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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Integrative Arts (INART)

INART 062 (GA;US;IL) West African and African American Arts: from the 1960s to the present (3) An introduction to West African and African American Arts from the 1960s to the present.

INART 062 West African and African American Arts: From the 1960's to the Present (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

This course focuses on the interrelationship and parallel development of arts in West Africa and the United States from the 1960s to the present. The cultural ties between the slave trading states of West Africa and the slaves and their descendents of the Americas, though weakened by over three centuries of separation, were never completely erased and the similar experiences of colonial oppression in Africa and slavery in America created expressions in art of remarkable similarity and correspondence. Although this comparable and often equivalent development in artistic expression on both sides of the Atlantic was, by and large, unrecognized and unacknowledged, the emergence of black nationalism in the 1960s reestablished the historic cultural associations between African and African American arts and created a remarkable artistic interchange that continues to the present day. The 1960s was a pivotal period for both African and African American art. The Civil Rights movement in the United States and the collapse of colonial rule in West Africa gave rise to a new sense of black identity for Africans and those of African descent and a new art that embodied and expressed that newfound identity. During the 1960s, the visual, performing, and literary arts of Africa and Black America celebrated their shared cultural heritage and found common use as instruments of political and social change. The sense of shared history and like experience on both continents influenced and informed black art in powerful ways and continues to motivate and inspire artists as they reflect and comment on their geographically separate, though spiritually linked, worlds. This course focuses on works of art drawn from many diverse traditions in both Africa and the United States and sets those works in the context of the social, political, and cultural movements that helped to create them. Examples of African and African American visual, performing, and literary arts will be examined, compared, and contrasted in order to gain insight into those works while serving as a vehicle for gaining a better understanding of the cultures that created them. INART 062 is a wholly online course that will be offered simultaneously by Penn State and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. This will allow students in Africa and the United States to participate as members of the same class in discussions and joint projects created on the World Wide Web. Grading will be based on participation in weekly online discussions, an objective mid-term and final, and the successful completion of a collaborative online project developed by students in both countries. INART 062 will be offered in the fall and spring semesters each year.

General Education: GA
Diversity: US;IL
Bachelor of Arts: Other Cultures and Arts
Effective: Summer 2014

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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