Imani Perry

Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies
Faculty Associate
Program in Law and Public Affairs
Ph.D, American Civilization; J.D.
Harvard University
Imani Perry

Background

Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers professor of African American studies at Princeton University, where she is also affiliated with the Programs in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is the author of: More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States (NYU, 2011) and Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop (Duke, 2004) as well as numerous articles in the fields of law, cultural studies and African American studies. She has a forthcoming book on the history of the Black National anthem from Oxford University Press and another on gender, neoliberalism and the digital age from Duke University Press.

Courses

AAS 201

Introduction to the Study of African American Cultural Practices

This course examines the past and present, the doings and the sufferings of Americans of African descent from a multidisciplinary perspective. It highlights the ways in which serious intellectual scrutiny of the agency of black people in the United States help redefine what it means to be American, new world, modern and post modern.

AAS 327 / ENG 379 / GSS 368

Masters of the 20th Century: Lorraine Hansberry

This special topics course will focus on artists and intellectuals whose corpus reflects and illuminates 20th century African American life. Lorraine Hansberry, the first African American female playwright to have a play open on Broadway, explored a series of critical themes in her work, including: race, migration, colonialism, gender and social class. In addition to having a distinguished career as a playwright, Hansberry was an activist and advocate for gender and racial justice. Students will study her published and unpublished plays, essays and poetry, as well as relevant social and cultural history and literary criticism.

AAS 351 / GSS 351

Law, Social Policy, and African American Women

Journeying from enslavement and Jim Crow to the post-civil rights era, this course will learn how law and social policy have shaped, constrained, and been resisted by black women’s experience and thought. Using a wide breadth of materials including legal scholarship, social science research, visual arts, and literature, we will also develop an understanding of how property, the body, and the structure and interpretation of domestic relations have been frameworks through which black female subjectivity in the United States was and is mediated.

AAS 362 / WWS 386 / POL 338

Race and the American Legal Process

This course examines the dynamic and often conflicted relationships between African American struggles for inclusion, and the legislative, administrative, and judicial decision-making responding to or rejecting those struggles, from Reconstruction to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. In tracing these relationships we will cover issues such as property, criminal law, suffrage, education, and immigration, with a focus on the following theoretical frameworks: equal protection, due process, civic participation and engagement, and political recognition.