Black Studies Courses Offered 2015-2016


Uneasy Intimacies: Interracial Modernism | ENGL 35451

Adrienne Brown

  • This course will explore the way Modernist writers theorized interracial encounter and intimacies. Considering both the direct and indirect conversations taking place between writers across the color line during the early 20th century, we will examine the shared and divergent concerns, styles, and forms emerging from writers grappling with the desires, failures and fantasies of interracial encounter. Potential authors include Gertrude Stein, Nella Larsen, William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Carl Van Vechten, Richard Wright, and Wallace Thurman. (20th/21st)

Contemporary Latino/a Poetry | ENGL 47905

Rachel Galvin

  • From Julia de Burgos’ political lyrics to poetry of the Chicano Movement, Nuyorican performance poetry, and contemporary “Avant-Latino” experiments, this course explores the eclectic forms, aesthetics, and political engagements of Latin@ poetry in the 20th and 21st centuries. We’ll examine experimentalism, formal constraint, code-switching, self-translation, multimedia and performance modes (the boundaries between page and stage), and changing ideas about the lyric. In the process, we’ll debate the usefulness of the term “Latino” to unite writers of disparate backgrounds and tendencies. Theoretical readings are drawn from the fields of poetry and poetics, Latin@ Studies, Latin American Studies, postcolonial studies, and Hemispheric Studies, as we explore Latin@ poetry in the context of migration and pluri-national affiliations; globalization, neoliberalism, and US foreign policy; Latin@ poetry’s response to technological and socio-political change; its critique of ideologies of race, class, gender, and sexuality; and its dialogue with indigenous, Latin American, North American, and European literatures.

Postcolonial Formations | ENGL 66702

Sonali Thakkar

  • This course trains graduate-level students in postcolonial theory and literature, and it contends that we can best understand postcolonial studies neither in terms of a canon of literary works nor in terms of a discrete historical moment but as a set of key questions and debates that have shaped methods of literary and cultural interpretation and intellectual inquiry over the three decades in which postcolonial literary and culture studies have coalesced (and now, perhaps disintegrated) as a field. We will consider topics such as writing and resistance, postcolonial literary revisions, mimicry and hybridity, and gender. We will also consider whether “postcolonial literature” as a category has a future in the discipline of English literary studies, particularly in light of the ongoing sense of crisis theorists in the field have identified and the ascendance of terms such as “planetarity,” “global Anglophone literature,” and “world literature.” What is the status of the global in the postcolonial, and vice-versa? What is gained or lost when we revise or abandon the term postcolonial? What conceptual significance does the nation-state retain when we talk about global literature? Authors and critics will include Emily Apter, Homi Bhabha, Aimé Césaire, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Michelle Cliff, Frantz Fanon, Leela Gandhi, Édouard Glissant, Mohsin Hamid, Bessie Head, Isabel Hofmeyr, C.L.R. James, Achille Mbembe, Walter Mignolo, V.S. Naipaul, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Michael Ondaatje, Edward Said, David Scott, W.G. Sebald, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, among others.