The Law, the Citizen, and the Literary and Cinematic Imaginations|
Fall 2022 not offered
AMST 350, AFAM 350|
In this course, we will study several major legal events that highlight the contradictions and injustices in the history of U.S. citizenship and the ways this history has been reimagined in literature and cinema. Among the topics discussed will be the slave codes, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the Fugitive Slave Act, the Jim Crow order, the Bracero program, sodomy laws, and SB 1070. We will consider theories of citizen, state, race, and sexuality implicit in these legal structures, with an eye for who may be incorporated into the body politic and who is unassimilable by design, and on what terms. In addition, we will consider the way literary and cinematic texts engage the rhetoric and psychic effects of the law and the way they present different imaginaries of human bodies, communities, and temporalities. Our focus will be on African American, African diasporic, Latina/o/x and Indigenous literatures and cinemas, as they reveal the rifts and conjunctions among the categories citizen, "savage," "gente sin razón," slave, illegal, pervert, and deviant.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)(ENGL-Literature)(HRAD-MN)
Possible historical, fictional, and poetic works:
Possible* poetry and fiction: Toni Morrison BELOVED, M. NourBese Phillip ZONG!, Tommy Pico NATURE POEM, Ocean Vuong NIGHT SKY WITH EXIT WOUNDS, Billy-Ray Belcourt A HISTORY OF MY BRIEF BODY; as well as films and visual media, Maluala, Killer of Sheep, Real World San Francisco; as well as theoretical and critical essays by Tiffany Lethabo King, CLR James, Jennifer Doyle, José Muñoz, Jared Sexton, Saidiya Hartman, Sora Han, Elizabeth Hinton.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
One short essay, one collaborative writing experiment, one sound experiment, one research-based essay (may build on first short essay)
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Application Deadline: Monday, April 12, 2021
Students: to be considered for enrollment, please send a one paragraph statement in a Word document or PDF to the Professor's Wesleyan email articulating the stakes of this class for your studies and research-based projects (be those in a written genre, visual, cinematic, sonic, some other medium, etc.). With this one paragraph statement of stakes, send, also, a two-page writing sample from a research paper, also in Word or PDF. This may be a fragment, and can have been written for any course subject, just let it convey your best writing and thinking to date.
Class of '22: This course fulfills the Literatures of Difference and Theory requirements and contributes to the American Literature, Race & Ethnicity, and Theory & Literary Forms concentrations of the English major.
Class of '23 and beyond: This course fulfills the Literary History 3, American Literature, World Literature and Theory requirements of the English major.
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