Fall 2022 Courses

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African American Studies and the Philosophy of Race (CD or EC)
Subject associations
AAS 201 / PHI 291

This course introduces students to the field of African American Studies through an examination of the complex experiences, both past and present, of Americans of African descent. Through a multidisciplinary perspective, it reveals the complicated ways we come to know and live race in the United States. Students engage classic texts in the field, all of which are framed by a concern with epistemologies of resistance and of ignorance that offer insight into African American thought and practice.

Instructors
Eddie S. Glaude
Imani Perry
Introduction to Pre-20th Century Black Diaspora Art (CD or LA)
Subject associations
AAS 244 / ART 262 / LAS 244

This course focuses on the networks, the imaginaries and the lives inhabited by Black artists, makers, and subjects from the 18th through 19th centuries. It revolves around the Caribbean (particularly the Anglophone Caribbean), North America and Europe. We will reflect on how pre-twentieth century Black artists are written into history or written out of it. We will explore the aesthetic innovation of these artists and the visionary worlds they created, and examine their travels, their writings, along with the social worlds and communities they formed. The course incorporates lectures and readings and, if possible, museum visits.

Instructors
Anna Arabindan Kesson
Junior Seminar: Research and Writing in African American Studies (SA)
Subject associations
AAS 300

As a required course for AAS concentrators, this junior seminar introduces students to theories and methods of research design in African American Studies. Drawing on a wide-ranging methodological toolkit from the humanities and social sciences, students will learn to reflect on the ethical and political dimensions of original research to produce knowledge that is intellectually and socially engaged. This is a writing-intensive seminar with weekly essay assignments.

Instructors
Tera W. Hunter
Naomi Murakawa
Topics in Global Race and Ethnicity: Scientific Racism: Then and Now (HA or SA)
Subject associations
AAS 303 / GSS 406 / HUM 347

This course explores the intellectual history of scientific racism, paying close attention to how its theories influence power and institutions today. Reading primary sources from the history of science, each class will trace the reverberations of scientific racism in media, education, politics, law, and global health. Our conversations will consistently analyze the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and age in the legacies of scientific racism. We will also examine the impact of scientific racism in public discourse about the Black Lives Matter Movement and collectively brainstorm for activism towards restorative justice.

Instructors
Dannelle Gutarra Cordero
Topics in Race and Public Policy: Do Black Lives Matter in the News? (CD or SA)
Subject associations
AAS 306 / HUM 329 / JRN 336

This course examines media practices in the context of Black Lives Matter, police violence, and criminal justice reform. What are the ethics of mass broadcasting videos of police murders? Who is seen as an "expert" on policing and mass incarceration? This course nests contemporary questions in historical and institutional context, beginning with nineteenth-century racial criminalization and the norms of profit-based mass media. This course is interdisciplinary, drawing on scholarship from history, media studies, social psychology, and the politics of racism, crime, and punishment.

Instructors
Naomi Murakawa
Zoe Towns
Diversity in Black America (CD or SA)
Subject associations
AAS 323 / AMS 321

As the demographics of Blacks in America change, we are compelled to rethink the dominant stories of who African Americans are, and from whence they come. In this seminar, we will explore the deep cultural, genealogical, national origin, regional, and class-based diversity of people of African descent in the United States. Materials for the course will include scholarly writings as well as memoirs and fiction. In addition to reading assignments, students will be expected to complete an ethnographic or oral history project based upon research conducted within a Black community in the U.S., and a music or visual art based presentation of work.

Instructors
Imani Perry
Beyond Tuskegee: Race and Human Subjects Research in US History (CD)
Subject associations
AAS 331 / HIS 382

This course will explore the history of human subjects research as a scientific practice and how practitioners interpreted the use of living and dead bodies for producing scientific knowledge. It examines how and why certain bodies become eligible for research and experimentation. This course will show how race, class, gender, and disability shape the history of human subjects research, and show how human subjects were also deliberately selected from vulnerable populations. It will focus on the experiences of African Americans as research subjects, and consider other vulnerable populations such as children, the disabled, and the incarcerated.

Instructors
Ayah Nuriddin
Black Radical Tradition (CD or HA)
Subject associations
AAS 345 / GSS 381

This course surveys a genealogy of U.S. Black politics and culture in order to gain purchase on the idea of a "Black Radical Tradition." We will examine historical cases of deliberative activities, intimate life, and aesthetic choice in Black communities, orienting our discussions around the following questions: What are the stakes in defining the Black Radical Tradition? What qualifies as 'the political' for Black subjects? And, to what extent are conceptions of politics historically contingent? Students will develop inventive engagements with Black political history and learn concepts that are important to the study of race and politics.

Instructors
Marcus A. Lee
African American Literature: Origins to 1910 (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 353 / ENG 352

This course tracks the evolution of Black literature and literary culture from the mid-18th century to the early 20th. Moving across a range of genres - from poetry to drama to fiction - and mediums - from the periodical to the bound novel - we will interrogate the relationship between literary form, aesthetics, and cultural politics, while developing a deep understanding of the emergence of an African American literary tradition.

