AMERICAN CULTURAL STUDIES MOD. 2
- Academic year
- 2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
- Official course title
- AMERICAN CULTURAL STUDIES MOD. 2
- Course code
- LMJ290 (AF:381918 AR:205222)
- On campus classes
- ECTS credits
- Degree level
- Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
- Educational sector code
- 2nd Semester
- Course year
- Go to Moodle page
Contribution of the course to the overall degree programme goals
Expected learning outcomes
a) comprehension of the historical development of the concept of race, with specific reference to blackness in the US context during the 20th and 21st century; development of critical knowledge on this theme, understood in a diacronic and synchronic way, and on the complex relation between blackness and whiteness as a political act determined by the progressive request of authority and agency by African American citizens
b) development of students' critical skills by stimulating the elaboration of original ideas within a specific area of study
c) building students' analytical skills by adopting a multi- and interdisciplinary approach
d) development of independent and autonomous study through the possibility of personal research to be presented to the class.
Ability to enrich the syllabus through individual research of material and independent study
We will examine a selection of 20th- and 21st-century works which are representative of the constantly evolving meaning(s) of blackness in US contemporary society. Through the analysis of these texts, students will acquire familiarity with key concepts informing the intellectual and social debate within Black and Diasporic Studies (e.g. double-consciousness, the Middle Passage, the Black Atlantic, the New African Diaspora, etc.)
- W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (1903), selections (chapters 1 and 14)
- Langston Hughes, “I, Too” (1926) and “The Backlash Blues” (1967)
- Richard Wright, “The Man Who Lived Underground” (1941)
- Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1949), selections (prologue and chapter 1)
- James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time (1963)
- Toni Cade Bambara, “Blues Ain’t No Mockingbird” (1971)
- Toni Morrison, “Recitatif” (1983)
- August Wilson, The Piano Lesson (1990)
- Anna Deavere Smith, Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities (1992), selections (Introduction; Background Information; “Anonymous Lubavitcher Woman, Static"; “Anonymous Girl, Look in the Mirror”; “Minister Conrad Mohammed, Seven Verses”; “Lettin Cottin Pogrebin, Isaac”)
- Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing (2016), selections
- Rivers Solomon, The Deep (2019), selections
- Bordin, Elisa. “Reimagining Family Trees,” in Transatlantic Memories of Slavery: Reimagining the Past, Changing the Future, edited by Elisa Bordin and Anna Scacchi. Cambria Press, 2015.
- Crenshaw, Kimberlé. “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics,” University of Chicago Legal Forum 1989, 1: 139–167
- Hughes, Langston. “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain”
- Morrison, Toni. "Configurations of Blackness," The Origin of Others. Harvard UP, 2017: 55–74
- Rasheeda Muhammad, Precious. “Black Protest Writing, From W.E.B. DuBois to Kendrick Lamar,” Literary Hub (August 10, 2016), https://lithub.com/black-protest-writing-from-w-e-b-dubois-to-kendrick-lamar/
- Rankine, Claudia. “The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning,” The New York Times (June 22, 2015): https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/22/magazine/the-condition-of-black-life-is-one-of-mourning.html
- Ward, Jesmyn. “On Witness and Respair: A Personal Tragedy Followed by Pandemic,” Vanity Fair (September 1, 2020): https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2020/08/jesmyn-ward-on-husbands-death-and-grief-during-covid
Primary and secondary sources are mandatory.
b) Participation during classes is highly encouraged and will be evaluated positively (20%). Attendance is not mandatory, however, your active participation to the discussions and conversations in class is a fundamental contribution to the seminar.
c) Students who cannot attend lessons are required to study some extra material (see Further Readings folder on Moodle).
Please consider that the COVID-19 pandemic has not ended yet; this may have an impact on the teaching methods.
Type of exam
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals
This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Poverty and inequalities" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development