Center for African American Studies
To facilitate the discourse on race and contextualize it in the historical, cultural, and community influences that shape the diverse experiences of Blacks in America.
Established August 2012, the only one of its kind in North Texas (and one of three in the state), the Center for African American Studies (CAAS) builds on the University of Texas at Arlington’s reputation as one of the most diverse institutions in the nation.
We hope to enlighten, inspire, and empower student, faculty, and community stakeholders to create progressive, collaborative solutions that drive social change within the Black community specifically and the broader society generally.
Through teaching, civic engagement, and community-based research focused on diverse contextual conditions of Black Americans, CAAS serves as a vital intellectual and social resource for the community, on and off campus.
Curriculum and Instruction
- Minor in African American Studies
- Curriculum represented across three areas
- History & Culture
- Languages, Literature, & the Arts
- Behavioral and Social Inquiry
- Introduction to African American Studies
- Independent Study Courses
- Internships & Service Learning Courses
- Courses cross-listed in other units
Student Development Initiatives
- Emerging Scholars Program
- Emerging Leaders Initiative
- Interns and Volunteers
Research and Policy Analysis
- Social Justice
- Health and Human Conditions
- Race, Class, and Crime
- Sustainable Communities
Community Outreach and Engagement
- Civic Programming and Events
- Community Lectures and Forums
- Research Conference
How to Add the African American Studies Minor
If you are interested in obtaining a minor in African American Studies:
- Complete the Minor Approval Form and have it signed by your major department advisor.
- Once the Minor Approval Form is completed, schedule an appointment with a CAAS advisor and bring the following:
- completed degree plan (signed by your major department advisor)
- minor approval form (signed by your major department advisor) and
- Maverick Academic Progress (MAP)
To make an advising appointment, please call 817-272-9642 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The African American Studies Minor is a comprehensive, interdisciplinary program that prepares students for critical thinking and discourse on race and contextual factors, social consciousness and awareness, and civic engagement. In order to receive a minor in African American Studies, students need to take 18 credit hours from a selection of courses offered across different disciplines. The majority of our courses are cross-listed with courses offered in other departments. Students in African American Studies need to take the following courses:
|AAST 2300||INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES||3|
|Students must take one of the following courses (after completing one course, other courses can count as electives):|
|AAST 3338||CONTEMPORARY BLACK EXPERIENCE||3|
|or AAST 3365||AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY TO 1865|
|or AAST 3366||AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY, 1865-PRESENT|
|or AAST 3337||RACIAL & ETHNIC GROUPS IN US|
|or AAST 3317||DIVERSE POPULATIONS|
|Electives (students need to take four of the following electives):||12|
|AAST 3350||BLACK POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT|
|or AAST 2337||ECONOMICS OF SOCIAL ISSUES|
|or AAST 3300||TOPICS IN WOMEN'S AND GENDER STUDIES|
|or AAST 3301||THEORIES OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR|
|or AAST 3317||DIVERSE POPULATIONS|
|or AAST 3310||BLACK FAMILIES|
|or AAST 3320||BLACK WOMEN IN SOCIETY|
|or AAST 3324||THE COMING OF THE CIVIL WAR, 1820-1860|
|or AAST 3327||THE NEW SOUTH, 1863-PRESENT|
|or AAST 3330||CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND IDENTITY|
|or AAST 3332||COMPARATIVE KINSHIP AND FAMILY SYSTEMS|
|or AAST 3336||SOCIAL INEQUALITY|
|or AAST 3337||RACIAL & ETHNIC GROUPS IN US|
|or AAST 3338||CONTEMPORARY BLACK EXPERIENCE|
|or AAST 3339||RACE, SPORT AND MEDIA|
|or AAST 3344||SOCIOLOGY OF THE 1960S|
|or AAST 3345||AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE|
|or AAST 3347||TOPICS IN MULTICULTURAL LITERATURES|
|or AAST 3353||SOCIAL CLIMATE OF CITIES|
|or AAST 3365||AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY TO 1865|
|or AAST 3366||AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY, 1865-PRESENT|
|or AAST 3380||RACE, CRIME, AND JUSTICE|
|or AAST 4317||ETHNIC GROUP POLITICS IN THE UNITED STATES|
|or AAST 4318||POLITICS OF AFRICAN AMERICANS|
|or AAST 4326||DIVERSITY IN ORGANIZATIONS|
|or AAST 4331||RACE, ETHNICITY & FAMILY FORMATION|
|or AAST 4341||INEQUALITIES IN PUBLIC EDUCATION|
|or AAST 4342||TOPICS IN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY|
|or AAST 4350||SPECIAL TOPICS IN AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES|
|or AAST 4370||AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE WEST|
|or AAST 4374||AFRICAN HISTORY I|
|or AAST 4375||AFRICAN HISTORY II|
|or AAST 4376||AFRICAN DIASPORA I|
|or AAST 4377||AFRICAN DIASPORA II|
|or AAST 4378||WEST AFRICA AND THE ATLANTIC DIASPORA|
|or AAST 4391||CONFERENCE COURSE|
|or AAST 4399||CAPSTONE AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES|
|or AAST 6391||CONFERENCE COURSE|
After consulting with their major departments or programs, students will file a degree plan for the AAST minor at the Center for African American Studies. Courses not listed above may qualify as electives with the approval of the director of the Center for African American Studies.
