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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Spring 2007

WGS 301 • Intro to the African Diaspora

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

This course introduces students to the African Diaspora as an intellectual, political, and cultural project. It broadly surveys the history and dynamics of the diaspora as an ongoing process of cultural production and identity formation. Key to this survey is an understanding of: 1) the significance of the transatlantic slave trade as engine of the diaspora process; 2) the importance of race in structuring notions of identity and the meaning of "Africa" and "Blackness;" and 3) the relationship between cultural production and power.

The course will first cover African and diasporic cultural/political responses to colonialism and slavery. We will then explore Black peoples' various forms of cultural/political practices as they negotiate self, identity, and community in the contemporary context of global oppression and marginalization. Topics covered in the course will be broad and span wide-ranging geographical areas (as wide-ranging as the African diaspora itself), and reflect unifying cultural, socio-economic, and political characteristics of the African diaspora.


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