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AFR 359
Settler Colonialism, Care, Kinship and Social Reproduction Spring 2021
Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed AFR 359 / AMST 356

Class Details

AMST 356 Settler Colonialism, Care, Kinship and Social Reproduction Contemporary understandings of family, kinship and care were shaped through the invasion of the Indigenous Americas and Transatlantic slavery. Indigenous nations came to be understood by anthropologists and settler states as governed by a logic of kinship, and this understanding was weaponized by the US and Canada to target Indigenous governance for elimination. At the same time, dominant kinship narratives were defined by the property claims made upon Black lives under settler law and by the state-enforced maternal inheritance of racialized bondage. This course will analyze kinship and care as both mechanisms of state control of Indigenous and Black lives and lands, and as sites of insurgency against colonial states. We will analyze how Canada and the U.S. have deployed Child Protective Services, reproductive regulation, Boarding Schools, plantation economies, land dispossession, and the prison industrial complex to target Indigenous, Black, Brown, working class and trans/queer support systems. Applying methodologies and theoretical interventions in Indigenous studies, Black studies and critical political economy to primary texts to US and Canadian law, autobiography, and anthropology, our focus will move from 17th and 18th century British colonial law to autobiographical accounts of slavery and emancipation, to Canada’s 19th century Indian Act, to mid-20th century social scientific debates on Black and Indigenous families. We will end by thinking about insurgent practices of organizing care and kinship outside and against the confines of whiteness, capital and the state. The pedagogical aims of the course are to illustrate how kinship narratives anchor settler colonial nationhood and property regimes, and to facilitate the development of skills in writing and independent research, primary source analysis, and critical analysis of law, anthropology, and policy.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3976
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Class Participation and three critical response papers at three to five pages each (each receiving critical feedback from professor); one response paper revision with critical feedback from professor and peers, including one letter of revision explaining the student's revision process. One final paper (15-20 pages) and one roundtable presentation based on the final paper.
Prerequisites: Prerequisites: one or more of the following courses: AMST 146,Introduction to Indigenous Studies or AFR 200, Introduction to Africana Studies; HIST 254 / AMST 254(F),Sovereignty, Resistance, and Resilience: Native American Histories to 1865 or AMST 204:
Enrollment Preferences: AMST majors have first priority, AFRICANA majors have second priority.
Unit Notes: This course satisfies EITHER the Space and Place elective OR the Comparative Studies in Race, Ethnicity and Diaspora elective
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AFR 359 Division II AMST 356 Division II
WS Notes: Explanation: Three critical response papers at three to five pages each (each receiving critical feedback from professor); one response paper revision with critical feedback from professor and peers, including one letter of revision explaining the student's revision process. One final paper (15-20 pages) and one roundtable presentation based on the final paper.
DPE Notes: This course focuses upon the operations of difference, power and equity in settler colonial governance in the Americas, particularly in terms of how the legal and extralegal regulation of family, kinship and care are sites where racial, colonial, ethnic, gender and sexual difference are produced and reproduced. It aims to provide students with critical tools to become responsible agents of change, by informing them of the ways that concerns for social equity in the field of kinship and family h

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