AAST 2300. INTRODUCTION TO AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES. 3 Hours.
This course introduces students to the African American experience in the United States, including an interdisciplinary analysis of the African American experience in politics, the arts, folklore, religion, economics, sociology, psychology, and community development; and an examination of local history, contemporary issues, and recent events in the African American community.
AAST 2337. ECONOMICS OF SOCIAL ISSUES. 3 Hours.
Economic analysis and application of basic economic principles to a variety of social issues and topics. Students will become familiar with the U.S. economy, its structure, and how economics applies to an assortment of public policy topics such as crime, energy, immigration, drug use, prostitution, minimum wage, our aging population, healthcare, gender driven wages, recycling, and the macro economy, to name a few. In addition, current economic issues and events may be incorporated into the course via lecture and/or class discussions. This is a non-technical course which satisfies the core requirement for social and behavioral studies. Will not serve to meet degree requirements for College of Business Administration majors. Offered as ECON 2337 and AAST 2337; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3300. TOPICS IN WOMEN'S AND GENDER STUDIES. 3 Hours.
Special topics of interest in the disciplines of Women's and Gender Studies. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes. Also offered as WOMS 3300; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3301. THEORIES OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR. 3 Hours.
This course explores, within the context of a strengths and empowerment perspective, theories of human behavior. For social work majors, it is strongly recommended that SOCW 3302 be taken before this course. Offered as AAST 3301 and SOCW 3301; credit will be granted in only one department. This course is required for Social Work Field Instruction and Seminar I (SOCW 4951).
AAST 3310. BLACK FAMILIES. 3 Hours.
Course will focus on the historical and cultural development of black families. Topics include slavery, segregation, family structure, and socioeconomic issues. Special attention will be given to people, places, and events that are important for understanding African American family life in the Dallas/Ft Worth area.
AAST 3317. DIVERSE POPULATIONS. 3 Hours.
Introduction to theoretical, practical, and policy issues related to diverse populations. Historical, political, and socioeconomic forces are examined that maintain discriminatory and oppressive values, attitudes, and behaviors in society and in all levels of organizational behavior. This course is required for admission to the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program. Offered as AAST 3317, SOCW 3307 and MAS 3319; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3320. BLACK WOMEN IN SOCIETY. 3 Hours.
Course provides an overview of historical and current issues facing African American women. Topics include racism, sexism, political involvement, education, religion, family, and comparisons with the experiences of black men.
AAST 3324. THE COMING OF THE CIVIL WAR, 1820-1860. 3 Hours.
Sectional conflict in the United States from the Missouri Compromise of 1820 to the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Southern separatism, slavery as a political issue, the antislavery movement, the breakup of the national political system, and the failure of sectional compromise. Offered as AAST 3324 and HIST 3324; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3327. THE NEW SOUTH, 1863-PRESENT. 3 Hours.
From military defeat to Sun Belt growth. Topics include Reconstruction, segregation, migration of Southerners to the North and West, depressions, reforms, Civil Rights, Moral Majority, cultural expressions in literature and music. Offered as AAST 3327 and HIST 3327; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3330. CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND IDENTITY. 3 Hours.
The ways identity is constructed in contemporary societies in an increasingly complex and multicultural world. Ethnic, racial, gender, and class identities. How and when identity is asserted and assigned, and how it can both draw boundaries and forge ties between peoples. Formerly listed as ANTH 2350. Credit cannot be given for both ANTH 2350 and ANTH 3330. Also listed as MAS 3330; credit cannot be granted for both ANTH 3330 and MAS 3330. Offered as AAST 3330 and ANTH 3330; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3332. COMPARATIVE KINSHIP AND FAMILY SYSTEMS. 3 Hours.
Variation in kinship and family systems from crosscultural and evolutionary perspectives. Structure, function, and dynamics of kinship and family systems as adaptations to diverse ecological, social, and historical circumstances. Implications of this approach for understanding kinship and family in American society also addressed. Formerly listed as ANTH 4338. Credit cannot be given for both ANTH 3338 and ANTH 4338. Also offered as WOMS 3338; credit will be granted only once. Offered as AAST 3332 and ANTH 3338; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3336. SOCIAL INEQUALITY. 3 Hours.
