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African American Studies

Alphonso Simpson, Chair


Department Office: Sage Hall 3465
Department Telephone: (920) 424-0939




Simpson – Director
Van Auken



  • Undergraduate: In combination with a major, the African-American Studies minor can lead to a baccalaureate degree.
  • Graduate: None


Summary of Fields of Study

  1. Goal(s)
  • The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh offers an undergraduate minor in African American Studies. Students who choose the minor will study issues, ideas and experiences related to the history, culture, socio-economic and political lives of African Americans. While the specific programmatic focus of the minor is the United States, students also may choose from courses that suggest obvious connections as well as important distinctions that exist between Black America, African nations and other parts of the African Diaspora. The AAS minor complements any major study emphasis.
  • The Major(s)
    • None
  • The Minor(s)
    • The program offers one minor(s): African American Studies.


Admission/Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for graduation, students must meet all requirements for the degree being sought in addition to earning a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in all courses required for the African American Studies minor. For additional information, refer to the African American Studies website: .

Required Core Courses

See Minors section.


The Major(s), with Emphasis and/or Options



The Minor(s)


African American Studies Minor

Recommended for humanities and social science majors.

Required Credits: 21 minimum

Required Courses:

  • African American Studies: African American Studies 100 and 260
  • African American Studies/History: AAS/History 385
  • African American Studies/English: AAS/English 219 or 229
  • Any three approved courses from the general electives list approved by the African American Studies Advisory Board.


Course Offerings

African American Studies    100 3 (crs.)
Introduction to African American Studies (ES)(XC)
An interdisciplinary survey introduction to some of the major individuals, texts and issues that suggest the complex history and culture that have evolved over time among African Americans in the United States.
African American Studies    101Q2 3 (crs.)
Exploring African American Studies (XC)(ES)
A survey of ideas, issues and traditions related over time to the experiences of people of black American ancestry in the United States.
African American Studies    260 3 (crs.)
Distinguished Figures of African Descent
This course champions the accomplishments of prominent African Americans through various interdisciplinary lenses. Along with presenting historical information, the larger scheme and scope of this course is to make aware the core philosophies, accomplishments, and ultimately, the lasting impressions of these distinguished individuals as related to centuries of progress in what we call the United States of America. Prerequisite: Af Am St 100 or Af Am St 101Q2 or instructor consent.
African American Studies    311 3 (crs.)
Sociology of the Modern City
For the first time in history, more people in the world now live in urban areas than rural areas. This course explores urban places and urban people, in historical context and via current affairs, from our largest cities to the local level. It focuses in particular on these topics that impact urban places: suburbanization and sprawl; stratification, immigration, community, and organizations; population diversity, hop-hop culture, and racism; and, politics, globalization, planning and environmental issues. Cross-listed: Sociology 311/African American Studies 311. Students may only receive credit for one of the two cross-listed courses.  Prerequisites: Sociology 101 or 151, or 203 or consent of instructor. Special course fees may apply.
African American Studies    366 1 – 3 (crs.)
Service Learning Field Study
In this course, students will apply their African American Studies education to service activities in the community, under the supervision of an individual at the site and a member of the faculty or academic staff. Students will volunteer for a certain number of hours per week depending upon the number of credits they will receive. Students will also write reflective papers that connect their service experiences with relevant readings. Service activities must be relevant to African American Studies. Prerequisites: Instructor permission and 6 hours of African American Studies course credit. (Note: The general prerequisites for Independent Study/Related Readings are waived for this course).
African American Studies    395 3 (crs.)
Special Topics A: Optional Content
Special Topics A courses focus solely on African American Studies. The course may be repeated once with different content.
African American Studies    396 3 (crs.)
Special Topics B: Optional Content
Special Topics B courses focus in part on African American Studies, with significant portion of students’ coursework devoted to African American Studies. The course may be repeated once with different content.
African American Studies    397 3 (crs.)
Special Topics C: Optional Content
Special Topics C courses focus solely on African American Studies.
African American Studies    400 3 (crs.)
Hip Hop: Cultural/Historical
In this course students will read a select group of critical texts, including essays, articles, and interviews; view films; and listen to lyrics that form in part the evolving traditions of hip-hop culture. Students will explore issues related to history, politics, economics, gender construction, sexual identity, violence, geographical differences, and the arts for critical analysis. Prerequisites: AAS 100 and one 200 level literature course, earning a C or better grade, or by permission of instructor.
African American Studies    445 3 (crs.)
African American Civil Rights Rhetoric
This course explores African American civil rights activism through the frameworks of rhetoric and gender. Topics include both the challenges faced by civil rights activists and their contribution to the movement. Integrated throughout the course is an analysis of persuasive documents and events, including speeches, photographs, marches, and slogans. Prerequisites: COMM 214 and COMM 219 or Coreq COMM 368, or WG STDS 201, or SOC JUST 101, or AF AM 100; or instructor consent.
African American Studies    446 1 – 3 (crs.)
Independent Study
See Independent Study under Course and Academic Advisement policies information for general course description, general prerequisites, and proper contract form requirements.