PSCI 372
CAPSTONE: Sylvia Wynter, Black Lives, and Struggle for the Human Spring 2021
Division II
Cross-listed AFR 450
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Class Details

How do we judge the value of life? What is the significance of death and arbitrary threats to our existence? Why probe modern notions of black and blackness? What defines optimism, pessimism, enslavement, freedom, creativity, and being human? Do black lives matter? This capstone seminar will explore these and related questions through an examination of the life and work of Jamaican novelist, playwright, cultural critic, and philosopher Sylvia Wynter. Methodologically interdisciplinary, the course shall examine written and audiovisual texts that explore Wynter’s inquiries into the central seminar queries. We will study figures and movements for black lives whose geopolitics frame the milieu of Wynter’s work. Our examination of intellectuals and activists, with their explicit and implicit engagements with Wynter, shall facilitate assessing the possibilities, challenges, and visions of black living. We will also explore the current implications of Wynter’s thought for Africana political theory, Afro-futurism, social justice, human rights, and critiques of liberal humanism. In the latter half of the course, students will have the opportunity to design, conduct, and present their own final research projects.
The Class: Format: seminar; Remote format. This class will be taught synchronously primarily.
Limit: 15
Expected: 12
Class#: 4660
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: attendance and participation; a 7-page midterm essay; class presentation; and a final research project
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Africana Studies concentrators and Political Science majors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AFR 450 Division II PSCI 372 Division II
Attributes: AFR Core Electives
PSCI Political Theory Courses

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