Sensorium Noir: African American Literature, Performance, and Culture

Course Number: ENGL 265BM
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 265AA-ZZ
Quarter: Fall 2019
Instructor: Batiste, Stephanie
Day(s): M
Time: 2:00 PM-4:50 PM
Location: SH 2714
Description:

In this class we’ll study the ways African American theorists and theorists of African American culture engage sense and sensibility in the criticism of culture and embodiment, being and knowledge. We’ll read trenchant recent work in Black Literary and Cultural Studies that draws on canonical theory while changing the nature and boundaries of the field. This scholarship will be paired both new and canonical writing in black literature to demonstrate and model the ways scholars draw upon, reflect upon and stretch the canon and its meanings. Together we will study how writers and scholars use resources to push the boundaries of what we know about black thought, history, culture, and creativity. At the same time we interrogate the history and operation of race and racism. We’ll ask: How does each scholar target assumptions about knowledge and inquiry regarding Black life and subjects? What is the redefinition of race and racial thinking at hand? Do these topics emerge anew as a result of their work? What is the nature of this contribution and how does it define a future of study and reassessment of history? How are the scholars in collaboration with writers or other subjects of study in these projects? Is there another relationship at hand? What are the stakes of the research? That is what are the consequences of their theoretical shifts for knowledge-making, historical thought, and futurity? We will consider literature, performance, photography, art, music, sound, and dance to amplify the interdisciplinarity of African American Literary and Cultural Studies as subject and method.