AFR 319
Ethnographic Approaches to Africana Studies Spring 2012
Division II
Cross-listed AFR 319 / AMST 319 / SOC 319
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Ethnography is the systematic study and recording of human cultures. It involves the collection and analysis of information from multiple sources including (but not limited to) first-person accounts, life histories, interviews, observations, and autobiographical materials. Within Africana Studies, ethnographic approaches have been utilized to reflect complex narratives of black experience throughout the Diaspora. This seminar is a critical introduction to the theory, method, and practice of ethnography in Africana studies. We will explore a variety of cultures and settings, and discuss the practical, methodological, and ethical issues related to ethnography. Three broad questions will dominate our discussions: 1) What are the theoretical, practical, and stylistic tools needed to fashion compelling ethnographies that get to the heart of what it means to document Africana experience? 2) What are the ethical and political implications of representing Africana perspectives in fieldwork studies? 3) What are the strengths and limitations of ethnography as a research method in Africana studies? Each student will utilize the materials covered in the course to research and write his or her own ethnography.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 10
Class#: 3197
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based upon class participation, weekly response papers, a 5- to 7-page critical book review, and the construction of a mini-ethnography
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Africana Studies concentrators, Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies majors, Religion majors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AFR 319 Division II AMST 319 Division II SOC 319 Division II

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