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Course Offerings

Course Evaluation Results

Course Details

Fall 2017-2018
* ENG 379 / AAS 379 / AMS 389 / ART 380 (LA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Black Aesthetics: Art, Literature, and Politics in the African Diaspora

Nijah Cunningham

This course introduces students to black aesthetics as a historically grounded concept that stages questions of the social, cultural, political and philosophical meaning of blackness. We'll explore various 'flashpoints' during the 20th century where black art serves both as a site of contestation and a platform for interrogating topics of race, gender, sexuality, the body, objecthood, slavery and colonialism. We'll consider how various generations of black artists/intellectuals across the African diaspora turned to the aesthetic realm to imagine new political possibilities and generate different ways of seeing, feeling, sensing, and thinking.

Sample reading list:
Langston Hughes, Fine Clothes to the Jew
Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land
Amiri Baraka, Fundi Abernathy, and Sonia Abernathy, In Our Terribleness
Gayle Jones, Corregidora
Ralph Lemon, Come Home Charley Patton
Claudia Rankine, Citizen
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
1) Weekly Reading Responses (10%): A brief yet substantive response (~500 words; 10 in total) to each week's assigned readings. 2) Student-led discussions (15%): Each week, students will give presentations to frame class. 3) Midterm Exam (25%): A take-home assignment that will consist of four to five short answer essays. 4) Final Paper (30%): An eight to ten-page paper that critically engages at least one of the literary works on the syllabus and addresses the course's larger themes.

Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 25%
Paper in lieu of Final - 30%
Papers - 10%
Oral Presentation(s) - 15%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Other Requirements:
Multimedia Student Project Required

Other information:
Distribution Requirement: Theory Criticism/Diaspora

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
22247 S01 01:30:00 pm - 02:50:00 pm T Th   McCosh Hall   30   Enrolled:8 Limit:15