Instructors
Autumn M. Womack
Migration and the Literary Imagination (LA)
Subject associations
AAS 365 / REL 362

This course will explore the various meanings of The Great Migration and mobility found in 20th century African American literature. Through careful historical and literary analysis, we will examine the significant impact migration has had on African American writers and the ways it has framed their literary representations of modern Black life.

Instructors
Wallace D. Best
Postblack - Contemporary African American Art (CD or LA)
Subject associations
AAS 372 / ART 374 / AMS 372

As articulated by Thelma Golden, postblack refers to the work of African American artists who emerged in the 1990s with ambitious, irreverent, and sassy work. Postblack suggests the emergence of a generation of artists removed from the long tradition of Black affirmation of the Harlem Renaissance, Black empowerment of the Black Arts movement, and identity politics of the 1980s and early 90s. This seminar involves critical and theoretical readings on multiculturalism, race, identity, and contemporary art, and will provide an opportunity for a deep engagement with the work of African American artists of the past decade.

Instructors
Chika O. Okeke-Agulu
Publishing Articles in Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Subject associations
AAS 522 / COM 522 / ENG 504 / GSS 503

In this interdisciplinary class, students of race as well as gender, sexuality, disability, etc. read deeply and broadly in academic journals as a way of learning the debates in their fields and placing their scholarship in relationship to them. Students report each week on the trends in the last five years of any journal of their choice, writing up the articles' arguments and debates, while also revising a paper in relationship to those debates and preparing it for publication. This course enables students to leap forward in their scholarly writing through a better understanding of their fields and the significance of their work to them.

Instructors
Wendy Laura Belcher
Advanced Seminar in American Studies: American Empire, the Anthropocene, & Afrofuturism in Octavia E. Butler (CD or LA)
Subject associations
AMS 404 / AAS 405

This seminar takes up the works of science fiction pioneer Octavia E. Butler to explore the future of the American empire via a study of Afrofuturism and the Anthropocene. We will explore Afrofuturism's history and current status, especially in relation to the Anthropocene in the novels, short stories, and critical writings by and related to Butler's canon. We will pay close attention to how Butler's oeuvre charts the arc of American history from the Civil Rights Movement to the Iraq war and the significance of Butler's prophetic work that had dire warnings regarding climate change, white nationalism, and the waning of the American empire.

Instructors
Susana Morris
#BlackLivesMatter (CD or SA)
Subject associations
ANT 244 / AAS 243

This seminar traces the historical roots and growth of the Black Lives Matter social movement in the United States and comparative global contexts. The movement and course are committed to resisting, unveiling, and undoing histories of state sanctioned violence against Black and Brown bodies. The course seeks to document the forms of dispossession that Black Americans face, and offers a critical examination of the prison industrial complex, police brutality, urban poverty, and white supremacy in the US.

Instructors
Hanna Garth
The Hidden History of Hollywood - Research Film Studio (CD or LA)
Subject associations
CHV 385 / AAS 385 / VIS 385

This course surveys a hidden canon of African American film and also uncovers the roots of representational injustice in Hollywood and the secret, but cardinal role Woodrow Wilson played in the production and distribution of Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation" that led to the rebirth of the KKK. Wilson's policy of segregation was adapted by Hollywood as a self-censoring industry regulation of representation. Black people could only appear on screen as subservient and marginal characters, never as equals, partners or leaders. This industry code, Wilson's legacy, has become second nature to Hollywood.

Instructors
Erika A. Kiss
The American Experience and Dance Practices of the African Diaspora (LA)
Subject associations
DAN 211 / AAS 211

A studio course introducing students to African dance practices and aesthetics, with a focus on how its evolution has influenced American and African American culture, choreographers and dancers. An ongoing study of movement practices from traditional African dances and those of the African Diaspora, touching on American jazz dance, modern dance, and American ballet. Studio work will be complemented by readings, video viewings, guest speakers, and dance studies.

Instructors
Dyane Harvey Salaam
Black Dramatists in the English-Speaking World (LA)
Subject associations
ENG 354 / AAS 354 / THR 351

The language of a play intermingles thought and dramatic action to epitomize an unreconciled social conflict, intended to manifest within and between human bodies in real time. What have English-language dramatists of African descent identified as the central conflicts of their plays? How have their relationships to race, power, and colonial structures influenced their works? In what ways have they shaped, subverted, and advanced theatrical forms? This course will survey plays written by Black playwrights in the 20th and 21st C. We will explore dramatic works of writers from Africa, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Instructors
Nathan A. Davis
African-American Literature: Sites of Memory: Black Archives in Theory and Practice
Subject associations
ENG 556 / AAS 556

Silences, blind spots, absences: institutional archives are often characterized by what they stifle, obscure, or lack. So what kind of work is done by Black archives, which do not take their institutional presence for granted and often take shape in extra-institutional sites? In this survey of Black archival thought, we identify the practices that writers, artists, and scholars have used to create their own sites of memory and meaning-making. Through discussion and Special Collections workshops, we investigate how Black archives urge a rethinking of our ethical, epistemological, and affective relations to historical and documentary evidence.