Examines the processes, characteristics, and consequences of social inequality in society. Topics include the social class structure, status groups, and elite power structure as they influence people's life chances. Offered as AAST 3336 and SOCI 3336; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3337. RACIAL & ETHNIC GROUPS IN US. 3 Hours.
Compares the immigration, acculturation, and adjustment processes of various racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. Examines historical and contemporary discrimination in relation to the social conditions of racial/ethnic minority groups in the U. S. Topics include classical and contemporary theory; individualistic, cultural, and structural arguments about social arrangements; and conflict among majority and minority groups. Offered as AAST 3337, MAS 3337, and SOCI 3337; credit will be granted in only one department. Credit will not be granted for both SOCI 3337 and SOCI 4310 or for MAS 3337 and MAS 4310. Prerequisite: SOCI 1311 or permission of instructor.
AAST 3338. CONTEMPORARY BLACK EXPERIENCE. 3 Hours.
An overview of recent research concerning the African American experience in the post-civil rights era. Topics include explanations for racial differences across spheres of society such as income, education, and occupation; the debate over race versus social class; the persistence of racial discrimination; and emerging disputes within the black community regarding "what it means to be black." Offered as AAST 3338 and SOCI 3338; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3339. RACE, SPORT AND MEDIA. 3 Hours.
The media, including television, film, print, audio, and online outlets, influence how we view the world. This course analyzes overt, subtle and subliminal messages about culture, race, ethnicity, and sport as presented to us through various forms of the media. Through examinations of media portrayals of race, both past and present, students will analyze media artifacts, identify recurring themes, and examine research focused on the societal effects of stereotypical media portrayals. Offered as AAST 3339 and SOCI 3339; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3344. SOCIOLOGY OF THE 1960S. 3 Hours.
This course presents a sociological analysis of the sixties, stressing the connection between grassroots mobilization and large structures of power, war, race and gender. The legacy of the sixties is examined through stories told by and about activists of the period. Parallels between the sixties and the present are identified. Movements covered may include civil rights, black power, anti-war and women's rights. Offered as AAST 3344 and SOCI 3345; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3345. AFRICAN AMERICAN LITERATURE. 3 Hours.
Offers an introduction to African American literature or focuses on a particular genre, period or topic. May be repeated for credit as course content changes. Offered as AAST 3345 and ENG 3345; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3347. TOPICS IN MULTICULTURAL LITERATURES. 3 Hours.
Either an intensive focus within one tradition or a comparison between two or more traditions. Topics may include Asian-American literature, the American Indian novel, the Harlem Renaissance, Jewish-American literature, Mexican-American and American Indian literatures, or African American literature. May be repeated for credit as course content changes. Offered as ENGL 3347, AAST 3347, and MAS 3347; credit will be granted in only one department, and credit for MAS 3347 will be granted only once. Prerequisite: For English majors, ENGL 2350; for non-majors, 6 hours of sophomore literature or 3 hours of sophomore with a grade of A.
AAST 3350. BLACK POLITICAL AND SOCIAL THOUGHT. 3 Hours.
Course examines goals, viewpoints, and strategies of African American political and social movements. Topics include Black Nationalism, Inter-racial Integration, tensions between major historic leaders, reparations, the emergence of "race-neutral" politicians, and changing commitments to liberal and conservative causes.
AAST 3353. SOCIAL CLIMATE OF CITIES. 3 Hours.
A comparative study of urban communities and metropolitan areas in terms of their distinctive social life and culture. Topics touching on power and urban politics, race and ethnic relations, poverty, and leisure and lifestyles will be examined in terms of their contribution to the unique social climate of cities. Offered as AAST 3353 and SOCI 3353; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3365. AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY TO 1865. 3 Hours.
History of blacks in America from their African origins to 1865. Emphasis on early African society, American slavery, and the development of black institutions and culture in the U.S. Offered as AAST 3365 and HIST 3365; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3366. AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY, 1865-PRESENT. 3 Hours.
Emphasis on the transition from slavery to freedom, the political, social, and economic status of blacks in the late 19th century, 20th century black institutions and culture, and the evolution of the civil rights movements. Offered as AAST 3366 and HIST 3366; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 3380. RACE, CRIME, AND JUSTICE. 3 Hours.
An examination of race in the context of the criminal justice system. Emphasis is on social construction of crime; and the treatment of racial minorities as victims and offenders by law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Offered as CRCJ 3380 and MAS 3380; credit will be granted only once. Offered as AAST 3380 and CRCJ 3380; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 4317. ETHNIC GROUP POLITICS IN THE UNITED STATES. 3 Hours.
