Related courses are courses offered by disciplinary departments that count toward the AFST major/minor. Pertinent courses are potentially relevant to the major/minor but do not have enough AFST content to count toward requirements without a special petition. Due to changing course offerings, this is only a partial list. Any questions about whether or how a course counts toward the major/minor should be directed to the Program Director.


  • AFST 112: Black Revolution on Campus

    This course explores the activist roots of Africana Studies. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, students organized hundreds of protests that sparked a period of unrest, retaliation, negotiation, and reform that fundamentally reshaped college campuses across the United States. Black students, along with their “Third World” and progressive white allies, demanded that academe serve their communities and provide a “more relevant education.” The course will consider the influence of various movements, including Black power, anti-war, second wave feminism, and decolonization, on the creation of interdisciplinary fields including Black Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Women and Gender Studies.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • AFST 113: Introduction to Africana Studies

    This course focuses on the histories, ideas, experiences, and dreams that have shaped the lives of people of African descent. Then and now perspectives will define our exploration of incarceration and freedom; migration and emigration; separatism versus integration; race and class; art and politics. Discussion topics and seminal ideas will be drawn from texts including the following: the anthology Call and Response (on key debates in Black studies); the historical memoir Lose Your Mother (chronicling a journey along the Atlantic slave route); a work of fiction Middle Passage (that tells a story of enslavement, revolt, and redemption).

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Kofi Owusu
  • AFST 115: Black Heroism in the Diaspora and Early America

    This course examines motifs of Black Heroism throughout the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and Early America. We take an interdisciplinary and Black Studies approach to topics like slave life and maroonage, freedom suits, military enlistment, and more. The course material will include fiction like Frederick Douglass’ The Heroic Slave as well as theoretical texts like Neil Roberts Freedom as Maroonage. The aim of the course is to provide a look at the multifacted lives of Black people in the diaspora and early America with an emphasis on complex and quotidian resistance to domination.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • AFST 120: Race and Racism Outside the U.S.

    In this course, we examine the ways that race structures difference and inequality in non-U.S. contexts with varying degrees of racial “diversity.” As a construct fundamentally grounded in white supremacy through encounters between Europe and its “Others,” race from its inception has been a global construct for organizing and stratifying human difference. Yet the specific ways that race is constructed varies across societies, with ethnicity and other related concepts of difference substituting for race. Foundational to this course will be how the notions of blackness and whiteness figure into the creation of racial categories, boundaries, and inequalities. Course topics include skin color stratification, “colorblindness,” ethnicity and nationhood, migration and citizenship, media representations, anti-blackness as a global phenomenon, transnational and global flows of racial ideas and categories, and social movements for racial justice.

    6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement, International Studies; offered Fall 2022 · Daniel Williams
  • AFST 130: Global Islam and Blackness

    This course will introduce students to key trends and moments in Islamic thought and activism in Africa and the black diaspora. It explores the historical construction of the categories of “race” and “religion” through a focus on Islam and blackness. We will analyze how blackness and Islam, and their relationship, has been conceptualized and presented by non-Africans, as well as the history of Islam in Africa and in the black diaspora. We will explore the construction of blackness within Islamic history and cultures, highlighting the notion of the Moor in medieval times and the Nation of Islam in U.S. history.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry, Writing Requirement, International Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • AFST 210: Historiographies of Slavery

    This survey course explores how Black enslaved and ex-enslaved people narrated their experiences of chattel slavery, and its immediate aftermath, in America. Stretching beyond a focus on only traditional historical slave narratives, this course adopts an interdisciplinary approach to slavery that utilizes philosophy, literature, and media studies. Reading and media for the course may include Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, selections William Still’s The Underground Railroad and the WPA Slave Narrative Collection, the film 12 Years a Slave and the miniseries Roots, and Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo.”

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • AFST 215: Contemporary Theory in Black Studies

    This course examines the work of a major theorist in the Black intellectual tradition within the last seventy years. Students are invited to take a dedicated dive into primary scholarship by focusing on a figure such as bell hooks, Derrick Bell, Angela Davis, Charles Mills, Saidiya Hartman, Frank Wilderson, Maya Angelou, Henry Louis Gates Jr, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, and/or Cornel West. Students should expect an opportunity to examine primary scholarship and build analytical skills to trace themes and methods. This year’s focus will be on ethical, social, and political theory of bell hooks (1952 – 2021).

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Writing Requirement, Intercultural Domestic Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • AFST 220: Color, Class, and Status in Black America

    As a racial category and identity, “Black” is often treated in a homogenous, monolithic way, obscuring the internal diversity and inequality within the black population in the U.S. In this course, we consider the inequalities within black communities and the black population living in the U.S., historically and through to the present. “Colorism,” or skin tone stratification, represents one status linked to class and ranking in society; but does colorism matter more than other statuses to class? Class differences are in fact profound within black communities, and they are correlated to multiple social statuses–skin tone, immigrant status, national origin, and even political orientation. We will examine how these status, color, and class interact, and how they shape class relations and tensions, lived experience, and notions of authenticity (“blackness”) in everday life and popular culture. Course topics include the Black middle class; education; neighborhood segregation; gender and sexuality; and media representations and popular culture.

    6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2023 · Daniel Williams
  • AFST 230: Black Diaspora, Politics of Place

    Central to diasporic identity formation and imagination is the simultaneous belonging to a multiplicity of places. For black diasporic subjects, struggles against oppression and for new political futures inspire transgression against normative political boundaries. This class explores the role of place and politics in the making of the black diaspora in Europe and the Americas. It emphasizes the intellectual and political connections and the sense of shared identity and destiny. Through an interdisciplinary approach, this course will offer a global history of race, identity, and politics through the lens of the black diaspora.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2022–2023
  • AFST 398: Africana Studies Capstone

    This course gives Africana Studies majors and minors the opportunity to apply what they have learned by preparing for and presenting at the annual National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) conference. Under the guidance of Africana Studies faculty members, students will interrogate the origins and institutionalization of Africana Studies; revise an Africana Studies-themed research paper completed in a previous course into a conference paper; and prepare and submit a paper proposal for NCBS. At NCBS, students will present their own research and engage with the work of Africana Studies scholars at panels, plenaries and workshops. Afterward, they will write a short assessment of the conference and their experience in Africana Studies at Carleton. 

    3 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2022 · Kofi Owusu
  • AFST 400: Integrative Exercise

    1 credit; S/NC; offered Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023 · Chérif Keïta

Related Courses

  • ARTH 160 American Art to 1940 (not offered in 2022-23)
  • CLAS 220 From the Horn to Melqart’s Pillars: African Perspectives in the Ancient Mediterranean
  • ECON 240 Microeconomics of Development
  • EDUC 340 Race, Immigration, and Schools
  • ENGL 234 Literature of the American South (not offered in 2022-23)
  • FREN 246 Contemporary Senegal (not offered in 2022-23)
  • HIST 304 Black Study and the University (not offered in 2022-23)
  • MUSC 136 History of Rock
  • POSC 122 Politics in America: Liberty and Equality
  • POSC 241 Ethnic Conflict (not offered in 2022-23)
  • RELG 122 Introduction to Islam (not offered in 2022-23)