Black Thought and Critical Theory|
Fall 2021 not offered
AFAM 352, FGSS 352|
This course follows Stuart Hall's insistence in "What is this 'Black' in Black Popular Culture?" that the theoretical articulations of "blackness" are always "conjunctural." We will investigate how black thought has been conjoined with critical theory through phenomenology, pragmatism, Marxism, semiotics, and psychoanalysis. In our readings of a variety of 20th- and 21st-century thinkers, we will elaborate the philosophical richness and contradictory tensions embedded in the notion of "blackness" at specific historical and theoretical conjunctions. How is "blackness" useful for social theory? Must we assume there is a transhistorical identity to "blackness"? In what ways does "blackness" conjoin with the conceptualizations of gender, sexuality, class, and religion? Black thought and critical theory is the provocation that we attend to the tensions these questions raise. In this course, we will read the works of James H. Cone, Cornel West, Hortense Spillers, Saidiya Hartman, Sylvia Wynter, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Frank Wilderson, Calvin Warren, Tommy J. Curry, Stuart Hall, and Frantz Fanon.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PHIL)(PHIL-Philosophy)(PHIL-Social Jus)
The grading for the course will be 1) individual presentations; 2) short reflection papers; 3) and a final research paper; 4)attendance and active participation.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Readings: James H. Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation
Cornel West, selections from The Cornel West Reader ("Black Strivings in a Twilight Civilization"; "The New Cultural Politics of Difference"; "Race and Social Theory")
Hortense Spillers, selections from Black, White, and In Color ("Ellison's 'Usable Past': Toward a Theory of Myth"; "Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: An American Grammar Book")
Saidiya Hartman, selections from Scenes of Subjection and Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments
Sylvia Wynter, "Beyond Liberal and Marxist Leninist Feminisms: Towards an Autonomous Frame of Reference" and "On How We Mistook the Map for the Territory")
Denise Ferreira da Silva, "Hacking the Subject: Black Feminism and Refusal beyond the Limits of Critique" and selections from Toward a Global Idea of Race
Frank Wilderson, "Gramsci's Black Marx" and Introduction to Red, White & Black
Calvin Warren, "Black Nihilism and the Politics of Hope" and "Black Mysticism: Fred Moten's Phenomenology of (Black) Spirit"
Tommy J. Curry, "Ethnological Theories of Race/Sex in 19th Century Black Thought: Implications for the Race/Gender Debate of the 21st Century" and "Taking it to the People: Translating Empirical Findings about Black Men and Black Families through a Black Public Philosophy"
Stuart Hall, "What is this 'Black' in Black Popular Culture?" and "Gramsci's Relevance for the Study of Race and Ethnicity"
Frantz Fanon, chs. 4 & 5 of Black Skin, White Masks
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
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