The influence of selected major ethnic groups with special attention given to organizational development, participation in political parties, leadership, ideology, immigration policy, current issues, and relations with the dominant culture and other ethnic groups. Offered as AAST 4317 and POLS 4317; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 4318. POLITICS OF AFRICAN AMERICANS. 3 Hours.
The influence of African-American politics on United States government and policies with special attention given to organizational development, participation in political parties, leadership, ideology, the Civil Rights movement, current issues, and relations with other ethnic groups. Offered as AAST 4318 and POLS 4318; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 4326. DIVERSITY IN ORGANIZATIONS. 3 Hours.
This course examines the implications of employee diversity in organizations, an issue of increasing importance. It includes study of the changing demographics of workers, including multiple demographic groups and areas of difference important to organizational treatment and outcomes. This course examines research on treatment, access, and customer discrimination. Legislation related to diversity is also reviewed. This course also provides suggestions for individuals and organizations to increase opportunities and outcomes for workers of all backgrounds. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
AAST 4331. RACE, ETHNICITY & FAMILY FORMATION. 3 Hours.
Investigates the ways in which cultural understandings of race and ethnicity have shaped historical and contemporary variations in family structure, familial experiences, and the legal possibilities for family formation. Junior standing (60 hours) or permission of the instructor required to enroll in this course. Offered as AAST 4331 and SOCI 4331; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 4341. INEQUALITIES IN PUBLIC EDUCATION. 3 Hours.
This course examines the manner in which race, ethnicity, and class affect the quality of education in the public schools. Topics include the resegregation of schools, class and race based achievement and funding gaps, and the role the schools play in reproducing inequality. This course has a service learning component and requires volunteering in programs designed to reduce inequality in the schools. Offered as AAST 4341 and SOCI 4341; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 4342. TOPICS IN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY. 3 Hours.
Selected topics, to include anthropological theory, population and cultural ecology, semiotics, and humanistic anthropology. May be repeated for credit with departmental permission. Also offered as ANTH 4342. Credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 4350. SPECIAL TOPICS IN AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES. 3 Hours.
Special topics related to African American studies. May be repeated for credit when the topic changes.
AAST 4370. AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE WEST. 3 Hours.
A history of African Americans in the West, focusing on the experiences of the first Africans who accompanied the first European explorers in the West and Southwest; the post-Civil War migration and settlement of African Americans in the West in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and the development and impact of the "West Coast" experience on African American culture. Offered as AAST 4370 and HIST 4370; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 4374. AFRICAN HISTORY I. 3 Hours.
Examines African prehistory, ancient civilizations, religion, gender issues, slavery, and commerce in precolonial Africa. Offered as AAST 4374 and HIST 4374; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 4375. AFRICAN HISTORY II. 3 Hours.
Africa from the "Scramble for Africa" through the establishment of the various colonial systems, through the beginnings of African nationalism, to the contemporary period. The African Revolution and the development of the independent African states. Offered as AAST 4375 and HIST 4375; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 4376. AFRICAN DIASPORA I. 3 Hours.
The major developments which have shaped the history of Africans and their descendants in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Indian Ocean areas from the earliest times to 1800. Emphasis on the comparative history of Black Diasporic communities; linkages between Africans and their descendants in the Diaspora. Offered as AAST 4376 and HIST 4376; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 4377. AFRICAN DIASPORA II. 3 Hours.
The major developments which have shaped the history of Africans and their descendants in Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America since 1800. Emphasis on the comparative history of Black Diasporic communities; linkages between Africans and their descendants in the Atlantic Diaspora. Offered as AAST 4377 and HIST 4377; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 4378. WEST AFRICA AND THE ATLANTIC DIASPORA. 3 Hours.
This course examines the history of West Africa and how this region was integrated into the Atlantic world through the Atlantic slave trade. The course adopts an interdisciplinary approach that integrates traditional classroom instruction with field-based learning in West Africa. This learning method, combined with cultural immersion, challenges students to develop their academic and cross-cultural knowledge and skills. Offered as AAST 4378 and HIST 4378; credit will be granted in only one department.
AAST 4391. CONFERENCE COURSE. 3 Hours.
Directed independent study for the advanced undergraduate. A close examination of a chosen topic through research and/or reading; format designed by instructor and student. May be repeated for a maximum six credit hours when the subject matter varies. Prerequisite: Departmental permission.
AAST 4399. CAPSTONE AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES. 3 Hours.
In consultation with the course instructor, students will design a research project or an internship that will integrate their previous course work into a capstone experience in either the applied or the cultural studies stream of the African American Studies minor. Prerequisite: AAST 2300 and departmental permission.
AAST 6391. CONFERENCE COURSE. 3 Hours.
Directed independent study for a masters-level or doctoral student. A close examination of a chosen topic through research and/or reading; format designed by instructor and student. May be repeated for maximum six credit hours when the subject matter varies. Prerequisite: Permission from CAAS Director.