WGSS 420
Senior Seminar: The Drag of Black Masculinity Spring 2019
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed WGSS 420 / AMST 420 / AFR 331 / ENGL 420
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In this seminar, we will study the evolution of Black masculinities through cultural, social, and political movements from 19th century to the present. This course engages Black feminist thought, Black masculinities studies, queer theory, and performance studies. We will examine the relationship and constitutive nature of masculinity and femininity. How is blackness always already gendered? How is gender always already racialized? What are the effects of these gendering and racializing practices on Black bodies, spaces, and places? We will trouble the relationship between manhood and masculinity by examining the ways in which masculinity can move across various kinds of bodies. By examining representations and presentations of Black masculinities, we will pursue questions such as: How has dominant society attempted to define Black masculinity? In what ways have Black people undermined these narratives and redefined themselves? How do racial stereotypes about Black men’s sexuality inform representations of Black masculinities? Can we/should we be moving beyond heteropatriarchy and gender binaries? What is the future of Black Gender? By reading critical and creative texts, viewing films and engaging other kinds of media, students will hone their critical theorization skills.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 14
Expected: 14
Class#: 3452
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: each student will be asked to facilitate a class discussion; students will write three short creative/critical papers; there will also be a final project
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies majors and others with substantial background in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies or Africana Studies; statements of interest will be solicited
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under WGSS, AFR, OR AMST; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL DPE: This course fulfills the DPE requirement in that it centers questions of power and privilege.
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 420 Division II AMST 420 Division II AFR 331 Division II ENGL 420 Division I

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