Queer African Bodies (Offered Spring 2020)

In this course we will investigate the role of the body in the emerging field of Queer African Studies. Looking to performance, visual art, film, and literature, students will consider what it means to engage African studies through a queer optic, and examine how queerness has been discussed, theorized and articulated via the “African” body.

Migration, Exile, and Return in African and African Diasporic Art, Performance, and Literature (Last offered Spring 2019)

Historically, scholars of diaspora have overemphasized the importance of national and cultural belonging for African diasporic subjects, and in doing so have overlooked how marginalized diasporic subjects complicate and expand the very meaning of home and belonging. In this course we will look to modern and contemporary visual art, performance, literature, and film, in order to examine how the themes of migration, exile, and return have been taken up and theorized by African and African diasporic cultural producers. Students will be introduced to the field of African diaspora studies with special attention to texts that complicate, redefine and reimagine popular understandings of the relationship between diasporans and "The Homeland." Our course materials will lift up and illuminate the experiences of African diasporic women and queer folks.

Art, Literature and Performance of Women of Color (Last offered Spring 2019)

In this course we will examine visual art, literary expressions, and performances created by women of color in the United States, reflecting on the intersections of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, and culture. Students will learn and reflect on the origin of “women of color” as both a racial and political identity, as well as examine how race and ethnicity have been utilized, redefined and contested by women of color via the arts. Over the course of the quarter we will also delve into our own creative practices, using them as tools to clarify theory, bring nuance to our discussions, and explore our curiosities.

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