Courses Offered

LIBS 201 - Introduction to Race, Class and Culture Credit 3(3-0) 

This course explores the history and theories of race and class and their impact on cultural forms.

LIBS 220 - Race, Class and Environmental Quality Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines the relationships between race, class and environmental quality within the context of a global economy that seeks to maximize profits while minimizing responsibility, and examines the concept of environmental justice as a means to restore positive connections within communities between environmental use and environmental quality.

LIBS 221 - Genes, Race and Society Credit 3(3-0)

This course examines the historical development of theories of “race” in the Western world. It provides the student with a basic understanding of the principles of evolutionary/population biology, genetics, and taxonomy as they relate to biological and social conceptions of race.

LIBS 223 - African-American Culture Through Sports Credit 3(3-0)

This course examines how sports have historically formed and currently shape the contours of African-American culture. Particular attention is given to such questions as the ethical dimension of segregation, the locus of gender equity, cultural images, and their potential effects for African-American athletes and the African-American community.

LIBS 225 - Race, Crime and Social Injustice Credit 3(3-0) 

This course examines how social structure impacts the race-crime relationship in terms of theory, policy and practice. It explores the phenomenon from multiple perspectives, including those involved in the criminal justice process. Students are encouraged to think critically about the social construction of race and social class in crime and crime control.

LIBS 227 - Race, Class and Culture in South Africa Credit 3(3-0)

This course acquaints students with the economic, social, political and cultural forces that have shaped contemporary South Africa. It explores the role of race, class, gender and culture during the apartheid and post-apartheid era. 

LIBS 230 - The HIV/AIDS Crisis in Africa Credit 3(3-0)

This course examines the economic, social, political and cultural forces that shape the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. It explores the reasons for Africa's high prevalence rates, the gendered nature of the pandemic, and the impact of the disease on development and on children.

LIBS 235 - African-American Anti-Imperialism, 1900-1975 Credit 3(3-0)

This course addresses African-American political interventions and debates against European and U.S. colonialism and imperialism during the first three-quarters of the twentieth century. It also examines the parallel development of the U.S. civil rights movement and African-American support for African independence movements.

LIBS 236 - Africana Thought and Practice Credit 3(3-0)

This course examines in depth a broad range of Black thought of scholars/activists, from W.E.B. Du Bois and Marcus Gavey to Leopold Senghor and Frantz Fanon.

LIBS 301 - Ethno-Nationalism and the Reconstruction of Nations Credit 3(3-0)

This course examines how the breakup of the USSR led to the rise of ethno-nationalism in the process of national reconstruction. Exploring the myths, symbols and histories of competing populations within the Soviet Union or its power, students discover a paradigm that applies to the wider postcolonial world as well.

LIBS 302 - Media Analysis Credit 3(3-0)

This course examines the shaping of information in popular media, with special emphasis on the creation of news. Examining institutional configurations and conglomeration, it focuses on the role of news media within national discourses, and on the shaping of ideological consensus and the marginalization of dissent. It asks questions about the limitations of political discourse, and about bias and objectivity, about how news is defined, presented, and disseminated.

LIBS 303 - Consumer Culture Credit 3(3-0)

This course considers the creation of consumer culture during the last two centuries. It looks at the development of advertising, public relations, and mass marketing, and at the related construction of consumer consciousness. And it considers the consequences of global consumerism upon the environment, cultural tradition, human social relations and economic conditions.

LIBS 304 - The American South Credit 3(3-0)

This course examines mythologies and realities of the American South: the antebellum period, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights era, the New South. It looks at how these historical moments have been written and rewritten in academic and popular discourses, in response to racial beliefs and ideological needs. It considers the South as a geographical, social, and cultural entity and as an important element within the shaping of an American national mythos.

LIBS 305 - Race and Class in Caribbean Culture Credit 3(3-0)

This course will examine the ethnic, racial and cultural diversity of the Caribbean, including the impact of foreign cultures on the area, and the exportation of its unique cultural forms to the global society. 

LIBS 306 - Gender, Technology, and Computer Culture Credit 3(3-0)

This course will explore technology’s interaction with the concept of gender and how gender is embodied in technologies, and conversely, how technologies shape societal notions of gender. Students will critically assess the gender relations produced in areas such as entertainment and games, work, identity, education, culture, globalism, race and ethnicity. 

LIBS 307 - Food and the Global Community Credit 3(3-0)

This course uses multidisciplinary perspectives to examine the connections between food and human life ways. Focusing on varied ethnic food traditions and peoples around the world, this course will explore 1) the interplay of class and gender in the preparation of food, 2) the role of political and economic power in accessibility to and the distribution of food, and 3) the religious and cultural symbolism of eating. 

LIBS 308 - Historical, Social & Cultural Perspectives of Technology Credit 3(3-0)

This course explores the interrelationships between the human race and technology, the range of determinism between the two, and the possible paths for technology and humans in the global world. Global perspectives -- including Eastern and western, Northern and Southern -- will be covered in the course.

LIBS309 - Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Extraordinary Violence Credit 3(3-0)

This course composes a critical study of the notion of "evil" by considering how the term has been employed historically to explain and sometimes justify radical violence such as genocide. It will consider the multi-disciplinary spectrum of theories that seek to explain how ordinary people come to participate in extraordinary acts of brutality and mass murder of their fellow human beings.

LIBS 312 - Gender and Development in Africa Credit 3 (3-0)

The course examines women's roles in African economies, the gendered nature of legal rights under customary law, political participation, female genital mutilation, and the impact of conflict, war, genocide and the HIV/AIDS pandemic on African women.

LIBS320 - Doing Culture Credit 3 (3-0)

This course examines the significance of culture in human societies. It assumes that culture is more than the objects of cultural production. The course explores how culture is the continual activity of construction and reconstruction of social, economic and political institutions. 

LIBS 401 - War and Culture Credit 3(3-0)

This course investigates the nature of war -- its causes and consequences, and its depiction in news accounts, memoirs, literary texts, and popular media. The course asks questions about the function of war economically and ideologically. It considers the intersection of war with race and gender. And it considers the ways war is commonly represented within national discourses. 

LIBS 402 - Historical Memory Credit 3(3-0)

This course looks at the processes by which historical events are defined and represented. It asks questions about the intersection of nationalism and history, about the determining power of school curricula, textbooks, museums, academic experts, and popular media. And it examines the nature of historical truth within a mass-mediated culture and against a prevailing postmodern skepticism. 

LIBS 501 - Reading and Writing Cultural Critique Credit 3(3-0)

This writing intensive course is intended to prepare students to write the cultural critique -- popular and academic. The course emphasizes both critical analysis and writing, with particular attention to writing for a specific setting and audience. By the end of the course, students should be able to produce a conference paper or publishable essay. 

LIBS 499 - Independent Study Credit 3(3-0)

This course is designed for students to conduct advanced research on a special topic.

LIBS 500 - Independent Study Credit 3(3-0)

This course is designed for students to conduct advanced research on a special topic. Prerequisite: LIBS 499.