Instructors
Kinohi Nishikawa
Autumn M. Womack
Slavery and Capitalism
Subject associations
FRE 504 / LAS 504 / AAS 503

The course will examine the place of plantation slavery in the development of capitalist modernity. We will focus on two classic texts: Eric Williams' Capitalism and Slavery, and CLR James' history of the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins. We will also discuss in this context Marx's critique of capitalist slavery in Capital, and its importance for the tradition of Caribbean critique. Also to be considered are the writings of Toussaint Louverture, Henry Christophe, and Aimé and Suzanne Césaire as they develop original critiques of slavery, colonialism, and Antillean capitalism.

Instructors
F. Nick Nesbitt
Media, Sex, and the Racialized Body (SA)
Subject associations
GSS 208 / AAS 208

This course explores the recent intellectual history of media, sex, and the racialized body. We will analyze the representation of the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in film, advertisements, the fashion industry, reality TV, animation, and music videos. This course will also closely examine the predominance of White heteronormativity in film, the representation of gender in K-pop and K-dramas, and the hypersexualization of Blackness and Latinidad in Blaxploitation films and telenovelas.

Instructors
Dannelle Gutarra Cordero
The Racialization of Beauty (HA or SA)
Subject associations
GSS 218 / AAS 218

This course explores the intellectual history of the racialization of beauty. We will begin by analyzing how the history of Atlantic slavery and scientific racism set precedents for the contemporary dominant conceptualization of beauty in the body, art, and nature. Students will then concentrate on the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality in beauty pageants, advertising, and the plastic surgery industry. This course will also closely examine racialized fat phobia, the racial politics of hair, transnational colorism, and racialized exploitation in beauty service work.

Instructors
Dannelle Gutarra Cordero
Modern Brazilian History (HA)
Subject associations
HIS 333 / LAS 373 / AAS 335

This course examines the history of modern Brazil from the late colonial period to the present. Lectures, readings, and discussions challenge prevailing narratives about modernity to highlight instead the role played by indigenous and African descendants in shaping Brazilian society. Topics include the meanings of political citizenship; slavery and abolition; race relations; indigenous rights; uneven economic development and Brazil's experiences with authoritarianism and globalization.

Instructors
Isadora M. Mota
Unrest and Renewal in Urban America (CD or HA)
Subject associations
HIS 388 / URB 388 / AMS 380 / AAS 388

This course surveys the history of cities in the United States from colonial settlement to the present. Over centuries, cities have symbolized democratic ideals of "melting pots" and cutting-edge innovation, as well as urban crises of disorder, decline, crime, and poverty. Urban life has concentrated extremes like rich and poor; racial and ethnic divides; philanthropy and greed; skyscrapers and parks; violence and hope; downtown and suburb. The course examines how cities in U.S. history have brokered revolution, transformation and renewal, focusing on class, race, gender, immigration, capitalism, and the built environment.

Instructors
Alison E. Isenberg
Readings in African American History
Subject associations
HIS 577 / AAS 577

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the literature of African-American History, from the colonial era up to more recent times. Major themes and debates are highlighted. The course should help students to define interests within the field to pursue further study and research and also to aid preparation for examinations.

Instructors
Tera W. Hunter
Race, Racism, and Racial Justice (CD or EM)
Subject associations
PHI 208 / AAS 209

Racism is a blight wherever it exists and calls for racial justice are still essential.This course aims to show how philosophy is integral to thinking through some major issues to do with race, racism, and racial justice today.In this course we will consider broad questions vital to understanding current racial issues.What is race? What is racism? How does intersectionality complicate our understanding of these questions? We will also consider more specific questions and particular issues around racial justice. Is racial profiling wrong? What should we think about affirmative action? Should there be reparations for (past?) racial injustices?

Instructors
Lidal Dror
Portuguese in the City (CD or LA)
Subject associations
POR 262 / AAS 265 / ECS 314

Luanda, Lisbon, Rio, São Paulo...Through readings of selected texts and audiovisual materials, this course will visit the diverse cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world through the lens of culture produced in, by and about major cities. We will compare and contrast both "official" and "unofficial" narratives of these spaces and investigate how cultural productions from and about the periphery contest hegemonic representations of urban spaces and culture(s).

Instructors
Nicola T. Cooney
Race and Public Policy (SA)
Subject associations
SPI 331 / SOC 312 / AAS 317 / POL 343

Analyzes the historical construction of race as a concept in American society, how and why this concept was institutionalized publicly and privately in various arenas of U.S. public life at different historical junctures, and the progress that has been made in dismantling racialized institutions since the civil rights era.

Instructors
Douglas S. Massey
In Living Color: Performing the Black '90s (SA)
Subject associations
THR 392 / AAS 347 / AMS 350 / GSS 392

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.

Instructors
Rhaisa Williams