Comparative American Studies
Department Chair:
Shelley Lee

Administrative Assistant:
Linda Pardee

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8390
Fax: (440) 775-8644

King 105
10 N. Professor Street
Oberlin, OH, 44074-1095

Afia Ofori-Mensa's courses

Afia Ofori-Mensa's courses

117.  Immigrant and Second-Generation American Literature - 3 hours
This course may also count for the major in (consult the program or department major requirements): Comparative Literature Semester
This survey course treats the experiences of immigrants of color and their American-born children as central to United States literatures of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. We will learn about literary close reading and oral history by using those methods to examine themes of language, identity, place, and culture. Our texts will include novels, autobiographies, and semi-autobiographical writing about immigrant families from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East. This course is cross-listed with AAST 117.  Enrollment Limit: 25

240.  How to Win a Beauty Pageant: Race, Gender, Culture, and U.S. National Identity - 3 hours
This course examines US beauty pageants from the 1920s to the present. Our aim will be to analyze pageantry as a unique site for the interplay of race, gender, class, sexuality, and nation. We will learn about cultural studies methodology, including close reading, cultural history, critical discourse analysis, and ethnography, and use those methods to understand the changing identity of the US over time. This course includes a field visit to a pageant in Ohio.
Consent of the Instructor Required.  This course is cross-listed with AAST 240. 
Enrollment Limit: 15