REL 262
Time and Blackness Fall 2021
Division II
Cross-listed AFR 208 / AMST 208 / REL 262

Class Details

The concept of time has been one of the most examined, yet least explicitly theorized, concepts in Africana Studies. While the field is saturated with historical studies and literary analyses that take up issues of cultural memory–which involves thinking about time–time itself has rarely the subject of sustained inquiry. This may be due to its abstractness as an idea, and the level of analysis its conceptualization demands, or because time in the Black experience cannot be understood outside of the meaning of race, which itself is not completely tangible. In this tutorial, “Time and Blackness,” we will explore how Black writers across a number of genres–spiritual autobiography, fiction, memoir, literary criticism, and cultural theory–understand time, and create paradigms of time to organize their work. The following questions will structure our investigation: What are the constituent elements of time in Black writings? How does race shape the ways Black writers conceive the experience of time? And, finally, to what can we attribute the recent surge in explicit, theoretical examinations of “time and blackness”?
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1357
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: assignments will include six 2-page response papers; two 5-page writing assignments; and a final, 10-page review essay on how time is understood in a genre of writing
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: concentrators in Africana Studies, majors in Religious Studies, and majors in American Studies
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AFR 208 Division II AMST 208 Division II REL 262 Division II
Attributes: AFR Core Electives
AMST Arts in Context Electives
AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora

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