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Undergraduate English Courses Spring 2018

359:312 Theories of Black Liberation

03  MW6  CAC  19901  ROBOLIN  MU-208

This course can also fulfill the African American, Ethnic American or Global Anglophone Literature requirement.

Over fifty years since the U.S. Civil Rights Act and the wave of decolonization across Africa, calls for the liberation of black peoples continue to echo across the North American and African continents.  These recent calls are based on present social, economic, political, and cultural conditions, but they also rest on centuries of earlier demands for freedom by and for peoples of color.  This course will examine key texts—ranging from manifestos and essays to theoretical formulations and novels—that made the case for black liberation in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa.  In addition to tracing the relationship of these theories to their social contexts, part of our work will be charting continuities and alterations across these various calls for black liberation.

Texts will likely include Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism, Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, Angela Davis’s Autobiography, Butler’s The Parable of the Sower, Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, Biko’s I Write What I Like, Lorde’s Sister Outsider, and Maathai’s Unbowed, in addition to essays by June Jordan, Ta-Nehesi Coates, Sylvia Wynter, and Amílcar Cabral.

Evaluations will be based on two essays, two exams, class presentations, and regular class attendance and participation.