores how the media reflect and inspire cultural, political, and ethical norms with emphasis on various storytelling techniques based on audience and method of delivery.

AAAD 130 Introduction to African American (3)

The course tracks the contours of history, life, societies, and cultures of the Atlantic African diaspora from their origins through Emancipation in the United States, the Caribbean, and South America.

AAAD 201 Introduction to African Literature (3)

The diversity of African languages, ethnicities, nationalities, and colonial histories presents myriad of challenges to a unified analysis of African literature. This course seeks to engage students in the understanding of how African people have expressed themselves through literature. The course explores different genres and styles of African literary works and presents students with a variety of written, oral, and performative works written by Africans in Africa and the diaspora. African literatures presented in indigenous languages, French in Francophone countries, and English in Anglophone countries, are analyzed as a unit rather than fragments of literatures from different nationalities, ethnicities, and colonial histories. Course readings and literary works will be studied via a multidisciplinary approach and experiential learning. Students are therefore encouraged to apply their knowledge in the fields of their study in the interpretation and analysis of African literature.

AAAD 231 African American History since 1865 (3)

MAYMESTER. This course focuses on African American history in the US, with an emphasis on postemancipation developments. Session I section also available.

AAAD 288 Global Black Popular Cultures (3)

AAAD 288 explores the intertwined histories, genealogies, and social contexts of Black cultural practices as produced in the Black Atlantic world. Through an interdisciplinary study of Black culture and through a close study of foundational concepts, we tackle central questions around Black identity, identification, and belonging. First, we examine how scholars have defined the concepts of blackness, Diaspora, transnationalism, globalization, and postcolonialism in relation to culture. Then, we explore how these notions and phenomena have characterized Black performance in general, music culture, and visual art in the US, Africa, and parts of Western Europe.

AAAD 290 Memory Work at Penn Center (3)

MAYMESTER. Engage with the history of the Penn Center at Wilson Library, before travelling to St. Helena Island, South Carolina to aid the Penn Center and local communities in preserving Gullah and Geechee heritage through newly discovered archival materials. Before it was the Penn Center, the Penn School was founded in 1862 as one of the first schools in the South for formerly enslaved West Africans. In 1948, Penn School transitioned into Penn Community Services, taking on the mantle of social justice and ushering in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conferences. Learn how memory can be activated in the service of historically Black spaces and places.

SWAH 112 Intensive Kiswahili 1-2 (3)

Swahili is a Bantu (Niger-Congo) language spoken as a mother tongue or a second language in East and Central African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia. Currently, Swahili is the most widely spoken African language with over 100 million first- and second-language speakers throughout the world. Swahili introduces you to the richness and complexities of the traditions of indigenous African peoples. Students can take SWAH 112 to fulfill the language requirement as well as credit obligations for African studies and Global Studies majors and minors. The 112 course covers the material in the SWAH 401 and 402 sequence in one summer session. Students taking SWAH 112 during Summer I, 2023 may take SWAH 403 during the Fall of 2023.

Second Session, 2023

AAAD 250 The African American in Motion Pictures (3)

This course will analyze representations of African Americans in cinema from the early 1900s to the present, explore how race is constructed onscreen, and examine how entertainers subverted these distorted representations. This course also serves to enhance students’ analytical lens when examining African Americans in cinematic representations. This course meets the Visual and Performing Arts (VP) requirement.