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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Fall 2009

ANT 391 • Mothering in the Black Diaspora

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30676 M
1:00 PM-4:00 PM
TICE 1009 E 11

Course Description

This graduate seminar examines representations and analyses of black women's sexuality, and their reproduction of family and social relations. The trajectory from Thomas Jefferson's slave/mistress/common-law wife Sally Hemings to the first publicly recognized African American mother and grandmother to occupy the White House as the first family reflect complex portraits of American family life in which the roles of black women remain central within these constructions that range from the stereotypical "mammy" to current ivy-league educated first lady. Since the enslavement era in the Americas, national political debates and struggles have been waged to control black women’s bodies, reproductive capabilities, sterilization, sexuality, and family structures. Contextualizing debates and social policies within a historical framework, this course explores black women’s nonfiction and fiction writings on mothering.

Taught at TICE, 1009 East 11th Street


Texts include: Barbara Chase-Riboud, Sally Hemings; Alice Walker, Meridian; Toni Morrison, A Mercy; Morrison, Beloved; Sadiyah Hartmann, Lose your Mother; Dorothy Roberts, Killing the Black Body; Medea; Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider; Cecelie Berry, Rise Up Singing: Black Women Writers on Motherhood; Lorraine Hansberry, Raisin in the Sun. Supplemental texts: Orlando Patterson, Slavery and Social Death; 'The Moynihan Report"; Children's Defense Fund Freedom School Program


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