Race and Spectacle in African American Literature and Film|
Spring 2019 not offered
The visible black body was essential to the business of the antebellum auction block, the success of the antislavery movement, the popularity of the Jim Crow stage, and the escapism provided by the theatre and its unruly secular relation, the circus. Despite, and also because of, such hypervisibility, black bodies manipulated and deployed invisibility in order to secure freedom, to achieve reform, and to survive. Writers such as Henry Box Brown, Ellen and William Craft, Pauline Hopkins, Nella Larsen, Ernest Gaines, and Octavia Butler demonstrate the ways in which exaggerated performances of race and raced identities can reveal the fictions of law and the power of marginality. This term, we will think together about what African American writers, as well as American and English filmmakers, render unbelievable in order to facilitate encounters with the real, the power of raced spectacle, and the consequences for society once spectacular truths are unleashed.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Materials will include works by writers Henry Box Brown, Lucille Clifton, Ernest Gaines, Pauline Hopkins, Victoria Earle Matthews, Gloria Naylor, Solomon Northup and films directed by Charles Burnett, Spike Lee, Steve McQueen, and Steven Spielberg.