• AFAM-150D P5 Int AfricanAmer Studies (3)

    This course addresses the social, political, and economic issues confronting people of African descent, particularly in the United States. The course is comparative and focuses on Black history and contributions as essential perspectives within world history and development. The course exposes students to the formation, development, and persistence of the Black experience over time and space; establishes the scholarly, intellectual basis for the study of African American life and culture; and highlights various perspectives and modalities for the study of Black life. We review events, trends, and biographical materials that reflect how African Americans view themselves, as well as how they have been regarded by society. Developing an appreciation for the African American experience as a pivotal and central experience within the American mosaic assists students to become positive and productive citizens in a multicultural world.

    Attributes: AMSS P5 YLIB
  • AFAM-199C RW Research-Based Writing (3)

    Students learn the basics of writing an academic research paper in this discipline. Emphasis is on elements of persuasive argumentation, the inclusion of more than one perspective on an issue, the proper use and documentation of sources, and revision. Students also learn how to make an effective oral presentation of their research. Department-determined topic may change from semester to semester and is likely to include literary texts as primary materials.

    Restricted to freshmen and transfers.

    Note: 199C courses may not be taken for credit more than once.

    » Spring Research-based Writing (199) Courses & Topic Descriptions [pdf]

    Attributes: RW YLIB
    Restrictions: Including: -Class: Freshman, Sophomore
  • AFAM-205P From Bebop to Hip Hop (3)

    This course offers a concentrated focus on several popular music genres in the African American secular tradition. Using a substantial range of readings, the class explores the influences of hip hop and jazz on American history, popular culture, music, literature, and visual art. Class discussions examine hip hop representations of race, gender, sexuality, and class. Students read literary works, study the work of well-known jazz lyricists, and closely examine the raps and rhythms of significant hip hop lyricists. The class also screens films and studies soundtracks that feature interviews, documentaries, and Hollywood representations of jazz and hip hop music.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • AFAM-240 CC Struggle Civil Rghts (3)

    The struggle for civil rights is one important dimension of the general African American quest for equality in political, social, and economic terms. This course is meant to pass on the lessons from this period in our social history to the next generation of Americans in the protracted struggle for equality and civil rights.

    Attributes: AMUS CC YLIB
    Restrictions: Including: -Class: Freshman
  • AFAM-250 CC Topics AFAM Expression (3)

    An interdisciplinary seminar-based topics course which focuses of topics not ordinarily covered. Topics center on persuasive, expressive and performance-based written and oral cultural production as sites of resistance, representation, and activism. It situates the contemporary moment as an extension and reimagination of African American political, social and cultural legacies from the nineteenth century forward.

    Spring 2016 Topic Speak the Word! This course focuses on spoken word performance, speeches, and sermons as both artistic/political discourse. Voices of ordinary and famous African Americans speak and write hope, healing and heroism often within messages filled with alternative political, spiritual and social dynamics. These wordsmiths provide “a way of remembering, a way of enduring, a way of mourning, a way of celebrating, a way of protesting and subverting, and, ultimately, a way of triumphing”(

    Attributes: AMHU CC YLIB
  • AFAM-280D The Black Church (3)

    A survey course that introduces students to the African American Christian religious tradition. This course covers the exploration of the lives, words, and deeds of its most influential builders, from the colonial period to the present. Cross-listed with REST 280D.

    Attributes: AMHU YLIB
  • AFAM-282P Black Church Issues (3)

    Students explore views of the black church on contemporary social issues and challenges (homosexuality, gender equity, race relations) faced in reference to church doctrine, traditions, and beliefs. Cross-listed with REST 282P.

    Attributes: AMHU WGST YLIB
  • AFAM-290D Afro-Rochester Leaders (3)

    Freedom is the theme of this course. Students investigate why freedom as a founding principle of the United States is never free. Evidence of the forward progress of African Americans since the beginnings of the Atlantic slave trade is posited as strides toward freedom. Through readings and audiovisual presentations, reinforced with reenactments and oral discourse, students are guided in evaluating and assessing parallels in the lives of the following Rochester 19th-century African American leaders: Frederick Douglass, Thomas James, and Austin Steward and their contemporaries. Students discuss, role-play, and create character journals which examine autobiographies, timelines of major events, legislative acts, and public policy as documentation of the African American quest for freedom. Students also participate in one of the Rochester-Monroe County Freedom Trail Commission’s efforts to interpret the Underground Railroad era as living history.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • AFAM-302P Topics: AFAM (3)

    An opportunity to examine an issue or area not regularly offered.

    Attributes: YLIB
  • AFAM-304P African Amer Images: Film (3)

    This course explores historical and contemporary images of African Americans in Hollywood film. We analyze these images, engage in debates about racial authenticity, and examine significant innovations in the history of African American filmmaking. The class screens a large number of films but also reads a selection of books, articles, and film reviews that address some of the thematic and technical interests of the class, such as issues in race, whiteness, gender, sexuality, and class; film language and cinematic metaphors; film narrative technique and visual rhetoric; and uses of African American music in film.

    Attributes: WGST YLIB
  • AFAM-305P P5 BlackThought:20th/21stC (3)

    This course introduces students to African America’s economic, social, political, religious, gender, racial, and ethnic backgrounds through an exploration of the lives, words, and deeds of the most influential minds within the race. Scholars, religious leaders, and community activists guided the largest U.S. racial minority through segregation to the present participation in political and economic institutions. Their struggle inspired freedom movements throughout the world. The course promotes an understanding of multidisciplinary learning, self-examination, and intercultural unity. The long-term goal is that pupils understand the cycle of racial oppression in the United States and how African Americans have worked to break it.

    Attributes: AMSS P5 YLIB
  • AFAM-450 African American Culture (3)

    Participants conduct comparative research on the customs and mores of the social environments in communities of color in the greater Rochester area. The research methodology should infuse a deeper understanding of how factors such as poverty or race shape human lives. Students spend at least two hours weekly in the classroom and two hours on-site, interacting or working with a community-based organization. Through classroom and community activities, participants are guided to develop a comprehensive report that compares and contrasts the cultural environments.

    Attributes: YLIB
    Pre-requisites: AFAM-150P D- OR AFAM-150T D-

African American Studies (Minor)

For More Information

Arlette Miller Smith
Program Director
(585) 385-8212

(585) 385-8064