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African Diaspora religions such as Voodoo and Santeria have literally become the stuff of horror films. What historical events generated these kinds of popular misrepresentations? What does gender have to do with it and what does race have to do with gender? And why, when brewed together in popular imagination, do some people find it so scary?
Students interested in the global implications of social and economic inequities, power and privilege, and cultural issues such as stereotyping, will learn to address these through the lens of historical theories, philosophy, critical race and gender theories, and art history. Our “case study” will consist of dismantling the terror factor around African religions to reveal and consider some of the African philosophical tenets that fear hides.
We will study one West African culture (Yoruba) that is deeply embedded in American cultures and has served as the foundation for resistance to racism and sexism. Students will learn about, research, and share findings about the roles Yoruba culture has played in resistance movements via philosophy and religion (Humanities track), cultural expressions (Arts track); rebellions and politics (History track).
Students and mentors should note that the highly individualized approach of this course can enable students to develop projects that support a particular personal interest or degree program need that is not directly motivated by an interest in the humanities, history, or art per se. For example, a student who is interested in Community and Human Services could focus on the role of African diaspora cultural expressions or practices in his or her local community.
The three tracks of this course overlap. No more than one of these three should be included in a degree program.
Note: Some films in this course must be rented or purchased by the student and are available through Netflix or Amazon.
Prerequisites: Students who enroll in this course should have advanced college level reading and writing skills. Though not required, course work or prior experience with analysis of race, class, and gender issues would be helpful. The readings and films are challenging and broach complex issues and concepts that call for developing a high level of critical, analytical, and interpretive skills.
This online course is offered through the Center for Distance Learning. You can take this as an individual course or as part of an online degree program, with term starts in March, May, September, November and January. View current term offerings and all online courses. Click here to register for online courses.
Other Areas: The Arts | Business, Management & Economics | Community & Human Services | Communications, Humanities & Cultural Studies | Educational Studies | Historical Studies | Human Development | Labor Studies | Nursing | Science, Math & Technology | Social Theory, Structure & Change
Term(s) Offered (Subject to Change) : Jan. May. Sep.
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