Althouse Hall Room G10
Lynn R. Johnson specializes in African American literature, African Aesthetics, and Africana literary cultures. Her primary research interests are in African American literary production and theory and Middle Passage studies. Currently, she is completing a manuscript that examines the relationship between food and psychological disease and wellness as portrayed in African American fiction.
AFST 200 Approaches to Africana Studies
This course will investigate the importance of conceptual analysis and the development of concepts in the theoretical and textual research of Africana Studies. Thus, the course will focus on various interpretive frameworks and approaches to organizing and understanding Africana Studies, including but not limited to the African model, Afrocentricity, diaspora model, critical race theory, post-modernism, and post colonialism. Prerequisite: 100.
AFST 320 Representations of Blackness
This course examines the changing meanings of and values given to the concept of “blackness” as expressed in 20th and 21st-century literature, film, photographs, and popular culture materials about and by African-Americans. We will begin by exploring the association of blackness with physical racial difference. Subsequently, we will assess the various ways that African-Americans have come to regard the concept as an essential component of their “artistic strength” and their Diasporic identities. Along with discussions of black as a racial and cultural identity, we will treat the themes of black aesthetics, "blaxploitation," "ghettocentrism", black masculinity/femininity, and black digital subjectivity.
AFST 100 Intro to Africana Studies
This interdisciplinary introduction to Africana Studies combines teaching foundational texts in the field with instruction in critical reading and writing. The course will cover Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade, the creation of African Disaporic communities, the conceptualization and representation of Black culture and identity, and the intellectual and institutional development of Black and Africana Studies. This course is cross-listed as LALC 121.
LALC 121 Intro to Africana Studies
This interdisciplinary introduction to Africana Studies combines teaching foundational texts in the field with instruction in critical reading and writing. The course will cover Africa and the Atlantic Slave Trade, the creation of African Disaporic communities, the conceptualization and representation of Black culture and identity, and the intellectual and institutional development of Black and Africana Studies.This course is cross-listed as AFST 100.
AFST 320 (Dis)Figuring the Black Body
This course will examine the disparate socio-political values and meanings assigned to the black body, historically and contemporarily. Throughout the term, students will engage with a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives and source materials that specifically engage with discourses of black bodily difference (gender, age, able-bodiedness, and weight), usefulness (labor, medical experimentation, and athleticism), and beauty (hair and fashion). Ultimately, we will come to understand the ways in which black bodies have served not only as sites of cultural memory and trauma, but also as signifiers of black cultural pride and resiliency.
AFST 400 Writing in Africana Studies
This course will build on experiences in the methods course. Students in this course continue research toward and writing of a senior thesis. The emphasis is on writing skills and course material; assignments link those skills to work in Africana Studies. Seniors in the major will work independently with the director of Africana Studies and a second faculty reader (representing a discipline closer to the senior's interest) to produce a lengthy paper or special project which focuses on an issue relevant to the student's concentration. Under the direction of the director of Africana Studies, students will meet collectively two or three times during the semester with the directors (and, if possible, other Africana Studies core and contributing faculty) to share bibliographies, research data, early drafts, and the like. This group will also meet at the end of the semester to discuss and evaluate final papers and projects. Prerequisites: 100 and 200; four 200/300-level AFST approved courses (2 Africa, 2 Diaspora); three 300-level (in area of concentration).