The Law, the Citizen, and the Literary and Cinematic Imaginations|
Spring 2021 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: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)(ENGL-Literature)
Possible historical, fictional, and poetic works:
CLR James, THE BLACK JACOBINS
Toni Morrison, BELOVED
James Baldwin, GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN
Robert Hayden, COLLECTED POEMS
Américo Paredes, GEORGE WASHINGTON GÓMEZ
Rolando Hinojosa, KLAIL CITY
Tomás Rivera, ...AND THE EARTH DID NOT DEVOUR HIM
Gil Cuadros, CITY OF GOD
Eduardo Corral, SLOW LIGHTNING
select poems by Gina Franco and Emmy Pérez.
Possible films and visual media: Maluala; Killer of Sheep; Twelve Years a Slave; Babel; Real World San Francisco; and Boys Don't Cry.
Theoretical interlocutors: Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, Walter Benjamin, Giorgio Agamben, Mae Ngai, Saidiya Hartman, Alicia Schmidt-Camacho, Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, Judith Halberstam, and Jose Muñoz.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Two short essays, one peer-editing written piece/intervention, final research essay
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
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.
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