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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST2440 African American Thought, Culture and Politics: 1900-1940

20 creditsClass Size: 28

Module manager: Dr KM Dossett
Email: k.m.dossett@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This course looks at how African Americans adapted to racial segregation and the strategies they devised to overcome its cultural and political consequences in the first half of the twentieth century. Topics include: debates amongst black intellectuals on the strengths and limitations of integration and separatism; the bitter debate over African American involvement in the First World War; literature and music of the Harlem Renaissance, and the New Deal. This module links cultural and political developments, challenges assessments of this period as the 'nadir' in American race relations, and provides an historical context for the modern civil rights movement. Sources include speeches, newspapers and cultural texts.

Objectives

On completion of this module students should:
- able to understand the major trends in African American thought, culture and politics in the first half of the twentieth century;
- be familiar with important political and cultural texts of twentieth century America;
- be able to handle a range of cultural and political texts including novels, speeches, journalistic pieces, newspapers and organizational records;
- be able to apply an interdisciplinary approach to the study of American History.

Skills outcomes
Enhances Common Skills listed below:

High-level skills in oral and written communication of complex ideas.
Independence of mind and self-discipline and self-direction to work effectively under own initiative.
Ability to locate, handle and synthesize large amounts of information.
Capacity to employ analytical and problem-solving abilities.
Ability to engage constructively with the ideas of their peers, tutors and published sources.
Empathy and active engagement with alternative cultural contexts.


Syllabus

This course looks at how African Americans adapted to racial segregation and the strategies they devised to overcome its cultural and political consequences.

Topics include:
- debates amongst black intellectuals and leaders, (Booker T Washington, W.E.B Du Bois, Marcus Garvey) and the strengths and limitations of integration and separatism;
- early organizational developments and political protest among African Americans (including the foundation of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Association of Colored Women);
- the bitter debate over African American involvement in the First World War;
- the protest behind much of the literature, artwork and music of the Harlem Renaissance;
- the New Deal and the opportunities extended to African American artists through the Works Project Administration and Federal Theater Project;
- cultural, political and economic trends in the first half of the 20th.C that made the 'Negro' problem increasingly a national one (immigration to the North, involvement in the second world war, and the gradual transferral of the African American vote from the Republican to the Democratic party);
- the importance of black culture within 'mainstream' American cultural developments.

This course would offer the opportunity to link cultural and political developments, challenge assessments of this period as the nadir in American race relations, and provide a context for the supposed burst of civil rights activism in the 1950s & 1960s. Sources will include speeches, essays, newspapers, organizational records and cultural texts.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture111.0011.00
Tutorial61.006.00
Private study hours183.00
Total Contact hours17.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Exam preparation; researching, preparing, and writing assignments; undertaking set reading; and self-directed reading around the topic. 183 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Contributions to class discussions, an assessed exercise or exercises worth 10% of module marks, an assessed essay.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000 word assessed essay to be delivered by 12 noon on Friday in teaching week 730.00
Oral PresentationOral contribution within class, can be resat with 'an equivalent written exercise'10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)40.00

10% oral presentations are redone with 'an equivalent written exercise'


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 00 mins60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 11/06/2008

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