WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2010-2011       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
Junior Colloquium: Representing Race in American Culture
AMST 202
Fall 2010
Section: 01  

This junior colloquium offers an introduction to several key critical issues and debates concerning the representation of race in American culture. In addition to reading several accounts and critiques of how racial minorities have been represented by the dominant culture, we will also consider how racial subjects have theorized ways of representing themselves in response to the burden of such stereotyping and objectification. The course is organized around two case studies. The first of these will focus on one of American culture's "primal scenes" of racial representation: blackface minstrelsy. Considering a variety of critical, literary, and visual texts, we will examine how African American images and culture became a way for working-class and other whites to negotiate their own identities, and how African American artists and intellectuals have responded to this troubling legacy. In the second half of the course, we will turn our attention to questions of cultural representation that originate from the racial context often deemed to be the opposite of the African American experience: that of Asian Americans. If African Americans have long been the target of overtly negative stereotypes, Asian Americans have been subjected to what one critic has called "racist love"--that is, a tradition of putatively positive stereotypes that have produced a different set of representational problems for Asian Americans. Together, these case studies will allow us to explore a wide range of models for thinking and writing about race in American culture.

Essential Capabilities: Interpretation, Writing
This seminar will require students to closely analyze a range of theoretical texts, evaluating their approaches in several response papers, and then developing their own interpretation of a cultural text in a 10-12 page final research paper.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS AMST
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on SEP-24-2023
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459