English 41 - Winter, 2020

Introductory Topics In Literature & Media

    Topic: Black Feminist Cultural Production

Class Information

Instructor: Gray, Erin
CRN: 76938
Time: TR 12:10-3:00
Location: 90 SS/Hum./248 Voorhies


    This course serves as an introduction to black diasporic feminist thought and cultural production. Reading speeches, essays, manifestas, novels, poems, films, dance, music, and visual art composed by black women and by makers and thinkers who consciously engage black feminist methods and analytic frameworks, students will learn about the political histories, contested presents, and visionary futures that animate black feminisms today. Course topics will include: transatlantic slavery and its afterlives; the dialectic of enslavement and freedom; theorizations of blackness as a gendered racial position; black feminist histories of racial capitalism and social reproduction; sexual violence and political struggles for reproductive justice; solidarity across imperial borders; the pursuit of collective visions of justice, mutual aid, care, and pleasure in the midst of apocalyptic settler nationalist and racial capitalist organizations of space and time; the constitution of black feminist studies as an academic field formation; the contradiction between institutional recognition and socio-political transformation; and the influence of black feminist thought on post-disciplinary field formations and political assemblages such as women of color feminisms, queer of color critique, queer social movements, and black cultural studies. Concentrating on black feminist critiques of power and articulations of anti-racist ways of knowing and being, our discussions will attend not only to the labor of black women?s writerly knowledge production, but also to the ways that a range of everyday creative, spiritual, sexual, and political acts shape and inform black feminist thought and world-making practices.


    Attendance and Participation 30%
    Keyword Assignment 20%
    Midterm 25%
    Final 25%


    I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, Maryse Conde
    Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs
    Louisiana, Edna Brodber
    Like One of the Family: Conversations From a Domestic?s Life, Alice Childress
    Beloved, Toni Morrison
    Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler