Academic Programs

Featured Courses

AAAS/CSRE 160J: Performances of Ritual, Spirituality and Decolonial Black Feminist Magic 

Conjure Art is a movement and embodied practice course looking at the work and techniques of artists of color who utilize spirituality and ritual practices in their art making and performance work to evoke social change. In this course we will discuss the work of artists who bring spiritual ritual in their art making while addressing issues of spiritual accountability and cultural appropriation. Throughout the quarter we will welcome guest artists who make work along these lines, while exploring movement, writing, singing and visual art making. This class will culminate in a performance ritual co-created by students and instructor.


Instructor: Smith, A. (PI)

Terms: Aut | Units: 2

Amara Tabor-Smith

CSRE 180S: The Black Music 80s: Turntables, Beat machines and DJ Scholarship (AFRICAAM 180S)

This course focuses on the regional rhythms and aesthetic trends of Black popular music of the Americas in the 1980s, a period of Black cultural production largely ignored by the academy. Students will investigate how technology, economic shifts, AIDS, and the War on Drugs impacted communities who produced, created, and danced to music in the face of hostile political terrain. Students will develop and employ careful listening practices that encompass the study of sampling, digging through crates of vinyl, analyzing album cover art, and closely reading liner notes. The musical forms we will cover range from New Jack Swing to Quiet Storm Music to Synthesizer Soul. Figures we will study include nontraditional scholars and practitioners, artists, activists, music journalists, and cultural critics. Finally, students will map the digital movement of music, people, and ideas through post-human platforms such as computer-based home recording studios, portable sound systems, beat-making equipment, keytars, turntables, and sampling machines.
Terms: Win | Units: 3
Instructors: Banks, A. (PI)

AFRICAAM/ARTHIST 291: Riot: Visualizing Civil Unrest in the 20th and the 21st Centuries

This seminar explores the visual legacy of civil unrest in the United States. Focusing on the 1965 Watts Rebellion, 1992 Los Angeles Riots, 2014 Ferguson Uprising, and 2020 George Floyd Uprisings. Students closely examine photographs, television broadcasts, newspapers, magazines, and film and video representations of unrest. Additionally, students will visually analyze the works of artists who have responded to the instances of police brutality and challenged the systemic racism, xenophobia, and anti-Black violence leading to and surrounding these events.nnNOTE: Instructor consent required for undergraduate students. Please contact the instructor for permission to enroll.

Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

Instructor: Salseda, R (PI)

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Dance 30: Chocolate Heads Dance Performance Workshop

An interdisciplinary project-based class to develop dance technique, collaborative choreography, associated visual and musical arts. We invite dancers, movers, and emerging creators of all styles and backgrounds. The Autumn 21-22 project theme will be Chocolate Heads at the Cantor: Dance, Upcycled Fashion, and the Cinematic Eye. The Chocolate Heads will continue the practice of creating intermedia events using dance, film projection on bodies and surfaces, live DJ, vocals, and runway presentationThis site-specific dance performance will feature upcycled costumes co-constructed by the students under the designer’s supervision. Students chosen to participate will engage in interrelated choreographic and art-making collaborations which address street performance, fashion ecologies, and social platforms. To be presented Feb. 2022 at the Cantor Art Center, we will reimagine the runway space as an arena for collective moving performance, while modeling ways of being that are body positive, transcultural, and gender expansive. All levels of experience are welcome. Week 1: TU 9/21--Introduction to project, creative team & CHs Band; THU 9/23--1st Audition Workshop.


Instructor: Hayes, A. (PI)

Terms: Aut | Units: 1-2 | Grade : GR or CR/NC


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