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Viewing: AFST 3001 : Documenting Black Lives

Last approved: Thu, 12 Jan 2017 09:03:05 GMT

Last edit: Wed, 11 Jan 2017 15:21:00 GMT

Catalog Pages referencing this course
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
Africana Studies (AFST)
Documenting Black Lives
Documenting Black Lives
Spring 2017
Course Type
Default Grading Method
Letter Grade


completion of a prior course in any Africana-related topic and an interest in research
Jennifer James, Randi Kristensen, Gayle Wald, and others.
Frequency of Offering

Term(s) Offered

Are there Course Equivalents?
Fee Type


Students complete and present an original research project pertaining to black history and culture; research strategies, including the use of digital material, historical archives, and public history sites.
1) Students will be introduced to theories and methods in archival research and learn why archival research is both useful and valuable in advancing knowledge about black history, politics, culture, and art. Students will learn examine how certain methods are used, the desired outcomes, and apply those methods to specific case studies.

2) Students will explore how archival digital resources and scholarship have affected Africana Studies research practices and will learn how to use and evaluate digital material.

3) Students will analyze knowledge production at public history sites, such as museums and memorials, where encounters with history are shared, communal and interactive experiences

4) Students will produce original research which incorporates archival material on a topic of their own choosing. Students will develop the skills necessary for formulating an orginal research question that can be explored over a lengthy paper or in-depth project.
Uploaded a Course Syllabus
There is no other course like this at GWU. First, this is only the second course designed specifically for the Africana Studies Program.The course's clear focus on honing students' research abilities by having them actively engage with and use research multiple methods makes AFST 3001 unique. The kinds of skills they will gain in this course are not often taught in combination: how to integrate secondary scholarly research with their own original documentary investigations. The course is also interdisciplinary in its core design.
Course Attribute

I submitted this course earlier this year and met with Dean Ullman to discuss its implementation. He said that he heartily approved the course, but asked that I alter the course number (from 2001 to 3001) and name. The first name, Advanced Research in Africana Studies, might be too off-putting. Because Courseleaf had no mechanism for making simple changes to an already-submitted course, he informed me that I would need to resubmit it entirely. He assured me that this resubmission would be merely a formality.

We expect this course to be as popular as AFST 1001. Eventually, we will retool the course so that it carries additional attributes. We would like to pilot it first, however, to make any alterations as effective and efficient as we can.
echacko (Fri, 04 Sep 2015 14:45:50 GMT): I will assume that the instructors of the course meant that students in this course should have taken the freshman writing course, University Writing rather than a Writing in the Disciplines course.
twilson (Tue, 16 Feb 2016 15:13:03 GMT): Rollback: fix restrictions, prerequisites, rec. background
gharris (Wed, 24 Feb 2016 19:14:46 GMT): Rollback: per J. James for title change and to provide syllabus.
echacko (Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:31:06 GMT): Rollback: Hello Professor James, please restrict the learning outcomes on the new course proposal page to 3-4 bullets. If you wish, you may list the remaining learning outcomes in the syllabus. This message was sent to you by Candace Gnahoui, on behalf of Dean Chacko.
Key: 9985