AFR 237
Islam in the United States: Race, Religion, Politics Spring 2022
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed REL 237 / AFR 237 / AMST 237

Class Details

Malcolm X is one of the most iconic yet controversial figures in the black freedom struggle in the United States. He is also arguably the most prominent and influential Muslim in the history of the United States. His story and legacy powerfully illustrate the complex intersections of Muslim identity, political resistance, and national belonging. From the early period of “Black Muslim” movements represented by Malcolm X, to the current “War on Terror” era, American Muslims have faced a complex intersection of exclusions and marginalization, in relation to national belonging, race, and religion. Taking Malcolm X as our point of departure, this course examines how American Muslims have navigated these multiple layers of marginalization. We will therefore consider how the broader socio-political contexts that Muslims are a part of shape their visions of Islam, and how they contest these competing visions among themselves. In so doing, we will examine the complex relation between religion, race, and politics in the United States. Throughout the course, we will be engaging with historical and anthropological material, autobiographies, comics, documentaries, films, historical primary-source documents, and social media materials. The course fosters critical thinking about diversity by challenging assumptions of who Muslims are, what being American means, and what Islam is. It also focuses on the complex interaction of different dimensions of diversity, from religion to ideology, race, nationality, ethnicity, culture, gender, and language.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 20
Expected: 15
Class#: 3693
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: regular reading responses, midterm essay, final exam/essay
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Majors and concentrators in REL, AFR, and AMST
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
REL 237 Division II AFR 237 Division II AMST 237 Division II
DPE Notes: The course fosters critical thinking about diversity by challenging assumptions of who Muslims are, what being American means, and what Islam is. It also focuses on the complex interaction of different dimensions of diversity, from religion to ideology, race, nationality, ethnicity, culture, gender, and language.
Attributes: AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora

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