Undergraduate Models

African American/Africa Diaspora Studies

This model provides direction through the English major with a focus on African American/African Diaspora cultural forms of representation and discourse production. By this, we mean the production of vernacular traditions, oral traditions, political prose, film, and written traditions (such as manuscripts and books) as well as a wide range of sociopolitical ideologies, literary history, and technologies. The model offers the student a vehicle for exploring the impact of African, Caribbean, and African American cultures upon the vast landscape of American forms of representation.

No American experience or its representation in language and art is isolated from a shared social context in which groups struggle against or work through stratification by region, race, class, gender, or sexual preference. These types of stratification are associated with social, economic, and political marginalization; cultural production is an arena in which socially organized people within specific historical moments give voice to the effects of (and identities recovered from) their marginalization. The literature and other representational forms of African American/African Diaspora people in American are no different. They are both reflections of experience and meditations on experience. Therefore, issues relating to each of these modes of stratification are of particular concern for the student who pursues this model.

Listed below are six required courses and several courses the student may select to satisfy the English major. Also provided are recommended elective courses outside the English Department. Since African American history is an intrinsic part of many socio-political ideologies framing American cultural production, this model recommends that students take at least one course in history (or an English course that is interdisciplinary in this area). A knowledge of African American Studies as presented beyond the English Department offerings (such as courses in the Afro-American Studies Program or Anthropology) will be beneficial also. Listed below are recommendations for electives in each of these areas.

African American Literary History (All 3):
Forms of Representation (Choose 2):
Theory (Choose 1):
Recommended courses for remainder of major:
Variable Topics and other courses selected from the following:*

*The student should consult the English web site before selecting variable topics courses. Courses should have a focus in African American literature and culture.

Other recommended courses which may be used as college electives (may require approval of department offering course):


Department of English faculty who regularly teach courses in this model include: