Syllabus

 

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Syllabus (Pdf)

Course Description

This course explores the oral, customary and material folklore of Africans and their descendants in the Americas and the Caribbean. We will examine various ways West African folklore was transmitted to and survived in the New World, and how Africans in the Americas created new oral, customary and material traditions. The survival and maintenance of African lore and the creation of new traditions through combination with Native and European traditions functioned as survival mechanisms for the all the peoples in the Americas and influenced global culture. We will compare and contrast fictional and historical folk characters from Africa, the Northern and Southern American hemispheres, with a special focus on the English, Spanish and French-speaking Caribbean. We will examine some of the customs and practices that continue to exist in those regions and how all have contributed to global culture.
Learning Outcomes: By the end of the course, students should be able to,
‚ÄĘ Describe the various forms of folklore in the African diaspora;
‚ÄĘ Trace the folklore of specific West African peoples to specific peoples in the New World;
‚ÄĘ Locate the historical and contemporary locations of foundational cultures on a map of Africa;
‚ÄĘ Identify and describe African, South American and Caribbean and African-American folk characters;
‚ÄĘ Explain how the various human migrations have spread Africana lore through the African diaspora;
‚ÄĘ Write brief answers using correct Standard English grammar.

Required Texts

An Open Educational Resource (OER) course, this course is free of textbook costs. All reading is available on OpenLab.

Classroom Management

Cell phone use and talking (unless a group activity) is prohibited in class. Although you may conduct the reading on an electronic devise, bring a print out of the assigned reading to all class meetings. Homework assignments are due at the beginning of class or when stated online. Complete all assignments on time for credit. No late assignments will be accepted.

New York City College of Technology Policy on Academic Integrity

Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion. The complete text of the College policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the catalog.

Grading Scale and Assessment:

Course Grading Scale:

A  93.0 Р100
A-  90.0 Р92.9
B+ 87.0 – 89.9
B 83.0 – 86.9
B- 80.0 – 82.9
C+  77.0 Р79.9
C 70.0 – 76.9
D 60.0 – 69.9
F  59.9 and Below

Final Course Grade:

Reading Quizzes 15%
Midterm 15%
Final Exam 25%
Writing Assignments (Noted with an * on the course schedule) 15% 
Group Presentation 15%
Research Paper  15%
TOTAL 100%

Course Based Learning Outcomes with Assessment Methods

Outcomes Assessment
Be able to describe various forms of folklore and evaluate evidence and arguments of historical and contemporary folklore within the African diaspora; Class discussions; quizzes and exams; writing assignments and research paper.
Trace the folklore of specific West African peoples to specific peoples in the New World (including Brazil, Hispaniola, Mexico and Cuba) and identify and describe African, South American and Caribbean and African America folk characters;  Class discussions; quizzes and exams; writing assignments and research paper.
Locate the historical and contemporary locations of foundational cultures on a map of Africa, as well as how various migrations have spread African lore throughout the African diaspora. 

Class discussions; quizzes and exams; writing assignments, tutorials and research paper.

 

 Gen Ed Learning Outcomes with Assessment Methods

Outcomes Assessment
Knowledge: Engage in critical inquiry, research, and analysis concerning folklore as related to people of African descent on a global scale, by use of material and methods from African American Studies and other disciplines. Class discussions; quizzes and exams; writing assignments and research paper.
Skills: Students will learn to analyze material from different disciplines, devise research strategies and methodology and develop critical arguments about contemporary issues with historical grounding. Class discussions; quizzes and exams; writing assignments and research paper.
Integration: Students will integrate historical and contemporary
perspectives. Students will also integrate the use of material and methods from African American Studies and other disciplines.
Class discussions; quizzes and exams; writing assignments and research paper.
Values, Ethics, and Relationships: Central components of the course, students will consider social justice, race, gender human rights, and social responsibility. 

Class discussions; quizzes and exams; writing assignments and research paper.

