Introduction to the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field of Black Studies, providing students with an intellectual framework for contemplating global Black experiences historically and contemporarily. The course begins by placing Black Studies in context, noting its significance as part of the Black Power phase of a larger struggle for African American human rights. From there, the course examines the continent of Africa as the birthplace of humanity and site of diverse and complex cultures. Subsequent weeks will address self-determination and resistance in the African, Caribbean, and U.S. contexts as well as the importance of institutional racism. The course also interrogates intraracial issues such as socioeconomic class, gender, sexuality and skin color.
A critical analysis of the Black Panther Party. Active in the United States from 1966-1982, The Black Panther Party was the most visible manifestation of the Black Power phase of a larger Back human rights struggle. Students will interrogate primary source documents produced by Black Panther Party activists housed in The Tang Teaching Museum. Working closely with these documents, students will present their critical analysis of these works publicly in relation to contemporary examples of human rights activism.
Close readings of groundbreaking autobiographies of radical Black activists, such as Angela Davis and Paul Robeson. These texts not only reveal (and in some instances conceal) much about the personal lives and political struggles of these individuals, but even more about intraracial fault lines of socioeconomic class, gender, and sexuality. Students are responsible for crafting an analytical essay for the public that includes a memoir component.
Exploration of primary and secondary sources in the interdisciplinary examination of a particular topic in Black Studies. Students will pursue a research project in conjunction with close examination of groundbreaking texts in the field. Particular emphasis will be placed on texts and projects that seek transdisciplinary approaches to Black Studies.