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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Spring 2009

WGS 340 • Politics of Black Sexuality-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47873 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
MEZ 2.102

Course Description

This course is a rhetorical approach to the politics of black sexuality as examined across disciplines, including: literacy, history, literature, visual culture and performance. Of particular interest are the multiplicity of black sexualities with gender, race and ethnicity, class, disability and other identities. We will examine the ways rhetoric is employed historically and contemporarily to construct claims regarding black sexuality through various mediums such as writing and visual culture and the consequences of those claims. In addition, we will explore the rhetorical strategies Black folks employ in the interest of "sex-positive" self-making and other expressions of sexual agency and also how this rhetoric is deployed in resistance to pathologizing claims and problematic depictions of black sexuality.

After reviewing African-American rhetorical traditions topics may include: historical perspectives on stereotypes of black sexuality from enslavement through the present; black women and reproductive justice; rape, sexual assault, street harassment and other forms of sexual violence; lynching and black sexuality; "the down low" and queer black male sexualities; sexuality in black lesbian cinema; sex-work (pornography, sex tourism, prostitution); black spirituality, the body and the erotic; the impact of HIV/AIDS on the black community and black political agendas; black LGBTQ people, hetero-homonormativity and the public sphere.


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