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WGSS 378
Uncontrollable: Deconstructing Stereotypes of Black Womanhood in the Americas Spring 2020
Division II
Cross-listed WGSS 378 / AFR 378

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In Black Feminist Thought Patricia Hill Collins powerfully illustrates how “portraying African-American women as stereotypical mammies, matriarchs, welfare recipients, and hot mommas has been essential to the political economy of domination fostering Black women’s oppression.” This course explores how similar social constructions of race and womanhood have evolved in Latin American countries affected by slavery and colonialism. We begin by revisiting Collins’ seminal text, as well as the work of other feminist scholars, as a starting point from which to deconstruct controlling images of Black women in Latin American nations. We will then explore clips from films, television series, advertisements, and comic strips to analyze different iterations of stereotypes and their impact on Afro-Latin American women’s life chances. The second component of this course will engage with Black women’s resistance throughout Latin America. We will engage songs, poetry, and empirical data on Black women’s resistance to examine they how have and continue to challenge stereotypes, educate the public, and construct their own narratives of black womanhood.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 15
Class#: 3126
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, 2-3 short papers (5-7 pages), and a final paper (12-15 pages)
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: AFR concentrators
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 378 Division II AFR 378 Division II

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