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African American Women's History

In this course, we will emphasize African American women’s activism within the Black Radical Tradition from African origins to the present. The course will acquaint you with many of the critical questions and concepts Africana women activists and scholars have developed as tools for thinking about the social construction of gender and race and how these categories of identity intersect with other relations of power. Consequently, we will explore the very different kinds of ideologies, strategies, practices, and discourses African American women have developed and mobilized over time and across lines of class, region, and sexual orientation. Our goal is to not only underscore the heterogeneity of African American women’s political imaginings and doings but also underscore a coherent but diverse, intersectional organizing tradition.

We will critically explore these and other questions: Is there a broad but distinct African American women’s organizing tradition, and what are its defining features or hallmarks? How have identities of gender, race, class, nationality, sexuality, religion, and age structured and shaped African American women’s activism? How do African American women reinforce and disrupt standard narratives about the Black Liberation Movement as well as the Women’s Rights movement? How have African American women carved out spaces within and in opposition to U.S. capitalism? How have other groups sought to represent and control African American women’s lives and bodies, and how have women themselves worked to represent themselves?

Instructor: S. Garrett-Scott
TTH 9:30 - 10:45, Peabody 202
Crosslisted as AAS 362, HST 418