The course will use interdisciplinary methods to examine key figures of the African Diaspora in Europe, the Americas, and their relationship to the Atlantic World. We will trace the path of transatlantic voyages of important figures of Africa and the African Diaspora and their relationship to the Atlantic World in selected cities such as Lisbon, Cadiz, Cape Coast, Port of Salvador, Port of Spain, and the Panama Canal. Using lesser known biographical accounts, travel diaries, and music, we will examine how Africans simultaneously discovered and explored Europe, the Americas, and the Atlantic World on their own terms and exchanged ideas, art, music, language and other aspects of culture among nations to foster mutual understanding. We will analyze and interpret key historical sites to help students better understand the multidirectional flow of ideas, culture, and commerce in the Atlantic World and how the diaspora continues to reinterpret the meaning of African identity. Students will recreate and reinterpret some of these moments using contemporary interpretations, popular culture, and media.
Field WorkCountry: Ecuador
Date: December 3, 2019
In this field class, students will participate in a brief historical walking tour of Guayaquil discussing the significance of the city to Ecuador and its broader global connections. Students will participate in a marimba workshop and participate in a roundtable discussion with students from the Universidad de las Artes and representatives from the local community to discuss the African presence in Ecuador and interpretations of Afro-Ecuadorian culture. We will have conversations comparing and contrasting the presence and contributions of the African Diaspora in Latin America, Europe, Africa, and the United States and contribute to a community project in Trinitaria.
1. Students will develop a personal understanding of the diasporic impulse of African people through firsthand experiences and encounters.
2. Students will discuss the controversies of diasporic knowledge and its relevance to ongoing debates over belonging, place, identity, and culture in the Atlantic World using interdisciplinary methods.
3. Students will explore expressions of African identity and multidisciplinary approaches to social problems in the African diaspora.