This course covers policing in the United States as it intersects with constitutional rights and racial justice, and the rise of social justice movements seeking to transform policing in America. Topics will include studying the history of police institutions, from slave patrols and night watches to big city police departments; the constitutional framework for policing powers; various theories and tactics of policing, such as broken windows policing; and the rise of movements seeking to change police's role in society, such as the Black Lives Matter and police defund movements. Students will also meet leaders within these current movements.
This course examines the dynamics of the Black American political experience in the U.S. The focus will be on Black Americans as actors, creators and initiators in the political process. Beginning with an exploration of the historical antecedents of blackness in America, this course will explore how the Black experience in America has shaped the American political system and how black Americans have come to understand their position within the American Political system. The course is intended to be an introduction to the Black political experience.
Prejudice is one of the most contentious topics in modern American society. There is debate regarding its causes, pervasiveness, and impact. This goal of this course is to familiarize students with the psychological research relevant to these questions. We will review theoretical perspectives on prejudice to develop an understanding of its cognitive, affective, and motivational underpinnings. We will also discuss how these psychological biases relate to evaluations of, and behavior toward, members of targeted groups. In addition, research-based strategies for reducing prejudice will be discussed.
The course examines major moral controversies in public life and differing conceptions of justice and the common good. It seeks to help students develop the skills required for thinking and writing about the ethical considerations that ought to shape public institutions, guide public authorities, and inform the public's judgments. The course will focus on issues that are particularly challenging for advanced, pluralist democracies such as the USA, including justice in war, terrorism and torture, markets and distributive justice, immigration, refugees, and criminal justice.
This course will explore the relationship between social movements and legal/policy reforms and critically assess the scope and limits of the 1960s-era civil rights laws through an examination of the following legal and policy issues that Black Lives Matter activists have pushed to the center stage of local and national policy debates: policing; mass incarceration; the role of prosecutors; protests and surveillance; labor, work, and wealth; education reform and school discipline; health care reform and access; housing and environmental conditions; and voting rights.
In this Princeton Challenge course, students will participate in building a relationship between a historically significant Black theater company, Crossroads Theater in New Brunswick, and the university community. Co-taught by Sydne Mahone, Director of play development at Crossroads 1985-1997, students will research the theater through its people and its art, while making the role of women in Black art-making more visible. Students will consider their own role in movements for change, and the role of storytelling as a call to action. Our work will culminate in creative responses and roadmaps for continuing community relationship.
Theater artists routinely bend, twist and break all kinds of rules to create the imaginary worlds they bring to life on stage. Why, then, has the American theater so struggled to meaningfully address questions of equity, diversity and inclusion? In this course, we undertake a critical, creative and historical overview of agitation and advocacy by theater artist-activists aiming to transform American theatre-making as both industry and creative practice, as we connect those histories with the practices, structures and events determining the ways diversity is (and is not) a guiding principle of contemporary American theater.
Every life delivers a story (or three) worth telling well. This workshop course rehearses the writing and performance skills necessary to remake the raw material drawn from lived experience into compelling autobiographical storytelling. Course participants will work in an array of storytelling modes (stand-up, slam, songwriting, etc) to devise, document and perform an original work of autobiographical storytelling.
The South African Anti-Apartheid movement saw mass resistance against the government's racial segregationist policies. Students will learn about the conditions that gave rise to Apartheid and the Anti-Apartheid movement, taking a look at the instrumental role that the performing arts and protest theatre played in dismantling the unjust system. Participants will develop performance work of their own based in South African protest theatre, encouraging a rejection of excess and on seeing obstacles as opportunities. Students will craft original protest theatre works that address sociopolitical concerns of their choosing.
From Cross Colours to boom boxes, the 1990s was loud and colorful. But alongside the fun, black people in the U.S. dealt with heightened criminalization and poverty codified through the War on Drugs, welfare reform, HIV/AIDS, and police brutality. We will study the various cultural productions of black performers and consumers as they navigated the social and political landscapes of the 1990s. We will examine works growing out of music, televisual media, fashion, and public policy, using theories from performance and cultural studies to understand the specificities of blackness, gender, class, and sexuality.
This seminar will frame the idea of black film as a visual negotiation between film as art and the discursivity of race, rather than black film as a demographic, or a genre, or a reflection of the black experience, or something bound by a representational politics of positive and negative stereotypes. Black film will be critically considered as an interdisciplinary practice that enacts a distinct visual and expressive culture alongside literature, music, art, photography, and new media. Students will consider new paradigms for genre, narrative, aesthetics, historiography, and intertextuality within this overarching concept of black film.
How can posthumous research on a curatorial subject influence the structure and form of an exhibition or a new conceptual artwork? This course retraces the steps taken to produce McClodden's 2015-2019 artistic and curatorial work centering the lives of three Black gay men - poet Essex Hemphill, writer/poet Brad Johnson, and composer Julius Eastman - in order to examine key concepts central to research-based practice. Students will be expected to produce a research/exhibition study of an artist whom they feel has been obscured posthumously.
This seminar examines the radical possibilities of collaboration as fundamentally a process of radical composition through which collaborators bridge different modalities of creative expression - textual composition, artistic composition, speculative composition, among others - that span multiple media, forms and practices. By modeling and exploring collaboration as radical composition, this course seeks to reframe it as more that a dynamic of participation and coordination, and to recognize it as a generative methodology for producing critical scholarly and creative work.