AFR 334
Radical Theories of Political Struggle: Anti-Black Racism and the Obama Administration Spring 2018
Division II
Cross-listed PSCI 346 / AFR 334 / INTR 334
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Class Details

This seminar reviews contemporary theories of “anti-black racism”; their articulation or assimilation within current political movements and mobilizations; and the influence and impact such theories–expressed in and/or as activism–have on the racial justice programs and civil rights policies of the Obama Administration. Legal theory, “Afro-pessimism,” black feminist/queer theory are forms of radical thought shaping political discourse and influencing new advocacy formations (e.g. the Black Women’s Blue Print and #BlackLivesMatter); these new democracy advocates have in turn shaped the public rhetoric and policy initiatives of a black presidency as it grapples with multiculturalism and racial animus. Focusing on social and legal theory and the Obama Administration, this seminar uses the works of Hortense Spillers, Evelyn Hammonds, Toni Morrison as well as: Frank Wilderson’s Red, White and Black: Cinema and the Structure of US Antagonisms; Jared Sexton’s Amalgamation Schemes; Lewis Gordon’s Bad Faith and Anti-Black Racism; Saidiya Hartman’s Scenes of Subjection; Orlando Patterson’s Slavery and Social Death; Derrick Bell’s Faces at the Bottom of the Well; Dennis Childs’s Slaves of the State; Assata Shakur’s Assata: An Autobiography; Cheryl Harris’s Whiteness as Property.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 4033
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: 1 research paper (50%); 2 presentations with summaries (40%); active engagement in class discussions (10%);Weekly student presentations consist of 15minutes of analysis with written summaries and Q/A.
Extra Info: 1st quarter of semester: thesis and outline; 2nd and 3rd quarters: 2-page summaries integrating assigned texts into research analysis; 4th quarter: edit final paper.
Prerequisites: familiarity with one of the following: critical race theory; Africana/Black studies; feminist anti-racist political movements
Enrollment Preferences: if over enrolled students will be asked to submit a paragraph on their research interest relevant to the seminar.
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
PSCI 346 Division II AFR 334 Division II INTR 334 Division II

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