Faculty Profile

Patricia van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy

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

Contact Information

on sabbatical Fall 2014

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

2014-2015 Academic Year

Spring 2015

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. This course fulfills the Division II social sciences distribution requirement and the WR graduation requirement.

LALC 200 Race, Ethnicity, and Hybridity
Cross-listed with AFST 220-06.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 200-03.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.

LALC 300 Anthropology/Music - Caribbean
Cross-listed with AFST 310-01 and ANTH 345-01. Artists as individuals have had a tremendous impact on the lives of Caribbean people. Yet, in the Caribbean, the arts are as much a community enterprise as they are an individualistic endeavor. This course explores the contours of Caribbean society, thought and culture through artistic expression, in general, and music, in particular. Through the use of specific case studies drawn from the Anglophone, Hispanophone, Francophone and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, we will interrogate salient themes in the academic literature of the region, such as agency, empowerment, self-affirmation, hegemony, resistance, and identity. We will seek to unravel how attention to musical production helps us to define the region and to understand the lives of the people who call it home. Through ethnographies and other critical readings, films and musical examples, we will look at how individuals and groups in the Caribbean have used artistic expression to write their own histories, preserve their spirituality, assert their unique identities, form alliances across groups (or polarize communities), resist oppressive regimes, build nations, and celebrate life.

AFST 310 Anthropology/Music - Caribbean
Cross-listed with ANTH 345-01 and LALC 300-01. Artists as individuals have had a tremendous impact on the lives of Caribbean people. Yet, in the Caribbean, the arts are as much a community enterprise as they are an individualistic endeavor. This course explores the contours of Caribbean society, thought and culture through artistic expression, in general, and music, in particular. Through the use of specific case studies drawn from the Anglophone, Hispanophone, Francophone and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, we will interrogate salient themes in the academic literature of the region, such as agency, empowerment, self-affirmation, hegemony, resistance, and identity. We will seek to unravel how attention to musical production helps us to define the region and to understand the lives of the people who call it home. Through ethnographies and other critical readings, films and musical examples, we will look at how individuals and groups in the Caribbean have used artistic expression to write their own histories, preserve their spirituality, assert their unique identities, form alliances across groups (or polarize communities), resist oppressive regimes, build nations, and celebrate life.

ANTH 345 Anthropology/Music - Caribbean
Cross-listed with AFST 310-01 and LALC 300-01. Artists as individuals have had a tremendous impact on the lives of Caribbean people. Yet, in the Caribbean, the arts are as much a community enterprise as they are an individualistic endeavor. This course explores the contours of Caribbean society, thought and culture through artistic expression, in general, and music, in particular. Through the use of specific case studies drawn from the Anglophone, Hispanophone, Francophone and Dutch-speaking Caribbean, we will interrogate salient themes in the academic literature of the region, such as agency, empowerment, self-affirmation, hegemony, resistance, and identity. We will seek to unravel how attention to musical production helps us to define the region and to understand the lives of the people who call it home. Through ethnographies and other critical readings, films and musical examples, we will look at how individuals and groups in the Caribbean have used artistic expression to write their own histories, preserve their spirituality, assert their unique identities, form alliances across groups (or polarize communities), resist oppressive regimes, build nations, and celebrate life.