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Course Description:

African Diaspora religions such as Voodoo and Santeria have literally become the stuff of horror films. Why, when brewed together in popular imagination, do some people find it so scary?

Africa has inspired resistance to oppression, from slavery to stereotypes, from racism to sexism. We’ll study this through the lens of one West African culture (Yoruba) that is deeply embedded in American cultures. We will look at how the historical construction of stereotypes and stereotypical constructions of history are perpetuated by contemporary media, and how Yoruba thought and practices break these stereotypes.

Students interested in the global implications of how stereotypes affect power and privilege will learn to address these through the lens of historical theories, philosophy, critical race and gender theories, and art history. Our “case studies” will dismantle the terror factor around African religions to reveal and consider African philosophical tenets that inspire people to freedom.

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).

The three tracks of this course overlap. No more than one of these three should be included in a degree program.

NOTE: You will be required to rent DVDs or stream several videos for this course.

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 Online 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 Science
Liberal Study
Upper Level
Credits: 4
Term(s) Offered (Subject to Change) : Spring 1. Fall 1.

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