New Classes Offered Winter 2022 through American Cultural Studies (AMST)

AMST 397E: Hip Hop & Black Freedom Struggles

Instructor: Brukab Sisay

Time: 10:00-11:50 a.m.

Modality: online-synchronous

Course Description:

In this course, through music, films, readings, and discussion, we will explore the Afro-diasporic roots of hip hop, its use as a resistance culture, qualities of its poetics and style, and its tensions and contradictions. We begin with an examination the major historical conditions of the South Bronx, New York in the early 1970s in which hip hop and its subsequent multi-dimensional culture arose. We will engage with some of the work of its early pioneers to critically examine how hip hop has served as a form of resistance, speaking back to power and examining social realities. Drawing on the work of practitioners and scholars, we will also consider issues of race, gender, sexuality, class, authenticity, appropriation, censorship, violence, respectability politics, and pedagogy as they relate to hip hop. Like a cypher, this course is built on participation. Together we will think critically about hip-hop, its place in society, and its relevance to the Black freedom struggle.


Instructor: Brukab Sisay

Time: 1:00-2:50 p.m.

Modality: online synchronous

Course Description:

This course interrogates sites of radical Black thought within African American life and history in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will study the origins and strategies associated with the varied, multi-faceted, and conflicting political movements of the Black Radical Tradition, including, but not limited to: Black Feminism, Black Nationalism, the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement, and the #BlackLivesMatter Movement. We will also engage with varying strategies of resistance such as non-­violent direct action, armed self-­resistance, education, culture, and economic uplift. Throughout, we will be reading against the grain, looking for the silences in the historical record, and considering the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality among other aspects of identity. We will be centering the voices of individuals and collectives who led the movements we’ll be studying, drawing heavily on text, and multimedia sources that allow us to hear directly from these critical figures. Finally, this course is informed by the collective pedagogical practice of the black freedom struggle

AMST 397A: Contemporary Arab American Issues

Instructor: Nada Elia

MW: 1300-14:50

Modality: In Person 

Course Description:

From President Bush’s post 9/11 statement that “They hate us because they hate freedom” to John McCain’s “defense” of President Obama as “not an Arab. A decent family man,” to Trump’s “Muslim Ban,” Arabs and Muslims have long been represented, in US media, politics, and popular culture as incompatible with the “American lifestyle.” Yet in a national climate of heightened Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism, Arab Americans continue to create, organize, join other marginalized communities in joint struggle, and influence the cultural, political, and social identities of the US--the only country most of them have ever known. This interdisciplinary course looks at some of the prominent issues Arab and Muslim Americans engage with today: Islamophobia, racialized gendered assumptions, and the struggle for justice in Palestine

AMST 315: Contemporary American Indian Issues: Indigenous Research Methods

Instructor: Renee White Eyes

MW: 11a.m.-12:50. P.m.

Modality: online/hybrid

Course Description:

The course is an introduction to Indigenous-based research and practices. We will begin by exploring research from a Western perspective to understand the harm that Indigenous communities have endured from Western driven approaches. We will then segue into learning about the four R’s (respect, reciprocity, responsibility, and reverence) and their fundamental place within Critical Indigenous Research Methodology (CIRM). We will spend much of our time exploring how traditional knowledge and ways of being are incorporated in critical Indigenous research methodology, and the different methods scholars utilize in their Indigenous-based research. Readings, lectures, and class discussion will examine key concepts including reciprocity, relational accountability, ceremony, storywork, ethnography, and different methods such as sharing & talking circles, portraiture, walking/walking interviews, and wayfinding from a variety of scholarly disciplines.