Spring 2022 Undergraduate English Courses

358:381 Engendered Histories: Reading History/Reading Self in the Black Atlantic

02   TF1 8:30-9:50 AM  CAC   08261  HARRELL  SC-116

Engendered Histories: Reading History/Reading Self in the Black Atlantic

Course Description: Through the theoretical lens of genealogy, this course seeks to unpack the ways in which black women write about their family and how that family history, or lack thereof, gives a larger historical account of black experience in the United States. In a traditional understanding, genealogy is a study and tracing of lines of descent from one ancestor to another. In another understanding, French philosopher Michel Foucault defines genealogy as an archival method that seeks those events that are deemed “less than history.” In this course, students will explore texts and theories that demonstrates how a history of enslavement has resulted in breaks, gaps, and silences in black family filiations that mark the black, in historical interracial family lines, as “less than.” Reading the theories of Michel Foucault alongside and against Saidiya Hartman’s Critical Fabulation, and the critical race theories of W.E.B. Du Bois, and Patricia J. Williams, this course will critically engage with novels, long-form poems, travel memoirs, and theoretical texts to ask: how does historical violence engender black women in our present?