AFRO 102, Researching the African American Experience (CRN 62292)
Wednesdays 5-7:50 p.m.
Room 1126 Foreign Languages Building
Instructor: Thomas Weissinger
Office: 246F Main Library
Office Hours: Wednesdays: 3-4:30 pm
Office Phone: 333-3006
Afro 102 will focus on research and documentation of the African American experience. The course examines significant repositories of African American culture in public libraries, historically black colleges, and predominantly white universities. The course also acknowledges the associations of influential bibliophiles (book collectors) and their contributions in establishing unique and rare collections of African American literature and history. These bibliophiles were pivotal in establishing major Black heritage collections at Howard University, the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, Atlanta University and Fisk University, to name a few. Contemporaneous with the establishment of many of these collections was development of seminal research tools for the purpose of identifying and locating publications about the Black experience. In this regard the course reviews a selection of African American studies research tools. In particular, students will participate by examining and describing major digital resources through weekly classroom demonstrations.
No textbooks are required.
Goals and Objectives:
1. To study the experiences, contributions, and perspectives of African American bibliophiles and bibliographers in the field of African American studies.
2. To introduce students to the major repositories of African American history and culture in the United States.
3. To develop an understanding of the importance of organized collections of documentary material about the African American experience for research.
4. To teach students how to select and use research tools efficiently.
5. To develop an understanding of broader issues which enhance or impede one's ability to do research on African American topics.
Grades for the course will be weighted as follows:
Video and database assignments 20%
Two Quizzes 60%
Written assignment 20%
In addition to regular attendance and classroom participation, you are expected to stay current on the weekly reading assignments. Please be courteous: put away cell phones during class. Laptops are permitted for note taking only.
Students will develop an annotated bibliography of no less than 50 citations. This project is worth 20% of your final grade. It should include a brief summary of a research topic in African American Studies and an annotated bibliography. The citations of the annotated bibliography must be relevant to the topic described in your summary. You will be graded on relevance, accuracy, currency, authoritativeness (are the scholars you cite frequently mentioned by others?), and variety of formats. You are required to use the RefWorks citation manager and ensure that all citations are formatted in the Chicago style.
Lectures and Reading Assignments:
Aug 28. Introductions. Readings: Schomburg, Arthur A. (1925) " The Negro Digs Up His Past. " Survey Graphic (March): 670-672;
Information Use in African American Studies
Sept. 4. Readings: Weissinger, Thomas. (2002) " Black Studies Scholarly Communication: A Citation Analysis of Periodical Literature ." Collection Management 26: 45-56. Weissinger, Thomas. (2010) " The Core Journal Concept in Black Studies. " Journal of Academic Librarianship 36 (2): 119-124.
Sept. 11. Readings: Nyana, Sylvia A. (2010) " Information Use in African American Studies Doctoral Dissertations at Pennsylvania State University, 2000-2007. " JPAS - Journal of Pan African Studies 3 (10): 31-40.
Sept. 18. Bibliographic records and the Chicago Manual of Style . Online catalogs & WorldCat. Reading: Zulu, Itibari M. "The Ancient Kemetic Roots of Library and Information Science" Online at http://www.jpanafrican.com/edocs/e-DocAKRLIS.pdf .
Sept. 25. Bibliographies. Readings: Tucker, Mark. (1991) " 'You Can't Argue with Facts': Monroe Nathan Work as Information Officer, Editor, and Bibliographer." Libraries and Culture 26 (1): 151-168. Moses, Sibyl E. (1996) " The Influence of Philanthropic Agencies on the Development of Monroe Nathan Work's Bibliography of the Negro in Africa and America ." Libraries & Culture 31 (Spring): 326-41.
Oct. 2. Abstracting and indexing services. Readings: 1) Newman, Richard. (2000) " The First Black Index: Albert P. Marshall and A Guide to Negro Periodical Literature." Harvard Library Bulletin 11: 81-87. Hankins, Rebecca. (2009) " Uncovering Black Feminist Writers, 1963-1990: An Evaluation of their coverage in research tools. " Reference & Users Services Quarterly 48 (3): 270-286.
Oct. 9. Black Newspapers. Readings: Pinnick, Timothy N. (2008). Finding and Using African American Newspapers. Wyandotte, OK: Gregath Pub. Co., 2009, pp. 2-32 [Call no. 070.484P656f . 2 copies: one in HPNL Reserves and one in HPNL Afri Am Ref. ].
Oct. 16. Biographical Dictionaries. Readings: Meier, August. (1960) " A Scholar Discovers the Negro World: Some Observations on Richard Bardolph's 'The Negro Vanguard'. " Journal of Negro Education 29 (1): 100-106.
Oct. 23. Encyclopedias. Readings: Contee, Clarence G. (1971) “ The Encyclopedia Africana Project of W.E.B. Du Bois.” African Historical Studies 4 (1): 77-91. Harris, Robert L., Jr. (1976) " Daniel Murray and the Encyclopedia of the Colored Race. " Phylon 37 (3): 270-282.
Oct. 30. Quiz #1.
Bibliophiles and African Americana Collections
Nov. 6. Readings: Albritton, Rosie L. "The Founding & Prevalence of African-American Social Libraries & Historical Societies, 1828-1918." In Tucker, John Mark, ed. Untold Stories: Civil Rights, Libraries, and Black Librarianship. Champaign, IL: Publications Office, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, 1998, pp. 23-46.
Nov.13. Readings: Clarke, John Henrik (1992). " The influence of Arthur A. Schomburg on my concept of Africana Studies." Phylon 49 (1-2): 4-9. Sinnette, Elinor Des Verney. (1990) "Arthur Alfonso Schomburg (1874-1938), Black Bibliophile and Collector." In Sinnette, Elinor Des Verney, W. Paul Coates, and Thomas C. Battle, editors. Black Bibliophiles and Collectors: Preservers of Black History. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, pp. 35-45.
Nov. 13. Carter G. Woodson: Readings: Goggin, Jacqueline. (1985) " Carter G. Woodson and the Collection of Source Materials for Afro-American History." American Archivist 48 (3): 261-271. Dorothy Porter: Readings: Madison, Avril Johnson and Dorothy Porter Wesley. (1995) " Dorothy Burnett Porter Wesley: Enterprising Steward of Black Culture." The Public Historian 17 (1): 15-40.
Nov. 20. Quiz #2.
Nov. 27. Thanksgiving break.
Dec. 4. Two Academic Library Collections. Readings: 1) Battle, Thomas C. (1988). " Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University." Library Quarterly 58 (2): 143-151. Shockley, Ann Allen. " Special Collections, Fisk University Library." Library Quarterly 58 (2): 151-163.
Dec. 11. Two Public Library Collections. Readings: 1) Joyce, Donald Franklin. (1988) " Vivian G. Harsh Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, Chicago Public Library. " Library Quarterly 58 (1): 67-74. Dodson, Howard. (1988) " The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library. " Library Quarterly 58 (1): 74-82. BIBLIOGRAPHY PROJECT DUE.