African-American Studies at The University of Montana connects African and African-American (including Latin America and the Caribbean) history, experiences, and perspectives with the 21st century. The goal of the African-American Studies curriculum is to develop basic knowledge of, and appreciation for, the diverse experiences of the African Diaspora, and their contributions to the nations into which they were incorporated. Through this study students will recognize that the African-American narrative connects to the core issues of nation formation, identity politics, social movements, and the liberal state. Those who take this minor will likewise be equipped to talk alongside, through, and in the midst of the racial fracture lines that mark this nation as a country where the color of one's skin is socially significant. In all these efforts, we promote scholarship that is driven first and foremost by an interest in creating knowledge and furthering our understanding of the African-American experience. The interdisciplinary curriculum of African-American Studies includes course offerings from the following academic disciplines: anthropology, economics, English, geography, history, music, political science, and sociology. Some topics of study include: African heritage and cultural continuity among African-Americans; African-American identity issues and cultural variation; the history of African-American protest and resistance, including the abolitionist, anti-lynching, and civil rights movements; the Harlem Renaissance; the social dynamics of integration and segregation; and the various circumstances of, and prospects for, African Americans in the 21st century.
The African-American studies minor is an interdisciplinary program requiring twenty-four (24) credits drawn from a combination of disciplines-history, anthropology, English, sociology, geography, economics, and political science.
6 credits required from the following electives, 3 of which must be in an upper division course (i.e. 300 or 400 level):
U = for undergraduate credit only, UG = for undergraduate or graduate credit, G = for graduate credit. R after the credit indicates the course may be repeated for credit to the maximum indicated after the R. Credits beyond this maximum do not count toward a degree.
U 141H Introduction to African-American Studies 3 cr. Offered autumn. Same as HSTA 141H (HIST 161H). This course introduces students to the primary questions, themes, and approaches to African American Studies. In addition to examining key historical periods such as Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Civil Rights era, students will encounter Hip-Hop, African-American film, African-American religion, and contemporary identity politics. This course concludes by discussing the reasons for and new directions in African American studies, including diaspora studies, Pan-Africanism, and post-colonial studies. Overall students will gain new insight into the social, cultural, political, and intellectual, experiences of a diverse people and into the history and contemporary experience of the United States.
U 195 Special Topics Variable cr. (R-6) Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one time offerings of current topics.
U 208H Discovering Africa 3 cr. Offered intermittently. Interdisciplinary study of the history of pre-colonial Africa, focusing on social, economic, political, and cultural institutions and traditions including the wealth, diversity, and complexity of ancient and classical African civilizations and cultures.
U 260 African Americans and Native Americans 3 cr. Offered Fall, even years. Same as NAS 260. A study of the broad scope of relations between African Americans and Native Americans in colonial and United States history. Topics explored through history, sociology, and cultural anthropology.
U 262 Abolitionism: The First Civil Rights Movement 3 cr. Offered spring. Same as HSTA 262 (HIST 262) Interdisciplinary, historical perspective on the early 19th century movement to abolish slavery and racial discrimination in the United States.
U 295 Special Topics Variable cr. (R-6) Offered intermittently. Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one-time offerings of current topics.
U 342H African-American History to 1865 3 cr. Offered intermittently. Same as HSTA 342H (HIST 378H). Survey of the African-American experience from the African background to the end of the Civil War. Focus on Black American quest for the American Dream, and how Blacks attempted to deal with the challenges of enslavement and racism.
U 343H African-American History since 1865 3 cr. Offered intermittently. Same as HSTA 343H (HIST 379H). Study of the African-American experience since the Civil War. Change and continuity in the African-American experience, the fight against Jim Crow, the struggle for civil rights, and post-civil rights economic, political, social and cultural developments and challenges.
U 347 African American Religious Experience: Voodoo, Muslim, Church: Black Religion 3 cr. Spring, odd years. Same as HSTA 347. The African-American religious experience encompasses Islam, Christianity, Santería, voodoo, and many others. In this course, students will examine the history of religious expression within the African-American community from the colonial era through the twentieth century. Central to the course is the question, “How did religion shape the experience of the African-American community?” Students will also examine the ways in which religious practice influenced social, political, and cultural changes in American history.
U 372 African-American Identity 3 cr. Offered autumn. Interdisciplinary course designed to explore and illuminate the multifaceted nature and development of African-American group and individual identity.
U 395 Special Topics Variable cr. (R-9) Prereq., consent of instr. Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one time offerings of current topics.
U 396 Independent Study Variable cr. (R-9) Prereq., consent of instr.
UG 409 History of Southern Africa 3 cr. Offered intermittently. Historical survey of developments in southern Africa from the earliest of times to the present. Focus on the evolution and growth of societies and states; economic, social and political developments; external interventions and impacts on race relations.
U 415 The Black Radical Tradition 3 cr. Autumn, odd years. Same as HSTA 415. Historians have generally framed African-American resistance to institutional, political, and cultural racism in the United States according to either the non-violent integrationist efforts of the Civil Rights Movement or the armed, revolutionary efforts of Black Nationalist groups. This dichotomy ignores the continuities within the black radical tradition throughout American history. This course seeks to answer the question, "What are the sources, practices, and effects of the Black Radical tradition in United States history?" From slave revolts through to the Move rebellion in Philadelphia, this course examines how the African-American community has engaged in radical efforts to change the status quo in the name of seeking justice.
U 417 Prayer and Civil Rights 3 cr. Same as HSTA 417. An exploration of the meaning of public prayer in the Civil Rights Movement. Combines historical and religious studies inquiry to trace changes in civil rights activists' efforts to make use of religion. Challenges students to consider how meaning is formed through historical action and study of the social significance of religious practice.
U 420 America Divided, 1848-1865 3 cr. Offered intermittently. Same as HSTA 420. This course explores the period in American history from the close of the Mexican War through the conclusion of the Civil War. Topics include slavery and sectionalism; race and racism; immigration and ethno-religious conflict; military mobilization and wartime dissent; the meaning of freedom in the age of emancipation. This course is intended to hone skills fundamental to the historical discipline: the critical analysis of primary sources; independent primary research and historical writing; engagement with and assessment of historical scholarship; the construction of a historiographical essay.
UG 495 Special Topics Variable cr. (R-9) Prereq., consent of instr. Experimental offerings of visiting professors, experimental offerings of new courses, or one time offerings of current topics.
U 496 Independent Study Variable cr. (R-9) Prereq., consent of instr.
G 562 Problems in African-American Religious History 3 cr. Spring, even years. Same as HSTA 562. This course explores the question, "How does one study African-American history?" through the lens of African-American religious practice.
George Price, Ph.D., The University of Montana, 2006
Tobin Miller Shearer, Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2008 (coordinator)
Ulysses S. Doss, Ph.D., The Union Institute, 1974