 

Course Reading Schedule

Week  Topic Assignment Due Date Assignment Due Date
1 Introduction to Folklore Syllabus Review

Read: Africana Folklore Guide, Unit 1, p. 1-10 (James)

T.
1/30

Explore: Kehinde Wiley’s Art

View: Bushmen of Kalahari

Th.
2/1
2 Africa

Read: Africana Folklore Guide, Unit 1, p. 11-22 (James)

View: Bantu Expansion,
Bantu Languages

*Select Paper Topic

T.
2/6
Explore: Africa Map Tutorial

Th.
2/8

 

 3  Africa  Read: Africana Folklore Guide, Unit 1, p. 23-26 (James)

View: Who is Shaka (Zulu)?,
African History- Nok

 T.
2/13
 Class Library Research Session  Th.
2/15
 4  TransAtlantic  NO AFR 2402 MEETING
Monday Schedule
 T.
2/20
¬†Read: “West Africa and the Role of Slavery,” p. 24-32 (Corbett)

*Submit Sources

 Th.
2/22
5 TransAtlantic
and Colonial

Read: “Europe on the Brink of Change,”
p. 18-24 (Corbett)

View: The Atlantic Slave Trade (Ted Ed)

T.
2/27
Read: “New Worlds in the Americas: Labor Commerce and The Colombian Exchange,” p.52-62 (Corbett) Th.
3/1
6 Luso-America Brazil Read: Africana Folklore Guide, Unit 3, p. 117-139 (James)
View: Afro-Brazilian Quilombo Fears Change in Land laws (Al Jazeera)
T.
3/6

Read: Africana Folklore Guide, Unit 3, p. 139- (James),
“Brazilian Women Kick Back Against Temer Presidency with Capoeira” (Kary)

View: Capoeira, Mestre Bembe

*Submit Annotated Bibliography and Thesis

Th.
3/8

7

 

Hispaniola

Read: “Navigating the Racial Terrain: Blackness and Mixedness in the Dominican Republic and the United States,” (Simmons)

“Poetry in a Time of Protest” (Danticat)

T.
3/13

View: El Costo de la Vida (Guerra y 440),

Fiestas Patronales en Villa Mella,

Haitian RaRa (Lincoln Center Out of Doors)

Th.
3/15

8

Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago

Read: “The Rastafarians in the Eastern Caribbean” (Campbell)

View: Nanny of the Maroons,

Kumina Drumming Jamaica

T.
3/20

Read: “Popular Culture and the Aesthetization of Politics: Hegemonic Struggle and Postcolonial Nationalism in Trinidad Carnival (Ho)

View: War (Marley), Calypso as Mother Music (Mighty Sparrow)

*Submit Revised Thesis and Outline

Th.
3/22
9  

Read: Democracy Now! Sheet

View clips and complete Pre Democracy Now! Field Trip Assignment

DEMOCRACY NOW! CLASS FIELD TRIP

T.
3/27

MIDTERM EXAM

(Spring Recess: 3/30- 4/8)

T.
3/29
10 Cuba and Puerto Rico

Read: “The Spanish American War and Oversees Empire,” p. 640-646 (Corbett)

View: Puerto Rico Culture Through Music (Bomba, Plena, Jibara)

T.
4/10

Read: “The Resurgence of Racism in Cuba” (de la Fuente)

View: La Santeria in Matanzas Cuba

*Draft (2 page) and Bibliography

Th.
4/12
11 North American South

Read: “Cotton is King, The Antebellum South,” p 331-360 (Corbett)

T.
4/17

Read: “The African Antecedents of Uncle Ben in US Rice History” (Carney)

View: The Quilt makers of Gee Bend (PBS),
Mississippi Delta Blues (Muddy Waters)
“Let it Shine on Me” (Lead Belly),
All on a Mardi Gras Day

Th.
4/19
12 Urban North America

Read: “The African American Great Migration and New European Immigration,” p. 548-552 (Corbett)
View: Blackface Minstrelsy,

Explore: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series (Phillips Collection)

T.
4/24

Read: “The Jazz Age,: Redefining the Nation 1919-1929,” p. 693-722 (Corbett)

View: Black and Blue (Louis Armstrong),
Zootsuit Riots,
Strange Fruit (Billie Holiday),
Black Hair (Kathleen Cleaver)

Th.
4/26
13 Global, Contemporary

View: “How Colonialism in the Caribbean Affects Hurricane Prep and Recovery” on Brian Lehrer (Bonilla),

South African Protest Music,
African Hand Jive,
Art and History of Stepping,
Kwanzaa

Post DN! Field Trip Assignment Due

T.
5/1
Read: “#Ferguson: Digital Protest, Hashtag Ethnography and the Racial Politics of Social Media in the United States,” (Bonilla)

View: Breaking from Beat Street,
The Signifying Monkey,
“Black America Again” (Common
Ft Stevie Wonder),
“We Gon be Alright” (Kendrick Lamar),
Love Draught (Beyonce)

Final research paper due

 Th.
5/3
14
Presentations

Group Presentations

T.
5/8
Group Presentations Th.
5/10
15

 

Course Conclusion

(TBD)

T.
5/15
Final Exam Th.
5/17