Faculty Profile

Patricia van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy

Assistant Professor of Africana Studies; Distinguished Chair in Africana Studies (2009)

Contact Information

moonsamp@dickinson.edu

Althouse Hall Room G20
717.245.1894

Bio

Patricia van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, and a B.S. in Business Administration from San Francisco State University. Her scholarly interests lie at the intersection of expressive culture, social activism, and the politics of representation and subjectivity in the post-colonial Caribbean. With funding from the National Science Foundation, she conducted fieldwork in Trinidad and Tobago, exploring the dynamic relationships that exist between people of African and South Asian Indian ancestry and documenting how these are expressed though performance. At Dickinson College, Dr. van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy teaches courses on the African Diaspora and the Caribbean, and continues to engage in research on performance, activism and identity politics in the Caribbean.

Education

  • B.A., San Francisco State University, 1986
  • M.A., University of Michigan, 2002
  • Ph.D., 2009

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall 2017

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

LALC 200 Approaches to Africana Studies
Cross-listed with AFST 200-01.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.

AFST 200 Approaches to Africana Studies
Cross-listed with LALC 200-01.

LALC 300 Music, Film & Cult in Caribb
Cross-listed with AFST 310-01, FLST 310-04 and ANTH 345-01. This course explores the contours of Caribbean society, thought, and culture through attention to artistic expression, in general, and music, in particular. Using films, music videos, ethnographies and other critical readings, we analyze how musical production and music events help us to define the Caribbean region and to understand the lives of the people who call it home. Employing case studies drawn from the Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanophone and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, we look at how individuals and groups have used music to write their own histories, preserve their spirituality, assert their unique identities, form alliances across groups, resist oppressive regimes, build nations, and celebrate life.

FLST 310 Music, Film & Cult in Caribb
Cross-listed with AFST 310-01, ANTH 345-01 and LALC 300-01. This course explores the contours of Caribbean society, thought, and culture through attention to artistic expression, in general, and music, in particular. Using films, music videos, ethnographies and other critical readings, we analyze how musical production and music events help us to define the Caribbean region and to understand the lives of the people who call it home. Employing case studies drawn from the Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanophone and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, we look at how individuals and groups have used music to write their own histories, preserve their spirituality, assert their unique identities, form alliances across groups, resist oppressive regimes, build nations, and celebrate life.

AFST 310 Music, Film & Cult in Caribb
Cross-listed with ANTH 345-01, FLST 310-04 and LALC 300-01. This course explores the contours of Caribbean society, thought, and culture through attention to artistic expression, in general, and music, in particular. Using films, music videos, ethnographies and other critical readings, we analyze how musical production and music events help us to define the Caribbean region and to understand the lives of the people who call it home. Employing case studies drawn from the Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanophone and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, we look at how individuals and groups have used music to write their own histories, preserve their spirituality, assert their unique identities, form alliances across groups, resist oppressive regimes, build nations, and celebrate life.

ANTH 345 Music, Film & Cult in Caribb
Cross-listed with AFST 310-01, FLST 310-04 and LALC 300-01. This course explores the contours of Caribbean society, thought, and culture through attention to artistic expression, in general, and music, in particular. Using films, music videos, ethnographies and other critical readings, we analyze how musical production and music events help us to define the Caribbean region and to understand the lives of the people who call it home. Employing case studies drawn from the Anglophone, Francophone, Hispanophone and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, we look at how individuals and groups have used music to write their own histories, preserve their spirituality, assert their unique identities, form alliances across groups, resist oppressive regimes, build nations, and celebrate life.

Spring 2018

LALC 200 Race, Ethnicity, and Hybridity
Cross-listed with AFST 220-05.This course examines the constructions, lived experiences and politics of race, ethnicity and hybridity. The course will explore the historical evolution of the concept of race, the ways in which race and ethnicity are overlapping classification categories that are embedded in relations of power, and the social, cultural and biological outcomes of extended contact and mixture. Whereas the majority of scholarship on race and ethnicity considers the dynamics of these social scientific categories and processes of formation through the lens of interactions between a dominant group (usually occupying the racial category of white) and a subordinated or minoritized group (usually racialized as black or brown), this course shifts the gaze to the politics of race and ethnicity between historically oppressed ethnic groups—those of African ethnic origin and those of various Asian ethnicities. Using case studies mainly from the Caribbean, but also from the US and Africa, we will examine the anthropological, sociological, literary, musical and filmic documentation and analyses of Afro/Asian mixture and will explore how racial identities, interethnic relations, gender, sexuality, religious practices, politics, and festivity have been influenced by mixing and creolizing processes.

AFST 220 Race, Ethnicity, and Hybridity
Cross-listed with LALC 200-04.This course examines the constructions, lived experiences and politics of race, ethnicity and hybridity. The course will explore the historical evolution of the concept of race, the ways in which race and ethnicity are overlapping classification categories that are embedded in relations of power, and the social, cultural and biological outcomes of extended contact and mixture. Whereas the majority of scholarship on race and ethnicity considers the dynamics of these social scientific categories and processes of formation through the lens of interactions between a dominant group (usually occupying the racial category of white) and a subordinated or minoritized group (usually racialized as black or brown), this course shifts the gaze to the politics of race and ethnicity between historically oppressed ethnic groups—those of African ethnic origin and those of various Asian ethnicities. Using case studies mainly from the Caribbean, but also from the US and Africa, we will examine the anthropological, sociological, literary, musical and filmic documentation and analyses of Afro/Asian mixture and will explore how racial identities, interethnic relations, gender, sexuality, religious practices, politics, and festivity have been influenced by mixing and creolizing processes.

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).