Junior Colloquium: Representing Race in American Culture|
Fall 2012 not offered
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.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)
Homi Bhabha, THE LOCATION OF CULTURE
Anne Cheng, THE MELANCHOLY OF RACE: PSYCHOANALYSIS, ASSIMILATION, AND HIDDEN GRIEF
Rey Chow, WRITING DIASPORA: TACTICS OF INTERVENTION IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURAL STUDIES
Christina Klein, COLD WAR ORIENTALISM: ASIA IN THE MIDDLEBROW IMAGINATION
Daniel Kim, WRITING MANHOOD IN BLACK AND YELLOW
Spike Lee, BAMBOOZLED
Eric Lott, LOVE AND THEFT: BLACKFACE MINSTRELSY AND THE AMERICAN WORKING CLASS
Lisa Lowe, IMMIGRANT ACTS: ON ASIAN AMERICAN CULTURAL POLITICS
Art by Kara Walker, Betye Saar, Michael Ray Charles, and others
Additional writings by Fredric Jameson, Walter Benn Michaels, and others.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Class participation; several short response papers; one 5-7 page paper; a final 12-15 page research paper.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This is a junior colloquium in American studies.
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