WGS 345 • BLACK FEMINIST THEORY & PRAXIS
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
In this course we will analyze theory and praxis of Black and Third World feminisms-- as political space, activist methodology, artistic inspiration and scholarly choice. We will analyze canon-forming theory, literature and personal essays by, for example, the Combahee River Collective, Audre Lorde, Gloria Hull, Michelle Cliff, Toni Cade Bambara, and other artists and scholars, as well as emerging work from Black British, Caribbean, Latin American and US hip-hop perspectives. One of the most vibrant sites of theoretical and artistic production and on the ground organizing; Black feminism comes out of the tension between first wave feminism that insisted on sisterhood without adequate interrogation of the racism and classicism of the majority of sisters, and various race-based movements that claimed that black people could only deal with the woman question after the race question had been settled. This position at the interstices of identity-based politics makes for a strategic locus for on the ground politics and academic work that in fact attend to multiply constituted identities-- including sexuality, class, nation and the consideration of history and material conditions-- as more than a rhetorical gesture. Among the topics taken up: 'F- word' tensions such as the position of feminism in radical politics; the participation/position of men, 'gender' as an analytical category; 'womanism'; generational and national difference; and the participation/position of Lesbians.. Moreover, it will engage students in grappling with pressing contemporary events and popular culture from black feminist perspectives.