10:30 AM to 01:10 PM R
Robinson Hall A247
Section Information for Fall 2015
This interdisciplinary learning community investigates the social and cultural representations of race. Covering a range racial and ethnic groups, we examine the ways the visuals have changed over the years in response to such social and cultural events as civil rights laws, the events of 9/11, wars, etc. Although a major emphasis of the course is on Black and White, a significant portion of the course is devoted to understanding the concept of the social construction of race. We analyze images and apply the theoretical concepts of scholars such as bell hooks, Michael Harris, Melissa Harris-Perry, Cherrie Moraga, Janell Hobson, Kobena Mercer, Edward Said, and many others. We spend a significant amount of time on the historical record of black people in this country, not only because theirs is a unique history of being brought to the US against their wills and enslaved, but also because many of the theoretical concepts that we study will be readily applied to multiple races and ethnic groups. We focus on the definitions of representation and what it means to be the object of a type of representation that feels not real. We also explore notions of power – who has it, who does not, why it matters, and how it influences visual representations. Although most of our written texts will deal with African American, your one credit of experiential work and much of our classroom work will focus on other minority groups. As we go along, we will learn to apply the concepts to the contemporary representations of other ethnic groups.
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